This paper addresses the opportunities and challenges involved in applying natural language processing techniques to the control of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The problem of controlling an unmanned aircraft via natural language inputs is formulated as a feedback control problem. Two implementations of such systems are described. The phraseology of the existing air traffic control language is used as a base command set, and knowledge of air traffic control and airport operations, combined with existing natural language processing techniques, is used to achieve a higher recognition success rate than a traditional natural language processor designed for a more general domain of discourse would. This is the first known attempt at formalizing air traffic control phraseology for use in an unmanned system, and the first known flight of a vehicle controlled by natural language inputs. Outstanding problems and possible directions for future research are described.

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Published on 01/01/2004

Volume 2004, 2004
DOI: 10.2514/6.2004-5354
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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