25 teams flying unmanned robotic aircraft squared off at a international competition at Ft. Benning on Thursday.
The university teams, from Georgia, other states and countries took turns putting their lightweight helicopters and fixed-wing planes through exacting timed trials.
It may seem like fun and games, but the competition highlights a growing aspect of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Professor Robert Michaelson heads the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems, who sponsored the meet: “What we're doing here with this technology is to create something that's more or less fire and forget. You could go into the mountains of Afghanistan, and the mission could be, 'spy in all caves, and search them to see if there's anybody in them.'”
Georgia Tech's helicopter flew first. The vehicle spotted a target within a building. It then deployed a motorized, two-wheeled, mini-robot that rolled over to a dummy bomb inside a room, and sent back live video -- all without any human guidance.

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