Drone Tech News



Wing, Owned by Google’s Parent Company, Gets First Approval for Drone Deliveries in U.S.

Wing, Owned by Google’s Parent Company, Gets First Approval for Drone Deliveries in U.S.

Millions of drones buzzing through the air, delivering the groceries you need to make your dinner, the medicine you forgot to pick up from the pharmacy or even a hot cup of coffee. To some, it’s the inevitable, efficient future. To others, it might sound more like the beginnings of a dystopian horror story. Either way, it’s now closer to reality. The Federal Aviation Administration said Tuesday that Wing, the drone-delivery unit of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, had received the agency’s first approval to use drones to carry and deliver packages commercially.
DJI drones helped track and stop the Notre Dame fire

DJI drones helped track and stop the Notre Dame fire

Parisian firefighters used DJI drones to track the progression of the Notre Dame fire and to find the best positions to aim fire hoses. By flying DJI Mavic Pro and Matrice M210 drones over the Notre Dame cathedral, firefighters were able to get essential data for taming the flames. Notre Dame de Paris was severely damaged by the fire that ravaged its roof, spire, stained glass window, and pipe organ. Police say the fire was likely an accident, potentially caused by ongoing renovation work. Fire brigade spokesman Gabriel Plus told local media that the drones were instrumental in saving the cathedral’s structure. “The drones allowed us to correctly use what we had at our disposal,” Plus said in comments translated from French.
Alphabet’s Wing launches drone delivery service in Australia

Alphabet’s Wing launches drone delivery service in Australia

After months of testing, Alphabet's Wing division is launching a drone delivery service in Australia. It will cover roughly 100 homes in the suburbs of Crace, Palmerston and Franklin, just outside the capital city of Canberra. Customers will be able to request small goods, such as medicine, coffee and groceries, from a range of local businesses including Kickstart Expresso, Capital Chemist, Pure Gelato, Jasper + Myrtle, Bakers Delight, Guzman Y Gomez, and Drummond Golf. Wing says it will slowly expand to more neighborhoods "in the coming weeks and months" and "connect with more local businesses" to expand the products that are available to order.
DJI Tello Iron Man Edition drone promises Avengers aerial gameplay

DJI Tello Iron Man Edition drone promises Avengers aerial gameplay

Earlier this year, Ryze Tech debuted a new drone that was centered around being small in size and affordable in price. Though the $99 price Tello was targeting certainly put it in the budget drone range, it was backed by some big names. Specifically, the Tello drone was made using technology from both Intel and DJI. Today, Tello announced something of a follow up to that first drone, and it’s got another big company in its corner for this release: Marvel.Tello’s new drone is themed around Iron Man and comes with a design job that matches the superhero’s iconic suit. At $129, the new mini drone is a bit more expensive than its predecessor was, something we can probably chalk up to this new licensing deal. Even then, $129 isn’t very much money when we’re talking about most typical consumer drones.
UPS Begins Using Drones to Transport Medical Samples at North Carolina Hospitals

UPS Begins Using Drones to Transport Medical Samples at North Carolina Hospitals

UPS said Tuesday it began using unmanned drones to transport medical samples at a North Carolina hospital system, part of its longer-term plan to incorporate drones into its delivery of supplies and samples to medical facilities.The logistics and delivery giant is partnering with Matternet, a drone-logistics startup, to shuttle medical samples among scattered facilities at WakeMed. The 941-bed hospital system includes three full-service hospitals and other facilities in North Carolina’s Triangle area.“Currently, the majority of medical samples and specimens are transported across WakeMed’s expanding health system by courier cars,” UPS said in a statement. “The addition of drone transport provides an option for on-demand and same-day delivery, the ability to avoid roadway delays, increase medical delivery efficiency, lower costs and improve the patient experience with potentially life-saving benefits.”
Bipartisan law pushes use of drones for fighting wildfires

Bipartisan law pushes use of drones for fighting wildfires

President Trump signed a bipartisan bill into law Tuesday that pushes federal agencies to explore increased use of drones in managing and fighting wildfires.Among many other things, the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act directs the secretary of the Department of the Interior to set up or expand a “research, development, and testing program” to examine the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS, or drones) “across the full range of wildland fire management operations.” Now that the bill is law, Interior will have just six months to get the program up and running.
Airports scramble to handle drone incidents

Airports scramble to handle drone incidents

Washington, DC (CNN)Drones have become an increasing nuisance for airports worldwide in recent months, and good solutions to keep them from interfering with flights aren't yet available.Airports in various cities -- including Newark, New Jersey; Gatwick, England; Dublin, Ireland and Dubai -- have grounded planes in the last three months following drone sightings.The incident at Gatwick in December proved especially disruptive, impacting the flights of more than 100,000 passengers. In 2017, a drone hit a commercial airplane approaching Quebec City in Canada. The plane landed safely.
Trump administration releases proposed drone rules and regulatory changes

Trump administration releases proposed drone rules and regulatory changes

More than two years after receiving warnings about a regulatory loophole that could put law enforcement at risk from booby-trapped drones, the Federal Aviation Administration said it will use a truncated public process to fix the problem within two weeks.The move was part of a dizzying array of proposed rules and regulatory changes published last week by the Trump administration, which wants to roll back rules on use of the devices while simultaneously taking steps to ease concerns raised by security officials.In a significant shift, the FAA is also proposing to end its general prohibition on flying drones over people, relying on research and regulations concerning the risks of people getting hit by debris from missile and rocket launches to help make the case.
The US government is about to put a dog tag on your drone

The US government is about to put a dog tag on your drone

Get ready to stick some ID on the outside of your drone — starting February 23rd, a new FAA rule will require all small unmanned aircraft to have their registration markings visible on the outside of their body, so law enforcement can easily find their owners.In a preview document published at the Federal Register (spotted by Bloomberg), the FAA says the move is in response to terrorism fears, specifically “the risk a concealed explosive device poses to first responders who must open a compartment to find the small unmanned aircraft’s registration number.”
Drone Consortium Safir to Increase Efforts to Facilitate European Drone Law Legislation

Drone Consortium Safir to Increase Efforts to Facilitate European Drone Law Legislation

The Safir project, a consortium of 13 public organizations and private companies partly funded by the European Commission, will begin testing drone applications and unmanned traffic management systems in Belgium in hopes to assist the European Union establish a framework for the commercial drone industry, The New York Times reports. Members of Safir (or Safe and Flexible Integration of Initial U-space Services in a Real Environment) met in Brussels in November to discuss the upcoming test trials, which will take place at the DronePort facility in Limburg. “It is about testing 10 drones with different purposes, applications and IT systems,” explained DronePort CEO Mark Vanlook. 
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