Since the middle of the 20th century, robots have become almost a necessity for human beings, who seek two main objectives in these types of technological tools: increase productivity in a company or organization and lighten workloads for man. .
Of course, the first goal is the one that large industries are aiming for the most, taking into account that many times a single robot can do the work of several people, which would mean fewer employees and greater production.
On the other hand, although the case of the lightening of the loads can also lead to the dismissal of the human being in charge of the robot, in most cases, this does not end up displacing the person, taking into account that a living being that configures and directs the machine in its daily tasks. That is, literally, the worker keeps his job and almost the same position, although with more "relaxed" functions of configuration and coordination than brute force.
This is the case of autonomous airplanes, a type of robot that, in short, is nothing more than an airplane that drives itself "alone". An example of this scientific advance is the strategy led by Merlin Labs, a company that since 2018 has been making use of this type of device to demonstrate how robots can collaborate, first, with the transport of some products without the need for a pilot. , and second, as an option for transporting human beings. However, each of these ideas is presented within the framework of the project as a short and long-term plan, respectively.
Thinking about this, the company agreed with Dynamic Aviation, an aircraft supplier from the United States, the option of having about 46 King Air, which uses the double turbo as a form of propulsion, to be able to start the pilot of homes in autonomous machines.
This initiative has been supported by the recent past of Merlin Labs, recalling that the company has already managed to receive financing of up to 25 million dollars by companies such as Google Ventures; money with which it has been able to develop its technology.
According to the company, both the hardware (physical components) and the software (operational or virtual components) that they handle can be used to adapt to any aircraft; as it has been shown in several test flights that it has been carried out with three different aircraft, which have lasted a minimum of 10 minutes and a maximum of several hours in the air.
However, as specified by Merlin Labs, although the planes have been handled by themselves, a safety pilot has participated in each flight who would act in case something happens to the aircraft's autonomous system; however, it is something (or someone) that it is intended to do without in the future.
As explained by Matther George, executive director of the company, the idea of implementing this type of flight is "to make the airspace safer and more efficient"; that is to say, avoid at all costs the human errors that can arise while an airplane is being piloted.
Regarding the initiative to start distributing products with the help of autonomous aircraft, Merlin has said that it hopes to start with this project in the coming months, in order to be a support for merchants, especially in California, who have not been able to meet the times of your orders due to the covid-19 pandemic; Although the health crisis made online shopping grow, it is the same crisis that has caused delays in the deliveries of some products.
Finally, facing the issue of the possible use of these airplanes as a means of transporting people, George stated that, although it is a dream, it will still take a long time before it can become a reality.
"Moving passengers is probably step 50, and we are in step three," he said.