What is the aim of using a robotic arm instead of embedding the system on a plane? I read the 'Robotic Co-Pilot Autonomously Flies and Lands a Simulated Boeing 737' documentation but it didn't help me to understand.

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    $\begingroup$ See also "Otto Pilot" $\endgroup$ – Wayne Conrad Sep 10 '17 at 20:23
  • $\begingroup$ That arm is lucky that there was no gusty side wind or other requirement for opeating the pedals. $\endgroup$ – Koyovis Sep 11 '17 at 0:36

The fundamental benefit is that the operator doesn't have to make a lot of adjustments on "legacy" airplanes, they can "simply" install the arm on the existing aircraft that they already have in service.

And this is the main selling point for such a device, they are not marketing it to operators that still have to buy or lease an airliner, but to those that already have one and might want to reduce the number of pilots they have to employ.

Gürkan Çetin notes in the comments that this device is not certified (yet). That's partially the point of such demonstrations, to convince authorities that it can be certified, and to incentivate operators to lobby for their approval.

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    $\begingroup$ I'd consider it more likely to be employed for unmanned test flights than for replacing a copilot. Think crash tests, which in the past were flown manned, with the crew parachuting out after setting the autopilot on a crash trajectory to impact on a specific point. Using this system the aircraft could be flown remotely for the duration. $\endgroup$ – jwenting Sep 11 '17 at 7:09
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    $\begingroup$ @jwenting that's a good point that I did not consider. Why don't you write your own answer? $\endgroup$ – Federico Sep 11 '17 at 7:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Federico because I have no documentation about this concept, only an idea of how it could be employed. $\endgroup$ – jwenting Sep 11 '17 at 8:25

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