Drones at Work

Volocopter prepares for electrical vertical take-off and landing air taxi testing

Volocopter has announced it is in the planning process for its next set of eVTOL Air Taxi flight tests. The company has decided that it will conduct the inner urban flight tests in the second half of 2019, in Singapore. The series of scheduled tests are supported by the Ministry of Transport (MOT), Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), and Economic Development Board (EDB). The flight tests have been designed to verify the ability of Volocopter’s eVTOL vehicles to operate in Singapore’s urban environment. Volocopter and the CAAS will work together to establish the scope of the flight trials and
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Road repairing drone could solve the UK’s pothole problem

Drones could soon be used as road repair devices following research from students at the University of Leeds. The news comes after councillors in Flintshire proposed an implementation of the technology to fix its £40m pothole repair backlog. According to a report by the BBC, the council began to consider the alternative solution after seeing researchers from the University of Leeds demonstrate a drone that sprays asphalt from a 3D printer. The Local Democracy Reporting Service described how labour councillor Paul Shotton raised the idea when councillors discussed repair delays during an environment scrutiny committee meeting on Tuesday. The same
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Self-flying Skydio R1 can now be piloted using an Apple Watch

Skydio has announced its self-flying R1 drone can now be controlled from an Apple Watch. The Californian-based company hopes the added autonomy will provide its users with increased usability ease and a more enjoyable in-flight experience. To do this, the firm has introduced the Skydio Apple Watch app, which allows an R1 pilots to direct the drone completely from their wrist. The Skydio Apple Watch app enables users to select a subject to follow, use the digital crown to rotate the drone and to change between cinematic skills. Adam Bry, CEO and co-founder of Skydio, said: “Full autonomy is the
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Epson prepares popular ‘print academy’ to showcase AR smart glasses for drone photography

Epson is preparing to host its popular ‘print academy’ to showcase AR smart glasses for drone photography. The event will be part of the upcoming PhotoPlus Expo show in New York City. During the show, Epson will showcase its Moverio augmented reality smart glasses and the new Drone Soar app, discussing the benefits for usage in the drone photography market. Exhibitors will then get a chance to demo the new Epson Drone Soar app, the first full-featured AR app for DJI drone pilots that hopes to revolutionise how photographers fly drones. The Expo at the Javits Convention Centre will run
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VIDEO: Drone footage used to capture aftermath of Storm Michael

News organisations around the globe have been using drone footage to show the world the damage caused by Storm Michael. UAVs were also used by first responders and emergency services as part of the rescue mission. But, despite the value of drones in these situations, CDP reported yesterday on an FAA warning which told drone pilots to stay away from disaster hit areas so not to interfere with the rescue missions taking place. Watch this week's drone footage, as shown by NBC News, which captures the destruction caused by the Storm. https://youtu.be/hPJ6fhQ8-Tw Drones were used in a similar way in
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West-Lothian groundworks firm buys GPS drone to help with on-site work

West Lothian building firm Mullholland Contracts has bought a GPS-enabled drone to help with day to day on-site work. The groundworks, surfacing and utility contractor will use the drone to monitor site progress and generate models and maps for its clients. According to a report from Insider, the company has acquired a full drone pilot certification from the Civil Aviation Authority as well. The report goes on to describe that the DJI Inspire 2 will be used to assist with the monitoring of earthworks, the tracking of site progress, and the generation of up-to-date maps for clients. Finance director at
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Russian oil firm completes drone pipeline inspection testing

Oil firm Messoyahaneftegaz has successfully carried out UAV testing to obtain information on the status of its pipelines. A joint venture between Rosneft and Gazprom, the company operates out of North Russia in the West Siberian Basin. The UAVs will also be used to allow specialists leading the development of the polar field, to quickly gather information on the condition of its onshore production infrastructure in hard-to-reach areas of the license area. Data of aerial photography, video monitoring and 3D-visualization of objects will be used in the work in an aim to increase safety and economic efficiency of the oil
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FAA warns of hefty fines for drone pilots interfering in Storm Michael rescue mission

The FAA has warned that if unauthorised drones are found to be interfering with the Hurricane Michael rescue mission they will be the subject of heavy fines. The regulator has said that fines in excess of $20,000 could be issued to the pilots flying without concern for rescue missions. In a statement, the FAA described that many aircraft are conducting life-saving missions and other critical response and recovery efforts are likely to be flying at low altitudes over areas affected by the storm. It went on to detail how flying a drone without authorisation in or near the disaster area
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Mobile Recon Systems introduces KittyHawk to its service offering

Mobile Recon Systems is introducing the KittyHawk to its family of UAVs offering high-value service. The KittyHawk will be part of a line of UAVs that carry out transport supply, inspection and aerial analysis, border and perimeter surveillance, emergency first response, and mapping. On the decision, Mobile Recon Systems founder, Mike Dowell, said: “Our aerial multi-functional platform has industry leading integration of lift capacity, functional flexibility, flight time and cost.” He added: “The KittyHawk can not only be used for reconnaissance, but also more rigorous applications like carrying temperature sensitive supplies of up to 25 pounds in a transport box
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Drones used to inspect 100 miles of power lines in five days

Honeywell’s UAV-based inspection service has helped utility company Ozarks inspect more than 100 miles of power lines in 5 days. Without UAV technology, inspecting the same distance takes approximately two weeks with up to 15 employees. Using drones meant the task could be carried out more safely and without the need and cost for helicopter hire. UAVs also provided Ozarks Electric Cooperative with better quality data from the assessment. Mitchell Johnson, president and CEO at Ozarks Electric Cooperative, said: “Ozarks Electric Cooperative is constantly trying to innovate and improve in areas like reliability, quality and sustainability.” He added: "Our collaboration
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