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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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 Map Peru's Ancient Archaeological Sites

Drones Map Peru's Ancient Archaeological Sites | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it
The unmanned aircraft used to survey Peru's archaeologists sites are much smaller and cheaper than those employed by the military.

Via Eugene Ch'ng
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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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SUSBEXPO: The first unmanned systems business conference

SUSBEXPO: The first unmanned systems business conference | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

SUSBEXPO is the first conference about unmanned systems to really focus on the growing commercial opportunities. AUVSI put on a spectacular annual show but it is predominantly military systems. 

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Businesses see oppurtunity in civilian drones, but regulations stand in the way

Businesses see oppurtunity in civilian drones, but regulations stand in the way | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

For every year that integration of drones is delayed, the U.S. economy will lose more than $10 billion in potential economic impact, or $27.6 million a day, according to the study.

 

"It's like any other technology boom — GPS, the Internet," said Melanie Hinton, spokeswoman at the trade group. "I think as soon as people start seeing the positive effects, the growth in economics, how it will help people do their jobs safer and more efficiently, that it will go mainstream."

 

Among the 50 states, experts believe, California has the most to gain in economic benefit from the opening of the national air space for drones. Washington state is second and Texas third.

 

In the first three years, according to the trade association study, the Golden State would see $2.4 billion in increased economic activity, with more than 12,000 new jobs created. Over a decade, the economic activity would increase to $14.4 billion, including more than 18,000 new jobs.

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Wildlife Margrit's curator insight, July 3, 2013 5:07 PM

These drones/UAVs are proving absolutely essential in the right to save the African rhino from sophisticated crime syndicate wildlife poachers

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Drones, Ethics, and the rising tide of U.S. Technological Imperialism

Drones, Ethics, and the rising tide of U.S. Technological Imperialism | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it
Warfare is no stranger to world history. It has become a byproduct of life itself, though is becoming less of a presence as greater activities emerge, i.e. new developing markets, scientific research, and exponentially growing technologies.

 

 U.S. anti-war activists and stockholders of Boeing have joined forces in opposition to the company’s construction of drones being used for imperialist war mongering. In their show of opposition, they pointed out not only the thousands of lives being decimated as a result of drone strikes from Yemen to Afghanistan, but also the millions of dollars being wasted in the construction of these killer drones, rather than being spent on more important things like our education system.

 

Hundreds of U.K. citizens have taken up the cause against drone warfare as well. Recently over 600 activists came together and marched in opposition to what they deemed as “drone sharing” between the U.K. and U.S. governments and military. Not to mention opposition to their own govt’s role in drone strikes throughout the ongoing war in Afghanistan.

 

B. J. Murphy
Ethical Technology
Posted: May 3, 2013

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Game of Drones

The debate over the use of drones falls into three paradigms:  legal, practical and moral. The panel hosted on Wednesday by the Bi-Partisan Policy Center (BPC) followed this pattern.


A crucial problem is lack of transparency.  The Obama administration needs to prove that what they are doing is lawful. So far they have not succeeded.  Who is making the decisions?  What are the legal standards?  Who are the targets and why?  Restricted access to White House legal memos on the drone program inhibits Congress from constructing an adequate legal framework and from conducting oversight.


No other nation has publicly agreed with our drone program.  To others, the US appears indifferent to civilian casualties. The perception of America as ruthless undermines our legitimacy as a world power.


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Laser-based UAV sensor payload for detecting beach mines to be designed by BAE Systems

Laser-based UAV sensor payload for detecting beach mines to be designed by BAE Systems | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

Electro-optics designers at the BAE Systems Spectral Solutions segment in Honolulu are developing a prototype laser-based mine- and obstacle-detection system to help Navy and Marine Corps forces avoid threats on invasion beaches.

 

BAE Systems is developing the laser sensor for mine-detection prototype under terms of a $20 million contact announced Monday from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) in Arlington, Va.

 

BAE Systems is developing an advanced prototype system to detect mines and obstacles in the near-shore waters for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. The laser-based systems will provide 24-hour capability.

ddrrnt's insight:

Would be nice if there were drones that could identify landmines and remove them from places like Laos.  Mines are horrible weapons.  Actually, imo, all weapons are horrible, which most drones, regreatably. 

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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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Our Sci-fi Future: Robotic Multicopters Follow Golphers With cameras

Our Sci-fi Future: Robotic Multicopters Follow Golphers With cameras | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

Considering the pace of golf, it’s quite possible that some day autonomous multicopters could hover above golfers and help them analyze their swing. That may seem excessive, but golf isn’t necessarily a sport for the frugal, now is it?

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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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Oregon Company to Sell Drone Defense Technology to Public

Oregon Company to Sell Drone Defense Technology to Public | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it
The company says it won't knock drones down, but will stop them from 'completing their mission.'

 

The company, called Domestic Drone Countermeasures, was founded in late February because some of its engineers see unmanned aerial vehicles—which are already being flown by law enforcement in some areas and could see wider commercial integration into American airspace by 2015—as unwanted eyes in the sky.

 

The company will sell land-based boxes that are "non-offensive, non-combative and not destructive." According to the company, "drones will not fall from the sky, but they will be unable to complete their missions."

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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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Yes, There’s Such a Thing as a Good Drone, and This Is What It Does

Yes, There’s Such a Thing as a Good Drone, and This Is What It Does | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it
Farmers in Michigan will soon be using drones to better manage their fields, and hopefully to use less water, fertilizer and herbicides.

Via Steven Putter
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Steven Putter's curator insight, September 17, 2013 5:05 AM

A hammer is a object, like all other objects, i can use a hammer to kill you or use it to build you a house, the hammer itself never contain any value or ethics, this is true off all technology.

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World's Smallest Drone Autopilot System Goes Open Source

World's Smallest Drone Autopilot System Goes Open Source | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it
The Lisa/S chip is 4 square centimeters -- about the same size as a Euro coin. But packed into this 1.9 gram chip is everything you need to autopilot an aerial drone.

 

It’s the world’s smallest drone autopilot system — over 30 grams lighter than its predecessor — according to the chip’s designers at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. And best of all, both the hardware and the software is open source, meaning anyone can copy and use it — for free.

 

“The main reason we chose open source is that we want to make it available for society,” says the project’s leader, Bart Remes. He envisions open source drone technology enabling a wider range of civilian drone applications, from agriculture to search and rescue.

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US approves drones for civilian use

US approves drones for civilian use | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued certificates for two types of unmanned aircraft for civilian use. The move is expected to lead to the first approved commercial drone operation later this summer.

 

Both the Scan Eagle and the PUMA received “restricted category type certificates”which permit aerial surveillance. Prior to the FAA’s decision, the only way the private sector could operate UAS in US airspace was by obtaining an experimental airworthiness certificate which specifically restricts commercial operations.

 

The PUMA is expected to support emergency response crews for wildlife surveillance and oil spill monitoring over the Beaufort Sea to the north of Canada and Alaska. The Scan Eagle will be used by a major energy company off the Alaskan Coast to survey ice floes and migrating whales in Arctic oil exploration areas.

 

The issuing of the certificates is seen as an important step to integrating UAS into US airspace. Both drone operations will meet the requirements of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, which includes a mandate to increase Arctic UAS commercial operations.

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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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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. 

....

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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China emerging as new force in drone warfare

China emerging as new force in drone warfare | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it
Chinese aerospace firms have developed dozens of drones. Analysts say that although China still trails the U.S.

 

"China is following the precedent set by the U.S. The thinking is that, `If the U.S. can do it, so can we. They're a big country with security interests and so are we'," said Siemon Wezeman, a senior fellow at the arms transfers program at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute in Sweden, or SIPRI. "The justification for an attack would be that Beijing too has a responsibility for the safety of its citizens. There needs to be agreement on what the limits are," he said.

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‘Skywalker’: aeronautical technology to improve maize yields in Zimbabwe

‘Skywalker’: aeronautical technology to improve maize yields in Zimbabwe | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

To improve maize yields

Skywalker is a complex aerial phenotyping platform, a remote-controlled plane provided with an advance flight system which do not require previous knowledge of aeromodelism. Spectral (visible and near infrared) reflectance and thermal imagery cameras were fitted to the wings; they allow evaluating crops’ growth, temperature and available soil water of large numbers of maize varieties in only a few minutes. This data will be used to improve the efficiency of maize breeding and speed up the development of drought and low nitrogen tolerant maize varieties for some of the poorest farmers in the world.

 

The plane ranges from 30 to 45 minutes, and can fly at over fly at over 600-meter with an average speed of 45 kilometres per hour. Take-off and landing, as well as flight plan (way, height, etc.), can be automatically programmed previously.

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NASA Flies Decommisioned Drones Over Active Volcano, Because Sure, Why Not

NASA Flies Decommisioned Drones Over Active Volcano, Because Sure, Why Not | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

NASA has found a good use for three military UAVs — in this case, Aerovironment RQ-14 Dragon Eye drones — on loan from the U.S. Marine Corps. Equipped with sensors and cameras, the drones were sent on 10 separate flights into the miasma of sulfur dioxide rising up from the crater of the volcano known as Turrialba near San Jose in Costa Rica.

 

The overall hope is that the data collected by the drones will form computer models that can help safeguard airspace systems, improve climate predictions, and minimize the dangers for those who live near volcanoes. Of course, even drones would be useless if a volcano erupted in the middle of Los Angeles.

 

Matthew Fladeland, airborne science manager at NASA’s Ames Research Center, summed things up:

 

“This project is great example of how unmanned aircraft can be used for beneficial civilian purposes — in this case for better understanding Earth system processes and the impact of volcanism on our atmosphere. By taking these retired military tools, we can very efficiently and effectively collect measurements that improve NASA satellite data and aviation safety.”

 

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Drones Light Up London Night Sky – With Star Trek Logo

Drones Light Up London Night Sky – With Star Trek Logo | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it
It’s not the Bat Signal, but if you’re a Star Trek fan, it’s even better. And if you’re a geeky Star Trek fan that’s really into cutting edge technology – that was deliberately redundant – you’re really going to love this. Just days ago the people of London were shocked to see, seemingly blinking out of nowhere, a 300-foot high Star Trek logo suspended in the dark night sky. Of course, were they anything like Spock they would have quickly concluded that the logo must have been produced by a swarm of 30 LED-carrying quadcopters.

 

And indeed they would be correct. The starlight logo was the result of a collaboration between Ars Electronic FutureLab and Ascending Technologies to promote Parmount’s “Star Trek – Into Darkness” that opens in movies theaters May 9th. The quadcopters, orSpaxels as they’re called, rose up near London’s famed Tower Bridge in the early evening hours of March 23. As pretty as the sight was, a lot of data crunching went into doing justice to the sacred emblem.

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Mayor Bloomberg says surveillance drones are inevitable in NYC: 'get used to it'

Mayor Bloomberg says surveillance drones are inevitable in NYC: 'get used to it' | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

Governmental use of unmanned surveillance drones has inspired a lot of concern about privacy, but New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg thinks the battle's already over. In a radio interview this week, Bloomberg said essentially that drones are an inevitable part of our future (and maybe our present), comparing them to the thousands of cameras already located around Manhattan. "What's the difference whether the drone is up in the air or on the building?" he asked. "We're going into a different world, uncharted... you can't keep the tide from coming in."


Striking a tone more of resignation than endorsement, Bloomberg said that our future includes more visibility and less privacy. Face recognition will be integrated into the drone surveillance, and he wondered aloud whether a drone is that much more invasive than someone standing outside your home. Bloomberg did say legislation is necessary, but warned against hasty action, saying "these are long-term, serious problems."

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FAA Grounds Local Aerial Photo Business - CBS Minnesota

FAA Grounds Local Aerial Photo Business - CBS Minnesota | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it
Charles Eide and Mike Danielson have been flying radio controlled aircraft since they little kids growing up in the same neighborhood.

 

By mounting stabilized cameras onto the bellies of the drone aircraft, Eide and Danielson can offer customers a bird’s-eye view of anything from construction sites, to city attractions, to real estate listings.

 

“It helps sell houses, which is really in my opinion a huge economic impact in the Twin Cities — helps houses move faster,” Eide said.

 

Business was booming, until a call came from the Minneapolis office of the Federal Aviation Administration. They were simply told to ground their commercial use of the aircraft. Turns out, current regulations don’t allow unmanned aircraft for commercial purposes.

 

Business was booming, until a call came from the Minneapolis office of the Federal Aviation Administration. They were simply told to ground their commercial use of the aircraft. Turns out, current regulations don’t allow unmanned aircraft for commercial purposes.

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