Airborne Services

Drone with thermal imaging camera locates kidnapped assault victim

By Feilidh Dwyer

A teenager in the UK who called the police claiming she was being held by an assaulter at an unknown location was found using a drone equipped with thermal imaging.

The Independent Reports that the 16 year old girl from Lincolnshire called 999 claiming she had been raped and was currently being held by her attacker. Using the limited information she was able to provide, police deployed a drone to her approximate location and found her “within minutes.”

Read More: We Talk UAV

Machine Vision Algorithms Behind New Autonomous Drones

Author: Mike Rees

Percepto Robotics has announced that it has employed machine vision algorithms in its proprietary Sparrow drones as part of its complete autonomous drone-in-a-box system.

This differentiating technology makes its drones fully autonomous; capable of operating based on what they ‘see’ rather than follow predetermined GPS coordinates. Percepto’s Sparrow drones can deploy in complex environments where conditions might change from mission to mission.

For this development, Percepto was awarded the 2018 Global Enabling Technology Leadership Award by Frost & Sullivan.

Read More: Unmanned Systems News

Drone may check water tower


In the past, the city of Desloge has hired a person to take the ladder to the top of the city’s 130-foot water tower to perform an inspection, but now it’s considering using a drone to check a filter on the tank that needs to be replaced periodically.

When the city of Desloge begins to check out the condition of its 130-foot municipal water tower, rather than using a human being to climb the ladder, a drone may be used to perform an inspection of a filter.

“There’s a filter on top of the tower itself that needs to be inspected on a periodic basis,” he said. “In the past we’ve sent a man up the ladder to the top of the water tower to inspect that filter. We explored the idea of maybe using technology we weren’t able to do five or 10 years ago, but we’re able to do now.

“We’re considering the option of sending a drone up there to make a video and visibly inspect the filter that way and see if we can get good and clear footage to make a decision rather than sending someone up the side of the water tower on the ladder to visually inspect it in person.”

Source: Daily Journal Online

Need something that is high up inspected? Why put people safety at risk – use a drone!

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When AI Steers Tractors: How Farmers Are Using Drones And Data To Cut Costs

By Parmy Olson 

For thousands of years, farming involved making judgments about water, fertilisers or new seeds with the human eye.

Today farmers are using machine-learning tools to boost their yields and help their bottom line.

One London-based agtech startup has spent the past two years building software that can scan a field and build a map for tractors and other farm machinery to follow, helping bring farming costs down.

Read More: Forbes

How drones can help save dolphins

By Feilidh Dwyer

Humans tend to feel an innate bond with dolphins and whales that is unlike our connection with nearly any other species.

Unfortunately, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), more than 650,000 marine mammals, including whales, turtles, seals and dolphins are either killed or severely wounded every year by fishing nets.

Many of the species that are being caught up in these nets are critically endangered so we have an imperative to reduce the amount of fish we take from the oceans and take every step to avoid by-catch we can.

Heat-seeking drones to the rescue!

Read More: We Talk UAV

Amazon patents delivery chute for packages

By Feilidh Dwyer

In our increasingly fast-paced world, the demand from consumers to receive goods and services as quickly as possible has never been greater.

In 2013, world’s richest man and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said that within a few years, Amazon would be delivering packages by drone.

In the five years since , the technology has greatly progressed but legislation and the practical realities of controlling and regulating hundreds if not thousands of UAVs flying through the streets have not yet been fully figured out.

As such, the capability for drones to deliver goods and services is there but the implementation of the concept has not yet been fully realized.

This month the US Patent and Trademark Office granted Amazon the exclusive right to produce their specialised “aerial delivery shroud” an idea that could change the delivery market game.

What is it and how does it work?

Read More: We Talk UAV’s

DHL Tests Drone Delivery of Medicines in Tanzania

DHL, the German government and the Darmstadt-based drone manufacturer Wingcopter have completed successfully a six-month trial delivering medicines in 40 minutes to an island in Lake Victoria that normally takes six hours by road.

Following an invitation by John Mongella, the Regional Commissioner of Mwanza, a port city on Lake Victoria, the 4kg-capacity Wingcopter made over 160 proving flights from Mwanza to the district hospital in Nansio on the island of Ukerewe, a distance of 60 kilometres.

The Medical Stores Department (MSD) is a government organization responsible for distributing medicines in the Lake Victoria region of Tanzania. The warehouse supplies hospitals in four districts and serves more than 10 million people.

As a result of the test, the 400,000 people in the Ukerewe District will now have access to medical care and support in hours rather than days.

Read More: UAV Vision

How are Drones Making a Difference in Viticulture?

By Jeremiah Karpowicz

Talk about how drones will play a role on the “farm of the future” is as pervasive as it is captivating. These benefits are being showcased for the agriculture industry as a whole in terms of cost and usability, but drones are also being positioned as the tools that will be utilized to help meet exponential increases in food production demand.

That said, numerous experts have discussed why it doesn’t make sense to consider how drones will impact agriculture as a whole, mostly because this industry is not a single homogenous marketplace.

A farmer that has 100 acres of a certain crop might not be able to use drone technology in the same way as someone who has 1,000 acres, even if we’re talking about the exact same crop in the exact same climate.

Being able to efficiently and effectively utilize a drone depends on a number of factors, and a recent article in Wines & Vines explored how one wine specialist has been able to make the technology work for him.

Jim Meyers is based in Westchester, N.Y. and serves as the viticulture specialist for the Cornell Cooperative Extension in a 17-county region in eastern New York.

His recent article, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Drone, detailed an emerging case study for drones in viticulture, but Meyers had more to say about what it would mean to see the technology utilized as a mainstream precision agriculture device.

Read More: ExpoUAV

Drones and AI Ward Off Shark Attacks as Predators Hunt Closer to Shore

By Olivia Carville

Australian technology designed to avoid killing the animals arrives amid warming oceans that make human-shark interaction more likely. 

Can technology protect you from the jaws of a one-ton great white shark?

Several Australian tech startups say yes. They’re using artificial intelligence, drones and electric force fields to try and prevent sharks from eating human bathers.

Officials in the U.S. are watching the technological advancements keenly, aware that climate change is altering shark migration patterns and threatening to push great whites ever closer to U.S. shores. This summer, sharks have attacked teenagers on beaches from California to New York.

Read More: Bloomberg

Disney ‘graffiti drone’ tags walls

Disney is known for its clean and tidy theme parks so it may come as a surprise to see it has developed a graffiti-spraying drone.

Its research and development division has been working on a drone equipped with a spray-paint gun that can tag walls and even paint 3D objects.

Watch: https://youtu.be/YTvr3jCsf0o

The researchers hope the idea will result in drones that can paint walls quickly and accurately.

However, the current prototype produces some rather wobbly designs.

The PaintCopter uses cameras to detect what it is is looking at, so it can spray paint in the right places.

Read More: BBC.com