” Well now. DJI has decided to jump GoPro’s Karma event with one hell of a teaser video. The September 27th event is now promising to have hype levels for drone enthusiasts that rival the Apple events of days past. It’s damn good to be a drone nut. The technology keeps pushing the envelope and the FAA is staying reasonable. Christmas is coming early…
Oh hell yes. It beats the GoPro digital Bigfoot hunt we’ve been on. For all the rumors surrounding the DJI Mavic, I wonder if we are being led down a path where we see a multi-drone announcement. The Mavic with the rumors of ultimate portability and then a complete refresh of the Inspire line and possibly a Phantom 4 Pro.”
” Take a look at the image again. The 4K camera and gimbal are protected by a tinted spherical shell. That’s pure protection for a drone that seemingly promises a lot of speed and greater weather capability. Nice shot at GoPro, DJI.”
” It would explain a lot in the teaser video about the ability of the drone to whip through canyons and low flying under trees. The altitude it has speaks to a battery life and power that makes sense on something foldable but not necessarily destined for bargain pricing.”
” A new drone was announced today at the Interdrone conference in Las Vegas, and it’s got some pretty impressive features.
It’s called the “PowerEye Professional Cinematography Drone” – and it’s made byPowerVision, the same people who recently launched the cool-looking PowerEgg. But this product is defined less by its cool form factor – and more by its cool features.”
” Not only is that 4k camera capable of shooting regular video – it can also pick up infrared wavelengths and provide thermal imagery. This feature is useful in applications for everything from more artistic photography, through to search-and-rescue operations and even inspection of building envelopes for thermal leaks. The camera actually comes with two different lenses and two different light sensors, depending on which wavelengths the operator wants to capture. Regular 4k video with visible wavelengths? Check. Thermal? No problem – simply flick a switch and you’re good to go.”
” GoPro just announced its long-awaited (and long-delayed) flying camera platform: Karma. The folding drone comes in a backpack and features a removable stabilizer as well as a simple controller with a built-in display. It all costs $800 and will be available in a month.”
” Nick Woodman, the founder and CEO of GoPro, made a big deal out of the Karma’s portability and versatility at an announcement event on Monday. “It’s so much more than a drone,” Woodman said approximately 3,427 times. He’s not lying either.”
” The Karma itself is actually three devices: a quadcopter, a touchscreen controller, and a stabilizer that can be removed from the drone’s body and used as a steady grip. The stabilizer also attaches to existing GoPro mounts so you could strap it to your chest, go mountain-biking, and walk away with nice stable footage. (Woodman bragged about this functionality about a dozen times as well.) In terms of performance, the Karma boasts a maximum speed of 35 miles-per-hour, a range of one kilometer, and 20 minutes of flight time.”
” What seems most innovative about the Karma, however, is the controller set up. Unlike the popular DJI Phantom, you don’t need a smartphone to operate the Karma. The small-ish, clamshell-shaped controller features a touchscreen that will show you what the camera is seeing and handle all of the settings in one place. (Yuneec’s Typhoon series features a similar touchscreen setup in a much larger package.)”
” Bart Jansen, aged 37 from The Netherlands, has a hobby most people would consider weird. He has dedicated his spare time to turn dead animals into drones or remote controlled vehicles. He is famous for the dead cat drone invention.
Something tragic happened to Jansen’s cat. His cat Orville got hit by a car, and it died. Jansen decided to develop a drone using the dead cat’s body instead of burying it. He drew his inspiration from one of the Wright brothers who invented the airplane.”
” He rutted Orville’s body preserved it and made him into a custom quadcopter. Jansen did not do it alone. He sought the help of Arjen Beltman, an engineer, who helped him fly his creation. His custom creation has made headlines and now he has some more animals to show you.
Thought the dead cat drone was the last of the creepiest inventions? Think again!
After Jansen and Arjen successfully turned a cat into a quadcopter, several other projects followed and now they own Copter Company, is a Netherlands based company that produces a wide range of taxidermy animal drones.”
” Planting trees in remote forest locations is a slow, laborious process that still relies on humans with shovels to do all the work. DroneSeed, a company based in the Pacific Northwest, wants to drastically modernize that process by employing squadrons of drones to plant seeds, spray for invasive species, and monitor the tree growth process.
Forests are important for mitigating the effects of climate change, acting as carbon sinks that absorb as much as 30 percent of annual CO2 emissions. Logging can also be a means to sequester carbon, with wood products in some cases a substitute for fossil-fuel heavy materials such as concrete and steel. Either way, trees need planting, and DroneSeed works with both forestry companies to reforest logged areas, and environmental NGOs to combat deforestation.”
” In the case of timber companies that work about 7 million acres in Washington, the state requires successful reforestation of 190 healthy trees planted per acre within three years after harvest. Otherwise, a forest can take 100 to 300 years to rebuild naturally to its previous state, where mature, towering trees like Douglas fir are dominant.”
” Newport Beach, Calif.-based U.S. CAD – an architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry consultant and Autodesk Platinum Partner – has partnered with 3D Robotics (3DR) to provide building and design teams with access to Site Scan, 3DR’s enterprise drone package designed for surveying, scanning and inspections.
The Site Scan package includes a Solo drone, Sony tablet with the required mobile app and unlimited access to the 3DR cloud.”
” “ We are proud to partner with 3DR to offer our customers a fully automated, enterprise-class system like Site Scan that integrates with familiar Autodesk solutions such as Revit, Civil 3D and ReCap,” states Chris Keck, director of professional Services for U.S. CAD. “Together, we can help firms reduce operational costs, mitigate risks and make better-informed decisions when it comes to their building, infrastructure or construction project.” “
” To those of you who watched the premiere of Dancing with the Stars Season 3, you might have caught a tiny glimpse of a drone on the screen. It’s easy to miss.
What’s significantly harder to miss is that the intro of the show was shot in one continuous, two-minute clip. The footage shows all of Season 23’s Celebrity Contestants and Pro Dancers dancing to “On Top of the World” by Imagine Dragons from Los Angeles’s Griffith Observatory.”
” The drone hovered over the clearing in the wooded park on Staten Island, the thin cord that tethered it to the ground unspooling enough for it to fly above the trees.
Michael Wall, a New York City firefighter, stood on the ground below, operating the drone from a portable command center of sorts, with controls and a monitor housed in a mustard-colored case. He adjusted a joystick to point the drone’s camera toward New Jersey. A clear shot of the Bayonne Bridge filled the screen in front of him. He panned the camera over the park, sweeping the shot over the dogs that paused from their play to look up and bark, and then zoomed in for a view of the back of a white house across the street.”
” On this quiet Saturday morning, Mr. Wall was testing one of the Fire Department’s newest tools, an unmanned aircraft that would soon be deployed on the streets of New York. It will be sent out to major fires and emergencies, fire officials said, delivering high-definition images in real time to commanders as they decide how to respond.
“ It’s more situational awareness of what’s going on at the scene,” Mr. Wall, who is assigned to the department’s Command Tactical Unit, said. “It’s another view.”
Officials said they expected the drone to be put to work in the city in the coming weeks, responding to two-alarm or greater fires. Two more will be added by the end of the year.”
July 21, 2015
” A steady breeze that ruffled plants growing in the soybean field was a good sign, as North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory joined business and community leaders to break ground on the state’s first wind power project, July 14, in Elizabeth City.
Spanning farm fields in Pasquotank and Perquimans counties, the Amazon Wind Farm US East, operated by Iberdrola Renewables at Desert Wind, will be the first utility-scale wind farm in North Carolina and one of the first in the southeastern United States. The proposed facility, if fully built out, could deploy 150 wind turbines that would generate 300 megawatts (MW) of power at full capacity and provide millions of dollars in tax and landowner revenue for decades. The first phase, a 208 MW project, will feature 104 wind turbines.
“The Amazon Wind Farm takes a significant step toward diversifying North Carolina’s energy resources,” said Governor McCrory. “Bringing onshore wind production to North Carolina is part of my ‘all of the above’ energy strategy. By diversifying our energy resources, we can provide affordable, reliable and secure sources of energy that are environmentally clean and safe.”
“Breaking ground on North Carolina’s first wind farm is a perfect demonstration that getting to a competitive, clean energy future takes a team effort,” said Frank Burkhartsmeyer, Iberdrola Renewables’ U.S. chief executive officer. “A wind farm of this scale and complexity wouldn’t be possible without Governor McCrory’s leadership, community support and an exciting collaboration with Amazon Web Services.”
More than 100 people attended the groundbreaking ceremony, and guests were in a convivial mood. The evening prior,Amazon Web Services, Inc., announced it had contracted with Iberdrola Renewables to buy the energy to supply its current and future AWS Cloud data centers.
In addition to generating wind energy, the project will generate tax dollars for Pasquotank and Perquimans counties. The total of tax revenues and payments to landowners for the first phase of the project will inject more than $1.1 million into the local economy each year. About 250 construction jobs will support the 18-month building period, and 10 permanent jobs will be based at the wind farm when it is in full operation, anticipated during the fourth quarter of 2016.
“This project will deliver substantial and long-term local economic benefits,” said Wayne Harris, director of the Elizabeth City | Pasquotank County Economic Development Commission. “Not only will it be the first wind farm in the state, it will be the largest taxpayer in each of the counties when it gets built, putting money into the pockets of local working families.”
The wind farm will be located in Pasquotank and Perquimans counties, in a rural section of northeastern North Carolina near Elizabeth City and Hertford, on approximately 22,000 acres leased from more than 60 local landowners.
Amazon Web Services, Inc., an Amazon.com company, has teamed up with Iberdrola Renewables to support the construction and operation of the 208 MW first phase of the wind farm.
Construction of the first phase is slated to begin in July 2015, and it is expected that the project will reach commercial operation in the fourth quarter of 2016.
- Taxes: The project’s first phase will pay $520,000 in the first year of operation and will increase each year.
- Landowner payments: In total, the project’s first phase will pay $624,000 and will increase each year. Landowner payments and taxes for this phase of the project will inject more than $1.1 million into the local economy each year.
- Construction jobs: Approximately 250 construction jobs over the roughly 18-month construction period for the first phase.
- Permanent jobs: Approximately 10 on-site jobs in operations and maintenance of the facility
Turbines will be 2.0 MW Gamesa G114 models
- 114 meter rotor diameter = 374 feet
- 55.5 meter blade = 182 feet
- 93 meter tower = 305 feet
- With a blade pointing straight up, total height is 492 feet”
” At last weekend’s World Port Days conference, the Port of Rotterdam debuted a pair of aquatic drones to help the port operate more efficiently and cleanly. One is the Waste Shark, an autonomous vessel to gather waste from the port’s busy waters before it can be washed out to sea. The other is the Aquasmart XL, a remotely operated craft equipped with a camera, making visual inspection of infrastructure safer and more efficient.
According to Silicon Angle, The Waste Shark can gather up to 500 kilograms of waste, or 1120 pounds, before returning it to a collection point. The vessel also gathers data about water quality, and designs more efficient collection routes as it learns over time. According to Port Technology, four Waste Sharks will be tested at the Port of Rotterdam for the next six months.”
” The craft, developed by RanMarine, could help curb the mounting environmental threat of ocean waste. Last year, there were an estimated 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean, with 269,000 tons floating on the surface—and doing serious harm to ocean life.
But waste is also a problem for port operations, and RanMarine founder Richard Hardiman has said he was at least as interested in making port operations efficient as in tackling a broader environmental challenge.”
” One of the most common misconceptions I’ve heard in the drone world regarding DJI’s products: they are just meant for taking aerial photos.
While that’s true, it’s also true that a simple $500 drone can create images used for commercial purposes that can save businesses thousands of dollars. One of the most impressive use cases to me? Skycatch’s software, which autonomously creates an aerial map of any area. San Francisco-based startup Skycatch is a software that automates aerial mapping and analytics for construction, mining, energy and other use cases.”
” Prior to trying out Skycatch, I had never been involved with a fully autonomous Phantom mission. While I’ve made use of autonomous features like return-to-home or follow-me, I’ve never just tapped a button, witness the drone fly a pre-determined route and then witnessed the drone return to its starting point. With Skycatch, the only “non-autonomous” operation a human needs to do is set the drone out of the box and tap a button to start the operation.
Mapping a few blocks takes about 10 minutes. 10 minutes later, you’ll receive a memory card full of images, which you upload to Skycatch’s server and they return to you with a stitched map.”
” KC SEALOCK HAD not taken a standardized test since college. But here he was at 39 years old, long black beard flecked with grey, sitting in front of a computer at Jacksonville, Florida’s Herlong Air Field, with a proctor peering on from behind a glass door. He spent two hours clicking at multiple choice questions about latitudes and longitudes, Class C airspace regulations, wing load factors, and more—60 in all.
Finally, Sealock hovered his mouse hovered over the submit button. “I didn’t know if I wanted to click,” he says. When he did, the computer spat out his score: a pass. Pending a background check, Sealock is now one of the first certified commercial drone pilots in the United States.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, over 3,300 people like Sealock signed up to be the first to take the agency’s new commercial drone pilot test yesterday, when its long-awaited unmanned vehicle systems regulations went into effect. “
” The team at Freefly closed out the summer with the introduction of a brand new sport: #DroneSurfing.
Drone is: Freefly ALTA 8
Music: Powerful (feat. Ellie Goulding & Tarrus Riley) by Major Lazer“
” Sporty’s Pilot Shop and Unmanned Safety Institute (USI) will now offer two online courses, the UAS Ground School Course and the UAS Safety Awareness Course, which provide comprehensive training for individuals involved in Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).
The UAS Ground School Course is a comprehensive training program, perfect for commercial operators and pilots of larger UAS. More than 24 hours of training covers all the essential topics, including: parts of a UAS; responsible operations; concept of operations; human factors and crew resource management; identifying hazards; aeronautical decision making; and emergencies. Each segment includes a video introduction, followed by narrated slides with pictures, animations and key information. Following the lesson, assignments help apply the knowledge just learned, from reading relevant FAA documents to listening to live ATC. Then, assessments help review essential information with quizzes and essays.”