Rise of the Drones
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Rise of the Drones
Investigating the future of unmanned aerial vehicles.
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It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane—No, It’s a Bird-Counting Drone

It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane—No, It’s a Bird-Counting Drone | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it
A new project uses infrared cameras mounted on UAVs to assess the effectiveness of conservation efforts.

 

The Nature Conservancy is testing out an unmanned aerial vehicle topped with an infrared camera to get a more accurate, quicker count of the birds at California’s San Francisco Bay Delta watershed.

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Another Problem for Amazon's Delivery Drones? Angry Birds

Another Problem for Amazon's Delivery Drones? Angry Birds | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

 Amazon-branded delivery drones may look to us humans like, well, Amazon-branded delivery drones, [however] they look to birds like ... other birds. Encroaching birds. And that's because, as Slate's Nicholas Lund points out, birds—especially predatory raptors, your hawks and your eagles and your harriers—are territorial. Our airspace is also, in a very literal way, birdspace, with birds carving up that soaring territory among themselves, defending their celestial turf against would-be interlopers. Not just with an "excuse me, sir, I think you may be in my seat" ... but with violence. Those dudes will put a bird on it in the most Darwinian way imaginable. 

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Activist Drone Catches Pigeon Shooters

Activist Drone Catches Pigeon Shooters | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

In Pennsylvania, the thrill of shooting flying clay out of the air isn't enough for everyone. Some gun clubs have organized pigeon shoots, where live pigeons are used instead of clay targets. It's legal there, but controversial. Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK), an animal advocay group in Pennsylvania, is now using drones to catch pigeon killers.

 

SHARK flies octorotor drones with videos camera attached. Dubbed "Angels" (because subtlety) SHARK's drones have recorded people cleaning up after allegedly shooting pigeons in addition to allegedly disposing of dead pigeons (and burning tires, which is illegal for individuals, as there are health risks).

Why use drones and not just, say, a smartphone cam? Presumably because you can see a lot more when you're buzzing around in the sky.

 

This isn't the first time activists have used drones to support their cause. In Texas in 2012, for instance, a hobbyist's drone outside of Dallas took pictures of a meatpacking plant that was dumping pig blood into a creek.

 

Not everyone approves of these tactics, though. Texas responded to the pig blood incident bypassing a law that makes it illegal for hobbyists to use drones to photograph private property without the consent of the property owner. And in Pennsylvania, someone allegedly responded to one of the SHARK drones by shooting it down.

 

 

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Drones 'to target illegal hunting'

Drones 'to target illegal hunting' | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it
An anti-hunting group says it plans to use remote control aircraft in a bid to gather evidence of hunts breaking the law.

 

Chief executive at the League Against Cruel Sports, Joe Duckworth, said: "There is a war in the countryside and whilst there are still individuals determined to flout the law and seek new ways to avoid detection, the league will continue to explore safe, tested and innovative technology to further our charitable aim of ending cruelty to animals in the name of sport."

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Drones aid rare species watching

Drones aid rare species watching | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

Drones could soon be helping protect rhinos, tigers and elephants in Africa and Asia, thanks to cash from Google.


Controlled via a tablet computer, the small autonomous aircraft will photograph poachers and track animals via smart radio tags.


The World Wildlife Fund added the $5m (£3.1m) grant would also fund software that could map where poachers strike.


And it was developing a mobile DNA sampling kit to match body parts with animals.


The WWF said poaching and trafficking of body parts was having a devastating effect on the wild populations of some species, setting back decades long conservation efforts.


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Brazil’s Homemade Drones

Brazil’s Homemade Drones | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

“It ends up demystifying this equipment, to show that it’s not only restricted for military use but also something of daily use,” says AGX Tecnologia consultant Jen John Lee in the basement of these homey headquarters.


Going against the trend of Latin American nations purchasing Isreali-made drones for drug-war policing and border patrolling, AGX uses only Brazilian technology developed at the nearby University of São Paulo and sees its target market in the nation’s growing agricultural industry and state “environmental police” forces tasked with monitoring illegal extraction of natural resources.


Brazil’s Federal Police is indeed implementing a fleet of Israeli-made UAVs along its porous frontier to monitor drug trafficking. But the São Paulo Environmental Police has other objectives. They will be the first team in the state to regularly employ unarmed UAVs to monitor threats in rural areas, such as deforestation and illegal fishing.


Taylor Barnes | Oct 18, 2011

latintrade.com

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This Drone Is Going To Find Bigfoot

This Drone Is Going To Find Bigfoot | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

To catch an unlikely creature, you need an unlikely drone: quiet enough to escape notice, sturdy enough to carry NASA-grade cameras and long-range enough to sweep vast swaths of potential Sasqautch stomping ground. “The disadvantage of helicopters is obviously they’re noisy,” says Meldrum. “A fixed-wing aircraft has the disadvantage of not being able to hover.”

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They would spend months at a time scanning undisclosed locations with high Bigfoot potential, hoping not only for irrefutable video, but to make contact. “You know, putting out a transmitter in a banana that can be passed through the gut and while it’s internal serve as a tracking device,” says principal investigator Jeff Meldrum. “Those kinds of things.”

 

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Lian Pin Koh: A drone's-eye view of conservation

Ecologist Lian Pin Koh makes a persuasive case for using drones to protect the world's forests and wildlife. These lightweight autonomous flying vehicles can...

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"Well recently, Nepal acquired a new tool in the fight against wildlife crime, and these are drones, or more specifically, conservation drones. For about a year now, my colleagues and I have been building drones for Nepal and training the park protection personnel on the use of these drones. Not only does a drone give you a bird's-eye view of the landscape, but it also allows you to capture detailed, high-resolution images of objects on the ground. This, for example, is a pair of rhinoceros taking a cooling bath on a hot summer day in the lowlands of Nepal. Now we believe that drones have tremendous potential, not only for combating wildlife crime, but also for monitoring the health of these wildlife populations.

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Drone & New UMD Tech Help Protect Wildlife from Poacher

A series of "flawless" test flights have shown that unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, combined with anti-poaching computer software can successfully protect rhinoceros from poachers in the SouthAfrican bush.

 

The first night flight of the UAV, nicknamed "Terrapin One", took place on May 26 at the Olifant West section of the Balule GameReserve near Krueger National Park. The team used its analytical model to locate a rhino and its calf in just a few minutes. Flying around the rhinos in a grid pattern, the UAV spotted a suspicious car close by and the team alerted the authorities immediately.

 

"We believe this is the first time that a UAV has been flown at night, with an infrared camera, where rhinos were identified from the air and a possible poaching event was successfully deterred," Snitch said. "As we say at the University of Maryland, 'Fear the Turtle.' "

 

 

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Swimming robot reaches Australia

Swimming robot reaches Australia | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it
A marine robot has completed a record-breaking 9,000 nautical mile (16,668km) trip across the Pacific Ocean.

BBC
05 Dec 2012
ddrrnt's insight:

The robot was gathering data about phytoplankton, both as a food source for other sea life, as well as a carbon sink. It is said to provide greater detail than satellite data.  


The PacX Wave Glider is manufactured by Liquid Robotics, a US based company. 

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SA to use planes to save rhinos

SA to use planes to save rhinos | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

South Africa is to deploy a reconnaissance aircraft to combat a massive rise in rhino poaching in recent years.



The plane will be equipped with surveillance equipment including thermal imaging to detect poachers.


It will patrol over the Kruger National Park, a vast reserve that borders Mozambique and home to two-thirds of South Africa's rhino population.


So far this year 588 rhinos have been killed in South Africa, in what is being called a "relentless onslaught".


That figure has risen from just 13 reported cases in 2007 as organised and well-armed crime syndicates target the animals.


South Africa is home to the world's largest rhino population - an estimated 18,000 white rhinos and 1,700 critically endangered black rhino.


The rhino horn is highly prized in traditional Asian medicine, even though there is no scientific proof of its effects. It sells for around $95,000 (£60,000) per kilo, almost twice the value of gold. (...)


The surveillance airplane for the Kruger National Park was donated by the Ichikowitz Family Foundation, whose chairman Ivor Ichikowitz said: "You have to fight fire with fire."

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Drone images help threatened fish

Drone images help threatened fish | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

A mini helicopter has been used by researchers from Worcester to examine the threat to rare fish species posed by a dam on a Chilean river.


The work was carried out by PhD student Amy Woodget and Dr Ian Maddock, principal lecturer in physical geography at the University of Worcester. (...)


Professor Habit Evelyn Habit, from the University of Concepcion, said the images from the Draganflyer UAS showed the river in "an extraordinarily high level of detail".


"This allows us to better understand the habitat availability for our native fish species," he said.


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