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.
Bolivian inventor makes drones out of recycled materials and thinks these inexpensive drones would make the technology available to the public in Bolivia and be used for aerial crop management and connecting isolated communities to the Internet.
Could drones built from e-waste make a difference in the slums?
The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, the trade group that represents producers and users of drones and other robotic equipment, predicts that 80% of the commercial market for drones will eventually be for agricultural uses. Once the Federal Aviation Administration establishes guidelines for commercial use, the drone industry said it expects more than 100,000 jobs to be created and nearly half a billion in tax revenue to be generated collectively by 2025, much of it from agriculture. Iowa, the country's largest corn and second-biggest soybean grower, could see 1,200 more jobs and an economic impact topping $950 million in the next decade.
. . . .
Brent Johnson, a corn and soybean farmer in Calhoun County in central Iowa, purchased a drone in 2013 for $30,000 that is already paying dividends on his 900-acre farm. He's used the aircraft, which covers about 80 acres an hour, to study how yields on his property are affected by changes in topography. And last growing season he identified some areas where his corn stands were not strong enough, information he's going to consider in future plantings when he decides whether to replant or avoid the acreage all together. This year he's going to scout early for any problems and use the data he collects to help determine when to sell his crops.
"I'm always looking for an advantage, looking for how I can do things better," said Johnson, who also owns a precision agriculture company.
The idea seemed ingenious: Delivering 12-packs of beer to the cold, windswept surfaces of popular ice fishing lakes — using a drone
Lakemaid Beer president Jack Supple brewed up a plan this winter to quench the beer thirst of ice fishers on central Minnesota’s Lake Mille Lacs, with retailers taking orders using GPS coordinates.
The nation’s stewards of the air are still studying how to safely bring drones into modern life, and until then, their commercial use isn’t permitted, they explained.
Supple said he understands their point. He’d scoffed — at first — when he saw reports of Amazon.com floating the idea of drone deliveries, thinking it was three sheets to the wind.
“That looked like it couldn’t possibly work. I can’t imagine them flying your shoes down the street here, in downtown Minneapolis, with all of the skyscrapers and people and trains and lamp posts,” Supple said.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Parrot's new Bebop drone is tricked out with an HD video camera, built-in GPS, an array of image-stabilizing sensors and Oculus Rift compatibility.
. . .
Flying the drone with the Oculus headset provided a unique first-person view of the piloting experience. The effort Parrot put into image stabilization really comes through, though there was some lag in the unit we tried out.
A drone journalist is suing a local police department in a case that may provide a stepping stone to broader legislation dealing with who has the right to fly drones and take video from the sky.
Pedro Rivera filed a suit against two officers of the Hartford, Conn., police department on Feb. 18 after they convinced his part-time employer, a local TV station, to suspend him for a week that began on Feb. 3. The suspension followed a department investigation into whether Rivera illegally used his drone to film the scene of a fatal accident.
Sometime in the near future, you might take a bike ride with a couple of drones–one flying in front, one in back–to protect you from nearby cars. As you ride around tight corners, the “Cyclodrone” will shine a beacon of light to warn drivers that you’re there, hosting a tiny camera to record any accidents.
The design is one of several concepts from a team at frog design that wanted to rework the current evil image of the drone. “Drones are taking a beating in the press, being characterized as spies and assassins,” says Cormac Eubanks, who developed the Cyclodrone. “At frog, we are more fascinated by the design potential at the leading edge of technology. We believe now is the time to explore how drones could be a force for good.”
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. "
Sharing your scoops to your social media accounts is a must to distribute your curated content. Not only will it drive traffic and leads through your content, but it will help show your expertise with your followers.
How to integrate my topics' content to my website?
Integrating your curated content to your website or blog will allow you to increase your website visitors’ engagement, boost SEO and acquire new visitors. By redirecting your social media traffic to your website, Scoop.it will also help you generate more qualified traffic and leads from your curation work.
Distributing your curated content through a newsletter is a great way to nurture and engage your email subscribers will developing your traffic and visibility.
Creating engaging newsletters with your curated content is really easy.