Friday, January 20, 2017

one-time use drones for emergency delivery, biodegrade after

"The Aerial Platform Supporting Autonomous Resupply Actions (APSARA) systems are a heavy-duty cardboard gliders that can be deployed from an aircraft like a C-17 cargo plane, by the hundreds. Star Simpson, hardware developer on the project, tells us that they can then glide up to around 55 mi (88 km) away from the drop point, before circling in and making a precise landing with the cargo in tow.
'We have done tests releasing our aircraft from 1,000 ft (304 mt) and proved their ability to turn at waypoints and to land within close range of a specific location,' Simpson tells New Atlas.
Once the goods have arrived, the drones biodegrade in a matter of days."

I've read of drones being flown over difficult terrain to deliver blood to rural areas, then they fly back.  This one-way system also seems useful for delivering supplies in hard to reach areas.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

south Dakota doesn't want to register drones

"PIERRE | A measure that would clarify that drones weighing less than 55 pounds would not have to be registered with the state was moved out of the Senate Transportation Committee on Wednesday morning.
State Transportation Secretary Darin Bergquist said that although estimates indicate there are 6,000 drones in South Dakota, most of them recreational, the department doesn’t have an interest in trying to track them.
Federal regulations require that drones between 0.55 and 55 pounds be registered. That involves a fee of $25, plus 4 percent of the cost of the drone, Bergquist said.
Nobody spoke against the measure, which now advances to the full Senate."

A 50 pound drone is pretty darn big to me.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

US military tests drone swarms

"During the test, three F/A-18 Super Hornets spit out more than 100 tiny Perdix drones, which then linked up with each other to collectively make decisions and fly in formation.
'Due to the complex nature of combat, Perdix are not pre-programmed synchronized individuals, they are a collective organism, sharing one distributed brain for decision-making and adapting to each other like swarms in nature,' SCO Director William Roper said in a statement.
'Because every Perdix communicates and collaborates with every other Perdix, the swarm has no leader and can gracefully adapt to drones entering or exiting the team.'”

Swarms can make grids that act as barriers too.  This is a wide open field for testing.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Seattle Space Needle hit by drone

"The incident marks the third time that a drone has been recovered on the property, according Space Needle CEO Ron Sevart.
'It looks like the drone tractor beam we installed on the Space Needle is working,' Sevart joked, in a press release cited by Q13 Fox.
This is not the first time that a wayward drone has hit the headlines. Last year, for example, a man was arrested for crashing his drone into the Empire State Building. In 2015 a quadcopter drone that crashed into the White House lawn sparked a security lockdown and Secret Service investigation."

Bad pilots, not following the rules. I hope he lost his quad if he didn't have permission to fly there.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

lily Drone dead

"Lily Robotics stormed into the world with a follow-along camera drone that earned $34 million in pre-orders. But the company has now admitted that it can't deliver the product, and will wind down in the near future. In a blog post, co-founders Antoine Balaresque and Henry Bradlow explained that they've run out of money."

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Gopro to relaunch Karma

"GoPro has mostly been silent about its Karma drone's return following a recall in November, but it's finally ready to start talking... well, almost. The action camera maker has revealed that it will detail the Karma's worldwide relaunch sometime in early February. GoPro isn't saying much at this point, but it's close to completing its investigation of the Karma's power loss issues and expects the robotic flyer to hit shelves in 2017."

I'm still torn between whether to get the Karma or the Mavic.  I like the Karma's features more, but would probably really miss having the crash avoidance feature on the Mavic.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

ISIL use of drones growing

"In the past, ISIL has used drones in Iraq and Syria for general intelligence-gathering, as spotters for mortar firing, and even for filming propaganda videos. Soldiers have regularly spotted these drones over army positions on the outskirts of Mosul, prompting bursts of gunfire skywards.
But there is a fresh threat, Saadi said: ISIL has begun to use the drones themselves as weapons. 'They also use a new tactic, where the drone itself has a bomb attached to it,' he explained."

ISIL is making their own larger drones now as well as using store-bought quadcopters and such.  It seems like the time has already arrived that when going to war, you bring your drones.