Tag: Drones

QUT using drones, AI to weed out invasive species

By Matt Johnston

Targets bitou bush in first instance.

Queensland University of Technology researchers are attempting to weed out invasive plants from coastal areas using drones and artificial intelligence.

The Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, along with Aspect UAV, are partners in the project, which scans vegetation to spot weeds that would otherwise blend into the environment.

The researchers are plugging the images into a classification algorithm to identify bitou bush, an officially designated weed of national significance.

The data is then highlighted in images and on maps to show biosecurity officers areas to target for eradication work.

The project expands on work by QUT associate professor Felipe Gonzalez, who specialises in UAV autonomy, computer vision and remote sensing.

Read More: I T News

Autonomous drones will fly into danger zones for emergency services

Within the next five years, automated drones could be flying into danger zones to carry out search and rescue missions following earthquakes, fires and other disasters, if research under way at the New York University (NYU) in Abu Dhabi comes to fruition.

The project, which has already seen a number of prototype drones take to the air, is being run by Antonios Tzes, professor of electrical and computer engineering at NYU Abu Dhabi, who was looking for a way to get drones to operate in indoor or otherwise enclosed environments.

Most regular drones rely on access to GPS to navigate, which means that in so-called GPS-denied (indoor) environments, they are at a distinct disadvantage, and although some models can detect obstacles using visual systems, when they do detect such an obstacle, they are unable to do much more than hover on the spot and not hit it.

Read More: Computer Weekly.com

Queensland cattlemen embrace drones for herding


Having switched from horseback to a motorbike years ago, cattleman Ashley Kirk is set to take what he sees as the next inevitable step.

He wants to turn his drone into a drover.

Before you scoff, the 37-year-old grazier has not only thought this through, he is already working the flying robot into the day-to-day running of the family property, Rockley, south of Rockhampton. “It’s similar to a dog, I suppose,” Mr Kirk said, moving stock to paddocks made lush from this month’s drought-breaking rain. “You put the dog at the back of the cattle and they push them the way you want them to go … the principle with a drone is roughly the same.”

He’s far from alone. Australian farmers have been quick to ­appreciate the potential of drones to take some of the guess work out of when to plant or how to raise crops. In what’s called data-­driven decision-making, infra-red and video images from a drone are used to make high-resolution computer maps that detail everything from the likely moisture content of soil to individual plants in need of a shot of fertiliser.

Read More: The Australian

Drones help lifeguards get safety messages to rock fishers on Auckland’s west coast


Drones will be used to help the safety of people fishing off rocks along Auckland’s west coast. Rock fishing safety advisor Sam Turbott said the current way he got information to fisherman was inefficient.

“I have to spend many hours walking out to rock fishing spots and there might not be anyone out,” he said.

“It’s also quite dangerous getting out to spots so the drones is just a logical idea to cover quite a lot of ground and keep me safe, and save time and money.”

The drone will allow Turbott to locate fisherman on remote rock fishing spots and decide the fastest and safest way to get to them.

Read More: Nor-West News

Paramedics take calls airborne with the help of drones

Global News

A rural paramedic service just west of Ottawa is plotting a new flight path for the future of drone use and is trying to save lives in the process.

Some of the paramedics in Renfrew County are also pilots, flying drones to help them respond to emergency calls from car accidents to heart attacks, especially in remote locations.

“It extends our reach into areas we couldn’t previously access,” said Brian Leahey, one of the pilot’s and the deputy chief of the paramedic service. “Picture a crew responding to the call and it gets to a point we can no longer proceed. We can now pop this drone up and continue.”

And in Ontario’s largest country, the extra help goes a long way.

Last year, they flew the drone to survey a snowmobile accident before risking sending someone out on the ice.

Read More: Global News

Walmart docs hint at drones tending farms

By Nandita Bose and Tom Polansek

The world’s largest retailer has applied for six patents on drones that aim to prevent crop damage, control pests and cross-pollinate plants.

Walmart’s patent filings hint that it may see a future where farmers use its drones to not only spot crop problems but selectively apply chemicals or even disperse pollen to bring shoppers the freshest and cheapest food possible.

The world’s largest retailer applied for six patents last year on drones that aim to prevent damage to crops, control pest attacks on farms and cross-pollinate plants, according to US Patents and Trademark Office documents that have been made public.

Groceries make up 56 per cent of the company’s total revenue and Walmart may see drone technology as one way to get food from farms to store shelves faster and more cheaply to compete with Amazon.com, following its purchase of Whole Foods Market last year and the expansion of discount chains like Aldi and Lidl.

In one application, Walmart seeks to patent a system that would use drones to identify crop-damaging pests and then dispense insecticides on the critters.

Another suggests the use of drones carrying pollen dispensers to successfully pollinate crops.

Read More: news.com.au

In bid to compete with Amazon, Walmart files patents for farming drones

By Eric Brackett

Walmart has been expanding the reach of its grocery business for several years, and may be looking to use technology to make its supply chains more efficient. The retail giant has filed patents for six drones that would help automate the farming process, Business Insider reported. The full details of the drones  haven’t been revealed, but we do know that one is meant to pollinate crops, one would work to protect plants from pests, and a third would keep an eye on plant health.

While this would give Walmart more control over its supply chain, it is unlikely that the company is planning on going into the farming business. Instead, Walmart will sell these drones to partner farms in an attempt to make them more efficient. On the consumer side of things, this could mean higher supplies of fruits and vegetables and lower prices, though nothing is certain.

Paula Savanti, a senior consumer analyst at Rabobank, told Business Insider that she believes the drones will give Walmart more insight into what is happening on its farms, and allow for better response to changes in supply.

Read More: Digital Trends

Oil industry jumping into drone use

Technology can map rights-of-way or facilities, check for spills and emissions

Whether it’s siting a drilling pad, checking the right-of-way for a pipeline or inspecting for leaks, having an eye in the sky is invaluable to the energy industry.

That eye in the sky has evolved from airplanes in the early days to helicopters to drones, formally known as unmanned aerial systems. These systems are forecast by Goldman Sachs to grow to a $100 billion market between by 2020, dominated by the $70 billion military market, $17 billion consumer market and $13 billion commercial/civil market, the fastest growing of the three segments.

The Federal Aviation Administration (US) is forecasting that the number of UAVs will leap from 600,000 units in 2017 to 2.7 million by 2020.

Read More: MRT.com


Switzerland Is Developing a System to Track Drones All Over the Country

WRITTEN BY Kyree Leary

The system will track drones and register operators in order to make airspace safer for the tiny vehicles. Switzerland’s U-Space is an initiative that seeks to make drone services a major part of various business plans. Step one is to create a system capable of managing a large number of them.

Ars Technica reports that Skyguide, a Swiss air traffic control operator, is partnering with AirMap, maker of one of the leading global airspace management platforms for drones. In June, Skyguide will begin migrating its data and air traffic management applications to AirMap’s airspace mapping platform, AirMap UTM.

Read More: Futurism

UK’s drone revolution: How $100 BILLION industry could herald huge boost for Britain

BRITISH business has been given a boost with new industry standards for the use of drones moving ever closer, but one expert warns not to expect pizza delivery by drone anytime soon.
Unmanned aerial vehicles are on course to revolutionise British business and transform sectors from transport to infrastructure, agriculture to medicine – across air, land, sea and space.

New standards for the use of drones in business could see urgent deliveries of blood whizzing around abandoned canals in Birmingham, or to help a farmer keep an eye on livestock, or crops, or even to boost search and rescue missions in Snowdonia.

The new standards are to be unveiled for the first time in Spring 2018 in order to strengthen public confidence in the safety, security and compliance within an industry which is set to be one of the fastest growth sectors in the world.

Read More: Express