Research

Aurora Flight Sciences schedules first flight for solar-powered endurance drone

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Aurora Flight Sciences has revealed that its solar-powered endurance drone, Odysseus, will take to the skies for the first time next spring. Powered only by the sun, Odysseus is an ultra-long endurance, high-altitude platform built for persistence. The device utilises advanced solar cells and is built with lightweight materials, technology the company claims could make Odysseus effectively fly for months on end. The project was organised and led by Aurora president and CEO John Langford, alongside other MIT colleagues. Commenting on the news, Langford said: “Aurora was founded by the idea that technology and innovation can provide powerful solutions to
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CDP to give away signed copies of ‘Unmanned’ drone book at Commercial UAV Show

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Commercial Drone Professional has got ten signed copies of ‘Unmanned: One Man’s Story of Life Behind the Lens' to give away at this week’s Commercial UAV Show at the ExCeL. Author, Matt Harmsworth, is hoping the book will give readers insight into his experiences with playing with RC models, plane spotting and becoming disappointed when he discovered he could not fly helicopters. Five of the ten signed copies will be distributed to the first people to collect a copy of CDP’s first special edition print publication at the show on Wednesday. The other five will go out to the first five
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British Army embarks on largest military robot exercise in its history

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The Army has started its biggest military robot exercise in British history. Troops have commenced the testing of over 70 examples of futuristic technology including enhanced surveillance drones and other unmanned vehicles. The ‘Autonomous Warrior’ experiment, taking place on the fields of Salisbury Plain, will last four weeks and will test a range of prototype unmanned aerial vehicles alongside autonomous ground-based robots. The exercise will finish with a battlegroup experiment which will see the best ideas and products tested in a tough simulated operational environment. On the experiment, defence secretary Gavin Williamson, said: “Our troops now have the chance to
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Cape study reveals growing expectation of drone use for public safety among American citizens

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Americans have started to expect more from drones and what they can do for public safety, according to new national data. The report by Cape, a cloud platform for drone telepresence and data management, revealed that nearly three in four Americans support law enforcement’s use of drones to improve community safety. Called Superheroes in the Sky, the report also uncovered a major gap in consumer drone knowledge, and the impact of education on driving support and adoption in the US. Chris Rittler, CEO of Cape, said: “Safety concerns are on the rise and consumers expect their local law enforcement and
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Global UAV successfully completes 4G drone mission of vineyard

Global UAV Technologies has announced it recently completed a 4G drone technology proof concept mission with Jöst Vineyards and VineView. Global UAV provided the 4G enabled Procyon 800E helicopter drone platform and specialised imaging payload, pilots and engineering support for the project. The mission demonstrated a real world application of cutting-edge drone technology for the “Digital Vineyard of the Future” project and provided valuable quantitative scientific data to the vineyard. Global UAV flew a 4G enabled multi-spectral imaging survey over Jöst Vineyards in Nova Scotia with a Procyon 800E helicopter, the company’s proprietary drone. A mission aimed to demonstrate drone-enabled
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Imperial College London may have found answer to drone collision issue

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Researchers at Imperial College London have found that the ancient art of origami could be used to protect in-flight drones from collisions. Without hindering flight performance, experts have taken inspiration from origami to equip drones with lightweight, impact-absorbent cushioning to protect them from bumps and scrapes. The research, published in Science Robotics, shows how drones equipped with the Rotary Origami Protective System incur less force and damage during a collision, and are thus able to keep flying after impact with obstacles. Lead author Dr Pooya Sareh, who led the research at Imperial’s Department of Aeronautics and now directs the Creative
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University professor gets to work on life-saving drone programme

Dr. Suzanne Smith
University of Kentucky professor Suzanne Smith is working on a drone programme which could be potentially life-saving. Smith is using her UAS expertise as part of the Bloomberg Philanthropies 2018 Mayors Challenge, a programme which recognises innovative ideas aimed at tackling urgent problems. After an application process for US cities with a population of over 30,000, the City of Louisville was listed as a finalist of this year’s competition with a crime fighting drone dispatch idea. Louisville’s murder rate has spiked in recent years and after a development process, the idea of deploying drones to detected gunshot locations emerged. When on
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UK University announces world leading professorship in autonomous systems and AI

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Cranfield University in Bedford has announced plans for a world-leading professorship in autonomous systems and AI. The professorship will be a research leadership role at the University, bringing together research in UAV’s, space and artificial intelligence. The role will be sponsored by BAE Systems, a technology leader in this field. Julia Sutcliffe, chief technology officer at BAE Systems Air, said: “Autonomous systems and artificial intelligence have the potential to provide a substantial positive impact upon product, service, and industrial capabilities.” She added: “This prestigious appointment, in a growing and highly disruptive field, will enable BAE Systems to exploit the latest
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VIDEO: Disney saves on scaffolding with PaintCopter ‘graffiti drone’

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Disney’s researchers have been working on developing a drone that can tag walls with a spray-paint gun, saving time and resources in big painting projects. The drone will use cameras to detect outlines of what needs to be painted and use the attached gun to complete the image. However, the prototype so far will not haver instilled too much confidence in the initiative after painting some unsteady pictures. According to a report by the BBC, the drone has paint pumped to it via a tube which tethers the device to the ground – an upgrade on previous versions of the
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Argos says change in legislation led to sudden 90% spike in drone sales

European Consumer Confidence At 5 1/2-Year Low
The growth of the British UAV industry is being felt on the high street after retailer Argos said sales of drones recently soared by 91% in one month. The technology and electrical retailer said orders suddenly increased when new legislation surrounding drone flying hit the headlines earlier this year. Argos’s first ever ‘Year in Tech’ revealed the rise, a report which shows the UK’s tech trends over the past twelve months. The report details how sales of drones are rising 20% year-on-year, with the trend prevalent across the whole of the UK. South Wales came out as the drone capital of
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