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Drones – latest trends in this multi-million dollar business

Drones – latest trends in this multi-million dollar business

Drones – latest trends in this multi-million dollar business

Until a few decades, artificial intelligence may have seemed like something straight from a science fiction novel. But this is a field that has been explored by industrial and military developers for many years, with researchers producing ever more sophisticated examples of unmanned equipment that actually make a lot of the hardware in those space movies look clunky. So what are some of the latest developments in this area?

Commercial drones

The use of drones for non-military purposes continues to expand, given their enormous potential to carry out hazardous tasks in a diverse range of industries. Although much of the deployment is still at an exploratory stage, it is estimated that civil governments and businesses will spend upwards of $13 billion dollars on drone technology over the next three years.

Agriculture represents a potentially vast market where there are obvious benefits for being able to gather data over wide areas, analyzing this with the appropriate software. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can make thousands of flights over large sectors of the prairie.

Recently New York Power Authority used a drone to inspect an ice boom (Breakwater) near Lake Erie, a task that would normally have involved sending a helicopter or boat, costing around $3,500. The UAV completed the task for $300.

Military drones

Warfare is a costly business: although the true figure is difficult to quantify, by the time the ink had dried on the Japanese surrender in 1945 the total financial cost of World War Two had spiraled to over $1 trillion. Defense spending still accounts for a huge portion of national budgets, and as technology advances, much of the funding is being channeled into increasingly sophisticated areas such as UAV technology.

Since they were first adopted as surrogate bombers by the US military to target hostile positions without risking pilots, the use of unmanned devices has expanded. Over 50 different types of UAVs have been deployed by at least 11 countries.

China has been deploying a fleet of robotic submarines to track potential enemy incursions into the South China Seas – an area of international territory that the American military is also monitoring, given the US army and navy personnel stationed here.

Entitled ‘Haiya’, translating as sea wings, the latest generation of Chinese submersibles is far more robust than anything previously launched. Haiya can relay data back to servers in real time, a feat the US Navy has yet to achieve. They have also broken the world diving record for undersea robots, with one recorded as having reached a depth of 6.4 kilometers. Energy-efficient, a combination of a unique coating designed to resist tremendous water pressures and state-of-the-art battery systems ensure the drones can travel for up to 30 months without stopping.

Weekend flyers

Although the cost of an individual license is presently still prohibitive enough to prevent more widespread usage (around £3,000 or $4,490) there is no sign of this latest technological device becoming yesterday’s fad. The combination of an advanced camera lens and angles previously completely unavailable to the amateur photographer create an irresistible piece of kit capable of producing results that would have been impossible a relatively short time ago.

Drone markets

UAVs are coming down in price all the time, with decent enough models being available for well under £1,000. Technology developments and changes in regulation mean this is an area that is growing all the time, bringing exciting possibilities. You don’t need to be overly interested in technical markets to appreciate the potential for investment. If you are already looking into a premium affiliate network that focuses on gadgetry, there is a likelihood that drones are going to feature more and more. These devices may seem like toys for grown-ups but as well as being a terrific marketing opportunity the social side is growing. Affiliate marketing often works with a variety of partners, such as Flirt.com. Technology and social networking seem an irresistible combination that investors should have their eye on.

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Connecticut Police may become first authority to have drones that can kill people

This Police Dept. Will Have Drones That Can Kill People

Connecticut May Become First US State To Allow Deadly Police Drones

When drones first arrived on the scene they were treated as hobby gadgets by experts. But pretty soon we have drones monitoring borders, customs using drones to sniff contraband goods, prisons using drones to monitor jailbirds and least but not the last drones being used to check cheating in examinations. However, none of the above drones were sinister which could take human life. If all goes according to plans, the state of Connecticut in the United States of America will be the first state to allow their police and law enforcement agencies to use deadly drones which can kill people.

The state of Connecticut has voted to allow law enforcement agencies to use drones equipped with deadly weapons.The legislation, approved overwhelmingly by the state legislature’s judiciary committee on Wednesday, would ban so-called weaponized drones in the state but exempts agencies involved in law enforcement. It now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration. Once the House of Representatives passes the bill, it will sent to the US senate and then notified into a law meaning that the Connecticut police will have hitherto unknown powers of shooting down a wanted criminal directly from the sky.

Ironically, the legislation was introduced as a complete ban on weaponized drones but just before the committee vote it was amended to exclude police from the restriction.

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy, a Democrat, was reviewing the proposal, “however in previous years he has not supported this concept,” spokesman Chris Collibee wrote in an email. The bill has been criticized by civil right activists and ACLU who are lobbying to restore the bill to its original language before the full House vote.

“Data shows police force is disproportionately used on minority communities, and we believe that armed drones would be used in urban centers and on minority communities,” said David McGuire, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Connecticut.

“That’s not the kind of precedent we want to set here,” McGuire said of the prospect that Connecticut would become the first state to allow police to use lethally armed drones.

Human costs?

Using drones to police is nothing new. In 2015, North Dakota became the first state to permit law enforcement agencies to use armed drones but limited them to “less than lethal” weapons such as tear gas and pepper spray. However, police using lethal drones is something new and has to be debated carefully. The US has been using Predator and Reaper UAVs to drop bombs in enemy territories. Data over the years indicates that these drones have been killing more civilians than the targeted criminals and terrorists. However, there needs to a debate about fixing the responsibility If police were to kill an innocent civilian using such lethal drones. Such lethal drones can also be used by a rogue police official to kill innocent civilians for malafide gains. Similarly, a politician can use the system to terminate political opponents using the lethal police drones.

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Become A Drone Ace Straight out of the Box with Amimon’s Racing Drone FALCORE

Become A Drone Ace Straight out of the Box with Amimon’s Racing Drone FALCORE

Become A Drone Ace Straight out of the Box with Amimon’s Racing Drone FALCORE

Amimon’s believes its Racing Drone FALCORE is the future of drone racing. Its patented “Shield” mode, automatically puts the drone in hover, allowing drone enthusiasts of all levels to fly without fear of crashing.

If you are from my generation you probably remember the first remote control airplane. It was the first evolution of allowing us normal folk to feel like pilots. But as we have seen, technology knows no bounds, and drones, as well as UAVs, become the new trend. Drone racing is becoming one of the hottest competitor and spectator sports in the world. Experienced pilots and school children alike are taking to the skies, competing in speed trial and aerial acrobatics, constantly pushing the limits of technologically advanced UAVs.

One of the newest iterations of drone racing is the introduction of cameras attached to the drones, allowing for First Person View (FPV) flight. This means actually providing a drone pilot with a “cockpit view” by wearing wireless goggles. However, many of these goggles have lag in the flight video, and this issue coupled with the high learning curve associated with drone flying can create complications for perspective racing pilots or anyone else looking to take this on as a hobby. An Israeli company, experts in wireless HD video, feel that they have developed a racing drone with technology that tackles both these issues.

Amimon, founded in 2004, has been developing wireless HD video technology for various fields ranging from the Hollywood big screen to micro-medical procedures. The company has recently developed and released a racing drone aptly named FALCORE, which they believe will allow drone enthusiasts of all levels to become pilots right out of the box.

Become A Drone Ace Straight out of the Box with Amimon’s Racing Drone FALCORE

FALCORE comes ready to fly with Amimon’s wireless HD video system embedded. According to the company, pilots who use FPV goggles will experience zero-latency video while flying FALCORE.

What separates FALCORE from other racing drones is its patented “Shield mode.” Amimon claims that this unique flight mode uses sonar and barometer sensors, enabling the pilot to keep their drone at a fixed altitude removing the fear of crashing. This coupled with a tough carbon fiber chassis provides upgraded protection for all the electronics on board.

Become A Drone Ace Straight out of the Box with Amimon’s Racing Drone FALCORE

“Our goal with developing FALCORE is to make FPV racing fun and available for everyone from the first try,” says Uri Kanonich, VP Marketing of AMIMON. “With drone racing a rapidly growing sport, we believe that anyone should be able to jump right in and fly. FALCORE provides everything a drone pilot needs and will have you racing like a pro in no time.”

The general public is very excited to fly FALCORE as the drone was sold out within two weeks. While it shows great promise, it is too new to begin drawing conclusions. Only time will tell if FALCORE is the next evolution in wireless drone racing.

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ISIS using small commercial drones to drop bombs in Iraq

ISIS using small commercial drones to drop bombs in Iraq

ISIS has made weapons out of commercial drones

Iraqi Security Forces who are trying to drive ISIS out of Mosul is facing an arsenal of improvised, experimental weapons from ISIS, which are commercial quadcopter drones, converted into tiny bombers. The ISIS already uses weapons such as rifles, mortars, artillery and suicidal car bombs.

ISIS, the radical insurgent group holding territory in both Syria and Iraq, is fighting for its life in Mosul, a large city in Northern Iraq that the terrorist organization has occupied since 2014. Iraqi troops and other security forces have been fighting to retake Mosul from the Islamic State group since early November.

Last week, Kurdish media network Rudaw reported that Islamic State fighters in Mosul are using drones to drop small bombs onto Iraqi security forces and civilians. The explosive-dropping drones have killed civilians, damaged some equipment and structure. Until now, ISIS has not used these drones to deliver chemical weapons, Rudaw said.

ISIS fighters in Mosul are using quadcopters that are no larger than a couple feet in diameter and can fly for about an hour.

“It’s not as if it is a large, armed UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle] that is dropping munitions from the wings—but literally, a very small quadcopter that drops a small munition in a somewhat imprecise manner,” [Col. Brett] Sylvia, commander of an American military advising mission in Iraq, told Military Times. “They are very short-range, targeting those front-line troops from the Iraqis.”

Without getting into specifics, Sylvia said U.S. troops have been able to “bring to bear some of our technical capabilities” to help the Iraqis shoot down nearly a dozen drones.

Recently, Iraqi forces captured these drone bombers and shared it with American advisors, which appear to be commercial, off-the-shelf models, adapted to carry grenade-sized payloads. ISIS fighters abandoned many parts for the drones as they retreated.

Iraqi forces have anti-drone weapons, including gun-like jammers that can drop some commercial models to the ground. They have also taken down at least a dozen armed drones so far, Rudaw reports. The ISF also uses off-the-shelf drones in its military operations, mainly for scouting and helping to call artillery strikes.

Iraqi security forces have recaptured most of eastern Mosul, but they face a tough fight in the western part of the city, where ISIS is buried, Sylvia said.

“There has been an extensive defensive work that has been done in western Mosul,” he said. “They have certainly been working on that area and even, in some cases, have greater defenses built in western Mosul than they did in eastern Mosul.”

Source: Rudaw, Popular science

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This Gujarat Teenager Signs MOU worth $733,568 For Drones That Detect Land Mines

14-Year-Old Signs $733,568 Deal with government for anti-landmine drone

14-Yr-Old Teen Signs MOU worth $733,568 To Produce Drones

A 14-year-old teenager has signed a $733,568 (Rs. 5cr) worth Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the with the Department of Science and Technology, Government of Gujarat to facilitate production of the drones designed by him at Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit (VGGS) on Thursday. The drones would be able to detect and defuse land mines on war fields.

Notably, Harshwardhan Zala, a class 10 student, has been working on his business plan and had built 3 prototypes of the drone for which he has totally spent around $7,336 dollars (Rs. 5,00,000). While the teen’s parents shelled out approximately $2,934 for the first two prototypes, he was granted $4,400 from the state for the third prototype. Now, the government experts will explore the possibility of its commercial production.

“An MoU has been signed with him and in the coming days Gujarat government will work with him on this project,” said Dr Narottam Sahu, head of Gujarat Council on Science and Technology (GUJCOST).

Harshwardhan said he started work on the prototype of the landmine-detecting drone in 2016. “The inspiration struck when I was watching television and learned that a large number of soldiers succumb to injuries sustained due to landmine blasts while defusing them manually,” he said.

Explaining the concept, Harshwardhan said, “The drone has been equipped with infrared, RGB sensor and thermal meter along with a 21-megapixel camera with a mechanical shutter that can take high resolution pictures as well,” he described. “The drone is designed to send out waves that cover eight square meter area while flying two feet above the surface; the waves detect land mines and communicate their location with a base station. The drone also carries a bomb weighing 50 gram that can be used to destroy the landmine,” said Harshwardhan, who was looking at manufacturing the drone and getting it tested by security agencies.

Harshwardhan has registered for patenting his design after setting his company called ‘Aerobotics.’ He has a lot of ideas for future already. The teenager said, “I started making drones on my own and set up an interface with a base station but realised I need to do more. So I fixed payloads that detect landmines. I have several other plans that I want to execute once the patent for this drone is registered.”

The 14-year-old student of Sarvoday Vidhyamandir in Ahmedabad says he has always been interested in science and innovation and his parents have been very encouraging of his efforts. His father Pradhyumansinh Zala is an accountant with a plastic company in Naroda while his mother Nishaba Zala is a homemaker.

Harshwardhan was inspired to patent his product after his visit to the headquarters of Google, Inc. in the US where he shared a project idea with several investors after observing the way they work. With this MoU, the teenager has bright future to look forward.

“This was part of an all-expenses paid trip to the US that was part of a prize I won during an innovation event at L D College of Engineering. Now, I need to inform these investors about the MoU and I am sure they will be ready to invest in my company,” said Zala, who plans to make his company a bigger identity that Apple Inc. and Google Inc.

Source: TOI

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SKEYE Nano 2 is world’s smallest flying camera at just 1.6 inches wide

SKEYE Nano 2 Drone : The worlds smallest flying camera drone which fits on your fingertips, Priced $99 (Rs.6600.00) for Techworm readers

SKEYE Nano 2 Drone : The worlds smallest flying camera drone which fits on your fingertips, Priced $99 (Rs.6600.00) for Techworm readers

Drones and Internet of Things are two sectors of technology which are just taking off with many new advances coming to us every day. Drones are nowadays used in pretty much everything from delivering pizzas to taking selfies, these small unmanned aerial vehicles are slowly taking over the world by storm. They vary in shape, sizes, and features. While there are many drones which covet for the title of world’s smallest drone, have you come across a drone which is smallest, has a camera and packs a punch?

SKEYE, the manufacturer of quality drones and the current holder of the title of making the world’s smallest drone (SKEYE NANO) now has added another feather in its cap. SKEYE Nano 2 is arguably the world’s smallest flying camera drone at 1.6 inches wide.

Measuring just 1.6 inches on each side, and 0.9 inches in height, the 0.59-ounce this awesome drone is capable of flying in six directions and ‘performing aerobatic stunts.

The SKEYE NANO 2 is priced at $129 but is available to Techworm readers at $99. If you are interested, visit our Techworm Deals page and get the SKEYE Nano 2 for $99 for a limited period.

The Nano 2 is so simple to fly that even a non-technical person can handle it.  Just push the button for takeoff and you can take it from there with the included controller or sync it up to your smartphone via Wi-Fi. The SKEYE Nano 2 drone comes with its own App which gives you real time camera streaming with various controls. Its compact and lightweight design enable precision flying, thanks to its 6-axis flight control system with adjustable gyro sensitivity.

Pilot's-eye view: The camera on board the drone lets pilots watch from its point of view on the controller (pictured) - although its flight time is limited to five minutes per charge

Despite its size, the Skeye Nano 2  houses an HD-capable, Wi-Fi-controlled camera able to feed back amazing first-person-view video in real time. The drone also has the ability to hover in one spot, allowing the user to adjust its pitch, yaw, and roll without worrying about it shooting off in the wrong direction. The Nano 2 also comes with built-in LED lights for night-flying, and clips inside the controller when not in use.

39ad6cf6ec8cfb0c81e845e5aeacc42e7117feda main hero image

The SKEYE Nano 2 FPV Drone ships anywhere for free and is a can’t-miss holiday gift idea. Pick one up for $30 off from Techworm Deals for a limited Black Friday promotion period.

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Researcher demonstrates a Drone that can fly forever without a battery

This Drone Can Fly Forever Without a Battery

This Drone Can Fly Forever Without a Battery

One of the biggest limitations to advancements in drones is the battery. If we want a drone to fly longer and farther, we have to give it a bigger battery. But then, the drone becomes heavy and it subsequently reduces the drone’s flight time. This conundrum is like the chicken and egg theory about which comes first. The only solution to this is a drone powered by a source far from it. Finally, a researcher has cracked the issue of using wireless power to keep a drone flying.

Dr. Samer Aldhaher, of the Imperial College London, seems to finally solved the drone’s power source problem by creating a lightweight battery-less drone hovering in place. This drone is powered only by the wireless power transmitter beneath it. Dr.Aldhaher’s demo solves the problem of having batteries aboard a drone and is another wonderful step towards ditching batteries altogether.

The wireless power drone technology is still in its nascent stage so don’t expect this particular quadcopter to make a cross-country flight without batteries in tow. This tech demo only has the drone flying about five inches above its wireless power base, with minor side-to-side movements.

For such a technology to work over great distance, it will require extensive infrastructure. While many believe that wireless power technology is the future of tech, it is still in its infancy.

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DARPA wants an ‘Aerial Dragnet’ to track drones flying over cities

DARPA wants an 'Aerial Dragnet' to track drones flying over cities

DARPA wants an ‘Aerial Dragnet’ to find enemy drones on the battlefield and over urban environments

Small unmanned aerial systems (UAS) such as commercial quadcopters or hobbyist drones have no comprehensive tracking system as in case of a well-established air traffic control system that tracks, guides and constantly keeps a watch on thousands of passenger airplanes every day. For that matter, even helicopters report their flights to air traffic control. Even if they didn’t report, the vehicles are large and show up easily on radar, making it possible to keep an eye on them over land.

However, that is not possible in the case of drones, especially commercial or hobbyist drones, as they are small enough to appear like birds on radar. These have already led to invasions of privacy, near tragedies and have been giving pilots increasing anxiety as many are sighted near airports. The U.S. military recognizes the potential security threat these tiny aircraft pose.

In order to stay abreast of what drones are where, the Pentagon’s research and development outfit has come up with a new system called “Aerial Dragnet” that would track slow, low-flying drones or UAS flying below 1,000 ft (300 m) in urban settings.

“As off-the-shelf UAS become less expensive, easier to fly, and more adaptable for terrorist or military purposes, U.S. forces will increasingly be challenged by the need to quickly detect and identify such craft,” the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency said in a news release. “Especially in urban areas, where sight lines are limited and many objects may be moving at similar speeds.”

DARPA is reaching out to the private sector for the development of a “wide-area surveillance of small unmanned aerial systems in urban terrain on a city-wide scale” to solve the problem.

“Proposals are solicited for a scalable network of sensors on aerial platforms performing threat-agnostic UAS detection, classification, and tracking by looking over and into complex terrain.”

DARPA imagines “a network of surveillance nodes, each providing coverage of a neighbourhood-sized urban area, perhaps mounted on tethered or long-endurance” on other unmanned aerial systems to track the drones over a city.

DARPA says that the project will concentrate on the use of low-cost UAVs and sensor technology combined with off-the-shelf software-defined signal processing to develop a system that is not only inexpensive, but scalable and easily upgraded as technology advances.

“Commercial websites currently exist that display in real time the tracks of relatively high and fast aircraft — from small general aviation planes to large airliners — all overlaid on geographical maps as they fly around the country and the world,” says Jeff Krolik, DARPA program manager. “We want a similar capability for identifying and tracking slower, low-flying unmanned aerial systems, particularly in urban environments.”

DARPA is looking for teams with expertise in signal processing, sensors, and networked autonomy and has issued a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) describing requirements and how to register for a Proposers Day to be held on September 26 in Arlington, Virginia. For those interested, full proposals in getting the contract are required by November 12.

Source: DARPA

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To Fly This Star Trek USS Enterprise Drone You Don’t Need Any Starfleet Training

To Fly This Star Trek USS Enterprise Drone You Don't Need Any Starfleet Training

This Star Trek USS Enterprise Drone Does Not Require Any Starfleet Training To Fly

It is understandable that Star Trek fans might be feeling a little left out with various different Star Wars movies along the way. Therefore, celebrate Spin Master has turned its famous quadcopter drones into a flying version of the USS Enterprise to mark the 50th anniversary of the Star Trek franchise this year.

The comprehensive replica features the entire Enterprise, from its saucer to its nacelles, ten authentic sound effects and complete with working lighting.

 

The drone which is otherwise an accurate restoration of Kirk’s ship allows the four spinning rotors of the toy drone that are kept inside the ship’s saucer section to fly to allow air to pass through, which is almost completely see-through in this version.

You Don't Need any Starfleet Training to Fly This Star Trek USS Enterprise Drone

The USS Enterprise NCC-1701-A drone comes with a branded controller so that you can avoid the mess with awkward touchscreen controls on your phone.

You Don't Need any Starfleet Training to Fly This Star Trek USS Enterprise Drone

It will be available later this year at a price tag of about $120. While it may not whiz across your living room at close to the speed of light, a trigger on the controller does activate a warp speed mode, comprehensive with the anticipated sound effects.

[Spin Master]

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Watch this teeny DARPA drone fly at 45 miles per hour in a warehouse

Watch this teeny DARPA drone fly at 45 miles per hour in a warehouse

This DARPA drone can fly around nooks at 45 miles per hour/20 meters per second

Drones are becoming popular as well as fast! In fact we had reported about a drone race by Drone League last month. Now another drone is looking to break some records. This time it is from DARPA.

DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, announced Friday that it hit a new milestone in the development of fast, lightweight drones that can navigate themselves. DARPA’s drone is loaded with sensors and can hit speeds of 40 mph or 20 meters per second while flying through a cluttered warehouse.

In fact, the DARPA drone could navigate the turns and avoid objects at awesome speeds with ease. In another test in the aircraft hangar turned warehouse, the drone spotted boxes in its path and could fly around them.

DARPA says that it’s drone is a work in progress therefore there is some jerkiness in its motion. And yes, there may have been a lot of crashes along the way, too.

“We’re excited that we were able to validate the airspeed goal during this first-flight data collection,” said Mark Micire, DARPA program manager, in the announcement. “The fact that some teams also demonstrated basic autonomous flight ahead of schedule was an added bonus.”

Here’s what a fully loaded drone flying at 45mph looks like:

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