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EAA AirVenture Oshkosh RSS FeedSmart talk from Redbird Flight Sims
By J. Mac McClellan
Parrot is a new feature from Redbird Flight Simulations that uses artificial intelligence techniques to create realistic air traffic control communications for its simulators. The Parrot system can understand radio calls from the pilot flying the simulator and broadcasts back appropriate instructions.

The Parrot breakthrough is that the system operates in context. For example, the pilot must listen to ATIS and then give the correct code letter to ground control when he calls. If he doesn’t have ATIS, or has the wrong letter code, Parrot tells him to go back and get it.

Clearances are totally realistic, and the pilot must read them back correctly or clearance delivery will keep asking for clarification.

Taxi instructions from Parrot are appropriate for the runway in use, and if the pilot dare take off without tower clearance, he will get the usual instructions to call a phone number after landing. Once in flight Parrot knows where the airplane is so clearances are specific and appropriate for the route. The pilot must dial frequencies correctly or, as in real life, there will be no response when he calls.

Parrot is pretty good at recognizing standard unaccented English, but it can learn to recognize almost any voice after the pilot speaks specific words into the system.

Redbird made news in 2008 when it introduced the first affordable full-motion simulator. The company has teamed with Cessna as a preferred simulator supplier for Cessna Pilot Centers. The complete line of full-motion Redbird simulators and lower-cost, non-moving training devices are sold by King Schools. The Parrot voice simulation system will be available near the end of this year.

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