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Aerobotics hits milestone of processing ten million trees

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Precision agriculture firm Aerobotics has reached the milestone of processing ten million trees and vines with its software. The announcement was officially made by Aerobotics’ CFO and head of growth Tim Willis as part of the AfricaCom event at the Cape Town International Convention Centre. Willis explained how he thinks that Aerobotics’ proprietary artificial intelligence software gets stronger and more efficient the more data that is processed. He said: “Today, we are proud to announce that we have processed 10 million trees in Aerobotics’ software, making our artificial intelligence and solutions stronger and more efficient.” He added: “This is not
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UAVOS and Stratodynamics HiDron project takes to the skies

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HiDron, a joint project between UAVOS and Stratodynamics, has completed its first test flight. The testing program was used to prove stable communication commands of the primary radio link and the backup Iridium satellite system and stabilisation and controllability of the aircraft after the balloon was released. It also tested the balloon release systems and monitored the influence of icing conditions on the UAV controls. The first flight lasted 1.5 hours and reached an altitude of 6000 m while the HiDron’s vertical speed averaged 2 m/s down during the return flight, much slower than typical payload parachutes at 4 m/s
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iRed joins forces with Topcon in product and training offering move

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iRed, a thermal imaging consultancy in the UK, has teamed up with Topcon, a global positioning partner for construction and geo-businesses in the UK and Ireland. The collaboration will bring together Topcon’s oil and gas UAVs, the Intel Falcon 8+ and Sirius Pro, with iRed’s accredited in-house training and support capabilities. The new partnership hopes to offer customers access to complete specialist solutions for their professional imaging and mapping projects. Tim Mammatt, business sevelopment manager at iRed, commented on the move, he said: “We’re pleased to be able to offer the Falcon 8+ and Sirius Pro to our customers, they
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Heliguy hosts emergency services roadshow in Lincolnshire

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Heliguy has hosted an emergency services roadshow in Lincoln, in partnership with DJI. The scene, put together by event organisers, featured a derailed train and a number of casualties which emergency services had to use a drone to deal with as part of a demonstration. The event, held last Tuesday, also doubled up as the official launch of the DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise release in the UK. Emergency services used the new loudspeaker feature on the drone to give a message to the casualties of ‘This is the emergency services. Please remain calm. Help will be with you shortly’ in
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Network Rail seeks out drone partners as part of maintenance framework plan

Network Rail is looking for a drone pilot training partner and a supplier as part of a maintenance work framework plan. The information comes as the firm issued a Prior Information Notice (PIN) for its upcoming Unmanned Aircraft Systems Framework. According to a report from the New Civil Engineer, the framework will cover infrastructure inspections and maintenance checks which will be carried out on the network via drone. Split into five lots and totalling £2.6m, the framework will be carried out over a three to five year period and will focus on structures and bridge surveys, embankment checks, Overhead Line
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NASA to use NextNav’s 3D geolocation services in urban drone program

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NextNav’s 3D geolocation services have been accepted for use by NASA in its City Environment for Range Testing of Autonomous Integrated Navigation (CERTAIN) program. The MBS system facilitates urban drone operations where satellite-based GPS signals may not be available. Its system is used when knowing a drone's location horizontally and vertically is critical to ensure safe operations in urban air traffic corridors. Evan Dill, of the Safety-Critical Avionics Systems Branch at NASA, said: “NextNav's MBS system provides us with new tools for the development of navigation systems in environments where GPS has traditionally been challenged.” He added: “We're looking forward
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VIDEO: UK university team returns from drone volcano mapping trip

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A team of scientists and engineers from the Universities of Birmingham and Bristol have returned from Guatemala where they have been teaching local scientists how to use drones to map a volcanoes. Supported by the World Bank and the British Embassy in Guatemala, the team have been assisting volcanologists at the Guatemalan government agency responsible for monitoring volcanoes. The local scientists took part in a four-day workshop led by Dr Rick Thomas from the University of Birmingham’s School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Science and were trained in safe flight protocols, data acquisition and image processing using quadcopters and 3D
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Australian beach council to use drones for coastline patrol

Northern Beaches Council lifeguards and rangers in Australia are currently undertaking drone qualifications to operate drones. The move is part of a plan to give the team greater capability to keep beaches safe and supplement existing regulatory resources. The tailor-made Certificate III in Aviation (Remote Pilot – Visual Line of Sight) qualification has been offered to four council lifeguards and two rangers. Once completed, the staff will receive their Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) Remote Pilot License (RePL), as well as their Aeronautical Radio Operator Certificate (AROC). On the training scheme, Northern Beaches mayor, Michael Regan, said: “We’re very lucky
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Ouster outlines details of new lidar category

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Ouster has unveiled details of its underlying technology, revealing a departure from niche and high-cost materials commonly used. The company says that several fundamental breakthroughs covered by recently granted patents have enabled Ouster's move toward silicon-based sensors and lasers which operate in a near-infrared light spectrum. Ouster's new approach to lidar is hoping to speed up the deployment of technology ranging from autonomous vehicles, to large-scale mobile robotics, to long-range mapping drones. In an article on the company's website, CEO Angus Pacala wrote, "I'm excited to announce that Ouster has been granted foundational patents for our unique multi-beam flash lidar
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Openreach turns to drone operations for fibre broadband connection in Scottish Highlands

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Openreach used a drone to fly a fibre broadband cable across a river in the Scottish Highlands. The UAV was used to connect a remote home in the area with the network, providing it with a better quality of internet. According to a report by the BBC, the team had previously attempted to attach cables to fishing lines, golf balls and even hammers, but had been mostly unsuccessful. Chief engineer for Openreach in the North of Scotland, Kevin Drain, told the BBC: "Although Glenmazeran is only 20 miles from Inverness, the properties are very remote and scattered. We've had to
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