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Baykar CTO highlights role of AI in unmanned technologies

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Selçuk Bayraktar, the chief technology officer (CTO) and chairperson of the board of the Turkish drone magnate Baykar, noted in an interview Wednesday that the firm is conducting more research on work on algorithms known as artificial intelligence (AI) to increase flight safety and enable the aircraft to perceive and understand their surroundings.

“Of course, we are mainly conducting these studies for our unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) platforms, but at the same time, we are preparing our flying car named ‘Cezeri,’” Bayraktar told Demirören News Agency (DHA).

Baykar’s CTO was watching the final of the Rocket Competition held at the captivating Tuz Gölü test field in central Anatolia as part of the Teknofest aerospace, space and technology festival.

“Teams preparing for these competitions receive financial support so that they can realize their projects. There are also monetary rewards. Of course, all of this may not hold a very significant place when compared to their achievements. But more importantly, these teams carry the team spirit they establish to innovative initiatives and make a mark on the world with those initiatives. In a sense, this competition becomes the starting step for that,” he explained.

Touching upon Türkiye’s first indigenously designed and produced unmanned fighter aircraft, Kızılelma, Bayraktar said: “In the coming years, we are designing its supersonic variant as well. The development activities continue, but we are currently preparing for production for the initial non-supersonic variant we call Kızılelma A.”

Having completed its maiden flight in December last year, the fast drone fighter jet, Kızılelma, represents a significant expansion of capabilities for slow-moving reconnaissance and missile-carrying drones.

“We are conducting research on advanced algorithms known as artificial intelligence to enhance situational awareness and flight safety. However, these efforts are not intended to completely replace humans, especially on armed platforms. The focus is more on enhancing flight safety and enabling the aircraft to perceive and understand its surroundings through algorithms,” Bayraktar explained.

Ankara to host Teknofest

The second edition of Türkiye’s premier technology and aviation event Teknofest this year is set to begin in the capital Ankara next week.

The five-day event, starting on Aug. 30, will feature competitions, air shows, exhibitions and workshops.

Visitors can benefit from a vertical wind tunnel, simulation experience areas, planetarium shows, stage shows and various other activities.

The first edition was held at Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport between April 27- May 1, welcoming a record 2.5 million visitors.

This year’s third event will be organized in the country’s Aegean city of Izmir on Sept. 27-Oct. 1.

In both cities, Teknofest aims to give visitors an adventure full of science, technology and space accompanied by technology competitions, venture programs, air shows, award ceremonies, science shows, educational workshops, exhibitions, stage plays and special flight experiences for children.

Organized by the Turkish Technology Team Foundation (T3 Foundation) and the Industry and Technology Ministry, Teknofest is held in various Turkish cities every year.

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