Helicopter drones are nothing new. Autonomous, self-driving cars are already on the road, in fact we talked a lot about these cars last month. But what if you could put the two of them together? It might be a challenge, but just imagine! It sounds like something out of a futuristic video game. Scientists at Carnegie Mellon’s National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC) have gotten together with Sikorsky, a leading supplier of military helicopters.
In this 18-month study, the idea is to get eyes on the ground in areas too dangerous for humans by dropping autonomous vehicles from drone helicopters. (I never thought I would ever type that sentence!) Specifically, the study will use an auto-piloted Sikorsky Black Hawk helicopter, which can carry an unmanned ground vehicle in a sling. The helicopter will drop the ground vehicle at a designated location and return to its base of operations. The driverless vehicle will then perform scans of its environment, biological, nuclear and chemical. Military applications are a given, but law enforcement agencies are also watching closely. It’s a great opportunity to keep people out of harms way while performing critical operations. Fire and Rescue applications also come to mind. In the future, driverless cars may be encountered on the road…and in the sky!
Do you know your powertrain and transmission system transmits engine power to the vehicle’s wheels and multiples engine torque to accelerate the vehicle? Nearly 100 years ago cars had two- or three-speed manual transmissions that required an expert hand to operate smoothly. They were noisy, rudimentary systems compared to today’s modern powertrain and transmission systems. The vehicle’s powertrain and transmission system transmits engine power to the vehicle wheels.
Your axles are the last link in transferring power from the engine to your wheels. They’re strong parts that last a long time, but they can run into trouble. Of course, axles just wear out over time and need to be replaced, and sometimes axle seals leak, causing the axle to wear out prematurely. Lubricant leaks out and water and dirt can get in and contaminate the gears. When this happens, you might hear strange noises coming from your axle.