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We see a lot of fixed wing autonomous UAVs. What is preventing this in the case of helicopters? I know the helicopter flight dynamics are complicated. But what exactly is the complication in this case?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by GdD, Peter Kämpf, CGCampbell, SMS von der Tann, fooot May 24 '18 at 14:55

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ "We see a lot of fixed wing autonomous UAVs" - do we? Where? You realise the millitary UAVs that you're perhaps thinking of have 2 flight crew sitting on an unnamed base somewhere half way round the world, right? Furthermore, most Actual autonomous UAVs are drones... which are probably closer to helicopters than fixed wing aircraft. $\endgroup$ – Jamiec May 24 '18 at 11:23
  • $\begingroup$ Yes even they are not autonomous in the true sense of the word. But fixed wing autonomy is possible. The challenges it faces are different and are being worked upon. When it come to helicopters, they are not even as popular as the so called autonomous fixed wing UAVs. Hence the question. $\endgroup$ – user31222 May 24 '18 at 11:29
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    $\begingroup$ I have never, not once, ever, seen an autonomous UAV. $\endgroup$ – CGCampbell May 24 '18 at 11:57
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    $\begingroup$ I guess the OP has never seen this thing either: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaman_K-MAX $\endgroup$ – AEhere May 24 '18 at 12:11
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Multirotor autonomous craft are making headway. Here is one named Vahana that was in the news recently. The Vahana link has video too.

https://media4.s-nbcnews.com/j/newscms/2018_09/2345131/180228-vahana-air-taxi-main-art-mn-1210_ebe3af14b2fcd27626c26bd127203e22.focal-1000x500.jpg

Here is another being tested in New Zealand https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/660/cpsprodpb/18433/production/_100397399_mediaitem100397398.jpg

Google "airtaxi" and there are many links to companies like Uber that have plans and visions for autonomous airtaxi service. Some have scale mockups, some have just pictures.

I haven't seen any plans for autonomous helicopters, only multirotor vehicles. The multirotor vehicles give you a chance at recovery should one motor be lost; a helicopter, not so much.

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Don't we? Most consumer and commercial UAV are helicopters.

If you mean military-only models, consider what jobs military-only helos do. It's troop transport or close combat - both necessarily manned functions. Commercial drones suffice for non-military-specific jobs.

If you wonder why they have 4 rotors rather than 1-2, it's lower complexity - quads can use simple fixed rotors and blades, and only vary power on each rotor. Larger drones with turbine power may well go to 1-2 rotors.

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