Isabella Panella on Unmanned Air Vehicles

Today’s guest speaker was Isabella Panella, an unmanned systems technical consultant at the electronics defence firm Selex Galileo. The talk covered the company’s development of unmanned vehicles, primarily unmanned air vehicles (UAVs). The talk covered the issue of autonomous systems in great detail and was delivered enthusiastically although felt a little like a corporate presentation for the company.

The issue at the heart of the talk was developing a system that is able to adapt to a changing environment while at the same time being highly reliable. As such the talk included the topics of artificial intelligence and systems modelling. The talk effectively demonstrated the issues associated with design automated systems for UAVs including accurate sensing, quick decision making and physical limitations (size and weight). Due to the nature of unmanned vehicles the presentation also included many engineering aspects. I found myself able to relate to this as I have previously studied mechanical engineer and found it added to the overall understanding of the subject.

The presentation had relevance to my studies, in particular the ‘Artificial Intelligence’ and ‘Computer Vision and Robotics’ modules. Despite being focused on unmanned vehicles the topics covered can be applied to the wider topic of decision making systems. As such, the talk was informative, interesting and relevant to my studies.

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