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"Unusual" unmanned aircraft are being built at the U-M Aerospace Department, and they are breaking barriers. Professor Ella Atkins focuses on autonomous systems, teaching aircraft how to be more efficient or how to handle anomalies. This type of automation would be critical in accidents such as aircraft hitting birds, allowing the computers to make analysis and decisions in a much faster timeframe than humans can.

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Flying robots

3/26/2012

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"Unusual" unmanned aircraft are being built at the U-M Aerospace Department, and they are breaking barriers. Professor Ella Atkins focuses on autonomous systems, teaching aircraft how to be more efficient or how to handle anomalies. This type of automation would be critical in accidents such as aircraft hitting birds, allowing the computers to make analysis and decisions in a much faster timeframe than humans can.

New unmanned aircraft are breaking barriers. Professor Ella Atkins focuses on autonomous systems, teaching aircraft how to be more efficient or how to handle anomalies.


About the Professor

Ella Atkins, Associate Professor of Aerospace EngineeringAbout the Professor: Ella Atkins is an Associate Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan College of Engineering. Her research program focuses on the integration of strategic and tactical planning and optimization algorithms to enable robust, autonomous aircraft and spacecraft flight in the presence of system failures and environmental uncertainties.

About Michigan Engineering: The University of Michigan College of Engineering is one of the top engineering schools in the country. Eight academic departments are ranked in the nation's top 10 -- some twice for different programs. Its research budget is one of the largest of any public university. Its faculty and students are making a difference at the frontiers of fields as diverse as nanotechnology, sustainability, healthcare, national security and robotics. They are involved in spacecraft missions across the solar system, and have developed partnerships with automotive industry leaders to transform transportation. Its entrepreneurial culture encourages faculty and students alike to move their innovations beyond the laboratory and into the real world to benefit society. Its alumni base of more than 75,000 spans the globe.

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