The K-MAX unmanned aircraft system has made a name for itself in Afghanistan, with more than 1,800 unmanned resupply missions flown and delivering over 4 million pounds of supplies to troops throughout the region since being deployed in 2011.
This week, the K-MAX cargo-hauling copter will achieve a different type of milestone. K-MAX will make its national television debut as part of “Stephen Hawking’s Brave New World” series on the Discovery Network’s Science Channel.
During the “Code Red” episode, which airs this Wednesday, April 30, at 10 p.m. ET, viewers will virtually tour the inside of the K-MAX with Professor Chris Eliasmith and learn about its capabilities firsthand from three Lockheed Martin employees.
“After 20 minutes of training in the simulator, I was ready to become the first neuroscientist to instruct K-MAX and arrange a six-mile route for the robot chopper,” said Eliasmith, who visited Lockheed Martin’s Owego, N.Y., site in May 2013 to film the segment. “It blew my mind, operating a 6,000 pound aircraft using a video game controller and autonomously picking up a load and delivering it in a specific drop zone with incredible accuracy.”
In its second season, the original Canadian series features Professor Hawking and his team of scientists, who travel the world investigating cutting-edge innovations and their impact on the future.
“I absolutely see potential commercial applications for K-MAX in the future. In addition to being a fantastic search and rescue platform, I suspect that K-MAX could play an important role in specialized, rapid, large volume delivery,” said Eliasmith. “Perhaps it could also be a ‘google car of the air’ once people become comfortable with the idea of automated air travel.”
Check local listings or visit the Science Channel’s website to view the upcoming episode
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