V-Bat UAV demos autonomous payload delivery
MLB has announced that it has concluded a DARPA funded research project that saw its vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) UAV, V-Bat, demonstrate precision autonomous payload delivery and placement.
According to the company, V-Bat was specially outfitted with a stereo vision system for the project, which enabled it to detect and track an object's position relative to its own position in hover flight. Newly developed control logic autonomously guided V-Bat's hover operations and controlled the specially designed six foot robotic arm to accurately pick-up and place the target object.
Stephen Morris, CEO and founder of MLB, said: ‘This is an excellent example of the flexibility and capabilities a vertical take-off and landing V-Bat can provide. The V-Bat is ideal for shipboard operations, aerial patrol, payload pick-up and delivery or any application that requires access to hard-to-reach or dangerous locations.’
The MLB V-Bat is a long endurance VTOL design under development at MLB. The aircraft is launched and recovered in a 20 x 20 ft area and can fly for up to 10 hours with a 5 lb payload. Versions as large as 10 ft in span and 70 lb and as small as 6 ft in span and 12 lb have been tested to date. The first production version will weigh 55 lb and have a 8 ft span.
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