Evolving Helicopter Flight Through Simulated Evolution
Julian Togelius reports at his blog the Gridswarm Project/The UltraSwarm in which "swarms of miniature helicopters that fly around and share their computing resources in order to perform tasks in a coordinated manner". See here (also there is a video of the helicopter flight).
The helicopter controller was evolved through an Evolution Strategy, a (10+23)-ES, and it is performed by a Neural Network. The Neural Network learnt how to fly without any prior knowledge of how to do it!
That controller is even better than a hand-coded PID controller available to guide the helicopter.
Take a moment to read and watch the video made by Julian, both are very very interesting. :)