firefighting helicopter drone

Rotor Technologies, Inc.’s prototype of a firefighting helicopter drone successfully executed its first flight on December 2, 2022 at the FAA’s New York UAS test site after receiving experimental certification on November 30, 2022.

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Rotor Inc. isn’t a hardware manufacturer. The team of MIT scientists have combined flight control algorithms, computer vision, and satellite communications to create CloudPilot, an operating system that can remotely pilot traditionally manufactured aircraft.  From the NUAIR press release:

Using CloudPilot, a pilot can “teleoperate” a helicopter from anywhere in the world. The system uses commercial Low Earth Orbit satellite constellations such as SpaceX’s StarLink to transfer data over long distances with minimal delay. Proprietary VR technology gives pilots better visibility than the cockpit, enabling operations at night and in low visibility and preventing accidents caused by pilot…