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Photo Of The Day 6.26.17

Commercial Drones Take Off On The “Dark Continent”

Africa Is Now The World’s Testing Ground For Commercial Drones

 

 

 

” The world’s first commercial drone delivery service operates from a hill almost smack dab in the middle of Rwanda. A barbed wire fence surrounds a field, a white tent, and a control tower. From here, Zipline, a San Francisco-based robotics company, delivers blood by drone to almost half of all Rwanda’s blood transfusion centers. Orders are made online, by text, phone, or WhatsApp. A technician sits in a refrigerated room where the blood—specifically red blood cells, platelets, plasma, and cryoprecipitate—are stored, communicating with his team over Slack. An order has come in for a hospital about two hours away by car. The drone delivers the package in 20 minutes.”

 

 

“ To have a proven model here first in Rwanda is amazing,” says Maggie Jim, who manages global operations and communications for Zipline. She says the company is talking with other governments in Africa, including Tanzania’s, as well as in Latin America about launching drones services there.”

 

 

 

Quartz

Photo Of The Day 6.23.17

Team Emirates New Zealand Used Drones To Improve Their Boat

The Kiwis’ Edge In America’s Cup: Drones

 

 

 

 

” Nick Bowers heard his phone ring at 5 one morning in September 2015. He struggled out of bed and answered. On the line was a boat maker from Holland with an urgent request: Could he be in Italy that night to shoot video of the A-Class World Catamaran Championships?

  Bowers, who lived in Lake Geneva, Wis., where he ran a small video production company, packed his drones and hurried to the airport in Chicago.

  Word of Bowers’s dramatic sailing footage had been spreading through the sailing world. It was gorgeous and mesmerizing.”

Image result for nick bowers team new zealand

” Bailey White, president of the United States A-Class Sailing Association, who recruited Bowers for the race in Italy, remembers his first impression. “I had never seen anyone be able to shoot the angles he was shooting,” White said. “While the boat was up in the air foiling, he was getting so low flying this drone that he was actually below the boat, so you got a sense for exactly how the boat was performing and how the sailors were doing.”

 

 

 

 

NY Times

Photo Of The Day 6.22.17

Check Out Voliro – The Omni-Directional Drone

Voliro Hexcopter Uses Rotating Nacelles to Perform Versatile Acrobatics

 

 

” Last month, we wrote about ETH Zurich’s Omnicopter, a flying cube with rotors providing thrust in lots of different directions that allow the drone to translate and rotate arbitrarily. This is very handy, for lots of different reasons, but the Omnicopter itself is rather bulky and seems destined to live out its life in a Swiss laboratory.

  A team of undergrads at ETH Zurich has taken the idea behind the Omnicopter and designed an even more versatile flying robot. Voliro offers the same kind of decoupled position and attitude control, except that instead of a cube full of rotors oriented in different directions, this drone uses rotating nacelles that can turn it from a traditional hexcopter into something much more versatile and acrobatic.”

 

 

Voliro drone

 

 

” Voliro is part of a focus project at ETH Zurich’s Autonomous Systems Lab that’s intended to give students in the last year of their undergraduate degrees “the opportunity to design a complete system from scratch,” which seems like a fantastic way of making the transition into graduate school with some practical robotics experience.

  From what we understand, Voliro is unique in that it’s trying to achieve a lot more than both full position and attitude control: The goal is to create an “amphibious robot” that can “fly, swim, and drive on the ground.” It’s not clear how the swimming bit is going to work, but the Voliro website is specific about a bunch of future improvements, including using three of the tilted rotor units as landing gear, and adding “a large sphere in the center of Voliro to make it roll omnidirectionally on the ground.””

 

 

 

IEEE Spectrum

Photo Of The Day 6.21.17

Turn Your Phantom Into A Phavic

Phavic Conversion Kit : Turn Your DJI Phantom 3 Into A DJI Mavic Like Drone

 

 

 

 

 

” Your DJI Phantom 3 can now be converted to a DJI Mavic like quadcopter with the “Phavic” conversion kit. This drone kit was covered by WeTalkUAV back in January, but the kit is now officially available. If you have a damaged Phantom 3 or if you wish to have a more stable quadcopter, then this kit is something to consider.

  The Phantom 3 Standard, Advanced, and Professional drones are all supported by the new conversion kit. The Phavic kit comes with a new body whose arms fold in like a DJI Mavic, so it is slightly more portable than the stock Phantom 3. Before you buy this kit, make sure you are willing to disassemble your Phantom 3. Also be warned that doing this conversion will void any warranty with DJI. You will need to know how to solder and follow directions because it might take a few hours to fully convert the Phantom 3.”

 

 

 

 

” The shell is about 143 grams heavier, but it is insanely durable! You don’t have to worry about getting cracks or breaking your drone because the Phavic shell is tough; it stayed in one piece even after a car ran it over. The flight time does decrease with this kit; you can expect about 15-16 minute flights with the stock battery according to a user review on YouTube. Just like with any drone, flying it aggressively will reduce the total flight time, so that may have been a factor. You can run a dual battery mod with the shell, but the batteries have also been reported to reach higher temperatures. The Phavic will also change the way the Phantom 3 flies since it is more DJI Mavic like, and you can still hand catch it. It is also quieter and more stable in flight compared to a stock Phantom.”

 

 

WeTalkUAV

 

 

Photo Of The Day 6.20.17

EU Commission Offers Comprehensive Drone Rules

Aviation: Commission Is Taking The European Drone Sector To New Heights

 

 

 

 

” The Single European Sky Air traffic management Research Joint Undertaking has today unveiled its blueprint to make drone use in low-level airspace safe, secure and environmentally friendly.

  Following a request by the European Commission, the Single European Sky Air traffic management Research Joint Undertaking – whose role is to develop the new generation European air traffic management system – has today unveiled its blueprint to make drone use in low-level airspace safe, secure and environmentally friendly. This “U-Space” covers altitudes of up to 150 metres and will pave the way for the development of a strong and dynamic EU drone services market. Registration of drones and drone operators, their e-identification and geo-fencing should be in place by 2019. Today’s vision paper is part of the Commission’s drive to deliver on its ambitious Aviation Strategy and unleash the full economic potential of drones. This requires an effective legislative framework that can foster European leadership and competitiveness, while addressing a number of legitimate concerns, the first of which is safety.”

 

 

Image result for eu drone rules

 

 

 ” EU Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc, said: “Drones mean innovation, new services for citizens, new business models and a huge potential for economic growth. We need the EU to be in the driving seat and have a safe drone services market up and running by 2019. The EU needs to take a leading role worldwide in developing the right framework for this market to flourish, by unleashing the benefits for key economic sectors.”

The paper outlines a number of basic principles. The U-Space should be:

  • Safe: safety at low altitude levels will be just as good as that for traditional manned aviation. The concept is to develop a system similar to that of Air Traffic Management for manned aviation.
  • Automated: the system will provide information for highly automated or autonomous drones to fly safely and avoid obstacles or collisions.
  • Up and running by 2019: for the basic services like registration, e-identification and geo-fencing. However, further U-Space services and their corresponding standards will need to be developed in the future.

What are the next steps?

  The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is working with Member States and industry to produce effective EU-wide safety rules that are proportionate to the risk of the operation. These rules will implement the EU’s basic aviation safety regulation which the European Parliament and the Council (i.e. the EU Member States) are expected to adopt in the coming months.

  The Commission, through the SESAR Joint Undertaking, will finance a range of drone projects, focusing on the integration of drones into the aviation system.

  Finally, an expert group will be established to act as a sounding board for the further development of European drone policy.”

 

 

European Commission

 

Photo Of The Day 6.19.17

Drones Offer Unique View Of 2017 US Open

Drones To Take To The Skies Over The 2017 U.S. Open Golf Course

 

 

 

 

” Golf fans watching the 2017 U.S. Open championship from the comfort of their home will enjoy a bird’s-eye view as Kaze Aerial drones soar over Wisconsin’s Erin Hills golf course, the site of the tournament.

  In an interview with FOX Business’ Liz Claman, Kaze Aerial President Dr. John Duesler said the magnitude of the golf course and the wind factor created challenges during their five-day shoot.”

 

Image result for Drones 2017 US Open

 

 

” “With our great team we were able to cover all 18 holes, all 18 greens and many of the beauty shots that you will see on the broadcast on FOX,” he said.

  The licensed pilot aerial video team were able to capture stunning shots from the sky, including the contour and slopes that make for a challenge for the players competing at the Erin Hills golf course.”

 

 

 

 

Fox Business

Photo Of The Day 6.16.17

6 Reasons Why Drone Delivery Is Total BS

Read More

 

 

 

 

” Retail drone delivery seems to have been on the cards for years now. But how realistic is the prospect of drones flying autonomously through the sky and dropping off parcels direct to your doorstep? 

  We’re not so sure. Here are 6 reasons why Drone Delivery is total BS.

1. ‘The Last Mile’

  One of the biggest challenges facing mainstream drone delivery is the delivery itself. Sure, you’ve managed to attach a package to a drone and fly it to its destination. But now what?

  How do you stop people from interfering with the drone and its package? How do you make sure the drone is able to deal with unexpected scenarios? How exactly does the package get from the drone to your doorstep?

  It seems inevitable that pets and people will interfere with drone deliveries, deliberately and by accident. These are problems of ‘the last mile’. “

 

 

Image result for Drone Deliveries

 

 

” And they are fundamental questions that drone delivery advocates still need to answer. So far, Amazon has been granted patents for some kind of parachute system. But we have no idea whether that remains a concept or has become reality.

  And while a parachute is all well and good, it brings another level of complexity to drone delivery. Where will the parachute be dropped? How accurate will that drop be?

  Central to all of these questions is…”

 

 

 

WeTalkUAV

Photo Of The Day 6.15.17

DroneGirl Compares: Mavic vs Spark

DJI Mavic Pro VS. Spark: Which Is Better?

 

 

 

 

” The new DJI Spark is the drone maker’s first step into lower cost, strictly consumer-targeted drones.

   With the new DJI Spark, DJI fans will be able to purchase their first drone priced at an initially cost of less than $500. There’s only one other sub-$500 DJI drone out there on the market right now; currently users can also buy the DJI Phantom 3 Standard for about $500, though it was initially priced closer to $1,000.”

 

 

 

 

” But it seems the debate is: which is better? The DJI Mavic Pro? Or the DJI Spark? Here are the specs:

 

 

 

DroneGirl

Photo Of The Day 6.14.17

Delair-Tech Uses 3G Network To Complete Record 30 Mile BVLOS Flight

Delair-Tech Sets New Record for BVLOS Flight

 

 

 

 

” French commercial drone manufacturer Delair-Tech has successfully completed a BVLOS flight of 30 miles via 3G cell network.

  Electricity transmission company RTE and Delair-Tech set a new distance record this morning when they flew a civilian drone 30 miles (50 kilometers).  Officially, the flight’s mission was to inspect RTE’s power lines and record data that will result in models of RTE’s European power grid.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

” BVLOS flight has been legal in France since 2012, and Delair-Tech’s commercial drones were designed for long endurance flight.  Today’s record-setting flight added a 3G communication network to guide the drone to the Delair-Tech solution.

  French authorities granted Delair-Tech and RTE permissions to use a specific flight corridor and perform the flight.  Two pilots at launch and two pilots at landing were used to manage the mission, although the flight was performed autopilot with the GPS data integration within the drone.”

 

 

 

DroneLife

Photo Of The Day 6.13.17

Is Airspace’s Tarantula Drone The Answer To “Rogue Drones” ?

Meet The Ultimate Drone-Catching Drone

 

 

” While the Federal Aviation Administration wrestles with how to control increasingly available commercial drones, the San Leandro-based company Airspace Systems is combating the problem directly. Airspace Systems’ “drone-hunting drones” are part of the company’s larger, complete drone security system, designed to protect against everything from commercial drone-malfunctions to potential terrorist attacks. The company talked to Forbes about the unique challenges and opportunities in the newly emerging drone security market.

  Airspace Systems was founded in 2015 by Noah Moore, Jaz Banga, and Earl Stirling, with the goal of bringing deep learning, machine vision, and drone technology together in a modern security system designed for 21st-century threats. “You are going from a 2-D security problem, which was fences and gates and doors and locks, to now a 3D problem,” says co-founder and CEO of Airspace Systems Jaz Banga. “[Drones] defeat all existing security systems because they fly over them.”

 

 

Jaz Banga displaying an Airspace Systems' drone

 

 

” Airspace Systems’ drones are built to detect, track and ultimately deter or capture enemy drones. “We actually physically intercept the drone. We don’t rely on electronic jamming,” says Banga. Comparatively, other companies in the drone security market have mostly worked on drone detection.”

 

 

Forbes

Photo Of The Day 6.12.17

Project Icarus Promotes STEM Skills For Kids Through Drone Building

Program Allows Kids To Build And Fly Drones, While Helping Them Grow In STEM Fields

 

 

 

” A new program called Project Icarus is teaching kids how to build drones, while at the same time helping them grow in STEM fields, which focus in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

  Project Icarus, launched by the Texas-based Flynoceros Racing Drones, is a workshop that not only allows kids to build drones, but also teaches them how to fix and fly them. This is different from drone kits bought at stores that don’t show users how repair them.”

 

 

drone program stem

 

 

” Although parents can buy a drone kit at a retail store, those products are sometimes cheap and can break easily after crashing. That’s where Flynoceros steps in. Drones for Project Icarus are made from the same materials that are used in high-end racing drones, and are based on open source software.

  Dani Dias’ seven-year-old daughter Ava participated in a Project Icarus workshop. Ava was able to build a drone and fly it after the $150 session.

“ She couldn’t believe it,” Dias told International Business Times about Ava’s excitement about building her drone. “She didn’t think it would be something she would be able to do or build. She said ‘Wow, really?’ and kind of didn’t believe.” “

 

 

 

Internnational Business Times

Photo Of The Day 6.9.17

Is Hydrogen The Answer To Drone Flight Longevity ?

Will Hydrogen Fuel Cells Help Drones Stay in the Air?

 

 

 

” A few months ago we published an article about the current limitations on time-in-the-air (TITA) for electric UAV’s. In that piece, we focused on three alternatives to extend the amount of time that electric drones can remain in the air performing their mission. Tethered devices, solar power and in-the-field rapid battery replacements are the three viable options that operators have today.

Today, restrictions imposed on small commercially available drones of flying times of 25 minutes or less (depending on number of rotors and/or load) are being challenged by a number of manufacturers both here in the USA, Europe and China using fuel cells.All three solutions presented considerable extensions to TITA, but have limitations associated with replacing conventional and commonly used technology with new, and in some cases, cumbersome alternatives. Now though, the energy industry seems to be getting warmer (no pun intended) to the idea of Fuel Cell Power Systems (FCPS) and the many advantages that this technology, first proposed in 1838 by William Grove, bring to the table.”

 

 

Image result for Fuel Cells for Commercial Use

 

 

 

 

” For the purpose of this article we focused on two innovators in the field of fuel cells: Protonex, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ballard Power Systems (BLDP) that is based in Massachusetts, and MMC, headquartered in the province of Shenzhen, PR China. Both of these private companies are making significant inroads in the development and commercialization of FCPS for regular use in UAVs with missions which require longer time in the air.”

 

 

 

 

 

Commercial UAV News

Photo Of The Day 6.8.17

Google/NASA’s Air Traffic Control System For Drones Gets First Test

Alphabet’s New Air Traffic Control System Steers Drones Away From Peril

 

 

 

 

” Flying a drone is easy enough. Ensuring that thousands of them flying through the same airspace don’t crash into each other, though? That’s a bit harder. Fortunately for the future of drones, Alphabet’s X laboratory has been developing its own solution.

  The vision of a sky filled with autonomous aircraft isn’t as ridiculous as it once seemed. Amazon has already made genuine deliveries using its quadcopters in the U.K., and a startup called Zipline has shown that its winged drones are able to deliver medical supplies to remote health-care centers in Rwanda. Add the prospect of surveying and infrastructure inspection aircraft to the mix, and it’s more believable than ever that drones could take off in great numbers before too long.”

 

 

 

 

” But the big hitch preventing the sky from filling with drones is making sure it happens in an orderly fashion. Because many of them will fly at relatively low altitudes inside the small footprints of cities, the chances of a collision will become rather high as numbers increase. In fact, a lack of drone traffic control is often cited as one of the biggest barriers facing the adoption of aerial delivery.”

 

 

 

MIT Technology Review

Photo Of The Day 6.7.17

Parrot Releases Limited Edition Bebop 2 & Disco

Limited Edition Parrot Bebop 2 & Parrot Disco Adventurer Packs: Explore The World From The Sky

 

disco

 

 

” Set off into the great outdoors and discover new horizons with the limited edition Parrot Bebop 2 and Parrot Disco Adventurer packs.

Both packs are tailor made for adventurers and designed to meet the demands of a new generation of explorer, equipped with lightweight, ergonomic backpacks that include all of the flying essentials. This includes:

  • Parrot Bebop 2 Adventurer: a Parrot Bebop 2 quadcopter; a Parrot Skycontroller 2 controller; one pair of Parrot Cockpitglasses FPV goggles; one battery offering 25 minutes of flight time; and the Follow Me GPS and visual tracking app
  • Parrot Disco Adventurer: a Parrot Disco fixed wing drone; a Parrot Skycontroller 2 controller; one Parrot Cockpitglasses FPV goggles; two batteries offering up to 90 minutes of flight time; the Flight Plan app, to create autonomous flights

  You’ll never miss a shot using Follow Me or Flight Plan app, which is free to download as part of the Adventurer Packs. Soar your drone over unexplored spaces and take pictures of the world around you from new heights.”

 

 

sUASnews