Reinforcement Learning for Helicopter Flight

Pieter Abbeel has written an original paper about aerobatic helicopter flight using machine learning. He started by studying a pilot flying an helicopter to understand the dynamics model of the helicopter. He then used reinforcement learning to find the optimized controller for the flight.

Abbeel came to EPFL (Lausanne) a few months ago and gave a nice presentation with videos as well. You can find more information here:

http://heli.stanford.edu/

and some videos:

http://www.cs.stanford.edu/~pabbeel/heli-nips2006

This application has the advantage of a nice visual demonstration that may interest people outside the field of data mining.

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