Rise of the Drones
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Rise of the Drones
Investigating the future of unmanned aerial vehicles.
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Six FAA Drone Testing Programs to begin in US

The FAA has selected six UAS test site operators that will allow the agency to develop research findings and operational experiences to help ensure the safe integration of UAS into the nation's airspace as we transition to a system featuring NextGen technologies and procedures.

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On December 30, 2013, the FAA announced the following six applicants had been selected to operate the UAS test sites:

University of Alaska.  The University of Alaska proposal contained a diverse set of test site range locations in seven climatic zones as well as geographic diversity with test site range locations in Hawaii and Oregon. The research plan includes the development of a set of standards for unmanned aircraft categories, state monitoring and navigation.  Alaska also plans to work on safety standards for UAS operations. State of Nevada. Nevada’s project objectives concentrate on UAS standards and operations as well as operator standards and certification requirements. The applicant’s research will also include a concentrated look at how air traffic control procedures will evolve with the introduction of UAS into the civil environment and how these aircraft will be integrated with NextGen.  Nevada’s selection contributes to geographic and climatic diversity.New York’s Griffiss International Airport.  Griffiss International plans to work on developing test and evaluation as well as verification and validation processes under FAA safety oversight. The applicant also plans to focus its research on sense and avoid capabilities for UAS and its sites will aid in researching the complexities of integrating UAS into the congested, northeast airspace.North Dakota Department of Commerce.  North Dakota plans to develop UAS airworthiness essential data and validate high reliability link technology. This applicant will also conduct human factors research. North Dakota’s application was the only one to offer a test range in the Temperate (continental) climate zone and included a variety of different airspace which will benefit multiple users.Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi.  Texas A&M plans to develop system safety requirements for UAS vehicles and operations with a goal of protocols and procedures for airworthiness testing. The selection of Texas A&M contributes to geographic and climactic diversity.Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech).  Virginia Tech plans to conduct UAS failure mode testing and identify and evaluate operational and technical risks areas. This proposal includes test site range locations in both Virginia and New Jersey.
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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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Drone learns from humans how to navigate a forest - DIY Drones

Drone learns from humans how to navigate a forest - DIY Drones | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it
From the ROS blog:
The Robotics Institute at CMU has been developing systems to learn from humans. Using a Machine Learning class of techniques called Imitation Learning the group has developed AI software for a small commercially available off-the-shelf ARdrone to autonomously fly through the dense trees for over 3.4 km in experimental runs. They are also developing methods to do longer range planning with such purely vision-guided UAVs. Such technology has a lot of potential impact for surveillance, search and rescue and allowing UAVs to safely share airspace with manned airspace.
ddrrnt's insight:

Watch the video at DIYdrones to see the drone fly through an unstructured environment. 


More re: Autopilot

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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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University uses UAVs to create 3D models of monuments | Geek.com

University uses UAVs to create 3D models of monuments | Geek.com | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

Researchers at the University of Grenada are working hard to create a 3D photography system that takes advantage of the use of unmanned aerial vehicles to render lifelike representations of famous monuments and landmarks.


The researcher’s goal in this project is to be able to automate the process of capturing and cataloging 3D models of famous monuments without any human intervention. Considering the rapid advances in both UAV and 3D technology, the chances are good that they will succeed!


Jun. 11, 2012

By: Ray Walters

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Robot to monitor volcanic eruptions - Video on NBCNews.com

Robot to monitor volcanic eruptions - Video on NBCNews.com | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

Video on msnbc.com: Japanese scientists are testing a robot that can fly over a volcano and drop a remote controlled ground vehicle to monitor eruptions. NBCNews.com's Dara Brown reports.



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Smart Aid - Defibrillator drone?

Fast Company reports:


A USA Today investigation a few years ago found that, of the 250,000 fatal cardiac arrests that occur outside of U.S. hospitals every year, up to 76,000 cases were treatable. That is, the patients would have survived if the ambulance had got there in time. A quick zap with a defibrillator was all that was needed, but many cities could not promise a response within six minutes--the standard survival window.


The normal reaction to this might be: invest in a better ambulance fleet, more call centers, and so on. But Stefen Riegebauer, a graduate student from Austria, has a different, more futuristic, idea: to build a first aid drone network that gets people and equipment to the scene more quickly.


Riegebauer has built a non-working prototype, his visualizations are pretty funky, and he says the drone technology already exists. A team at MIT recently unveiled an autonomous UVV capable of flying at 22 mph in tight spaces; Riegebauer says it would be ideal.


posted by Chris Anderson at DIYdrones 27Oct12


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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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Scientists develop swarm of ping-pong ball-sized robots

Correll and his computer science research team, including research associate Dustin Reishus and professional research assistant Nick Farrow, have developed a basic robotic building block, which he hopes to reproduce in large quantities to develop increasingly complex systems.

Correll plans to use the droplets to demonstrate self-assembly and swarm-intelligent behaviors such as pattern recognition, sensor-based motion and adaptive shape change. These behaviors could then be transferred to large swarms for water- or air-based tasks.

Correll hopes to create a design methodology for aggregating the droplets into more complex behaviors such as assembling parts of a large space telescope or an aircraft.

Machines Like Us
16 Dec 2012
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Mallee biomass research employs quadcopter

Mallee biomass research employs quadcopter | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

Researchers with the Future Farm Industries Cooperative research Centre are employing the UAV to take photos of mallee trees at their trial site in Narrogin, as part of the new Woody Crop Industries program focusing on mallee trees as a source of biomass.


CSIRO’s Richard Bennett says the images produced from the UAV will enable researchers to estimate the biomass yield from a plot of trees as well as test variables such as soil and irrigation to maximise production.


“The traditional way of doing things is to measure each tree for its length, width and height, then cut that plot down, weight it, and from that determine the ratio between a tree’s measurements and its biomass yield. With that ratio, we can determine the biomass yield for any given plot of trees that we have taken measurements for,” Mr Bennett says.


“It’s very labour intensive, requiring about two days to measure 1500 trees.


“What we do with the UAV, is take an aerial image of the plot and work out how many pixels have tree leaves in them. Once we know that number of pixels of the plot and have measured the trees, we can determine the ratio between how many pixels in an aerial shot and what amount of biomass will be produced.”


By Aaron Fernandes

06 November 2012 

sciencewa.net.au

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UAV Imaging System Produces 3D Models of Historical Monuments | Unmanned Systems Technology

UAV Imaging System Produces 3D Models of Historical Monuments | Unmanned Systems Technology | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

The multiple applications of this technology are evident, as they offer an autonomous device that in just some minutes can scan a façade with as much or a higher precision than 3D scanners. It is noteworthy that this device can get close to the object up to a few inches to obtain the smallest and unreachable details.


University uses UAVs to create 3D models of monuments | Geek.com

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Cooperative Quadrocopter Ball Throwing and Catching

Quadrocopters that can play catch with each other are providing a glimpse at the future of coordinated, autonomous drone technology.


Their creators, ETH Zurich say the copters have potential application in both the military and civilian worlds, with ever-improving technology that allows them to work as a well-coordinated team.

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Swarm Robots Cooperate with AR Drone

From the great IEEE Spectrum Automaton blog:


We’re used to thinking of robot swarms as consisting of lots and lots of similar robots working together. What we’re starting to see now, though, are swarms of heterogeneous robots, where you get different robots combining their powers to make each other more efficient and more capable. One of the first projects to really make this work was Swarmanoid, with teams of footbots and handbots and eyebots, and researchers presented a similar idea at IROS earlier this month, using an AR Drone to help a swarm of self-assembling ground robots to climb over a hill.


Posted by Chris Anderson at DIYdrones 23Oct12


video: "Spatially Targeted Communication and Self-Assembly," by Nithin Mathews, Anders Lyhne Christensen, Rehan O'Grady, and Marco Dorigo, from Universite Libre de Bruxelles and Instituto Universitario de Lisboa, was presented at IROS 2012 in Vilamoura, Portugal.

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Linux Powers Airborne Bots

Linux Powers Airborne Bots | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

Essex University researchers say they've created the world's smallest flying web server using a toy helicopter equipped with an 8-gram gumstix processor. Next up: military applications. By Kevin Poulsen.


The UltraSwarm project is an experiment in swarm intelligence and wireless cluster computing that might one day spawn military surveillance applications. In one scenario, a flock of unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, with video cameras could take in a hostile landscape from a variety of angles and process the image locally, in the sky. (...)


"We'll have a flock of helicopters; they will be autonomous individually and as a swarm, and they will be gathering and processing visual data in distributed way," says Owen Holland, project director and deputy head of the university's computer science department. (...)


In March (2005), Brooklyn-based defense contractor Atair Aerospace announced the first successful demonstration of flocking and swarming techniques in a UAV, after dropping five computer-guided Onyx parafoil gliders in an experiment funded by the U.S. Army. The company says the parafoils can be released from 35,000 feet, autonomously glide as a flock for 30 miles, then land together within 150 feet of a preprogrammed target. The system is designed to air-drop troop supplies with once-unachievable precision.


by Kevin Poulsen 01Jun05 


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