Image credit – Air Force Research Laboratory


For the most part, drones require pilots to help them find their way around. However, the need to have a pilot means that human error is a possibility with regards to certain drone operations. This is why it doesn’t come as a surprise to learn that the Air Force has announced that they will be looking into the possibility of AI-powered autonomous drones.

Known as Skyborg, according to Maj. Ryan Carr, from AFRL’s Aerospace Systems Directorate, “We expect that technology will continue to mature fairly rapidly. What we really need to understand is, ‘How do you take that and do something like bring it to the real world and fly with it for example?’”

He adds, “The thing we’re trying to get at early on is how to do that safely. We’re talking about run-time assurance, working hand-in-hand with the flight test community who have a very long record of safe flight testing. That’s really what we want to focus our attention on in this early period.”

So what will this look like in the end? At the moment it seems that the program is still in the early stages so exactly what Skyborg could look like, what it can do, and how it will go about doing it has yet to be decided, but it is something that the Air Force is looking into.

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