13 things drones are doing besides flying around your yard | TechCrunch


Everyone who’s flown around a drone knows that they’re a lot of fun. But they’re being used all over the world for more serious purposes — after all, an autonomous flying vehicle is a great place to start for all kinds of applications, from delivery to archaeology.


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    UK asks for ways to destroy contraband drones heading to prisons
    The MOJ competition is asking for solutions to eradicate contraband delivery drones.

    The UK Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has launched a competition asking for ideas to stop drones from dropping contraband into prisons.

    Drones delivering everything from weapons to drugs and mobile phones are proving to be a serious issue for today’s prison services in the UK.

    Prison employees already have to cope with high numbers of inmates, drug usage, and a lack of both funding and staff — and so adding contraband falling from the sky is potentially more than prison operators can cope.

    The MOJ wants technological solutions to this problem and has earmarked a total of £950,000 for ideas.

    The aim of the competition is to develop “novel detection techniques” to identify contraband in prisons.

    Funding competition SBRI competition: Detecting security threats and contraband in prisons

    Businesses can apply for a share of £950,000. This is to work with the Ministry of Justice on technological solutions to the problems that drones, drugs, mobile phones, and other contraband, pose within a prison environment.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    12 Views of Drone World Expo
    Trump White House pledges support

    Commercial drones are lining up on the runway with high hopes for air traffic control systems tailored for unmanned vehicles. But a lack of appropriate regulations may keep them from getting off the ground for a while.

    That was the view from the Drone World Expo here. The event gathered proponents that ranged from Airbus, GE and Lockheed Martin to Facebook, Google and a White House science and technology advisor.

    Clashing cultures in aviation, commercial and consumer industries need to collaborate on how to manage a diverse, emerging fleet of vehicles that want to fly in air space between 200 and 500, speakers said.

    A million drone operators have already registered with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, 75,000 for commercial use, a number forecast to grow five-fold in the next five years, said Michael Kratsios, deputy U.S. chief technology officer for the Trump Administration in a brief keynote here. But regulators still need to figure out how to let drones fly at night, over people and beyond a visual line-of-sight, he noted.

    “We want to make the U.S. a leader [in integrated airspace]…It’s a top priority for this White House, and we have some really good things in the pipeline,” Kratsios said without offering any specifics.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    App-Controlled Paper Airplanes for the 21st Century

    You start by folding your paper plane. Next, you attach the DART hardware, which is a one-piece unit that includes the rechargeable battery, motor, propeller, and wireless control system. The really cool thing is that you use an app on your smartphone to control your masterpiece and perform all sorts of tricks.

    One aspect of all this I really like is the fact that you aren’t limited to only one type of plane — you can experiment with lots of different formats (this would have kept Jeremy and me busy throughout the summer vacation).

    It’s funny how some crowd-funded projects seem doomed to failure from the start, while others take wings (pun intended). In this case, the folks behind the POWERUP DART seem to be onto something because — at the time of this writing — they’ve already raised $670,000 of their $25,000 goal and there are still 18 days to go (I only wish my own Kickstarter projects had been greeted with this much enthusiasm).

    Now I’m feeling nostalgic. It was 1967 when I was 10-years-old. In those days, telephones were big and black, had rotary dials, weighed in at several pounds, and were hard-wired to the wall (the first brick-sized cell phone was still four years in the future). Meanwhile, paper airplanes were… well, just made out of paper. The most sophisticated upgrade I can recall was adding a small piece of plasticine (silly putty) to the nose of the plane to make it fly better.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Plane sustained minor damage after hitting drone near Quebec City: Garneau

    Skyjet plane was struck as it approached Jean Lesage airport Thursday

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Researchers Build a Plug-and-Play System for Gesture Control Using Muscle and Motion Sensing

    Reading muscle signals and tracking the wearer’s motion, a neural network pipeline proved capable of drone control via gesture.


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