Can a portable, removable robotics kit be developed to automate cockpit tasks and allow existing aircraft to operate with reduced crew? The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) thinks so, based on the results of early experiments. Briefing potential bidders on its new Aircrew Labor In-cockpit Automation System (Alias) program last month, Darpa said a "seedling" project involving a simple demonstration system in a Beechcraft King Air simulator has showed the concept is ...

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