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The UAV Digest
28 minutes | Jul 16, 2021
378 UAS Incident Map
An interactive UAS incident map, an airspace coordinator collaborates with archaeologists, a drone swarm that sniffs out gas leaks, the X-56B UAV is destroyed, making drones and air taxis quiet, and AI drones that find meteorites. UAV News Explore Thousands Of FAA Drone And Unidentified Aircraft Incident Reports With Our Interactive Tool The Drive has taken FAA incident reports of UAS and unidentified aircraft and created an interactive and searchable UAS incident map. The approximately 10,400 incident reports cover the period from November of 2014 until December 2020. Find the UAS incident map at UAV Geography. (Be patient, it can load slowly.) Pax UAS Airspace Coordinators Collaborate with Local Archaeologists Historic St. Mary’s City (HSMC) is the earliest settlement in Maryland with a fort erected in 1634. Archeologists working the site considered drones to be part of their archaeological toolkit, but they didn’t have an understanding of the regulatory requirements. Pax River’s then-UAS Airspace Coordinator Air Traffic Controller 1st Class James “Cody” Green stepped in and started working with HSMC to ensure the drone operations were safe and legal. Swarm of autonomous tiny drones can localize gas leaks Researchers at the Delft University of Technology Micro Air Vehicle Lab and Harvard University have developed a swarm of tiny drones that can autonomously detect and localize gas sources in cluttered indoor environments. The bio-inspired navigation and search strategy algorithm is called “Sniffy Bug.” Video: Sniffy Bug: A Fully Autonomous Swarm of Gas-Seeking Nano Quadcopters in Cluttered Environments https://youtu.be/hj_SBSpK5qg NASA’s X-56B UAV destroyed in crash on 9 July A “flight anomaly” caused the vehicle to crash. The aircraft was being used to test ways to suppress flutter. It is not clear if other X-56B vehicles exist, or when testing will resume. Whisper Aero emerges from stealth to quiet drones and air taxis Startup Whisper Aero believes they can make drones quiet. An electric thruster would reduce the drone’s noise down to background levels that would be difficult for the human ear to hear. Whisper isn’t saying much about their thruster design. Automated drones being taught to locate fallen meteorites Less than 2% of meteorites are recovered but University of California, Davis researchers believe they can increase that percentage using AI and automated drones. These would fly in grid patterns at low altitudes over areas where they suspect meteorites have fallen. Images from the UAV would be analyzed by software that employed machine learning to differentiate meteorites from terrestrial rocks.
27 minutes | Jul 2, 2021
377 Google’s OpenSky App
Google released the new OpenSky app, collecting water samples, cellular command and control, Zipline raised additional investment, Skyborg made a second autonomous flight, integrating drones with warehouses, and an interview with Robotic Skies. UAV News Google’s Wing launches free app to help drone pilots obey US regulations The OpenSky app lets both commercial and recreational pilots in the US see where they can fly. The app is in beta but it’s based on Google maps and shows flight restrictions for the selected location. OpenSky also allows you to plan a new flight and submit a Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) request. Drone-based water sampling goes deep Reign Maker has developed a drone-based water sampling and data collection system called Nixie. The company spent two years developing a system that produces higher sampling rates and accuracy without the need for as much equipment and field personnel. The sampling attachment lowers EPA-certified bottles two feet under the water’s surface. Timestamps and GPS coordinates are associated with collected samples. The system currently supports DJI M600 and M300 RTK enterprise drone platforms. FAA Moves to Further America’s Cellular-Connected Drone Operations The FAA and Verizon’s Skyward signed a 3-year MOU to experiment with cellular-connected drones. Titled “Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)—Cellular Technologies to Support UAS Activities,” the agreement seeks to advance BVLOS, UTM, and one-to-many operations utilizing the cellular network. California Drone Operator Zipline Raises $250 Million Zipline plans to create more hubs and warehouses in Africa and invest in US market expansion. Zipline co-founder and CEO Keller Rinaudo noted that traditional supply chains broke down during the pandemic. He said “Covid has significantly accelerated all of our timelines. As more and more health systems were betting on us, we were realizing that the opportunity is bigger and we need to be making big investments.” The funding round values Zipline at $2.75 billion. Investors include Scottish investment firm Baillie Gifford, Fidelity Investments, and Singapore’s state-owned fund Temasek. Skyborg makes its second flight, this time autonomously piloting General Atomics’ Avenger drone Two months ago, the Air Force first flew the Skyborg autonomy core system (ACS) aboard the Kratos UTAP-22 Mako. Now Skyborg has autonomously flown a General Atomics MQ-20 Avenger drone. This means Skyborg ACS has flown on platforms from two different manufacturers. The flight took place during the Orange Flag exercise at Edwards Air Force Base, California, over a period of about two hours and 30 minutes. Without changes, warehouses could ground drone deliveries To allow for drone delivery service at scale, warehouses will need a place for drones to land, re-charge, and get loaded with the next package. That could mean land space, roof space, or even interior warehouse space. Warehouse operations will need to shift from pallet loading to single-item loading. Interview Reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari talks with Katria Passi from Robotic Skies, a company that performs aviation-grade drone maintenance through a global network of over 225 service centers across 50 countries.
41 minutes | Jun 12, 2021
376 Open Source Drones
Open source drones offer many opportunities, using drones to make a quiet place, US Army trials ground-vehicle drone launches, a Canadian drone membership program, New York law enforcement drones, tern tracking with a Phantom, cleaning up dog poop, a flapping wing UAV, some DJI drones are now government approved, air-to-air refueling. UAV News DroneAnalyst: The Rise of Open Source Drones DroneAnalyst David Benowitz says “There are two key elements driving the push for open-source drones…” particularly in America: “geopolitical tensions between the US and China and the search for a true DJI competitor.” According to DroneAnalyst estimates, drones built around open source technologies account for 16% of all commercial drones sold, but more than 60% of all non-DJI drones sold. See also, What Will DoD Do About Open Source Drones? Here’s a Cool Idea: Sony Patents Drones for Noise Cancellation Under this patent, networked drones with speakers could be used to cancel ambient noise in real-time, creating a “mobile quiet-zone.” US Army Trials Launching Drones From Ultra-Light Vehicles Ground vehicles such as the DAGOR ultra-light tactical vehicle could become a mobile base to launch drones, such as the ALTIUS-600. The Future Vertical Lift Cross-Functional Team’s Twitter account posted a photo stating, “#EDGE21 the ultimate soldier touch point.” Edge 21 is the Experimental Demonstration Gateway Exercise. COPA Introduces Drone Membership Options – Bridging Gap between Traditional and Remote Aviation COPA, the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association, has a membership option for the remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) community. Benefits include updates on regulations and issues, education and safety programs, insurance coverage for recreational and commercial RPAS pilots, training discounts, and an RPAS scholarship. AOPA also has a drone membership program. Use of drones, robotic dog in NY police intervention spark debate Federal agents flew a UAV into a Poughkeepsie, NY apartment while executing a search warrant. Video from the drone showed the suspect throwing a handgun out of a window. He was arrested and booked on illegal possession of a firearm. NYC lawyer Albert Fox Cahn said, “Flying drones in public air space is invasive enough, but using it inside of a person’s home is completely unconstitutional.” We used drones to track the feeding habits of seabirds – new research Foraging habits of seabirds were examined in a new study, A bird’s-eye view on turbulence: seabird foraging associations with evolving surface flow features. Feeding in turbulent water is difficult to study, but a DJI Phantom 3 quadcopter was able to track three species of surface-foraging terns and use particle image velocimetry to map the water vortices and upwellings. The Dog Poodemic Is Here. Call in the Dung-Hunting Drones The lockdown gave people an excuse to buy that puppy they always wanted, but owners are hanging the bags of poo in trees and on bushes. Using image recognition, drones might be useful for finding the bags and notifying authorities. (No, we didn’t make this up.) Bird-like robots could assist in medical emergencies and hunt down drones Uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) can draw their inspiration from the biological world. The GRIFFIN project from the University of Seville is seeking to create prototypes of highly autonomous, ultra-lightweight robot birds. They would minimise energy in flight by soaring and flapping. The government’s been worried about DJI drones — the Pentagon now says they’re safe The Pentagon released a report that says two “Government Edition” DJI drones are “recommended for use by government entities.” In 2020, the Department of the Interior grounded all its drones. The government has examined some older model drones and didn’t find any malicious code. Whoa, the US Navy is now using drones to refuel its jets mid-flight A Boeing MQ-25 Stingray carrying 500 pounds of fuel transferred 325 pounds to an F/A-18 Super Hornet in midair, with as little as 20 feet of separation. UAV Video of the Week FPV racing drone chases kiteboarder in this adrenaline-pumping video from Spain Video: Big Air Kitesurfing + FPV Racing Drone https://youtu.be/QIu1LDIOTI4
42 minutes | Jun 4, 2021
We talk with MissionGO about the unique challenges of human organ delivery with UAS and the benefits to the medical community. MissionGo is developing their own aircraft that is specialized to the requirements of this medical cargo, and their team includes a diverse group of individuals with hardware, software, and even regulatory experience. Guests Frank Paskiewicz is Executive Vice President of Cargo Operations at MissionGO. He leads aircraft certification and manufacturing, FAA regulatory consulting services, UAS integration strategies, and air cargo operations. This includes running MissionGO’s cargo operations and supporting UAS client FAA certification programs. Frank also leads the development of products and services for MissionGO’s air cargo operations, including research studies, airspace analysis, and flight activities. Ryan Henderson is Lead Pilot at MissionGo. His responsibilities include overseeing all flight operations, managing pilot and crew currency and qualifications, managing all SOP’s/Instructions, directing all Operation Readiness Reviews, curriculum creation and facilitation, and maintaining all UAS records. Ryan is an airspace analysis expert and has been called upon multiple times for Certificates of Waiver or Authorization (COA) and Part 107 Waivers. Correction: Dr. Joseph R. Scalea, MD is a Multi-Organ Transplant Surgeon at the University of Maryland Medical Center. In this episode, the doctor was inadvertently associated with Hopkins.
39 minutes | May 14, 2021
374 Drone Soccer
Get ready for drone soccer! Also, a heavy lift unmanned rotorcraft, David get’s to say “attritable” again, making a drone invisible, a drone ground station for the military, the sound of the Mars helicopter, drones and avigation easements, flinging drones off an aircraft carrier, and Chicago’s secret drone program. UAV News Colorado to host nation’s ﬁrst ‘drone soccer’ tournaments In this educational “e-sport” from United States Drone Soccer, participants learn to build, program, fly, and repair drones. The racing drones are surrounded by plastic exoskeletons and the game is played in a netted arena. Each team tries to fly their drones into the opponent’s hoop. They keep the other team from doing the same by blocking and bumping the drones. In March 2021, the Academy of Model Aeronautics recognized U.S. Drone Soccer as an authorized STE(A)M program. Flight Testing Soon for Upgraded Marine Corps K-MAX UAS First flight of the heavy-lift K-MAX Titan unmanned rotorcraft was conducted by Kaman Air Vehicles. Two Marine Corps K-MAX aircraft are being upgraded with the K-MAX Titan unmanned system and the sensor-based autonomy suite from Near Earth Autonomy. Skyborg autonomy ‘brain’ flies for first time aboard Kratos UTAP-22 UAV In a 2h 10min test flight April 29, 2021, the US Air Force’s Skyborg autonomy core system flew aboard a Kratos UTAP-22 Mako tactical UAV at Tyndall AFB in Florida. This was the first time the autonomy core has flown Kratos Mako UAV. This represented “Milestone 1” of the ongoing “Autonomous Attritable Aircraft Experimentation” campaign. Another 360-degree ‘invisible’ drone hits the market Current 360-degree cameras use two lenses to capture the entire world view but put one on a drone and you get the drone in the video. Now NewBeeDrone uses the Insta360 ONE R camera in its Invisi360 drone. You provide the camera and mate it with the Invisi360 and you’ve got 360-degree video without the drone. Video: Introducing Invisi360 https://youtu.be/bbq2QtVw8u0 Portable drone hangar gets military certification The Easy Aerial Easy Guard ground station was certified to MIL-STD 810G. The station looks like the familiar Pelican case and allows a drone system to take off, land, and charge in the field. The system is mobile and easily deployable. The Easy Guard has an automated roof opening and closing system, can be deployed from a pickup truck traveling up to 25 miles per hour, and has sensors and external cameras for situational awareness. NASA’s Perseverance Rover Captures First Video and Audio Clips Of Ingenuity Helicopter On Mars NASA’s Perseverance Rover recorded the sound of the Ingenuity helicopter as it flew on Mars. Video: NASA’s Perseverance Rover Hears Ingenuity Mars Helicopter in Flight https://youtu.be/y5niGi4k9vQ No “Drone Toll Lanes”: AUVSI Speaks Out Over Avigation Easements According to USLegal.com, an avigation easement is a right of overflight in the airspace above or in the vicinity of a particular property. It includes the right to create noise or other effects as may result from the lawful operation of aircraft as well as the right to remove any obstructions to such overflight. AUVSI worries that avigation easements could be used to create “toll lanes” for drones. Behold The Turkish Navy’s Drone Aircraft Carrier The Turkish navy is modifying a new assault ship to include a winch-and-pulley system and a bow ramp. This would allow fixed-wing drones to easily launch from the ship. The illustration of the carrier shows Baykar TB-2/3 drones on the deck. CPD launched secret drone program with off-the-books cash The Sun-Times reports that last summer, the Chicago Police Department started a drone program without telling the public. The Electronic & Technical Support Unit (Counter-terrorism) funded this with off-budget cash. Training was underway in June 2020 and at the time the director of police research and development, wrote in an email, “Some of the Drone uses will be for missing persons, crime scene photos, and terrorist-related issues.” This comes to light because a transparency nonprofit called Distributed Denial of Secrets leaked hacked city emails. UAV Video of the Week Epic Footage From Drone Getting Wrecked By A Tornado The drone didn’t survive, but some video did. Video: 05-02-2021 Yazoo City, MS – Damaging Tornado Close Range Drone https://youtu.be/EQBQ9PMw1x4 Mentioned FAA Safety Briefing – Sharing the Skies Safely | May/June 2021 [PDF] Feature articles include: Sharing the Skies Safely: An Overview of Unmanned Traffic Management Rolling Out the Rules: New Drone Rules Advance the Vision Don’t Fear the Drone!: Let’s Reap the Benefits that Drones Have to Offer Engaging with Academia: How the FAA is Helping Prepare Tomorrow’s UAS Workforce You’re Not Alone with Your Drone: Building Safer Skies Through Education
34 minutes | May 7, 2021
373 ASRS for UAS Operators
The NASA/FAA ASRS safety reporting system is now extended to UAS operators. Also, an autonomy Level 4 drone, learning from dragonflies, a triple-drop drone, a possible ADS-B solution for UAVs, getting your groceries delivered in Ohio, and a virtual UAS Symposium. UAV News FAA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) now available for drones NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) collects confidential information about near misses from pilots and others. The data is used by the FAA to make aviation safer while maintaining confidentiality to maximize the number of incidents reported. Aviation Safety Reporting Program (ASRP) for UAS describes how “NASA’s ASRS has a reporting form tailored to the UAS community. This will ensure that the safety data that is collected will result in actionable information for the entire aviation community.” Exyn Technologies’ drones achieve autonomy milestone with on-board mapping Drones from Exyn Technologies have reached “Level 4A” autonomy and can explore a designated 3D area without a remote operator and operate without GPS. All spatial and mapping computations are done onboard, and unlike Level 3 autonomy, they do not require an operator who can take over if required. The company says, “We developed an autonomous system that can take you into dark, dirty, dangerous environments. Place it at the edge of danger and send it off to collect the information that you need. Oftentimes the information you need is beyond the line of sight, both in terms of communications as well as visual.” See The 6 Levels of Vehicle Autonomy Explained for more. Future drones likely to resemble 300-million-year-old flying machine Researchers at the University of South Australia designed and tested components of a dragonfly-inspired drone. They describe the dragonfly as the “apex insect flyer” because of its flying abilities. The team modelled the aerodynamic properties of the dragonfly’s body, studied dragonfly wing geometry of 75 species, and created 3D images of the wings. The researchers believe drones that mimic dragonflies could perform many tasks, such as collecting and delivering unbalanced loads, safely operating near people, exploring delicate natural environments, and executing long surveillance missions. Published in the journal Drones, 27 March 2021: Biomimetic Drones Inspired by Dragonflies Will Require a Systems Based Approach and Insights from Biology Wingcopter debuts a triple-drop drone to create ‘logistical highways in the sky’ Wingcopter is a German startup that calls their Wingcopter 198 “the world’s first triple-drop delivery drone.” It’s fully autonomous, fixed-wing, BVLOS, and one operator can manage up to 10 Wingcopter 198s simultaneously. It has quick-swap batteries and can deliver up to 3 packages in a single flight. The company is currently pursuing certification from the FAA that would allow it to operate commercial flights in the United States. New Patent Integrates UAS into National Airspace Systems, Enables ADS-B Inert & Alert Capability The patent from uAvionix (U.S. Patent 10,991,260) is titled “Intelligent Non-Disruptive ADS-B Integration for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).” The uAvionix patent claims to allow UAS to use ADS-B in a way that minimizes spectrum use. Under the Inert and Alert Concept, the UAS ADS-B solution stays “inert” or in a “listen” mode that is not broadcasting. However, when a safety-critical event takes place, the UAV begins broadcasting its ADS-B position as an “alert.” Once the conditions are safe again, the system reverts to its “inert” state. Kroger to Deliver Groceries Via Autonomous Drones in Ohio Forget something for your picnic or barbeque? Drones can help you out in Centerville Supermarket chain Kroger wants to deliver groceries with autonomous drones, and they are starting a pilot program in Centerville, Ohio, south of Dayton using drones from Drone Express. Test flights near the Kroger Marketplace in Centerville will be managed by licensed Drone Express pilots from an on-site trailer, with additional off-site monitoring. Customer deliveries should begin within a few months and a second pilot is scheduled to start this summer at a Ralphs store in California. FAA To Host Second Virtual UAS Symposium The FAA has announced that it will be hosting a two-part virtual UAS/drone symposium in 2021. What the FAA is calling Episode III is scheduled for June 9-10. Episode IV is September 14-15. The FAA notes, “Each episode will feature keynote presentations, expert panels, guided and non-guided networking discussions, one-on-one meetings with experts in the FAA UAS Support Center, and informational sessions with live Q&A.” Episode III in June will focus on international operations, STEM, public safety operations, recreational drone operations and commercial drone operations. Episode IV will address UAS traffic management, technology, the FAA BEYOND program, advanced air mobility and international operations. The symposium is co-hosted by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI). FAA UAS Symposium program Commercial UAV Expo Americas, September 7-9, Las Vegas Showcasing the global commercial UAV industry, with a special focus on solutions in the Americas region and urban air mobility. Collocated with the Urban Air Mobility Summit. Commercial UAV Expo Europe, December 7-9 Amsterdam In its third year, this show co-locates with Amsterdam Drone Week for 2021. This leading pan-European conference and expo is focused on commercial drones. Video of the Week: The makers of that Bryant Lake Bowl drone video now have a Mall of America version Rally Studios of Minneapolis released a first-person video from the Mall of America and its indoor theme park, Nickelodeon Universe. Video: The Quack Attack is Back https://youtu.be/oIoBwLK8JqM
41 minutes | Apr 30, 2021
372 Great Lakes Drone Company
An interview with Great Lakes Drone Company, producers of drone light shows. Also, first responders and augmented reality controlled UAVs, drones that locate trash, Wing drone delivery expansion plans, QR codes in the nighttime sky, and a drone that launches a drone. Great Lakes Drone Company drone show. Guests We talk with Ashley Munson and Lindsay Nitz from Great Lakes Drone Company about producing drone light shows. Recorded at the 2021 Sun ‘n Fun Aerospace Expo on April 17, 2021. UAV News New Headsets Let Police Control Drone Swarms ‘Hands Free’ Researchers want to support firefighters in Montréal during fire-related emergencies. Their solution is a swarm of drones and an augmented reality headset. They designed an AR interface using the Magic Leap 1 headset that can manage the UAVs in stressful situations. Drones for the Environment: Battling Trash in San Francisco Estuaries California researchers are using imagery from unmodified DJI Mavic 2 Pro drones and AI to find plastics and trash along the banks of creeks and streams. The idea is to collect the rubbish before it washes into the bay or the ocean. Alphabet unit Wing seeks FAA OK to help expand U.S. drone operations Wing wants to grow its drone delivery service beyond the Christiansburg, Virginia residents that are now supported. Wing is petitioning the FAA to consolidate remote pilot operations from local facilities “to regional operations facilities that are capable of safely controlling a larger number of aircraft simultaneously.” They also want to use a derivative version of the drones and change the operator line check requirement to every 12 months instead of every three months. The FAA says they’ll accept public comments on the petition before making a decision. The future of advertising is here, and it’s a giant QR code formed by drones flying over Shanghai Chinese video sharing and streaming site Bilibili created a large nighttime drone display that included a QR code in the sky using 1,500 drones. This was part of a light show celebrating a video game anniversary. Bilibili posted a video with the entire performance: Video: Princess Connect! Re:Dive drone show https://youtu.be/c5vVFYPCN94 Valkyrie drone launches even smaller drone from inside payload bay A Kratos XQ-58A Valkyrie experimental “attritable” drone successfully released an ALTIUS-600 autonomous drone. The ALTIUS-600 is a small tube-launched drone made by Area-I and it was released from the Valkyrie internal weapons bay. The XQ-58A Valkyrie is designed and built by Kratos for the USAF Low-Cost Attritable Strike Demonstrator program. The ALTIUS-600 is part of the ALTIUS family of autonomous UAS that can be launched from the air, sea, and ground from systems like the Common Launch Tube (CLT), Pneumatically Integrated Launch System (PILS), and other launch systems.
36 minutes | Apr 16, 2021
371 LiDAR Mapping with UAVs
LiDAR Specialist Lukas Fraser Lukas Fraser is a LiDAR Specialist working in the Geospatial Group at NV5. He creates engineering-grade 3D mapping deliverables from UAV LiDAR and imagery, and specializes in topographic and topo-bathymetric LiDAR data collection, processing, analysis, and product development. Lukas turns raw datasets into useful information such as AutoCAD drawings and surfaces, GIS databases, or online interactive web maps. He’s a graduate of the Geodesy and Geomatics Engineering program at the University of New Brunswick. Lukas describes how UAVs with the sensors now available are changing data collection and making applications possible that would have been difficult previously. Lukas explains how LiDAR works and some of the key applications. He talks about the process to collect LiDAR and image data with UAVs that meet accuracy standards, how that data is analyzed, and then how products are created that the client can use to get value from the project. Imagery from a UAV can result in RGB, thermal, multispectral, or hyperspectral products. LiDAR data can be used for topographic and topo-bathymetric products. Using UAVs for applications like these is an emerging capability, and just one more example of how drones are changing commercial activity.
25 minutes | Apr 2, 2021
369 A Rescue Drone That Talks
A rescue drone with 2-way voice radio capability, using trained bees and drones to find landmines, telehealth drones that visit your home, quadcopters that work together to deliver large packages, and delivering lifejackets for water rescues. UAV News Two Way Radio for Drones Means Rescuers Can Hear a Cry for Help A rescue drone can be used to find you, but what if you could talk back to the rescue drone? Dotterel Technologies has a 2-way radio solution that could aid in search and rescue. This would allow a conversation with the person being searched for, or even the ability to listen for a cry for help to locate someone. A highly directional microphone array and real-time processor make this possible. Video: Dotterel Aerial Audio – World’s First UAV with Two-Way Communication https://youtu.be/vQsaxvfpBNk How bees and drones team up to find landmines Old landmines are a serious problem in some areas of the world. According to Landmine Monitor, 6,897 people were killed or injured by mines and explosive remnants of war in 2018. There are an estimated 80,000 landmines in Bosnia and Herzegovina and about 30,000 in Croatia. The mines are difficult to find, however, bees can be trained to detect the scent of the explosives with their antennae. Now a team from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia have found a way to use drones to capture video of the bees that can be analyzed to indicate where landmines may be hidden in the ground. New UC telehealth drone makes house calls Telehealth has grown tremendously during the pandemic. But not everybody has the Internet. Now four Inventors from three colleges at the University of Cincinnati have collaborated to develop a semi-autonomous prototype drone that can be sent to people’s homes. The small quadcopters use navigational algorithms developed by UC engineers to maneuver inside a home. Control System Helps Several Drones Team Up to Deliver Heavy Packages A Georgia Tech Indoor Flight Lab is using multiple drones to lift a heavy package. A control algorithm directs a team of small drones. They measure thrust and altitude to estimate the weight of the package and could even be sent to your location to pick up a large package. The demonstration used four drones, but the control algorithm isn’t limited to that number. This solution might be better than a fleet of drones of different sizes and lift capacity. In many ways, controlling a group of connected drones is more difficult than controlling a swarm of robots that fly independently. Video: Small drones work together to lift and deliver packages https://youtu.be/AxMlvqJjPXw Sheriff drones can now deliver lifejackets during water rescues The San Mateo County Sheriff’s office announced they can deliver lifejackets to swimmers in need. A small quadcopter carries the lifejacket on a short tether and a button on the controller lets the officer drop the life jacket. The drone remains in the air some distance above the swimmer. This is part of their Water Safety Campaign. Video on Instagram. UAV Video of the Week Drone captures images of a reindeer ‘cyclone’ The video shows reindeer circling in a protective group with the fawns in the center. For more see Reindeer Cyclones Are Real, and You Definitely Don’t Want to Get Caught in One. Video: This drone footage shows a reindeer cyclone in all its glory https://youtu.be/HOr8I0rh0hE
39 minutes | Mar 26, 2021
368 Mesh Network Drone Delivery
AI-based mesh network drone delivery, Navy swarmed by drones, Amazon double-coupon deal, attritable Bell UAV, first amendment drone case, target drone on the beach, drones replace fireworks.
32 minutes | Mar 19, 2021
367 Remote ID Lawsuit Filed
A Remote ID lawsuit against the FAA rules, EASA drone incident manual for European airports, MIT insect-inspired drones, Erickson’s optionally-piloted Air Crane, another spectacular video of the week.
29 minutes | Mar 12, 2021
366 American Security Drone Act of 2021
American Security Drone Act of 2021 incorporates drone detection and mitigation systems, RFI released for MQ-9 Reaper replacement, one drone is on Mars and another planned for Titan, Choctaw Nation partners with FAA, US drone registrations plummet.
33 minutes | Mar 5, 2021
365 Remote Identification Implications
Remote Identification for different stakeholders, Speed Racer revealed, drones for beginners, wet drones in Scotland, dolphins in New Zealand, Skyborg is coming, rogue drone detection and mitigation.
32 minutes | Feb 26, 2021
364 The Recreational Drone Test
The recreational drone test, Ingenuity helicopter on Mars, the dot-com crash and the eVTOL market, a Skunk Works “Speed Racer,” Naval resupply with autonomous UAS, a new animated drone show record.
30 minutes | Feb 19, 2021
363 DJI FPV Drone
DJI’s new FPV drone, Super Bowl drone incursions, Major League Baseball drone incursions, drones at the Daytona 500, and UAS given to law enforcement.
30 minutes | Feb 12, 2021
362 United eVTOL
United Airlines plans to provide eVTOL service, hydrogen transportation for fuel cell UAVs, flying an uncrewed aircraft through a hurricane, drones meet law enforcement and privacy, drones for STEM.
29 minutes | Feb 5, 2021
361 Urban Airports for Drones
Urban airports for drones as a service, FAA UTM transparency, a new transportation secretary, drones that self-monitor airworthiness, domestic actions against Chinese drones, and the Superbowl no-fly zone.
28 minutes | Jan 29, 2021
360 Mars Helicopter Ingenuity
Mars Helicopter Ingenuity travels to the Red Planet, UK Defence innovation criticized, Black Swift and GPS-denied navigation, online drone education, unmanned loyal wingman for the UK, Coke and Coffee drone promotion, and researching the impact of drones on ducks.
31 minutes | Jan 22, 2021
359 Smart Drone Mailbox
Smart drone mailbox, FAA waiver for automated drones, Quantum networks with unmanned aircraft, precision infrastructure inspection, using a drone to contact rescuers, keeping a 3-rotor quadcopter from crashing, air taxi trials coming to Paris.
31 minutes | Jan 15, 2021
358 Insitu Lawsuit
Boeing settles the Insitu lawsuit, Intel neuromorphic chips in drones, betting on drone races, connected drone delivery from Verizon, UPS, and Skyward, new drones from Cadillac, Sony, and Autel Robotics.
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