From thousands of miles away,
pilots here in the U.S. fly drones on missions overseas every day. Air Force
researchers at Wright Patterson Air Force Base are now studying whether they
can get drone operators to fly five or six at a time, they tell FOX19 exclusively.
"We're exploring how to understand the responses of the
human (body) so that we can better predict if the human is starting to get
overloaded, starting to get stressed, starting to get fatigued," said Mark
Draper, Ph.D., the principal psychologist on the research team. "And if we can
learn how to capture that knowledge, the machine can benefit from that by
offloading tasks from the human."
In other words, rather than worrying about the terrain or
whether it might hit another aircraft, the computer software the Air Force has
developed is able to put the drone on a kind of "auto pilot," allowing the
person operating it in the U.S. to concentrate more on the video feed the drone
is sending back from Iraq, Afghanistan, or other countries. If you get the auto
pilot program good enough, the person at the controls here in the U.S. might be
able to fly multiple drones at a time.
Tonight, in a FOX19 EXCLUSIVE, we'll take you
behind-the-scenes at Wright Patt and show you how researchers there measure
whether a pilot's brain is getting overloaded. Plus, we'll find out just how
far drone technology will go. Will drones ever be able to fire at the enemy on
their own? The head of the research program answers that and other fascinating
questions on The FOX19 Ten O'Clock News.
Friday, August 22 2014 3:11 PM EDT2014-08-22 19:11:37 GMT
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