This AI startup is putting a fleet of airplanes in the sky without human pilots

Meet the pilot of tomorrow, today: Credit: Merlin LabsLook ma, no pilot AI startup Merlin Labs today deactivated stealth mode to announce a $25 million funding round and a partnership with Dynamic Aviation to put a fleet of 55 King Air planes in the sky without humans aboard. Merlin Labs CEO and founder Matthew George told Neural: What we’re building is software that creates a think-for-itself-pilot … fully-autonomous flight take-off to touchdown. The big idea: See a need, fill a need. Merlin Labs is taking autonomous software technology and building an artificially intelligent pilot. Autonomous fixed-wing flight might sound familiar,…

This story continues at The Next Web

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US regulator approves first-ever fully autonomous commercial drone flights

The Federal Aviation Administration has approved the first-ever fully-automated commercial drone flights. The US aviation regulator has permitted American Robotics to fly its Scout quadcopter beyond the line-of-sight of human operators. In approval documents recently posted on the FAA website,  the agency said the exemption only applies to rural areas, daylight visibility, and altitudes below 400 feet. The drones must also have a maximum takeoff weight of 20 pounds and operate solely for the purposes of research and development, crew training, and market surveys. [Read: How Netflix shapes mainstream culture, explained by data] American Robotics must also designate a remote pilot in command for each flight who “has… This story continues at The Next Web

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