Droning While Drunk Is Now Illegal in New Jersey

By Lauren Sigfusson | January 18, 2018 12:38 pm

Drinking and droning isn’t a good idea and it’s now illegal in New Jersey. (Credit: Tom Danneman)

Alcohol affects everyone a bit differently—some people take a few sips of beer and they’re stumbling all over, while others can ingest far more and still walk straight. You see, consuming alcohol affects the brain, which can impact your coordination and ability to think clearly—both of which are important to safely operating vehicles of all kinds, including drones.

As of Monday, it is illegal in New Jersey for people to fly drones under the influence of drugs or alcohol, as reported by Reuters. In fact, the same rules now apply to drones in that state as they do to driving cars under the influence: a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or more means you’re legally drunk. Professional drone pilots’ BAC must be even lower at .04 percent, in order to comply with regulations set forth by the Federal Aviation Administration. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology, Top Posts

Boeing’s Cargo Drone Prototype Is Huge

By Lauren Sigfusson | January 11, 2018 11:55 am

(Credit: YouTube/Boeing)

Boeing this week showcased its new unmanned electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing cargo air vehicle that can carry a payload of up to 500 pounds. In simpler terms: it’s a huge flying drone.

A team of engineers and technicians for the worldwide aerospace company moved fast to build it, creating a flying prototype in less than three months. The octocopter weighs more than 700 pounds and is powered custom batteries. It comes in at 15 feet long, 18 feet wide and 4 feet tall. It’s big…really big. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology, Top Posts
MORE ABOUT: drones

Donny the Drone Desires World Domination…For Its Own Good

By Lauren Sigfusson | December 27, 2017 11:11 am

In a sci-fi short film, this drone was named Person of the Year. Hey, could happen someday. (Credit: DUST/YouTube)

If you give a drone a voice, it might as well be Guy Pearce‘s. In the sci-fi short film “Donny The Drone,” a sentient drone receives World Time magazine’s Person of the Year award (akin to the real award given by TIME magazine). We see Donny accept the award in a TED-esque style speech — one that will build you up, tear you down, then build you up again. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology, Top Posts
MORE ABOUT: drones, robots

Drones, Volcanoes and the ‘Computerization’ of the Earth

By Adam Fish, Lancaster University | December 14, 2017 10:18 am

(Credit: YouTube/Adam Fish)

The eruption of the Agung volcano in Bali, Indonesia has been devastating, particularly for the 55,000 local people who have had to leave their homes and move into shelters. It has also played havoc with the flights in and out of the island, leaving people stranded while the experts try to work out what the volcano will do next.

But this has been a fascinating time for scholars like me who investigate the use of drones in social justice, environmental activism and crisis preparedness. The use of drones in this context is just the latest example of the “computerization of nature” and raises questions about how reality is increasingly being constructed by software. Read More


Artificial Intelligence Gives Drones Abilities We’ve Only Dreamed About

By Eric Betz | December 4, 2017 11:08 am

A drone that can think and learn might sound like a far-fetched dream, but several new technologies are helping Teal Drones CEO George Matus make it a reality. (Credit: Teal Drones)

George Matus was still in high school when he began raising millions for his startup, Teal. The former quad drone racer’s pitch to investors was a wish list of what he thought a drone should be. More than just an aerial camera, his quad would be freaky fast and easy to use — even fly in the rain.

And, most challenging of all, Teal would think and learn. It would be a platform that developers might use for all kinds of complex applications, from counting a farmer’s cows to following a target without using GPS.

To do all that, Teal would need a tiny supercomputer…and a digital brain. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology, Top Posts
MORE ABOUT: drones, robots

Researchers Use Drones to Track Glacier Change in Peru

By Lauren Sigfusson | November 30, 2017 10:29 am

In the crisp Andes air, a drone flew at an altitude of about 16,000 feet (4,900 meters) in order to map and track the glaciers in Peru. This marks the highest altitude a drone has flown for mapping purposes in current scientific literature, according to a paper released in November in The Cryosphere

Using a drone to map glaciers is way easier than manually staking out individual data points and provides much crisper images than satellites. “The ultimate goal was to be down in town, 10 kilometers away, having a beer in the pub and sending the drone up to do our work for us. We’re still a long ways away from that, but that was sort of the idea,” says Oliver Wigmore, an earth scientist currently at the University of Colorado Boulder and co-author of the paper. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology, Top Posts

NASA Proves Humans Fly Drones Better Than AI

By Lauren Sigfusson | November 27, 2017 11:24 am

(Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Artificial intelligence (AI) still has a ways to go before it reigns supreme.

In October, a group of researchers at California’s NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) pitted a professional human drone racer, Ken Loo, against an AI-piloted drone. They set out to test two years of research into drone autonomy, which was funded by Google. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology, Top Posts
MORE ABOUT: drones, gadgets, robots

How Drones Are Being Used In Zanzibar’s Fight Against Malaria

By Andy Hardy, Aberystwyth University | November 22, 2017 11:05 am

Makame Makame from the Zanzibar Malaria Elimination Programme holds one of the drones used to map malaria vectors. (Credit: Andy Hardy)

On a typically hot and humid July day in Stonetown, the capital of Zanzibar, a gaggle of children, teenagers and the odd parents watched our small drone take flight. My colleagues Makame Makame, Khamis Haji and I had finally found the perfect launch spot.

With a high-pitched humming, the drone took to the air. It sounded like a big mosquito—appropriate, since we were testing the use of drones for mapping aquatic malaria habitats. These shallow sunlit water bodies teem with mosquito larvae. In a matter of days, the larvae will emerge as adult mosquitoes in search of a blood meal. If one of those mosquitoes bites a human infected with malaria, it will become a vector for the disease and continue its deadly transmission cycle. Read More


Scientist Wants to Replicate Google Street View With Drones

By Lauren Sigfusson | November 7, 2017 4:07 pm

(Credit: Shutterstock)

Google Street View can pretty much show you every location in the world, even the Faroe Islands thanks to camera-yielding sheep, from the ground. While Satellite View shows us a large-scale aerial of the world, what about what’s in between?

Gregory Crutsinger, a scientist who’s worked for drone companies like 3D Robotics and Parrot, recently started a UAV consulting company called Drone Scholars and is leading a citizen scientist drone project called Fly4Fall. The project’s goals: to survey fall leaves across the world and test crowdsourcing drone data. The bigger goal: to create Google Street View in the sky with drone images. Read More


Robot Aces Water-to-Air Transition

By Lauren Sigfusson | October 26, 2017 11:13 am


Another day, another bioinspired drone. But this microrobot, powered through a wire tether, can launch itself through the air and into water — then blast itself back into the air.

Harvard researchers have been working on bee-like robots for years, and a new study published Wednesday in Science Robotics shows more advancement. Scientists showed the little bot could successfully hover in the air, transition from air to water, swim, takeoff from the water and land on the water, according to the paper. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Top Posts, Uncategorized


From studying wildlife to building drones that "think," unmanned vehicles are changing the ways scientists work and the questions they probe. Here at the Drone360 blog, we’re keeping tabs on the exciting ways drones are advancing science every day.

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