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Video: Korea's Science Institute Introduces Robot that Flies Aircraft Safer than Human Pilots

SEOUL — Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST) researchers are at the forefront of integrating AI and robotics. They're pioneering the development of Pibot, a humanoid robot, uniquely capable of flying aircraft without necessitating cockpit alterations tailored to robots. David Shim, a noted associate professor at KAIST, emphasized, "Pibot can navigate an airplane identically to human pilots, thanks to its proficiency in controlling cockpit instruments designed… ( More...

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druck13 18
Where is the evidence it can fly safer than a human?
carste10 2
Well, they tell you that it can...
bbabis 1
It hasn't crashed one yet.
SorenTwin 14
"But the integration of technologies like ChatGPT has marked a pivotal progress point."

ChatGPT? Lord help us all.
Bob Clark 9
I asked CHAT/GPT a simple question. "How many Saturday's were there between two dates, over a series of years, including Leap years". It got the answer wrong 5 times and got so fed up with me pointing out it's errors, it not so politely told me to forget my question but if I had any other questions, it would be happy to help! Try that on for size, at 35,000 feet! This is a technology that is nowhere near ready for 'prime time'!
Kieran Ryan 2
I repeated your line of questioning for dates 01.01.2008 and 07.06.2008. GPT's first attempt was to calculate the answer and round down from 22.7 giving 22. I pointed out that I counted 23 from the calendar and GPT dutifully listed the aaturdays and finally concurred :-)
Kieran Ryan 1
Bruce Johnson 9
I don't particularly want a robot pilot flying aircraft that "hallucinate" like ChatGPT does, ie. make up wrong answers.
carste10 5
Or like a Tesla that can't recognize the side of a semi trailer.
mike ronan 14
In the 44 years of my flying career I have had quite a few situations where the failure did not 'follow the book'! Failures are just that... stuff doesn't work as it should or in a way that nobody has predicted a certain failure. We deal with it by following the checklists for corrective action and decide to land or continue. Complex machinery demands a complexity of thinking that is often outside the set procedures, and cannot be left up to a computer.
Absolutamente de acuerdo, capitán.
bbabis 1
I've done it for 50+ years with some outside the training failures that made me wish that I had had a computers's textbook knowledge of the systems at the ready at all times. An AI machine will do the next best thing if there is an unknown but certainly not the wrong thing that a human may do and certainly wouldn't freeze up. I'm no super pilot and neither are you who think you are God's gift to aviation. God's gift is our ability as humans to make better and safer systems in our lifetime. Let's not poo poo the effort.
mike ronan 1
Mr. bbabis..... let's keep this discussion civil. Internet trolls like you are normally banned from aviation chat rooms.
Jeffrey Woodhead 10
Kill it
jeff slack 16
.......... all good until; like the driverless car, it encounters a situation it has no awareness of.

I just read a driverless car drove into a highway under construction and did not stop until wet cement bogged all 4 wheels............. no cement in the air but plenty of other unknowns.
Mike Laird 7
As my dad likes to say about this pilotless plane scenario, the last cabin announcement always ends with "Have no fear! Nothing can go wrong....go wrong....go wrong..."
More seriously, machine learning models can do amazing things on good training data, but heaven help you if the real world ventures beyond the training data! The models are completely unpredictable in that realm because there is no actual understanding of the world, just good pattern matching within the bounds of the training.
Nathan Cox 2
Exactly what I was going to say. Vote with your feet and your money. If you ever walk onto an airplane and don’t see two souls on the flight deck that actually care about getting you and themselves back to their families should the worse scenario happen, walk right back off! Do y’all see where this is going? Pretty soon we will not be necessary for the elite that eventually want to exterminate us. We are working ourselves right out of jobs.
David Rice 0
Yes, yes, we've all seen "The Terminator". I'm just still basking in the warm feeling that "...the elite that eventually want to exterminate us..." brings to the conversation. Thanks, I haven't laughed that hard in a couple days.
Vaclav Koranda 6
Tim Dyck 1
One of my all time favourite movies.
tsberry901 4
This is the safest ship in the world! It doesn't even need life quotes!
Stefan Sobol 4
Some human pilots may be able to outperform this robot pilot, but others will not be able to. Human pilots screw up fairly often. Plenty of accidents are caused by pilots doing the wrong thing for the situation they find themselves in. Reasons for human pilot failures include high stress, didn't know, couldn't remember, fixation, fatigue, or just could not make the connection between failures. Lots of these reasons for inappropriate response to aircraft problems may be mitigated or negated with robot AI pilots.

Yes, an unforeseen failure could fall outside the programming of the robot pilot. But unforeseen failures also fall outside of the training programs of pilots as well (see definition of "unforeseen"). Unforeseen events have caused crashes in human piloted aircraft.
Charles Ensley 4
It won't know how to say "Ah Shit" and figure out what to do for crap that really happens, that isn't in the manuals. That's why you need a real pilot. Plus no one is going to eat the fish dinner anymore.
Joseph Wade 8
so a fully automated pilot is instructing a fully automated aircraft what to do.....Gee I cant see a problem with that....Next it will be fully remote ops from home via a laptop.
avionik99 6
The airforce has been flying drones from a laptop for years. Its nothing new
Vaclav Koranda 4
But this time the laptop will be operated by a humanoid robot.
Bill Butler 3
Without 200 people on board.
dico 2
Even small aircraft have Garmin AUtoland. Nothing new there either.
David Rice 2
Garmin Autoland ... yea right, lots of single engine aircraft have this equipment ... NOT. This story is about a huminoid robot that does not require in the installation of special equipment, like Garmin Autoland. The robot operates the human controls, get it?
wylann 1
Yeah. The innovative part here is that it is humanoid, and uses the controls like a person would. Seems like it would be easier to just build in the smarter autopilot.
David Rice 1
How will the "smarter autopilot" operate the rental car once you get to the destination? Oh, you'll want to build that into the rental car too. Sounds efficient. /S
David Rice 3
I mean, really, what could go wrong? /S
Conti540 3
LOL. Safer until it is NOT. Maybe someday.

That said, bots are coming to the cockpit in one form or another.
Bruce Johnson 3
They say it can react to emergencies faster than a human pilot, yet its movements are slow. I guess they mean no delays in decision making.
avionik99 7
And the best part of all is they wont ever need a Union!
jbermo 7
That's the whole idea.
Bob Turner 3
They will not need in flight meals and coffee nor a pension. That said I believe that the human in the cockpit is still going to be required as a systems manager in situ and to deal with the unknown factors.
Iain Girling 3
Maybe the ‘human’ will be there to feed the big snarly dog, whose only job is to stop the human touching anything.
I will never board a plane with no human beings in the cockpit, just like I will never use a driverless car !!
David Rice 4
Yea, you say that now ... you'll do what the market incents you to do, stop trying to paint yourself as some kind of "buck the system cowboy".
bbabis 1
Amazingly, you use operatorless elevators in buildings and driverless trams around airports. Two things are certain, people fear change and change is certain.
Karen Begley 1
Yes and when they break you have to call a human to fix them. Im sure they can work hand & hand with humans I do not fear change, on the contrary.
1st commercial real flight, captain welcome address : "Here's captain speaking ...[scratch] ... speaking[scratch] ... speaking[scratch] ...."
rbt schaffer 2
Fly up side down... Have crack up?
No kidding, better than a human pilot?
Pibot Vs pilots , does the school goes to the student or the student go to school ?
Nothing can replace a human brain , after all the Pibot was created by a higher power “ that has created the brain “
Are we going to call “ a mechanical “ to fix the aircraft or the Robot ?”
According to this opinion, can future humans or passengers trust a “ pibot captain ?”
Craig Good 2
So Airliner Watch has fallen hook, line, and sinker for a press release. This is just comical.
Paul Ipolito 2
I would never get on a single-pilot plane, but I have ridden on high-speed metro trains and taken inter-city busses without a second thought. They both have single operators/drivers, and none of us hesitate to Uber or Lyft.
Nathan Cox 2
But a Lyft or Uber doesn’t travel at hundreds of miles per hour and have the possibility to wipe out massive amounts of people in an urban area with the amount of fuel and mass onboard an airliner. A train at least has rails and probably some sort of emergency braking system should the driver become incapacitated.
David Rice -1
Ok, we get that you are scared to death of small Cessnas (and other GA aircraft). No one wants to give rides to the wet-panty crowd anyway.
Yeah, not in this lifetime!
And what about in case of an emergency, such as an engine failure...
How would the pibot establish the best area to land based on ground features (size, shape, slope, surface type, situation into wind, services/stock) ??
Agree on plenty of unknowns up there.
David Rice 2
That's funny. "How would the pibot establish the best area to land..." The entire surface of the earth is GPS mapped, the aircraft knows exactly where it is, and how must room is available between spot x and spot y. Obviously, there are several other variables, but no human judgement is needed for that math. You are making the wrong aurgument, try again. Also, if there are "plenty of unknowns up there", then a human pilot couldn't possibly make any difference.
Tim Dyck 1
That’s all great until the GPS fails. Electronics are great until they stop working, how many times do we need to relearn that lesson?
Rico van Dijk 3
Just have a read about airbus’s dragonfly development. Your argument is outdated.
Bill Butler 1
No problem. The Pibot will be the first one to the crash site....
gacoon 1
Garmin pretty much has that for select smaller aircraft.
jetjocknj 1
Just go with the other engine--or the other two or three of them. Trijet pilot.
bbabis 1
Great project! I hope technology improves faster than 2026. I would love to watch it in action. As stated, it has fantastic future use in the military as opposed to risking human lives and having manned machines that then have human limitations. Progress is awesome.
Karen Begley 1
No Thanks
Bandrunner 1
I'm not a pilot, but am a programmer. Almost all software has errors (bugs) when first written. Testing every condition of a complex program can take longer than writing the original program, but for aircraft it is vital. Even after thorough testing, some combination of conditions can show up much later. The MCAS in the 737 MAX was an example. If this PiBot is to be used, at least one human, seasoned pilot must be in the "other" front seat.
Tom Winsemius 1
When virtual reality makes the experience of being there good enough, you won't need this robot because you won't need the airplane.
Iain Girling 1
There is a bit more to the job than ‘navigating’ Isn’t there. What about aviating, when all else fails ?
William Warnke 1
ali zitounip 1
Je suis Pilote et je ne pense pas qu'un Robot pourrait remplacer les qualités Humaines. Si cela se produisait et les compagnies aériennes opteraient à ce remplacement, je n'effectuerais plus mes voyages en avions et j'opterais aux Navires
AI is already in the cockpit check out the latest fly by wire systems in the latest airplanes they can takeoff,fly, land and finally taxi to the gate while the pilot keeping an eye.
If AI can do mostly everything else what is flying an aircraft,AI is coming and another human job is bites the dust.
Is there a outlet for pilotless drone combat "find and shoot the enemy drone". That is what is needed! Not in your lifetime will commercial aviation offer pilotless passenger aircraft..
Gift one to Kim Jong-Un with a defective robot.
So much for accusations.
Here we go again , another chance to personal attacks against pilots .
how many “ pilots were doing the wrong thing or error crashes have you confirmed this year ?”
Tim Segulin 1
Once the idea of an elevator not controlled by an operator was considered dangerous.

Automated trains?
There was a time when the idea of a train being totally automated like a horizontally travelling long-distance lift was considered ridiculous, but there are metros all over Europe and Canada and in Australia that do this now.

Automated cars?
Right now so-called self driving cars really only have systems to assist the driver, not replace them. You can't go to sleep while it drives you around. Big strides have been made, but I still wouldn't trust one yet. Driving and traffic are pretty complex and unexpected, bad things can happen instantly.

Automated flight?
Flying is very complex and I sure wouldn't trust it. However cruise missiles and other UAVs that are largely automated seem to do what they're supposed to, so perhaps it could happen one day. I wonder if there's even a way to 'can' airmanship?

I think human pilots will be a round for a long time yet.
This would be a good replacement for We Too Lo and Sum Ting Wong who flew Asian 214 into the ground at SFO.
Gary Eldridge -1
No more sudden cardiac events due to covid vaccines.
Michael Meyers 0
At some point flight crews will be out of work due to automation. I say we start first with single pilot cargo flights. As the technology improves move to passenger operations. Flight crew salaries are the largest item in the budget. If we reduce those costs, investors will reap the benefits of this technology. Remember when a flight crew was comprised of pilot, copilot, navigator, radio operator, and flight engineer? The Luddites back then swore that flight crew reduction was unsafe and unworkable.
Kevin Holly 0
The comments are do predictable, complete with fake stories about Tesla crashes while driving autonomously.
I'll take the computer with hundreds of thousands of tests over the human that got drunk the night before, or is stressed because their marriage is falling apart, or has mental illness, or has worked too long without proper rest, or or or...
People that think a human can outperform a properly developed AND TESTED computer are either old or stupid or both.


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