Autonomy is sometimes a difficult thing to define. There is a long-term model that may eventually eliminate all human involvement, but, for the foreseeable future, we believe a supervisory human role will be essential. We subscribe to the school of thought as described in Our Robots, Ourselves that involves the human and machine working together trading control and shifting levels of automation to suit the situation at hand. At certain times, in certain places, the vehicle is very autonomous and in others, it takes more human involvement.

We put the human in a supervisory role that commands high-level behaviors. We use rich sensor and algorithmically enhanced models of the environment to move across the spectrum of automation moment by moment, driving in and out of clouds of autonomy and risk.

We make great use of agent technology in appropriate places such as calculating and suggesting re-routing options, looking up and suggesting procedures, drawing upon a database of past events to offer situationally appropriate suggestions, and off-loading high human workload, but highly deterministic tasks.

In general, Autonodyne delivers control systems at the heart of purpose built unmanned air systems/vehicles (UAS/UAVs) to be used for safe, and affordable transportation of significant cargo in alignment with current manned infrastructure.

For manufacturers of civilian and defense UAS that require an integrated package of sensors and software for automatic route planning, threat avoidance, manned / unmanned teaming, and urban air mobility in an intuitive system, Autonodyne combines more than 20 years and $100M in human and intellectual capital to deliver certified and time-tested products quickly and inexpensively.

What we have done so far

  • Fielded mission computers for Manned and Unmanned systems in which we supplied the hardware and wrote the software (TRL-9);
  • Hosted our mission computer software on 3rd party mission computer hardware (TRL-7);
  • Created the software for the control station (both ground-based fixed and mobile airborne locations) for controlling multiple unmanned aircraft (TRL-8);
  • Designed, flight-tested, and fielded autopilot systems for conventional manned aircraft (TRL-9);
  • Integrated commercial augmented reality devices into manned and unmanned flight applications (TRL-6);
  • Designed in increasing use of AI in aviation applications and flight tested that in a high speed (0.95 Mach) airframe in Q2 2017 (TRL-7);
  • Designed dynamic auto-replan systems that account for a wide variety of persistent and pop-up “threats” using fuzzy-logic genetic-based algorithms (TRL-6);
  • Created a cadre of employees who have certified over 75 systems for unrestricted flight in the National Airspace (NAS) and International airspace;
  • Established a hunger and willingness to tackle some of the toughest problems in autonomous flight control and operations.
  • Created software “wrappers” about existing UAS protocols so that our control stations can now directly control 3rd party commercially available drones without needing to use the legacy controller that came with the drone (TRL-8);
  • Converted our corporate Cessna 182 into an Optionally Piloted Vehicle (OPV) that we use for in-flight testing of our mission computers, control stations, and autonomy behaviors software (TRL-7/8);

Links to important documents:

1. TRL Definitions
2. Autonodyne Autonomy Behaviors (Posted 26 October 2019.)