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Flying Robots and Flying Cars


Bülthoff,  HH
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Bülthoff, H. (2012). Flying Robots and Flying Cars. Talk presented at College of Information and Communications: Korea University. Seoul, South Korea.

We all know that our brain is constantly processing a vast amount of sensory and intrinsic information with which our behavior is coordinated accordingly. Interestingly, how the brain actually does it is less well understood. At the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Germany we aim to best model human perception and action and to test these models to predict human action for example in the context of driving and flying. To this end, we use systems and control theory, computer vision, and psychophysical techniques while conducting experiments with the most advanced state of the art motion simulators. In my talk I will present two examples that illustrate our research philosophy: (1) a telepresence scenario with flying robots (quadcopters) in which we study new ways to interface human operators and teams of autonomous remote robots in a shared bilateral control architecture. (2) a futuristic transportation scenario based on a European project ( in which we are studying the enabling technologies for flying between homes and work place in swarms at low altitude. Our efforts are guided by the vision that in the future humans and machines will seamlessly cooperate in shared or remote spaces, and thus robots or flying cars become an integral part of our daily life.