Rise of the Drones
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Rise of the Drones
Investigating the future of unmanned aerial vehicles.
Curated by ddrrnt
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FAA Unveils Drone Rules: Autonomy Is In, Drone Delivery Is Out - IEEE Spectrum

FAA Unveils Drone Rules: Autonomy Is In, Drone Delivery Is Out - IEEE Spectrum | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it
The proposed rules are surprisingly reasonable, but there are things that need work

. . . 

One thing that is not addressed here is autonomy: can commercial drones fly themselves? The FAA rules are clearly based around human operators, but the FAA’s UAS FAQ also says that an unmanned aircraft can be flown by “a pilot via a ground control system, or autonomously through use of an on-board computer, communication links and any additional equipment that is necessary for the UA to operate safely.”

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Christopher Korody's curator insight, February 27, 9:56 AM

The most complete summary of the rules out there this side of the 195 page FAA document. Great reference!

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Love is in the air: #cupidrone - YouTube

There goes #cupidrone … In the romantic streets of Verona, home to Romeo and Juliet, this modern day Saint Valentine is searching for love. Are his roses hit...
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This ad will win over your heart for delivery drones. 

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Beer buzz? FAA grounds plan to deliver 12-packs by drone

Beer buzz? FAA grounds plan to deliver 12-packs by drone | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it
The idea seemed ingenious: Delivering 12-packs of beer to the cold, windswept surfaces of popular ice fishing lakes — using a drone

 

Lakemaid Beer president Jack Supple brewed up a plan this winter to quench the beer thirst of ice fishers on central Minnesota’s Lake Mille Lacs, with retailers taking orders using GPS coordinates.

 

The nation’s stewards of the air are still studying how to safely bring drones into modern life, and until then, their commercial use isn’t permitted, they explained. 

 

Supple said he understands their point. He’d scoffed — at first — when he saw reports of Amazon.com floating the idea of drone deliveries, thinking it was three sheets to the wind.

 

“That looked like it couldn’t possibly work. I can’t imagine them flying your shoes down the street here, in downtown Minneapolis, with all of the skyscrapers and people and trains and lamp posts,” Supple said.

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German Company Does Drone Delivery

German Company Does Drone Delivery | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

Two can play the drone delivery game, mein Amazon. Germany’s Deutsche Post DHL, the world’s largest delivery company, has used a drone to deliver a package less than two weeks after Amazon promised to do the same.

 

The drone, a yellow unmanned quadcopter called the Paketkopter, ferried the package across the Rhine River, from Bonn to Deutsche Post DHL headquarters on the other side of the river, according to German news site The Local .

 

The Paketkopter, carrying a package of medicine, flew at an altitude of 50 meters (164 feet) for two minutes. “This being Germany, there are also regulations to consider – Monday’s test flight required a special permit, while the legalities of using drones remain unclear,” said The Local article.

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The Wall Street Journal  noted that German regulations forbid drones from taking off or landing in residential areas, which would make a Deutsche Post drone delivery service rather inconvenient.

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Bill Gates says Amazon drone delivery plan 'overoptimistic'

Bill Gates says Amazon drone delivery plan 'overoptimistic' | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it
Bill Gates casts doubt over Amazon's plans to have drones deliver packages within 30 minutes of ordering.

 

Microsoft co-founder Gates told CNN the plan might not be realistic, although he acknowledged the notion of drones could be useful for things such as charitable aid.

 

"I would say he's probably on the optimistic or perhaps overoptimistic end of that," Mr Gates said.

 

"It's great that people have dreams like that.

 

"If we can make the cost of delivery easier, then it's not just books, it's getting supplies out to people in tough places.

 

"Drones overall will be more impactful than I think people recognise in positive ways to help society."

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Amazon PrimeAir Could Deliver Your Stuff On Drones

Amazon PrimeAir Could Deliver Your Stuff On Drones | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

In a 60 Minutes interview, Jeff Bezos announced that Amazon is working on delivery that's even faster than Prime. The company wants to use octocopters to deliver your order within a half hour.

Bezos says that the project, which is heavily in the R&D stage right now, couldn't debut before 2015 even if Amazon were ready because of FAA regulations, but even then PrimeAir will probably still be a few years out. Bezos estimates that it will be another four or five years. He told 60 Minutes, "It will work and it will happen, and it's gonna be a lot of fun."

 

via https://plus.google.com/+GideonRosenblatt/posts/7BkrCGy6W5z

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Chinese firm tests drones for express delivery service

Chinese firm tests drones for express delivery service | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

According to The Atlantic, a delivery was first spotted in Dongguan, China, by a bystander who quickly took a photo and uploaded it to Sina Weibo. Fellow social media users then spotted the SF Express logo on the drone’s parcel, which then led to speculation that the wide-reaching delivery firm was dabbling in the new technology.

 

An SF Express spokesman later confirmed that the company had indeed developed drones capable of flying 100 meters high, that can automatically deliver parcels to exact locations with an error of about 2 meters. The spokesman did not state whether or not SF express intends to roll out the drones on a mass scale.

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Ooh la la: French town says it will deliver daily newspapers by drone

Ooh la la: French town says it will deliver daily newspapers by drone | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it
Residents of Auvergne, a province in south central France, may soon receive their daily paper by drone.

 

According to a blog post published yesterday, local postal service La Poste Groupe has been working for several years to modernize its delivery processes. A plan has been hatched to implement paper delivery by drone in early May with the help of local volunteers, and tests are already underway.


The drone is a quadricopter, which can be controlled by iPod touch, iPhone, iPad and Android devices, and costs over $300. It is manufactured by Parrot.com, a French wireless devices maker that also announced a partnership with La Poste this morning.

 

We have not heard back from Parrot.com after reaching out for comment. It’s not quite April Fools — but there are legal issues to consider with this insane (but awesome) idea

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Drones - The Birth of a New Transportation Mode

The buzz around drones has intensified in recent months. The FAA Reauthorization bill that was signed into law last year directs the FAA to develop regulations for the testing and licensing of commercial drones by 2015. Meanwhile, PBS aired a NOVA episode last month on drones titled “Rise of the Drones", and this week TIME Magazine published a cover story with the same title. I encourage you to read and watch all of these sources to get the full picture of what’s happening with this technology.

 

Rise of the Drones: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/military/rise-of-the-drones.html ; (the segment beginning at 38:55 is particularly interesting)

 

TIME cover story: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2135132,00.html

 

So, how might drones transform supply chain and logistics processes? In a blog posting earlier this week, Kevin O’Meara (former logistics executive at Whirlpool, now with Breakthrough Fuel) wrote that drones “could revolutionize air freight delivery in the package space,” particularly in servicing small, less-densely populated areas. The most visionary idea I’ve seen, however, comes from Matternet, which aims to “do for physical transportation what the Internet did for the flow of information.”

 

Kevin O’Meara's blog post: http://10xlogistics.blogspot.com.au/2013/02/a-drone-delivers-your-package.html?spref=tw

 

Matternet: http://matternet.us/

 

 

Adrian Gonzalez

06 Feb 2013

ddrrnt's insight:

Also watch Marc Andreesen on the possibility of a peer-to-peer drone delivery network: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiQyDhXiU4s&feature=youtu.be&t=9m38s

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Burrito Bomber UAV delivers edible payload

Burrito Bomber UAV delivers edible payload | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it
Delivering fresh food to someone's door is far from unusual, but delivering it by flying drone is another story entirely. A team of designers at Darwin Aerospace recently built the "Burrito Bomber," a UAV outfitted with a release mechanism and autopilot controls, so it can take food orders and air drop them at a person's location within minutes.

Johnathan Fincher
17 Dec 2012
ddrrnt's insight:

Source: Darwin Aerospace

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The Way to Make Delivery Drones Work Is Using...Trucks? - IEEE Spectrum

The Way to Make Delivery Drones Work Is Using...Trucks? - IEEE Spectrum | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

Amp Holdings wants to integrate a delivery drone (called a HorseFly) into each truck to make short deliveries semi-autonomously.

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UAE To Use UAS For Government Services | IncreasingHumanPotential.org

UAE To Use UAS For Government Services | IncreasingHumanPotential.org | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

The United Arab Emirates says it plans to use unmanned aerial drones to deliver official documents and packages to its citizens as part of efforts to upgrade government services.

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“The UAE will try to deliver its government services through drones. This is the first project of its kind in the world,” Mohammed al-Gergawi, a minister of cabinet affairs, said on Monday as he displayed a prototype developed for the government.

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The UAE drone programme faces similar obstacles, plus temperatures which often exceed 40 degrees Centigrade (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in summer and heavy sandstorms which occasionally sweep across the desert country.
“Within a year from now we will understand the capabilities of the system and what sort of services, and how far we can deliver. Eventually a new product will be launched across all the country,” Gergawi said.

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Amazon Drone Usage and Changing Cities | Sustainable Cities Collective

Amazon Drone Usage and Changing Cities | Sustainable Cities Collective | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

...there are more legitimate concerns about a possible drone system in operation. Columnist and RC helicopter enthusiast Joshua Ziering highlights the fact that that when you take into account headwinds, the range could drop significantly. The supposedly failsafe eight engine design could still be taken down entirely by electrical shorts. And the fully computerized system, which relies on surface elevation databases, may not have access to a reliable database of power lines and trees.

 

There are still plenty of hurdles to clear, however. When multiple companies start adding drone systems, how will they coordinate? What about avoiding birds? Or people who try to steal a drone as it lands, to use as a Christmas present for the kids? Most importantly, how is a large scale drone system going to work after it leaves Bezos’s idealized suburban neighborhood and comes to dense urban areas? To avoid smashing into skyscrapers, drones will probably have to be routed over avenues, cutting their range. For deliveries to office buildings, will they land on the roof or at the front door, where they could very easily get pulverized by foot traffic? And for anyone living above the first floor in apartment complexes, the sound of buzzing drones passing by at two in the morning is likely to become really annoying, really fast.

All of these issues remain unsettled, and will potentially be addressed in the US by FAA regulations to be released in 2015.

 

Sembl.net

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Rentals Delivered By Drone Could Make Ownership Obsolete | TechCrunch

Rentals Delivered By Drone Could Make Ownership Obsolete | TechCrunch | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

Why buy something when you could rent it, have it instantly delivered when you need it, and taken away when you're done? While Amazon's unveiling of its Prime Air drone-powered delivery service could make buying easier, it's drone pick-up that could make it so we don't need to buy things at all.

 

The sharing economy holds the promise of a more efficient, collaborative way of living. Startups like Airbnb and GetAround are thriving by making use of our empty apartments and parked cars. It's proving feasible for humans to share housing and transportation, but we haven't quite figured out the sharing of most objects. Perhaps the biggest hurdle is delivery and pickup.

...

We might buy less stuff and all objects would spend more of their existence being used rather than in a closet, so we wouldn't have to manufacture as many copies of things. That could put lots of people out of work. No, there aren't enough drone repairman jobs to make up for all those lost on the assembly line and delivery chain.

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Why Drone Delivery Will Be A Nightmare For Law Enforcement

Why Drone Delivery Will Be A Nightmare For Law Enforcement | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it
Amazon 'Prime Air' could be the first step toward a postal service free of surveillance.

 

Amazon's Jeff Bezos [went] on 6o Minutes Sunday night and reveal[ed] a “secret R&D project: The beginning of Silk Air Road? ‘Octocopter’ drones that will fly packages directly to your doorstep in 30 minutes.” Yup. an autonomous drone delivery service that would use GPS coordinates to navigate, called Amazon “Prime Air.”

 

After the shock and awe wore off, many commentators immediately pointed out that this is currently illegal. While the po-po and government entities are allowed to fly drones if they obtain authorization from the FAA, private use of drones is limited to hobbyists, and they have to keep the drones under 400

feet and within their line of sight. But that’s just a temporary hang-up. Congress has ordered the FAA to clear the skyway for commercial use of drones by 2015. So, yes, Amazon will be able to get emergency diapers, toilet paper, or s-pound gummy bears (depending on the Octocopter’s weight limits) to you in 30 minutes (and Google will be able to launch ‘Drone Map’, and Facebook will be able to launch ‘Drone Stalk’, and on and on).

 

Law enforcement may already be gritting its teeth over the idea of legal drone delivery though. Being

able to send things by drone could be hugely disruptive to the existing mail system: a peer-to-peer postal service that cuts out the USPS and FedEx. That’s fine when Amazon is shipping out books, but what about the kind of deliveries that law enforcement wants to be able to track? The existing

postal system is full of surveillance.

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In Australia, a drone will deliver – books? Yes, really

In Australia, a drone will deliver – books? Yes, really | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it
The drone will be used to rush textbooks to students in delivery times as short as two to three minutes.

 

Here’s how it works: Students would order books from rental company Zookal via a smartphone app and one of six unmanned Flirtey drones would immediately deliver the books to students’ doors. Students would be able to track the drones’ progress in real time on a Google map.

The venture is still pending approval from Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority and its backers hope to launch the service in March 2014. 

 

Flirtey plans to use laser range finders and sonar technology to help guide drones and avoid collisions with buildings, birds, and pedestrians – common problems in past drone experiments. 

 

According to The Age, a special delivery mechanism “allows for textbooks to be safely lowered to the customer without the drone having to leave its hovering height of about three metres. If gentle force is applied to the drone's lowering cord, the parcel is released.”

From what we can surmise, this venture has more than just novelty going for it. The drones, which can carry up to 4 and a 1/2 lbs, can reduce waiting times to as little as two to three minutes, according to Zookal, and reduce delivery costs dramatically. Same day postal delivery in Australia can cost as much as $29.95, while Flirtey deliveries will cost $2.99.

ddrrnt's insight:

What will drones deliver next?

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Nolan foote's curator insight, November 14, 2013 1:12 PM

drones taking books place to place  for kids. These drones have made a great preformence. And the drones are able to be at the school delivered in 2 to 3 minutes which is amazing because you can order a book and it can be in your homroom in minutes and the book can be heavy too. These drones are not just for war you cam get your book to you in minutes

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UAS Attracting Interest From New Users but Still Prompt Worries, Speakers Say

UAS Attracting Interest From New Users but Still Prompt Worries, Speakers Say | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

AUVSI President and CEO Michael Toscano appeared alongside MIT's Missy Cummings to discuss the state of the technology. Integrating unmanned aircraft into the National Airspace System will create more than 100,000 jobs, particularly in agriculture, Toscano said, and Cummings said the issue with integration is now more about psychological than technological barriers.

A commercial revolution will take place in agriculture, Cummings said, and the United States is already behind.

"Japan basically does all its crop dusting with UAVs. An entire country," Cummings said.

She predicted that another revolution, that of unmanned cargo delivery, is already taking shape in Afghanistan in the form of the K-Max unmanned helicopter, which now supplies cargo to deployed soldiers and Marines. 

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Another ongoing and growing use of unmanned aircraft is for monitoring wildlife, their habitats and the poachers who are killing some of them in record numbers, said Carter Roberts, the president and CEO of the World Wildlife Fund.

Groups like the WWF simply don't always have good information about what's happening on the ground in remote locations and have started using UAS to track animals, discover poachers and then follow them back to their traders.

Privacy issues rarely come into play, because the areas are so remote and the systems help give a small technological edge against the poachers, who are better funded and better equipped, the said.

"We do not want to document the demise of nature," but instead use these systems to get real-time information into the hands of governments who can help the wildlife, Roberts said. 

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Matternet: Swapping roads for flying drones

Matternet: Swapping roads for flying drones | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it
Two start-ups want to replace road transport with internet-style technology and swarms of tiny autonomous helicopters.

 

The Matternet concept grew out of lengthy brainstorming sessions last summer at Singularity University, which is located at the NASA Research Park campus in Silicon Valley. The University was founded by Dr. Peter Diamandis, founder of the X-Prize Foundation, and Dr. Ray Kurzweil, who is known for his work in artificial intelligence and transhumanism.

 

One of those involved in those sessions was Andreas Raptopoulos, an engineer with a life-long love of flying vehicles.

 

"In the course, they asked us to come up with solutions to some of the globe's grand challenges," says Raptopoulos. "And one of those was alleviating poverty."

 

Quadcopter swarm

 

The more the group thought about the problem of poverty, the more they felt it was, in large part, caused by the fact that millions of people are cut off, literally, from the global economy because of a lack of delivery infrastructure.

 

"The concept of using roads to move stuff around is a very, very old concept," Raptopoulos tells me. "The US has now more than  miles of roads. But should Africa try to replicate that? It is expensive, and it destroys the environment."
 
Eventually, the group considered the merits of an unconventional delivery system. Why not, they thought, use a network of unmanned aerial drones to move physical objects the way the internet carries small packets of information through various routes, and then puts all those pieces together again at the end?

 

“That’s when the idea clicked for me,” says Mint Wongviriyawong, who was also a member of the group. “If you could use these UAVs to transport things from point-to-point, you could transport a lot of loads, autonomously, within a shorter time frame, and it could be done cheaply.”

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Construction is complete on behemoth airship; first flight planned

Construction is complete on behemoth airship; first flight planned | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

According to aircraft maker Worldwide Aeros Corp., construction is complete on a 36,000-pound blimp-like aircraft designed for the military to carry tons of cargo to remote areas around the world.


The Montebello company hopes to have a first flight in the coming months and to demonstrate cargo-carrying capability shortly thereafter.


"This is truly the beginning of a vertical global transportation solution for perhaps the next 100 years,” Chief Executive Igor Pasternak said in a statement.


Worldwide Aeros, a company of about 100 employees, built the prototype under a contract of about $35 million from the Pentagon and NASA.

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