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Rescooped by Αntonios Βouris from Amazing Science
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How 3D Printing Creates On-Demand Swarms of Disposable Drones

How 3D Printing Creates On-Demand Swarms of Disposable Drones | Communication design | Scoop.it

New advances in 3D printing are making it not only possible but also viable to manufacture cheap, print-on-demand, disposable drones designed simply to soar off over the horizon and never come back. Some British engineers did just that, and this is only the beginning. The team hails from the Advanced Manufacturing Research Center (AMRC) at the University of Sheffield, where they're exploring innovative ways to 3D-print complex designs. They built their disposable drone, a five-foot-wide guy made of just nine parts that looks like a tiny stealth bomber, using a technique called fused deposition modeling. This additive manufacturing technique has been around since the 1980s but has recently become faster and cheaper thanks to improved design processes.


The ultimate vision, as sUAS describes it, is for "cheap and potentially disposable UAVs that could be built and deployed in remote situations potentially within as little as 24 hours." Forward-operating teams equipped with 3D printers could thus generate their own semi-autonomous micro air force squadrons or airborne surveillance swarms, a kind of first-strike desktop printing team hurling disposable drones into the sky.


For now, the AMRC team's drone works well as a glider, and they're working on a twin ducted fan propulsion system. It will eventually get an autonomous operation system powered by GPS as well as on-board data logging of flight parameters. Presumably, someone will want to stick a camera on there, too. If they're successful at building these things cheaply enough, it will be a green flag for the rest of the industry to take a hard look at their designs and see if they can make a disposable drone, too.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Eli Levine's curator insight, April 4, 10:36 PM

This is going to get ugly.

 

The arms race between the people and the government is just beginning. 

 

Cause, I can think of all sorts of mayhem that can be raised with this technology, all of it spontaneously generated from the conditions in which people are living, caused primarily by our elite factions, public and private alike.

 

You SURE you want to be holding those reigns of "power" when they come for you?

 

Think about it.

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How robotic drones will change our lives as early as 2015

How robotic drones will change our lives as early as 2015 | Communication design | Scoop.it
Flying robots have proven themselves capable sheep herders, delivery boys, filmmakers and spies. Now, when can we have one?

 

Herding sheep, delivering pizza, guiding lost students around campus -- these are just a few things friendly drones can do. Company and DIY drones are on the rise, and not even Hollywood stars will be safe from them. Soon starlets might be acting in front of drone-mounted cameras or being chased by a UAV paparazzi.

 

Though drones have incredible commercial potential, most countries restrict its use. The U.S. is expected to open up drones for commercial use by 2015. 


Proponents are eager to point out the many ways they're going to make our lives better. "Really, this technology is an extra tool to help an industry be more effective," says Gretchen West, the executive vice president for the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI).  AUVSI estimates the U.S. loses $10 billion yearly by delaying drone integration. Though drones bring up privacy concerns, some argue it could advance privacy law.


"With precision agriculture, for example, it can take pictures of fields so farmers can identify problems they wouldn't necessarily see walking through the fields. In law enforcement, you could find a child lost in the woods more easily than walking through a field, particularly if there's bad weather or treacherous ground."


While it may seem that drones are set to take over our lives, the reality is a bit more complicated. Drone usage around the world is definitely picking up in the public sector, but when it comes to commercial activity, many countries have strict limitations.


The United States doesn't allow for commercial drone usage at all, though that's expected to change in 2015, when the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aims to put a plan in place to integrate drones in U.S. airspace. In the meantime, says West, the U.S. is losing $10 billioons in potential economic impact for every year the FAA delays.

 

"I think the U.S. has been the leader in this technology, and I think there's a risk of losing that first-mover aspect the longer we wait on regulations," she says.



Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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