Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

NASA Scientists Use Hands-Off Approach To Land Passenger Jet

Date:
February 2, 2001
Source:
NASA Ames Research Center
Summary:
Scientists outfitted the pilot with an armband implanted with eight electrodes. The sensors read muscle nerve signals as the pilot made the gestures needed to land a computer-generated aircraft at San Francisco International Airport in California. The pilot also demonstrated the ability to land a damaged aircraft during emergency landing drills.

Scientists outfitted the pilot with an armband implanted with eight electrodes. The sensors read muscle nerve signals as the pilot made the gestures needed to land a computer-generated aircraft at San Francisco International Airport in California. The pilot also demonstrated the ability to land a damaged aircraft during emergency landing drills. The work was reported in the October 2000 proceedings of the World Automation Congress.

"This is a fundamentally new way to communicate with machines -- another way to talk with our mechanical world," said the paper's principal author, Dr. Charles Jorgensen, head of the neuroengineering laboratory at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA. The other authors are fellow Ames researchers Dr. Kevin Wheeler and Dr. Slawomir Stepniewski. "This new technology is significant in that neuroelectric control of computers can replace computer keyboards, mice and joysticks for some uses," Jorgensen added.

"In the experiment, a pilot closes his fist in empty air, makes movements and creates nerve signals that are captured by a dry electrode array on his arm," said Jorgensen. "The nerve signals are analyzed and then routed through a computer, allowing the pilot to control the simulated airplane." The pilot sees the aircraft and control panel projected on a large, dome-shaped screen while flying the aircraft.

Engineers made the first prototype armband from exercise tights, and used metallic dress-buttons as dry electrodes. "An advantage of using neuroelectric machine control is that human nerve signals can be linked directly with devices without the aid of joysticks or mice, thereby providing rapid, intuitive control," Jorgensen added. "This technology also is useful for astronauts in spacesuits who need to control tools in space."

Neuroelectric control uses "neural net" software that "learns" patterns that can slowly change and evolve with time, as well as combining many patterns together to generate a response.

Nerve signal patterns, each of which is potentially as unique as a fingerprint, are a perfect application for neural net software. A particular nerve-signal pattern tells muscles to move in a certain way. A computer can match each unique nerve-signal pattern with a particular gesture, such as making a fist or pointing. Scientists designed software that can adjust for each pilot's nerve patterns, which can be affected by caffeine use, biorhythms, performance stress and the amount of fat under the skin.

To demonstrate bioelectric muscle control of the simulated 757 airplane during emergencies, researchers combined this technology with two other NASA developments, the ability of the neural net software to learn to fly damaged airplanes, and propulsion-only landing of aircraft.

In about one-sixth of a second, a computer onboard a damaged aircraft can "relearn" to fly a plane, giving the pilot better control. Severe damage, such as partially destroyed wings, fuselage holes or sensor failures greatly alter how an airplane handles, and a pilot's controls may respond oddly or might not work at all, according to Jorgensen.

"When we combined the three technologies, the neuroelectrically wired pilot took the simulated aircraft into landing scenarios with a cascading series of accidents, first locking rudder controls and then progressing to full hydraulic failure," said Jorgensen. "For each case, successful landings were demonstrated for autopilot, damaged and propulsion-only control."

Publication-size images to illustrate this release are available at:

http://amesnews.arc.nasa.gov/releases/2001/01images/bioelectric/bioelectric.html


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA Ames Research Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA Ames Research Center. "NASA Scientists Use Hands-Off Approach To Land Passenger Jet." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 February 2001. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/02/010202074731.htm>.
NASA Ames Research Center. (2001, February 2). NASA Scientists Use Hands-Off Approach To Land Passenger Jet. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/02/010202074731.htm
NASA Ames Research Center. "NASA Scientists Use Hands-Off Approach To Land Passenger Jet." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2001/02/010202074731.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Drone King Says the Revolution Depends on Regulators

China's Drone King Says the Revolution Depends on Regulators

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Comparing his current crop of drones to early personal computers, DJI founder Frank Wang says the industry is poised for a growth surge - assuming regulators in more markets clear it for takeoff. Jon Gordon reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand

3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand

AP (July 30, 2014) 3-D printing is a cool technology, but it's not exactly a hands-on way to make things. Enter the 3Doodler: the pen that turns you into the 3-D printer. AP technology writer Peter Svensson takes a closer look. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Newsy (July 29, 2014) A report from the White House warns not curbing greenhouse gas emissions could cost the U.S. billions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins