Piloted Flight Between Buildings at Ft Benning - August 2003

The helicopter was flown under piloted flight down a street in Ft Benning to capture images from the three cameras mounted onboard. The captured images are being used to test methods for flying down a street autonomously.

Omnidirectional camera and two sideways looking cameras mounted to the front of the helicopter.


The ground robots here are not part of the helicopter experiment, but cooperative exploration of urban environments such as this is a possible application for the helicopter.


Surveillance is also a possible application for the helicopter.




Piloted Flight at USC - June 2003


Our safety pilot Doug Wilson takes the heli for a flight at USC.

This was before the sideways looking cameras were added - at this point only the omnidirectional camera is mounted onboard.


We strapped a camcorder to the heli for this flight. Footage from the camcorder can be found here.


Starting the JPL heli is Jim Montgomery, while Srikanth holds the blades.

Newly completed 3rd generation AVATAR with electronics box (before the crash).



Autonomous Vision-Based Landing - September 2001

In these experiments, the helicopter flies autonomously towards the heli-pad based on its GPS coordinates, and then when the H on the heli-pad becomes visible from the downward looking camera, vision is used to track the pad and keep the heli centered over it while it descends to land on the H autonomously.

Position of heli after 3rd landing.
Position of heli after 4th landing.
Position of heli after 1st landing.
Position of heli after 1st landing.
Heli in flight before landing.
Older Images - 1991 to 2000

These are a selection of older images from the first decade of autonomous flying vehicle research at the University of Southern California.

AFV Takes part in the International Aerial Robotics Competition.
Original AFV.
First generation AVATAR flown at USC.
First generation AVATAR in the lab.
Working late at night on the 2nd generation AVATAR.
Electronics box of the 2nd generation AVATAR.
Heli team and other lab members.

Last modified: May 24 2006