UAVs

  • Iris Automation is bringing eyes, and situational awareness, to drones

    Iris Automation is bringing eyes, and situational awareness, to drones

    New drone regulations in the U.S. ostensibly make it easier for companies to put flying robots to work whether that’s in media, construction or agriculture. But drones are still limited to flying within the “line of sight,” or the range where a human operator can see them. So we can’t have pizzas, or prescriptions, delivered by drones as a going concern, yet. And… Read More

  • Flirtey delivers drugs by drone from ship to shore in New Jersey

    Flirtey delivers drugs by drone from ship to shore in New Jersey

    The Jersey Shore is finally famous for something besides fake tanning. A Reno, Nevada-based startup called Flirtey Inc. conducted the first domestic “ship to shore” drone delivery this week along the New Jersey coastline. The company’s proprietary drone is a six-rotor system constructed from carbon fiber, aluminum and 3-d printed components. No, they weren’t… Read More

  • Dedrone raises $10 million to detect aerial intruders

    Dedrone raises $10 million to detect aerial intruders

    As civilian drones become more affordable, sophisticated and common around the world, a company called Dedrone Inc. has raised $10 million in venture funding for systems that monitor the skies and tell people when drones have entered their airspace. Menlo Ventures led the Series A investment in Dedrone bringing the company’s total capital raised to date to $12.9 million. According… Read More

  • WTF
    Firefighting drone serves as a reminder to be careful with crowdfunding campaigns

    Firefighting drone serves as a reminder to be careful with crowdfunding campaigns

    And then there’s this: an Indiegogo campaign for the world’s first firefighting drone. As a lover of both drones and crowdfunding campaigns, I nearly wet myself with excitement. But alas. The campaign, it turned out, is a great exercise in how a little bit of basic due diligence should advise you to step away from the “support” button and run for the hills. Read More

  • FAA releases report detailing categories for drones flying over crowds

    FAA releases report detailing categories for drones flying over crowds

    On Monday, the Associated Press got early access to a report commissioned by the FAA on how drones flying over or near people should be categorized and restricted. Today, that report was officially released, with all the juicy (and boring) details you’ve come to expect from government task force briefings. Read More

  • I Have Seen The Future, And Its Sky Is Full Of Eyes

    I Have Seen The Future, And Its Sky Is Full Of Eyes

    Allow me just a little self-congratulatory chest-beating. Four years ago I started writing a near-fiction thriller about the risks of swarms of UAVs in the wrong hands. Everyone I talked to back then (including my agent, alas) thought the subject was implausible, even silly. Well, it’s not like I’m the next Vernor Vinge — it always seemed like a pretty blatantly obvious… Read More

  • “For Those Who Don’t Want To Believe”

    “For Those Who Don’t Want To Believe”

    I feel uncomfortably like a prophet. In January, and again last week, I wrote about the prospect of UAVs used as weapons by terrorists; yesterday a man was arrested who “planned to attack the Pentagon using ‘small drone airplanes’ filled with explosives and guided by GPS.” In August I wrote about omnipresent mobile phones turning the world into a panopticon… Read More

  • Droning On Towards A Date With Destiny?

    Droning On Towards A Date With Destiny?

    Have you been watching the skies? I have. As the US expands its unmanned air force, researchers are testing and demonstrating autonomous drones — ones that could “hunt, identify and kill the enemy based on calculations made by software, not decisions made by humans.” (According to the author of the wonderfully-titled Army-funded study Governing Lethal Behavior in… Read More

  • Video: Lockheed’s “Samarai” Drone Spins Like A Maple Seed

    Video: Lockheed’s “Samarai” Drone Spins Like A Maple Seed

    Anyone who lives near a deciduous forest knows the joy of the maple seed, or as we called them when we were kids, helicopters. Their single wing spins the seed, slowing its descent — so why shouldn’t a similarly-designed wing be able to spin faster and actually fly upwards? Lockheed Martin has demonstrated a new drone platform, not quite a nano air vehicle but still simple and… Read More

  • Tiny Barebones Quadrocopter Is Adorable And I Want One

    We’ve always liked the Parrot AR Drone quadrocopter, and of course the four-rotor layout is gaining popularity among robocists everywhere — but this is something totally new. Weighing in at just 20 grams (that’s only slightly more than DARPA’s hummingbot), it’s basically just a PCB with rotors on it — and with the telemetry being handled off-device… Read More

  • When The Drones Come Marching In

    Way back in the 1970s, hardware-hacker hobbyists built kit computers like the Altair 8800 — and in doing so paved the way for the computer revolution that would reshape every facet of modern life. Today the same breed of people are building and selling kit flight controllers for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Just sayin’. Drones are far from new: the US military has been using… Read More