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Contact

Dr. ir. Frank Nieuwenhuizen

Address: Spemannstraße 38
72076 Tübingen
Room number: 108
Phone: +49 7071 601-622
Fax: +49 7071 601-616
E-Mail: frank.nieuwenhuizen

 

Picture of Nieuwenhuizen, Frank, Dr. ir.

Frank Nieuwenhuizen

Position: Project Leader  Unit: Bülthoff

myCopter

Enabling technologies for personal air transport systems


http://www.mycopter.eu

 

The volume of road transportation continues to increase and the implied financial and environmental impact fuels public concern. Individual drivers spend considerable time in congested urban agglomerations or highly frequented highways, which leads to significant losses to the European economy.

 

An envisioned Personal Aerial Vehicle

An envisioned Personal Aerial Vehicle.

A Personal Air Transport System (PATS) has been proposed as a radical solution to congestion and as an alternative to current transport systems. A PATS would use Personal Aerial Vehicles (PAV) to bridge the gap between relatively slow cars in a road-based door-to-door system and an air transport system that provides fast and longer journeys to specific locations. Previous projects related to PAVs have focused on the design of the vehicle itself. However, the surrounding issues such as the concept of operations, business models and target users have not been comprehensively considered. This is a necessary requirement for PATS to be operated commercially.

 

The myCopter project approaches the development of a PATS by investigating the technologies that are needed to enable the operational infrastructure required for the use of PAVs on a large scale. At the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, the interaction between the pilot and a vehicle will be investigated. Even though it is likely that a PAV will be autonomous to a high degree, the pilot will be expected to interact with the vehicle. Thus, human-machine interfaces (HMI) should consider the perceptual and cognitive capabilities of the PAV user. We will introduce novel concepts for the interaction between human and the vehicle, and the benefits of, e.g., synthetic vision displays and force feedback will be evaluated in motion simulators.

 

Multimodel identification of human control behaviour

Human cognitive behaviour can be subdivided into three levels:

 

1) knowledge-based behaviour that describes high-level problem solving;

2) rule-based behaviour that is determined by rules and behaviour learned in the past; and

3) skill-based behaviour that involves elementary human information processing and basic control tasks.

 

Considering skill-based behaviour in a simulator environment can provide an objective means to assess the influence of various simulator settings on human control behaviour. By taking a cybernetic approach, skill-based behaviour can be assessed in experimental simulator trials. In this approach, a mathematical model is fit to the measured response of a pilot and changes in the identified parameters serve as a measure for adaptation of human behaviour. By performing tasks in which a pilot tracks a target, while at the same time rejecting a disturbance, a distinction can be identified between the contribution of visual and vestibular senses. Observed changes in the performance measures derived from the measured response of the pilot can be now correlated with changes in identified control behaviour.

 

A block diagram representation of a multiloop control task.

A block diagram representation of a multiloop control task.

Intuitive Control Interfaces for Personal Aerial Vehicles

 

Introduction

Personal Aerial Vehicles (PAV) have been presented as a potential solution to problems associated with predicted volumes of traffic of the future [1]. Control for such vehicles is likely highly automated, but this can also have undesirable effects, especially during control of safety-critical dynamic processes in unpredictable environments. Therefore, users should remain in control of their PAV through a control interface that provides them with continuous feedback.

 

Goals

The goal of this project is to integrate a haptic shared control framework and a Highway-in-the-Sky (HITS) display (see Figure) with a dynamic model of a highly augmented PAV and investigate whether this could result in an easy-to-use control interface and better performance for pilots with limited flight experience [2]. For this purpose, we evaluated experimentally to which extent participants without formal flight training benefit from haptic cues and enhanced visual information.

 

HITS tunnel HITS wall HITS highway

 

Methods

Participants followed a flight trajectory depicted by a HITS display in a fixed-base flight simulator with and without haptic guidance. This steering task lasted 70 seconds. Three HITS display configurations were evaluated: a tunnel representation, a wall representation and a highway representation of the flight trajectory (see Figure). The guidance forces were calculated according to the geometrical relation between the predicted position of the PAV with respect to the flight trajectory. The prediction time tpred was varied between 0, 1.5 and 3 seconds.

 

Initial results

Experimental results

The experimental results show that the highway representation of the flight trajectory leads to worse performance (highest error) in following the trajectory compared to the wall or tunnel representation when pilots are not supported with haptic cues. When pilots have access to haptic guidance forces, performance is increased as they become better at minimizing the error with respect to the flight trajectory. In general, an increase in prediction time leads to better performance. During turns, haptic guidance also resulted in lower pilot effort as measured through the variance of the pilot lateral input force on the sidestick. However, in straight flight segments, pilot effort is slightly higher with any haptic guidance. This indicates that the haptic cues provided in this condition might not entirely match the pilot's intentions.

 

Initial conclusion

Haptic guidance cues on the sidestick allowed pilots to achieve better performance (lower error) with lower control activity. However, pilots had to increase their control effort when the haptic guidance cues were based on an instantaneous error instead of the predicted error of the position of the PAV with respect to the flight trajectory. A tunnel and a wall representation of the flight trajectory led to best performance (lowest error), whereas a highway representation resulted in worse performance and higher control activity and effort. The combination of a haptic shared control framework and HITS display can provide pilots with limited flight experience with an easy-to-use control interface for flying a PAV.

 

 

References

 

1. Nieuwenhuizen F. M., Jump M., Perfect P., White M. D., Padfield G. D., Floreano D., Schill F., Zufferey J.-C., Fua P., Bouabdallah S., Siegwart R., Meyer S., Schippl J., Decker M., Gursky B., Höfinger M. and Bülthoff H. H. (2011) myCopter: Enabling Technologies for Personal Aerial Transportation Systems 3rd International HELI World Conference 2011 "Helicopter Technologies and Operations" (HeliWorld 2011).

 

2. Nieuwenhuizen F. M. and Bülthoff H. H. (2014) Evaluation of Haptic Shared Control and a Highway-in-the-Sky Display for Personal Aerial Vehicles AIAA Science and Technology Forum and Exposition (SCITECH 2014), AIAA 2014-0808.

QR code with personal information

Frank is a project leader at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics. His interests include identication of human behaviour in closed-loop control tasks, haptics for human-machine interfaces and human factors. He was the project leader for the EU-project "myCopter - Enabling Technologies for Personal Aerial Vehicles" that ran between January 2011 and December 2014 (www.mycopter.eu). In this project, he was responsible for management of the project and its dissemination activities.

 

Frank undertook his Ph.D. research in collaboration with Delft University of Technology. His research focused on investigating the effects of simulator motion system characteristics on pilot control behavioural. He used several techniques to identify pilot behaviour in closed-loop control tasks and assess the influence of motion system properties on human control behaviour.

 

Frank was born in Haarlem, The Netherlands in March 1981. In September 1999 he started studying at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering in Delft and graduated in December 2005 on the development of a novel identification technique for pilot control behaviour and its application in an experiment on perception of visual and motion cues during control of self-motion in optic flow environments.

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Books (1):

Nieuwenhuizen FM Person: Changes in Pilot Control Behaviour across Stewart Platform Motion Systems, 266, Logos Verlag, Berlin, Germany, (2012). ISBN: 978-3-8325-3233-8

Articles (7):

Olivari M Person, Nieuwenhuizen F Person, Venrooij J Person, Bülthoff HH Person and Pollini L (February-2015) Methods for Multiloop Identification of Visual and Neuromuscular Pilot Responses IEEE Transactions on Cybernetics Epub ahead.
Olivari M Person, Nieuwenhuizen F Person, Bülthoff HH Person and Pollini L (November-2014) Pilot Adaptation to Different Classes of Haptic Aids in Tracking Tasks Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics 37(6) 1741-1753.
Nieuwenhuizen FM Person and Bülthoff HH Person (June-2013) The MPI CyberMotion Simulator: A Novel Research Platform to Investigate Human Control Behavior Journal of Computing Science and Engineering 7(2) 122-131.
Nieuwenhuizen FM Person, Mulder M , van Paassen MM and Bülthoff HH Person (May-2013) Influences of Simulator Motion System Characteristics on Pilot Control Behavior Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics 36(3) 667-676.
Zaal PMT , Nieuwenhuizen FM Person, van Paassen MM and Mulder M (April-2013) Modeling Human Control of Self-Motion Direction With Optic Flow and Vestibular Motion IEEE Transactions on Cybernetics 43(2) 544-556.
Nieuwenhuizen FM Person, van Paassen MM , Stroosma O , Mulder M and Bülthoff HH Person (January-2013) Cross-platform Validation for a Model of a Low-cost Stewart Platform Journal of Modeling, Simulation, Identification, and Control 1(1) 1-23.
Nieuwenhuizen FM Person, Zaal PMT , Mulder M Person, van Paassen MM and Mulder JA (July-2008) Modeling Human Multi-Channel Perception and Control Using Linear Time-Invariant Models Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics 31(4) 999-1013.

Conference papers (27):

Olivari M Person, Nieuwenhuizen FM Person, Bülthoff HH Person and Pollini L (January-2015) Identifying Time-Varying Neuromuscular Response: Experimental Evaluation of a RLS-based Algorithm AIAA Modeling and Simulation Technologies Conference 2015: held at the SciTech Forum 2015, 1-15.
Olivari M Person, Nieuwenhuizen FM Person, Bülthoff HH Person and Pollini L (October-2014) Identifying Time-Varying Neuromuscular System with a Recursive Least-Squares Algorithm: a Monte-Carlo Simulation Study IEEE International Conference on Systems, Man and Cybernetics (SMC 2014), IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 3573-3578.
Gerboni CA Person, Geluardi S Person, Olivari M Person, Nieuwenhuizen FM Person, Bülthoff HH Person and Pollini L (September-2014) Development of a 6 dof nonlinear helicopter model for the MPI Cybermotion Simulator 40th European Rotorcraft Forum (ERF 2014), 1-12.
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Flad N Person, Nieuwenhuizen FM Person, Bülthoff HH Person and Chuang LL Person (June-2014) System Delay in Flight Simulators Impairs Performance and Increases Physiological Workload In: Engineering Psychology and Cognitive Ergonomics, 11th International Conference on Engineering Psychology and Cognitive Ergonomics (EPCE 2014), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 3-11.
Scheer M Person, Nieuwenhuizen FM Person, Bülthoff HH Person and Chuang LL Person (June-2014) The Influence of Visualization on Control Performance in a Flight Simulator In: Engineering Psychology and Cognitive Ergonomics, 11th International Conference on Engineering Psychology and Cognitive Ergonomics (EPCE 2014), Springer, Berlin, Germany, 202-211.
Geluardi S Person, Nieuwenhuizen FM Person, Pollini L and Bülthoff HH Person (May-2014) Frequency Domain System Identification of a Light Helicopter in Hover 70th American Helicopter Society International Annual Forum (AHS 2014), Curran, Red Hook, NY, USA, 1721-1731.
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Olivari M Person, Nieuwenhuizen FM Person, Bülthoff HH Person and Pollini L (January-2014) An Experimental Comparison of Haptic and Automated Pilot Support Systems AIAA Modeling and Simulation Technologies Conference 2014: held at the SciTech Forum 2014, Curran, Red Hook, NY, USA, 163-173.
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Nieuwenhuizen FM Person and Bülthoff HH Person (January-2014) Evaluation of Haptic Shared Control and a Highway-in-the-Sky Display for Personal Aerial Vehicles AIAA Modeling and Simulation Technologies Conference 2014: held at the SciTech Forum 2014, Curran, Red Hook, NY, USA, 154-162.
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Nieuwenhuizen FM Person, Chuang LL Person and Bülthoff HH Person (November-2013) myCopter: Enabling Technologies for Personal Aerial Transportation Systems: Project status after 2.5 years 5. Internationale HELI World Konferenz "HELICOPTER Technologies", "HELICOPTER Operations" at the International Aerospace Supply Fair AIRTEC 2013, Airtec GmbH, Frankfurt a. Main, Germany, 1-3.
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Geluardi S Person, Nieuwenhuizen F Person, Pollini L and Bülthoff HH Person (September-2013) Data Collection for Developing a Dynamic Model of a Light Helicopter 39th European Rotorcraft Forum (ERF 2013), 1-7.
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Chuang LL Person, Nieuwenhuizen FM Person and Bülftoff HH Person (July-2013) A Fixed-Based Flight Simulator Study: The Interdependence of Flight Control Performance and Gaze Efficiency In: Engineering Psychology and Cognitive Ergonomics: Applications and Services, 10th International Conference EPCE 2013, Held as Part of HCI International 2013, Springer, Berlin, Germany, 95-104.
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Olivari M Person, Nieuwenhuizen FM Person, Venrooij J Person, Bülthoff HH Person and Pollini L (August-2012) Multi-loop Pilot Behavior Identification in Response to Simultaneous Visual and Haptic Stimuli AIAA Modeling and Simulation Technologies Conference 2012, Curran, Red Hook, NY, USA, 892-914.
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Jump M , Perfect P , Padfield GD , White MD , Floreano D , Fua P , Zufferey J-C , Schill F , Siegwart R , Bouabdallah S , Decker M , Schippl J , Mayer S , Höfinger M , Nieuwenhuizen FM Person and Bülthoff HH Person (May-2012) MyCopter: Enabling Technologies for Personal Air Transport Systems 37th European Rotorcraft Forum (ERF 2011), Curran, Red Hook, NY, USA, 336-347.
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Nieuwenhuizen FM Person, Jump M , Perfect P , White MD , Padfield GD , Floreano D , Schill F , Zufferey J-C , Fua P , Bouabdallah S , Siegwart R , Meyer S , Schippl J , Decker M , Gursky B , Höfinger M and Bülthoff HH Person (November-2011) myCopter: Enabling Technologies for Personal Aerial Transportation Systems 3rd International HELI World Conference 2011 "Helicopter Technologies and Operations" (HeliWorld 2011), 1-8.
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Nieuwenhuizen FM Person, Mulder M , van Paassen MM and Bülthoff HH Person (August-2011) The Influence of Motion System Characteristics on Pilot Control Behaviour AIAA Modeling and Simulation Technologies Conference 2011, Curran, Red Hook, NY, USA, 204-218.
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Jump M , Padfield GD , White MD , Floreano D , Fua P , Zufferey J-C , Schill F , Siegwart R , Bouabdallah S , Decker M , Schippl J , Höfinger M , Bülthoff HH Person and Nieuwenhuizen FM Person (June-2011) myCopter: Enabling Technologies for Personal Air Transport Systems In: The Future Rotorcraft: Enabling Capability through the Application of Technology, Royal Aeronautical Society Conference on the Future Rotorcraft (RAeS 2011), Curran, Red Hook, NY, USA, 169-195.
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Nieuwenhuizen FM Person, van Paassen MM , Mulder M and Bülthoff HH Person (August-2010) Implementation and validation of a model of the MPI Stewart platform AIAA Modeling and Simulation Technologies Conference 2010, Curran, Red Hook, NY, USA, 1007-1019.
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Nieuwenhuizen FM Person, Zaal PMT , Teufel H Person, Mulder M and Bülthoff HH Person (September-2009) The Effect of Simulator Motion on Pilot Control Behaviour for Agile and Inert Helicopter Dynamics 35th European Rotorcraft Forum (ERF 2009), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Bonn, Germany, 1051-1063.
Soyka F Person, Teufel H Person, Beykirch K Person, Robuffo Giordano P Person, Butler J Person, Nieuwenhuizen FM Person and Bülthoff HH Person (August-2009) Does jerk have to be considered in linear motion simulation? AIAA Modeling and Simulation Technologies Conference 2009, Curran, Red Hook, NY, USA, 1381-1388.
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Nieuwenhuizen FM Person, van Paassen MM , Mulder M , Beykirsch K Person and Bülthoff HH Person (August-2009) Towards Simulating a Mid-size Stewart Platform on a Large Hexapod Simulator AIAA Modeling and Simulation Technologies Conference 2009, Curran, Red Hook, NY, USA, 613-622.
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Nusseck H-G Person, Teufel HJ Person, Nieuwenhuizen FM Person and Bülthoff HH Person (August-2008) Learning System Dynamics: Transfer of Training in a Helicopter Hover Simulator AIAA Modeling and Simulation Technologies Conference 2008, Curran, Red Hook, NY, USA, 1608-1618.
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Nieuwenhuizen FM Person, Beykirch K Person, Mulder M , Paassen MMV , Bonten JLG Person and Bülthoff HH Person (August-2008) Performance Measurements on the MPI Stewart Platform AIAA Modeling and Simulation Technologies Conference 2008, Curran, Red Hook, NY, USA, 401-411.
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Beykirch K Person, Nieuwenhuizen FM Person, Teufel H Person, Nusseck H-GG Person and Bülthoff HH Person (May-2008) A Roll-Lateral Helicopter Side-Step Maneuver on the MPI Motion Simulator 64th American Helicopter Society International Annual Forum (AHS 2008), American Helicopter Society International, Alexandria, VA, USA, 834-841.
Beykirch K Person, Nieuwenhuizen FM Person, Teufel HJ Person, Nusseck H-G Person, Butler JS Person and Bülthoff HH Person (August-2007) Control of a Lateral Helicopter Side-step Maneuver on an Anthropomorphic Robot AIAA Modeling and Simulation Technologies Conference and Exhibit 2007, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Reston, VA, USA, 1-8.
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Nieuwenhuizen FM Person, Beykirch K Person, Mulder M and Bülthoff HH Person (August-2007) Identification of Pilot Control Behavior in a Roll-Lateral Helicopter Hover Task AIAA Modeling and Simulation Technologies Conference and Exhibit 2007, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Reston, VA, USA, 1-11.
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Nieuwenhuizen FM Person, Zaal PMT , Mulder M and van Paassen MM (August-2006) A New Multi-Channel Pilot Model Identification Method for Use in Assessment of Simulator Fidelity AIAA Modeling and Simulation Technologies Conference and Exhibit, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Reston, VA, USA, 6629-6629.
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Zaal PMT , Nieuwenhuizen FM Person, Mulder M and van Paassen MM (August-2006) Perception of Visual and Motion Cues During Control of Self-Motion in Optic Flow Environments AIAA Modeling and Simulation Technologies Conference and Exhibit, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Reston, VA, USA, 6627-6627.
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Technical reports (1):

Schuchardt BI , Lehmann P , Nieuwenhuizen F Person and Perfect P : Deliverable D6.5 Final list of desirable features/options for the PAV and supporting systems, 266470, mycopter.eu, (January-2015).

Posters (3):

Chuang LL Person, Flad N Person, Scheer M Person, Nieuwenhuizen FM Person and Bülthoff HH Person (April-2014): Closed-loop control performance and workload in a flight simulator, 56th Conference of Experimental Psychologists (TeaP 2014), Giessen, Germany.
Chuang L Person, Nieuwenhuizen F Person and Bülthoff HH Person (September-2012): Eye-movement planning during flight maneuvers, 35th European Conference on Visual Perception, Alghero, Italy, Perception, 41(ECVP Abstract Supplement) 99.
Chuang LL Person, Nieuwenhuizen FM Person and Bülthoff HH Person (September-2012): Investigating Gaze Behavior of Novice Pilots during Basic Flight Maneuvers, International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction in Aerospace (HCI-Aero 2012), Bruxelles, Belgium.

Theses (3):

Nieuwenhuizen FM Person: Changes in pilot control behaviour across Stewart platform motion systems, Technische Universiteit Delft, Netherlands, (July-4-2012). PhD thesis
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Nieuwenhuizen FM Person and Zaal PMT : Perception of Visual and Motion Cues during Control of Self-Motion in Optic Flow Environments, Technische Universiteit Delft, Netherlands, (December-21-2005). Diplom thesis
Nieuwenhuizen FM Person and Zaal PMT : A New Identification Method for Modelling Pilot Control Behaviour, Technische Universiteit Delft, Netherlands, (May-24-2005). Diplom thesis

Talks (12):

Chuang LL Person, Nieuwenhuizen FM Person, Walter J Person and Bülthoff HH Person (March-9-2015) Abstract Talk: Learning anticipatory eye-movements for control, 57th Conference of Experimental Psychologists (TeaP 2015), Hildesheim, Germany.
Nieuwenhuizen FM Person and Bülthoff HH Person (October-30-2014) Invited Lecture: myCopter - Enabling Technologies for Personal Aerial Transportation Systems: An overview of accomplishments, 9th AIRTEC 2014 International Congress, Frankfurt, Germany.
Nieuwenhuizen FM Person (October-2014) Invited Lecture: myCopter – Enabling Technologies for Personal Aerial Transportation Systems, 4th EASN Association International Workshop on Flight Physics and Aircraft Design, Aachen, Germany.
Nieuwenhuizen FM Person, Bülthoff HH Person and Mulder M (November-29-2012) Abstract Talk: Changes in Pilot Control Behaviour across Stewart Platform Motion Systems, Autumn Flight Simulation Conference: Flight Simulation Research New Frontiers, London, UK.
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Nieuwenhuizen F Person, Chuang L Person and Bülthoff HH Person (November-2012) Abstract Talk: myCopter: Enabling Technologies for Personal Aerial Transportation Systems A progress report, 4th International HELI World Conference at the International Aerospace Supply Fair AIRTEC 2012, Frankfurt a.M., Germany.
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Nieuwenhuizen F Person and Bülthoff HH Person (October-24-2012) Invited Lecture: myCopter – Enabling Technologies for Personal Aerial Transportation Systems, Joint EU–US Workshop on Small Aircraft and Personal Planes Systems, Brussels, Belgium.
Nieuwenhuizen F Person (October-18-2012) Invited Lecture: Assessing Pilot Behaviour in Closed-loop Environments, 2nd Simulator Oriented Flight Training Workshop: Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Braunschweig, Germany.
Venrooij J Person, Nieuwenhuizen FM Person and Bülthoff HH Person (September-26-2012) Invited Lecture: What if we simply fly to work? myCopter – Enabling Technologies for Personal Aerial Transportation Systems, Deutsch-Italienische Handelskammer: Workshop zur Investorengewinnung, Vicenza, Italy.
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Last updated: Tuesday, 18.11.2014