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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Google chief warns armed drones will soon be in the hands of terrorists and miniature models could be used to spy on neighbors

Google chief warns armed drones will soon be in the hands of terrorists and miniature models could be used to spy on neighbors | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

[13 Apr 2013]

The head of Google has warned drone technology proves a serious danger to global security and privacy unless an international treaty is put into place controlling the technology fast.

Eric Schmidt today said that the technology for armed unmanned planes will soon pass into the hands of terrorists posing huge security concerns across the globe. 

He also said that ever expanding drone technology is making smaller and cheaper models, including nano-drones, which could be used by nosy neighbors spying on each other in a dispute. 

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LYFT.io's curator insight, December 24, 2013 10:42 AM

Would you rather be spied on by your neighbor, or a multibillion dollar corporation?

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Robot dragonfly DelFly Explorer flies autonomously

Robot dragonfly DelFly Explorer flies autonomously | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

The DelFly Explorer is the first flapping wing Micro Air Vehicle that is able to fly with complete autonomy in unknown environments. Weighing just 20 grams, it is equipped with a 4-gram onboard stereo vision system. 


The DelFly Explorer can perform an autonomous take-off, keep its height, and avoid obstacles for as long as its battery lasts (~9 minutes). All sensing and processing is performed on board, so no human or offboard computer is in the loop.


http://www.delfly.nl/

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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.

....

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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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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The hurdles facing Amazon's Delivery Drones

The hurdles facing Amazon's Delivery Drones | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it
ddrrnt's insight:

This +DNews presentation sums up some of the concerns that may halt Jeff Bezo's vision of delivery drones from taking the skies by Sept. 2015 (the FAA's deadline to issue commercial drone regulations):

- High-crash rates and poor maneuvering
- Criminal issues such as drone hacking and theft 
- Public fears and privacy worries

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LYFT.io's curator insight, December 3, 2013 3:47 PM

Where some see hurdles facing Bezos' drone dreams, we see opportunities

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In Thailand, a Drone's Eye View of Protests

In Thailand, a Drone's Eye View of Protests | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it
For the first time, widespread use of the tiny devices give an aerial perspective on Thailand’s deep civil unrest.

 

Thailand’s news media outlets have been increasingly using small, unmanned flying gadgets that give them a bird’s-eye view of the protests in the streets of their capital. As my colleague Thomas Fuller writes, the miniature drones have circulated videos of the battles, including one between riot police outside the prime minister’s office and protesters attacking the barricades.

 

This is the first time that drones have been used so widely during protests in Thailand, which is now in the throes of its deepest civil unrest in three years.

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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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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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Multi-rotor aircraft a "revolution in aviation"

nOV. 21 - A prototype electric 'volocopter' has completed its first public test-flight in Germany. Inventors of the VC-200 say their emissions-free aircraft will one day become as ubiquitous as cars on the road. Jim Drury reports.

Reuters tells the world's stories like no one else. As the largest international multimedia news provider, Reuters provides coverage around the globe and across topics including business, financial, national, and international news. For over 160 years, Reuters has maintained its reputation for speed, accuracy, and impact while providing exclusives, incisive commentary and forward-looking analysis.

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Veterans For Peace to submit petition to ban drones

Veterans For Peace to submit petition to ban drones vtdigger.org Each of the signatories agreed with the petition statement requesting our congressional delegation to introduce or join in legislation to ban the use of armed drones by the CIA and the U.S. Military.

 

The petition presents the findings of the UK based Bureau of Investigative Journalism, published in January, 2013, which reports that in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia between 3,061 and 4,731 people have been killed by drones of which 558 to 1,126 were civilians. Four US citizens have also been killed three of whom were civilians.

 

Also included in the petition are the findings of a joint study conducted by Stanford University School of Law and the New York University Law School which concluded that drone strikes are not “surgically precise” as the government claims but, in fact, kill innocent people, terrorize civilians and facilitate the recruitment of non-state armed groups to conduct violent attacks.

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Dubai Debuts Drones For Crowd Control

Dubai Debuts Drones For Crowd Control | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it
Dubai Police announced it is now using quadrocopters with 60 minutes' flight time to monitor crowds at soccer matches.
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Vision Aerial SwitchBlade-Pro Maiden Flight (HD)

http://www.popsci.com.au/article/technology/crowdfund-collapsible-rc-tricopter

 

The three-rotor SwitchBlade, a small, collapsible drone that's already raised $32,810 on Kickstarter, is designed to compete with radially symmetric quadrotors in the realms of search and rescue, infrastructure inspection, aerial photography, research, and (of course) recreational flight. According to creators Vision Aerial, the tricopter has better balance while flying forward compared with a quadcopter; it's also easier to determine the orientation of an asymmetrical drone while in flight.

 

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1156811099/switchblade-tricopter-professional-grade-multicopt

The SwitchBlade comes in both regular and pro models. Neither include cameras or other special sensors right out of the box, but both have mounts for them. Both have on-board flight computers that keep the trirotor stable in the air; the pro's system allows for programmable missions. Radio controllers are included with each model. The regular SwitchBlade goes for $949 on Kickstarter, while the pro costs $1,549.

After years of quadrotor domination in the commercial drone market, we're excited to see new designs emerge. Watch some SwitchBlade-captured aerial views of a motocross track below.

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The Rise of Green Collar Jobs

The Rise of Green Collar Jobs | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

Tom McKinnon and Jim Sears in Colorado ... have developed a low-cost, remote control drone that takes multispectral images of farmland.

 

This technology saves farmers money because it is much less expensive than manned aircraft flights or satellite imagery while providing useful information about the health of their plots. These drones can also be fitted with infrared cameras that map the soil moisture content of the area; affording farmers the opportunity to correct dry conditions before they affect crop production.

 

You may think this technology sounds expensive, but it is actually very affordable and could be used in our own communities to monitor the health of larger, community sponsored agricultural plots.

From a DIY perspective, a drone similar to the one created by McKinnon and Sears could be made for less than $1,000. This is cutting-edge technology that is affordable on most budgets.

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United Nations’ Drones: A Sign of What’s to Come?

United Nations’ Drones: A Sign of What’s to Come? | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

While the prospect of weaponised UN drones remains remote, more worrying – and perhaps less evident –  is the idea that this deployment might augur an era of increasingly intrusive surveillance by UN bodies in the name of humanitarian good. In a June briefing to the UN Security Council, MONUSCO’s Force Commander enthusiastically promoted the use of drones in the eastern DRC and also notably endorsed a more expansive scope for surveillance by the UN, stating,

[There is] the potential to make much greater use of surveillance technology to bolster monitoring capacity, as in the context of cross-border activity. We have borders with many countries and more than 50 armed groups operating close to those borders, which they may cross, leading to broader disturbances. High-resolution imagery could be of significant use as material evidence. In a similar vein, the selective employment of signals intelligence could enable peacekeepers to stay one step ahead of those posing a threat to peace, which would undoubtedly help to mitigate the risks both to the population and to United Nations troops and personnel.”

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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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Rise of the Drones

Rise of the Drones | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

Read the story here: http://ti.me/Xn6vtB

ddrrnt's insight:

I loved seeing this cover of onTIME at the beginning of last year.

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Jellyfish-power prepares for lift-off

Drone developers are increasingly attempting to mimic the flight mechanics of birds an insects for the next generation of miniature, autonomous aircraft, but one researcher in New York, has found inspiration in the sea rather than the air. Leif Ristroph of New York University is developing a drone that replicates the pulsating motion of the jellyfish as an alternative drive system for future drones. Sharon Reich has more.

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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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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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China 'flies first stealth drone'

China 'flies first stealth drone' | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

China successfully flew a stealth drone for the first time on Thursday, state media said, citing eyewitness reports.

 

The BBC's defence correspondent Jonathan Marcus says China is joining a small elite club of nations that includes the US, Israel, France and the UK, who are pushing the boundaries of UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) technology.

 

Our correspondent says that what is clear from recent air shows and the Chinese technical press is that Beijing has developed a variety of UAVs matching virtually every category deployed by the US.

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The drones of the future won't kill, they'll take selfies

The drones of the future won't kill, they'll take selfies | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

Today, drones blow people up. In 2020, they might take the ultimate selfies.

 

Paparazzi, the selfie drone, is one of the two concepts that emerged from frog the workshop. It's a far cry from the Predator. The craft "lets you virtually stream your entire life to all of your social networks without pulling out your phone or even lifting a finger," as the designers put it. A spherical, stabilised camera shoots pics and video from the perfect vantage point, buzzing into position to account for lighting conditions and making sure it captures you from a flattering angle every time. It's the logical conclusion of our self-shot obsessed culture. It's a little bit ridiculous, but only a little bit.

 

Whether or not we'll reach the narcissistic summit of robotically optimised selfies, Paparazzi does succeed in challenging our expectations of what drones can be and what they can do. And that was very much the point of the exercise. For the workshop, frog's designers put themselves in the year 2020, trying to imagine a landscape in which which drones had become as ubiquitous as smartphones.

 

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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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The drones are coming! This is how the FAA wants to deal with flying robots

The drones are coming! This is how the FAA wants to deal with flying robots | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it
The Federal Aviation Administration has released "roadmap" explaining what needs to happen before drones can safely fly in U.S. airspace.

 

"the FAA expects as many as 7,500 commercial drones will be in the sky within the next five years, and upwards of 30,000 drones flying around within 20 years."

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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