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Urban Aeronautics' robotic flying vehicle completes first solo test flight - WATCH

Completing such missions in rough terrain or combat zones can be tricky, with helicopters currently offering the best transportation option in most cases.

Updated: Dec 05, 2016, 12:59 PM IST
Urban Aeronautics' robotic flying vehicle completes first solo test flight - WATCH
Image credit: Urban Aeronautics

New Delhi: Israeli company Urban Aeronautics announced that its automated, flying ambulance has successfully performed its first solo test flight, including low flight over uneven terrain.

The successful test flight of the automated flying vehicle, dubbed the 'Cormorant' offers a potential solution for challenging search and rescue missions.

Completing such missions in rough terrain or combat zones can be tricky, with helicopters currently offering the best transportation option in most cases.

However, these vehicles need clear areas to land, and in the case of war zones, helicopters tend to attract enemy fire.

On November 3, 2016, Urban Aeronautics said that its Cormorant Unmanned Air vehicle (UAV) prototype completed the test flight that could one day go where helicopters cannot.

Video courtesy: UrbanAero/YouTube

The vehicle is designed to eventually carry people or equipment without a human pilot on board, 'Live Science' reported.

Rather than using propellers or rotors to fly, the Cormorant uses ducted fans that are effectively shielded rotors, which means the aircraft does not need to worry about bumping into a wall and damaging the rotors.

Another set of fans propels the vehicle forward. The vehicle is effectively a decision-making system that can figure out what to do if there is a problem in the inputs from the sensors, the company, Urban Aeronautics, said.

If the Cormorant detects a potential issue, the drone's robotic brain can decide whether to go home, land and wait for more instructions, or try a different flight path.

However, despite the completion of last month's flight test, Urban Aeronautics said that it still needs to refine some parts of the technology.

(With PTI inputs)