I am searching (via Google as well) for references for how artifical neural networks can be used as an autopilot for model airplanes. Any help appreciated.
What type/topology of neural network would be suitable as autopilot? How to train autopilot neural network? How much processing power is need to implement such a neural network to control a model airplane in realtime?
Actually i think it would have to be a fairly complex system. With a R/C car for example, you can reduce it to two functions, speed and heading.
When you get into flight, you don't have a direct way of measuring speed, because you aren't in direct relational contact with a fixed reference. In addition to heading, you will need some way of measuring roll, pitch, and yaw, and be able to compensate for changes in real time (a gust of wind for example).
Collision avoidance will be a hard one, since your stall speed will probably be quite high, say around 15-20 MPH. You'll need to be able to get sensor information for a huge distance around (and below) the aircraft.
This is going to add up to a hefty processor package weight wise, so the aircraft will have to be pretty big to be able to carry it and still be able to maintain a low stall speed, probably ending up with a quarter scale.
And don't forget to have a fail-safe override so you can take *immediate* control of it when it buggers up and heads for a person. And make sure your MAAC dues are paid up :)
Another possibility could be to have the neural net aboard the plane while you fly it manually, monitoring whatever sensors you have aboard. Let it decide what it would do, then have it see what you in fact do, and adjust its weights accordingly to act more like you. This could be happening more or less continually while you fly it.
I'd say that's a secondary question. The primary question is what kind of stimuli you'll feed to the network - what sensors are you planning to use, and what do you want the network to do? Fly the plane in a straight line or do artistic loops or land it or take off or what?