No one is arguing that the passive-control kite schemes should not have automation when it is available. Its just not yet available, but kite pros manually fly giant kites already. I like both manual and automated AWE. Manual is more fun, less pain.
Fig5 is less complex than virtually all other schemes, by standard metrics of engineering-complexity (part-count, state-space). Fig5 is the simple original idea in the Low-Complexity AWES design space. How grand it will be to fly 1000m2 power-kites hands-on, before automation is ready.
Makani’s architecture is the prime example of High-Complexity AWES thinking, where flight automation is an inherently critical requirement. No great RC pilot wants to be at the joystick crashing an M600. Better to hook up computers and blame programmers, never the mistaken architectural down-select.
Fig5 is AWE’s Cinderella Architecture.