There’ve been a number of robot pilots developed over the years. The difference between these robot pilots and the one created by researchers at the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) is that PIBOT, the newest robot designed to fly a plane, uses AI technology and is a humanoid. It’s the humanoid part that makes it a world first.


In addition to being designed to sit in the pilot’s seat physically, the researchers say that incorporating ChatGPT technology provides PIBOT with a distinct advantage. It means the robot can remember Jeppesen aeronautical navigation charts from all over the world – something they point out is impossible for human pilots to do – and has memorized the Quick Reference Handbook (QRH), which contains all the procedures applicable to abnormal and emergency conditions such as a loss of electrical power or system malfunctions. They claim these abilities enable PIBOT to fly without error and respond to various situations quicker than human pilots.

Because it’s a humanoid robot, PIBOT can accurately manipulate the plane’s cockpit switches, even during harsh turbulence. Thanks to its embedded camera, the robot can analyze both the state of the cockpit and the outside environment.

PIBOT’s taxiing, takeoff, cruising, cycling, and landing abilities have so far only been tested using a flight simulator, but the researchers plan to put the robot to the test in a real-life light aircraft soon. And they see uses for PIBOT other than just piloting planes.

The project is expected to be completed by 2026, when the researchers plan to commercialize PIBOT for both military and civilian use.

According to the newatlas