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Robotics Institute Developing Autonomous Capability for DARPA ‘Flying Car’
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Under a 17-month, $988,000 contract, Carnegie Mellon's Robotics Institute will develop an autonomous flight system for a ground vehicle that can take to the air.
By Cecilia Galvin


The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded a 17-month, $988,000 contract to Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute to develop an autonomous flight system for the Transformer (TX) Program, which is exploring the feasibility of a military ground vehicle that could transform into a vertical-take-off-and-landing (VTOL) air vehicle.

The TX vehicle envisioned by DARPA would be capable of transporting four people and 1,000 pounds of payload up to 250 nautical miles, either by land or by air. Its enhanced mobility would increase survivability by making movements less predictable and would make the vehicle suitable for a wide variety of missions, such as scouting, resupply, and medical evacuation.

“The…

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