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Month: May 2018

Seed for speed: drones could be game-changer for forestry

Technology could be used to regenerate forests.

The future of tree planting could involve drones shooting seeds from the sky.

New drone-seeding technology was demonstrated Wednesday in Edmonton by the Canadian Forest Service.

The technology is fairly straight forward: picture a paintball marker mounted on a drone. Seeds are stored in a hopper and then fired into the ground with pressurized air at the desired location.

If successful, the technology will be significantly faster than the traditional planting methods.
Read More: CBC

Australia’s energy sector should leverage automation and technology to boost competitiveness

Perth (miningweekly.com) – Australia’s energy resources sector could unlock a potential A$10-billion in value for the national economy if it pursues a number of reforms, a report by National Energy Resources Australia (Nera) has found.

In its 2018 update to the ‘Sector Competitiveness Plan’, Nera identified collaboration, increased innovation investment and the integration of autonomous and digital technologiesacross the supply chain as critical factors that will power future growth across Australia’s A$55-billion energy resources sector.

The plan outlines a ten-year vision for Australia to be a global energy powerhouse, a sought-after destination for investment and the leading source of knowledge and solutions. The plan arrives at a critical time for a sector experiencing unprecedented disruption from new technologies, unique business models and the challenge to transition to a decarbonised economy.

“We need to develop local talent, capability and capacity, and continuously find, adapt and deploy technology to remain at the forefront of automation innovation to ensure future sector growth is not left unexploited.”

Read More: Mining Weekly

Westpac Little Ripper drone donated to Surf Life Saving Mid North Coast

By Tracey Fairhurst

WITHIN minutes of launching, the region’s new surf life saving drone was put to work to assist a group of kayakers off Town Beach, Port Macquarie.

It was hovering over the breaking waves in less than a minute and assisting a surf boat crew off shore.

The call out was an example of just how important drone technology will be in keeping the region’s coastlines safe. The drone is able to drop an inflatable pod device to a person in trouble, buying rescue crews extra time particularly if conditions are tricky.

The launch of the Westpac little Ripper Lifesaver drone on Saturday, May 19, with the support of sugar-free pioneers Nexba, was great news for Surf Life Saving Mid North Coast Branch.

Read More: Camden Courier

Image: New technology: Surf Life Saving Mid North Coast branch president Rod McDonagh, Drew Bilbe from Nexba and Jason Young from Westpac Little Ripper.

10 ways drones are changing the world

By Karen Anderson

This week Dezeen released Elevation, an 18-minute documentary that explores the impact drones will have on our lives. Here, we take a look at 10 innovative ways drones will change the world.

Read More: Dezeen

Australia: No longer flying under the radar: the future of drone regulation

Article by Eddie Scuderi, Jodie Burger and Viva Paxton

Drone technology provides a number of opportunities for many industries, however it poses risks to many others. Aviation is concerned about the risk of accidents with drones flying too close to aeroplanes.

Corrections are concerned about how drones can be used to smuggle illicit substances into prisons. Landowners are concerned about the risk of trespass as operators remain fairly anonymous.

While there is presently fairly little regulation applicable to light-weight non-commercial drones, the safety issues are being considered carefully and may result in new, more prescriptive regulation.

Read More: Mondaq

Drones to play role in transport safety

TRANSPORT experts and politicians from around the world met in Germany for the International Transport Forum, including Member for Hinkler, Keith Pitt.

Mr Pitt represented the Australian Government in his capacity as the Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister.

The forum brought together government ministers and industry experts to discuss ways to improve safety and reliability.

Mr Pitt addressed the forum on the rapidly increasing use of drones, which provide exciting new opportunities across a range of industries.

Read More: News Mail

Imagine postie delivering blood by drone

by Jennifer Jennings

Australia Post CEO Christine Holgate has revealed she wants to learn from Swiss Post how the company can use drones to deliver supplies to emergencies.

Imagine a drone flying overhead delivering crucial blood to the scene of an accident or a hospital?

It’s happening now in Switzerland and it could soon be a thing in Australia.

Australia Post chief executive Christine Holgate has revealed to a Senate committee she has been discussing the use of drone technology with her international counterparts, including Swiss Post.

Read More: News.com.au

VR system could train self-flying drones – without all the crashes

By Ben Coxworth

If you own a consumer drone, chances are you crashed the thing a lot when learning to fly it. Well, the same thing happens when the pros are teaching drones to fly autonomously.

Those wipe-outs could become a lot less common, however, thanks to the Flight Goggles virtual reality system.

Ordinarily, when scientists are developing navigation algorithms that allow drones to avoid obstacles on their own, those drones have to fly through a space filled with such obstacles. And because the algorithms are works-in-progress, the drones don’t avoid all the obstacles – at least not at first – resulting in plenty of crashes.

Those mishaps can be costly and time-consuming, as the aircraft have to be repaired or replaced.

That’s where Flight Goggles comes in.

Read More: News Atlas

Smart drones and deep learning deliver low-cost precision agriculture for Aussie farmers

University of South Australia

New aerial drone technology could change the landscape of Australia’s billion-dollar wheat industry by delivering cost-effective mechanisms for farmers to plan and deliver precise water and nutrients to their crops on a need-by-need basis.

Developed by the University of South Australia with the Plant Accelerator at the University of Adelaide and LongReach Plant Breeders, the drone senses a vegetation index—signifying the crop health, moisture and nutrient content, making it easier and more efficient for farmers to manage agricultural land and for breeders to generate new varieties.

Lead researcher, Dr. Zohaib Khan from UniSA’s Phenomics and Bioinformatics Research Centre, says the new technology is a welcome development for the annual $5 billion+ Australian wheat sector.

Read more at: PHYS.ORG

Infrared sensing gives forest drones a new edge

An ‘x-ray vision system’ that overlays three specific technologies to assess the structure and health of individual trees in plantation forests through the canopy is being developed in South Australia.

University of South Australia autonomous systems expert Professor Anthony Finn said an infrared sensor gave the drone the “x-ray vision” to see through forest canopies.

The collaboration between the forest industry, University of South Australia and the South Australian Government was launched last week to undertake research to boost productivity in the large plantation forests in the south east of the state.

Read More: Pace Today