Emergent Tech

Boeing borgs robot aeronautics biz Aurora Flight Sciences

Will this be the end of piloted planes? Give it a while yet

By Kat Hall

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Boeing is to snap up manufacturer of advanced aerospace platforms Aurora Flight Sciences, in a bid to further expand its autonomous portfolio.

Aurora is a US aeronautics research company which specialises in the designing and building special-purpose unmanned aerial vehicles and autonomous systems, in particular systems that could one day enable advanced robotic aircraft. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The move is intended to advance its development of autonomous aeroplanes, as well as the use of artificial intelligence in the cockpit.

Aurora has previously collaborated with Boeing on the rapid prototyping of aircraft for both military and commercial applications. Just last month one of its robots successfully landed a simulated Boeing 737.

Boeing also added Liquid Robotics to its unmanned portfolio in December 2016.

The firm is also keen to expand into other autonomous flying.

Last month Boeing offered $2m (£1.49m) in prizes to anyone who can design and build a working “personal flying device."

The biz also owns drone company Insitu, makers of the Scaneagle which was being used by Royal Navy until decided to ditch it seemingly due to lack of cash. ®

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