Rise of the Drones
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Rise of the Drones
Investigating the future of unmanned aerial vehicles.
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Aerial footage of Springfield fire raises privacy, safety concerns

Aerial footage of Springfield fire raises privacy, safety concerns | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

 

Two drone aircraft operated by local residents captured high definition aerial footage of the July 17 fire that destroyed the Springfield Veneer and Plywood mill. The videos have each garnered more than 11,000 views on YouTube.

 

Eugene Springfield Fire Chief Randy Groves said it’s the first use of drones he’s aware of during a fire in the local area.

 

Their presence illustrates the increasing use of drones and national debate about privacy and safety when they’re in the air.

 

The operators of the two drones said they wanted to provide a new perspective on the July 17 fire. Their videos capture the fiery catastrophe occuring hundreds of feet below.

 

“It’s a different way of looking at a fire, and it’s amazing,” said Ryan Levenson, a 20-year-old University of Oregon student majoring in business and journalism.

ddrrnt's insight:

I noticed this on story on the front page of my local newspaper. 

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Officials Halt Drones in Colorado

Officials Halt Drones in Colorado | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it
Chris Miser, owner of Falcon UAV, was mapping flooded roads and waterways from above—before authorities on the ground told him to stop, or be arrested.

 

"The confusion in Colorado is an unavoidable outgrowth of the rise of civilian UAVs in American airspace, which PopMech covered in our September cover story. The FAA is under a Congressional mandate to formulate rules and regulation that will integrate drones into the way it polices our skies. But the going is slow. And until those rules are in place, there are bound to be more examples of drone operators clashing with authorities—whether those drone operators are flying mischievous dive-bombs around national landmarks, or trying to aid rescue workers in the midst of a crisis. "

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Drones Reimagined: Startup Plans Medical Supply Drone Network | inQuid

Drones Reimagined: Startup Plans Medical Supply Drone Network | inQuid | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

Matternet has a vision of creating a network of autonomous flying drones that can deliver medical and other vital supplies to regions that either do not have access to such things, or find getting them tough. The drone network would serve areas with no serviceable road access, or places that have been devastated by natural disasters or war.

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Are Drones a Good Thing or a Bad Thing?

Are Drones a Good Thing or a Bad Thing? | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it
Jeff Braun's Emergency Management blog shares an article first published in Governing magazine, and then later in Emergency Management magazine. Written by Eli Richman, and published by Emergency Management on November 30, 2012, the article provides an overview of the use of drones by emergency responders in the United States. It is becoming apparent that unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, can assist law enforcement agencies in a variety of activities. As pointed out in the article, perhaps it could be helpful in finding a lost hiker in a national forest. Closer to home, perhaps a drone could have been used a few years ago when local responders attempted to find a missing kayaker lost on a stream in Fort Bend County?

Fire first responders could use such a tool also; perhaps for getting a birds-eye view of a hazardous materials incident or major fire. Think about how valuable the use of such equipment might be as hundreds of responders attempt to fight a raging wildfire in close proximity to a subdivision. Emergency managers could use an unmanned aerial vehicle for conducting damage assessments after a hurricane. It would seem to be an efficient way of getting needed information without putting responder lives at risk. As a matter of fact, it has recently become known that NASA is readying a couple of experimental UAVs to track future storms. Why? To assist communities in preparing for the storms.

For more information on NASA’s use of drones.
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Drone aids typhoon clean-up in the Philippines

http://reut.rs/1b1TT3m

Drone technology helps to clear debris and locate bodies in typhoon-struck Philippines, but critics say it could infringe upon privacy rights. Michaela Cabrera reports.

 

Equipped with a small camera, it aids in search and rescue, identifying blocked roads and bodies for collection. The company who developed it, Danoffice IT, says its made of plastic similar to lego. Equipped with a small camera, it aids in search and rescue, identifying blocked roads and bodies for collection. The company who developed it, Danoffice IT, says its made of plastic similar to lego. 

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Drones: Eyes in the sky

Drones: Eyes in the sky | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

As technology advances, unmanned aircraft used for surveillance are moving from the battlefield to your backyard, and not everyone is happy with it (with poll)

 

In Pakistan, since 2004, from under 2,000 at the low end to more than 3,400. The CIA isn't saying. So who's being killed -- terrorists or civilians?

 

"The data show that only a relatively small number of high-level targets have been killed, something on the order of 50, estimates vary. which is roughly 2 percent of those who have been killed," said James Cavallaro, a law professor at Stanford University. "Which means that 98 percent of those killed have not been high-level targets."

 

Cavallaro is co-author of a paper critical of U.S. drone use. He and his team went to Pakistan.

 

"We don't hear enough about the costs, civilians killed, civilians injured, destruction of communities, growth of anti-Americanism, and fomenting recruitment for terrorist groups," he told Teichner. "When all of that is considered, there are serious doubts about whether drones are the best option. (...)

 

Now, drones are headed off the battlefield. They're already coming your way.

 

AeroVironment, the California company that sells the military something like 85 percent of its fleet, is marketing them now to public safety agencies.

 

Steve Gitlin, a vice-president of AeroVironment, demonstrated for Teicher the company's Qube system: "It's a small unmanned aircraft that's designed to give first responders an immediate eye in the sky so they can find lost kids, they can investigate accidents, they can support disaster recovery for earthquakes in California, tornadoes in the Midwest, hurricanes in the Gulf Coast.

 

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Building Next-generation Autonomous Systems -

Building Next-generation Autonomous Systems - | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

To assist in this type of important mission, the SMASH project is exploring a combination of effective software design practices, artificial intelligence, and inexpensive hardware. These capabilities will allow one responder to control a fleet of quadcopters  or other robotic vehicles that search the rubble (for example, using thermal sensors, ground-penetrating radar, and other types of sensor payloads) and present the results to a smartphone or other human-computer device in a manner that’s useful and efficient to human operators, as shown in Figure 2.

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Drones Used to Assess Storm Damage on Utility Distribution Systems

Drones Used to Assess Storm Damage on Utility Distribution Systems | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) has completed tests determining that unmanned aircraft systems, or drones, can be used effectively to assess storm damage on utility distribution systems.


Conducted at the New Mexico State University Flight Test Center, the tests involved navigating several aircraft technologies and using high resolution video cameras to transmit images of power lines from a height of 5,000 to 7,000 feet. The tests determined that such images can be used by electric utilities to assess damage and pinpoint its location following a storm. (...)

In the wake of a storm, damage assessment is frequently a choke point in power restoration due largely to obstacles, such as downed trees blocking roads or icy conditions that make it extremely difficult for utility crews to get to and report on distribution line damage.

“Our research clearly shows that drones may provide utilities a tool that could reduce outage restoration time,” said Matthew Olearczyk, senior program manager for distribution research at EPRI. “Using live streaming video information, utility system operators would be able to dramatically improve damage assessment.”


via Unmanned Systems Technology

June 6th, 2012




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