Drones Are a Greener Way to Receive Packages

By Lauren Sigfusson | February 13, 2018 3:53 pm
(Credit: Shutterstock)

Compared to delivery methods (conventional aircraft, rail and truck), delivery drones like this illustrated one could actually benefit the environment.  (Credit: Shutterstock)

One annoyance of ordering items from the internet is waiting for delivery. That’s why many companies are set on making sure you get your items as quickly as possible — like Amazon Prime’s free two-day shipping.

But shipping, especially fast, comes at an environmental cost. Previous studies have shown that moving goods by conventional aircraft is four times more carbon-intensive than by truck, which is 10 times more carbon-intensive than rail. Since many companies including Amazon, UPS, Boeing and Flirtey are working toward adding drones to speed up the delivery process and greenhouse gases are releasing into Earth’s atmosphere at an alarming rate, it’s important to look at the potential environmental footprint of delivery drones.  Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology, Top Posts

How Americans Really Feel About Drones

By Lauren Sigfusson | February 13, 2018 2:07 pm
american-flag-drone

(Credit: Shutterstock)

If you’re a fan of drone technology or a drone pilot yourself, it’s easy to think the tech is mainstream. It’s not.

And it turns out drone owners are just a small sliver of Americans — just 8 percent own a flying drone, according to a December 2017 study from Pew Research Center. Even though many people don’t own drones, almost 60 percent have seen someone operating one.

As of January, more than 1 million people have registered as drone owners with the FAA. That includes both hobbyist and commercial drone owners. The mandatory registration was initially instituted in 2015 but was found illegal in 2017 — it was reinstated in December 2017.  Read More

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

Airbus’ Self-Flying Taxi Drone Takes First Flight

By Lauren Sigfusson | February 2, 2018 2:28 pm
airbus-flying-drone-taxi-vahana-aircraft

(Credit: Airbus)

Airbus first announced its plans to create a self-flying taxi service in 2016. On Jan. 31, after two years of planning and building, it proved it isn’t just a pipedream — the Vahana successfully completed its first flight test.

The full-scale aircraft flew fully autonomously for 53 seconds at an altitude of 16 feet (gotta start somewhere) at its testing grounds in Pendleton, Oregon. It conducted another flight the following day, which seems to have gone well, too. The FAA was in attendance of the flight tests. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Top Posts, Uncategorized

Robots to the Rescue: Saving Lives with Unmanned Vehicles

By Alex Ramirez-Serrano, University of Calgary | January 25, 2018 12:23 pm
drone-search-and-rescue

A Westpac Little Ripper drone helped rescue two teens off the coast of Australia by dropping a flotation device to them.
(Credit: Westpac Little Ripper)

Last week’s sea rescue of Australian swimmers by an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) is just the start of a robotics revolution.

On January 18, an Australian lifeguard piloted a drone over the turbulent ocean off the far north coast of New South Wales to rescue two teens in distress. As thrilling as it was to watch a tiny drone drop a flotation device to the two struggling swimmers, the rescue was relatively easy, using proven robotic technology in an ideal, wide-open environment. Read More

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology, Top Posts

KFC Chicken Box Turns Into DIY Drone

By Lauren Sigfusson | January 24, 2018 3:02 pm
kfc-kfo-drone-diy

(Credit: KFC/kfodrone.com)

What pairs well with chicken wings? Maybe you’re thinking buffalo sauce, beer or even celery sticks, but one company wants you to finish your wings with a fun drone flight (or crash, really depends).

KFC announced Tuesday that customers can get a limited edition KFO (Kentucky Fried Object), which is a DIY drone, with select orders of Smoky Grilled Wings. Sure, it’s a lovely PR stunt, but exposing people to drone tech nonetheless. Read More

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

Droning While Drunk Is Now Illegal in New Jersey

By Lauren Sigfusson | January 18, 2018 12:38 pm
dji-mavic-pro-flying-drone-drunk

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
cargo-drone-delivery-huge-tech

(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
drone-future-sci-fi-donny-futurism

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
volcano-eruption-drone-Computerisation

(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

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Technology

Artificial Intelligence Gives Drones Abilities We’ve Only Dreamed About

By Eric Betz | December 4, 2017 11:08 am
drone-george-matus-teal-drones-ai

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
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