Humanitarian groups in Laos may soon have help clearing munitions from the Vietnam War
[D]rones can also help war-torn countries recover, argued Ryan Baker, CEO of drone maker Arch Aerial, at a SXSW Interactive talk yesterday. His company hopes to use its drones to identify locations that are likely to be riddled with unexploded bombs from past wars.
Baker wants to start with Laos, which bears the terrible distinction of being the most heavily bombed nation ever: During the height of the Vietnam War, the country was pounded with about 2 million tons of ordnance. And Laotians today are still suffering the effects of that bombardment, as unexploded shells and landmines still litter the landscape.
The proposed rules are surprisingly reasonable, but there are things that need work
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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.”
A quadcopter that fits in the palm of your hand. Appearing like a prop out of a Honey, I Shrunk the Kids/Star Wars mashup, the SKEYE's design takes cues from its larger brethren—including the HD camera-toting micro ZANO that recently caught the attention of amateur pilots and fledgling surveillance techs at CES. With three flight settings (expert, intermediate and thankfully an ultra-stable beginner mode) users can test their flight skills in varying environments with reduced fear of crashing due to the SKEYE's unprecedented size.
Vision and ultrasonic sensors let this drone get up close and personal with anything at all
eXom flies "100% autonomously, without being remotely controlled and without the use of GPS. It is using its onboard vision and ultrasonic proximity sensors to stabilise, hold and correct its position, while the artificial intelligence built into its autopilot enables it to execute pre-programmed movements in sync with the music."
Instead of fumbling with stick mounts the next time you try to take a solo photo of yourself, perhaps you need a flying camera “drone” to get it done. Meet Nixie, a concept of “the first wearable camera that can fly”, offering users a hands-free photo-taking experience.
With a flick of your wrist, Nixie, which looks like a tiny drone, detaches itself from your wristband and flies away “past your arms’ reach” to snap your photo before returning to your wrist.
Epic is a word that gets thrown around way too often, but in the case of Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests it is justified. Yesterday, Facebook user "Nero Chan" captured on camera 100,000 people standing up against China for their right to a representative government. His edited footage on Facebook already has over 800,000 views, and a longer, music-free version on Youtube has more than 225,000 views.
Given that civilian drones will soon occupy our skies, I believe there is an urgency for people to investigate the complexities of their potential impact on our lives. As a research, design and innovation company, at Superflux we not only prototype and build applications. We also design ways to translate our research and understanding into tangible and experiential visions that create visceral connections with how these technologies might touch our lives in the near future.
For the past few months we have been doing just that. Supported by the prestigious Grants for the Arts Award, we have been getting under the hood of this technology, to understand how it works and where its true potential might lie. The project is called ‘The Drone Aviary’, where we use the word “drone” to talk about a machine that has a certain amount of agency for decision-making. And one that can affect larger systems without human intervention or even observation.
In the coming months, our ambition is for these themes to find form in a large-scale interactive installation. Ten specially designed and programmed drones will inhabit a space in the heart of the city, moving within feet of visitors, bringing them into direct interaction with these flying robotic machines. At once a breath-taking spectacle and a provocation, it is our ambition to create a visceral connection with these new species of urban anima. They will soon become part of our city's ecosystem, roaming the skies, sniffing data and performing tasks with increasing autonomy.
The FAA is trying to crack down on consumer drones, but it’s on shaky legal ground. Three new lawsuits from business owners, universities and the Academy of Model Aeronautics highlight its tenuous position.
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n administrative judge has already overturned the FAA’s attempt to fine a photographer $10,000, citing the agency’s lack of legal authority to impose it. The FAA’s June “guidelines” appear to suffer from the same problem — the agency issued them without the backing of a formal rule-making process.
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Meanwhile, stories about drones — good and bad — continue to be popular news items. This summer, for instance, a drone operator was hailed as a hero for using his drone to help a search and rescue team locate a missing 82-year-old man. Less popular was a tourist who crashed his drone into an iconic hot spring in Yellowstone National Park, and then asked to retrieve it.
The routine use of drones by the US to kill alleged terrorists offshore may be creating “a slippery slope leading to continual or wider wars” and is increasingly inconsistent with the rule of law, according to a major new report, produced by the Stimson Centre, a think-tank in Washington.
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The report recommends that the US conduct a rigorous cost-benefit review of the use of drone strikes and also increase the transparency surrounding them.
avvy business executives are always looking for opportunities to reduce costs, mitigate safety risks, boost production and improve competitiveness. Increasingly, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)—also known as drones—are becoming an attractive technology to help achieve these goals. Successfully deployed in limited commercial settings during the past few years, UAVs have shown early signs of strong business value in several applications. For example, BP conducted UAV pipeline inspection tests in 2012 in Alaska; Royal Dutch Shell Plc has tested unmanned aircraft for land surveying; and Amazon has announced Amazon Prime Air as a way to optimize package delivery. UAVs have the potential to alter emergency response, food production, manufacturing and production facility inspections, and more. Overall, these examples demonstrate how autonomous UAVs will extend and amplify what humans are already doing by adding remote sensing, actuation and predictive tasks.
Free speech, meet the quadcopter. January 12, 2015 CNN announced Monday it has come to an agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration: The news network will be allowed to test drone systems for news-gathering. "Our aim is to get beyond hobby-grade equipment and to establish what options are available and workable to produce high-quality video journalism using various types of UAVs and camera setups," CNN Senior Vice President David Vigilante, said in a press release.
Is it a bird? It is a plane? No it’s a bird-shaped drone called Bionic Bird. This new mechanical bird, due to land this December, will be app controlled, using a Bluetooth 4.0 link to support 100 meters of remote controlled flight from your smartphone or tablet.
"Cirque du Soleil, ETH Zurich, and Verity Studios have partnered to develop a short film featuring 10 quadcopters in a flying dance performance. The collaboration resulted in a unique, interactive choreography where humans and drones move in sync. Precise computer control allows for a large performance and movement vocabulary of the quadcopters and opens the door to many more applications in the future."
The AirDog is a quadcopter with rotor-arms that fold away for easy storage when it is not in use. It's said to be fully autonomous, needing no remote control in order to fly. Users can input the basic flight settings using the device's "AirLeash," a dedicated beacon for the AirDog that's worn on the wrist or helmet and is tracked by the drone.
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.
I noticed this on story on the front page of my local newspaper.
The Drone Graffiti works are interesting as a thought experiment. It plays with what it means to create art in an age of advanced robotics and automation, and it extends the artist’s reach to larger canvases that most taggers can't easily tackle. Visually, however, the paintings aren’t much to look at. With random lines and colors rather than beautiful cohesive artworks, it’s clear that drones aren’t going to replace muralists or street artists anytime soon.
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