Flying eye

August 28, 2008

It may look like something the Wright brothers might have knocked up a century ago, but don't be fooled. The autonomous aerial vehicle is a state-of-the-art flying robot that could mean the difference between life and death for today's armed forces. It was developed in less than a year by a team from Manchester University's School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering, with input from Leeds University, and was one of the entries in this year's Grand Challenge posed by the Ministry of Defence to find the best new urban military technology. While the top prize eluded the team during trials at the Army's urban training centre at in Wiltshire - that honour went to a team from Cranfield University - the project has resulted in a wide-ranging patent on multirotor aerial vehicles.

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