Tag Archives | Drones

Scientist Created Drones That Fly Autonomously and Learn New Routes

Drone manufactured by Blue Bear Systems Research Ltd. Credit: Image courtesy of Investigación y Desarrollo

Drone manufactured by Blue Bear Systems Research Ltd.
Credit: Image courtesy of Investigación y Desarrollo

Skynet is born.

Investigación y Desarrollo via ScienceDaily:

Drones say goodbye to pilots. With the goal of achieving autonomous flight of these aerial vehicles, the researcher José Martínez Carranza from the National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics (INAOE) in Mexico, developed a vision and learning system to control and navigate them without relying on a GPS signal or trained personnel.

Mexican José Martínez, structured an innovative method to estimate the position and orientation of the vehicle, allowing it to recognize its environment, hence to replace the GPS location system for low-cost sensors such as accelerometers, gyroscopes and camcorders.

The main idea was to avoid the use of GPS and opted for the use of video cameras on board of the vehicle for visual information and applying an algorithm to locate and orient the drone during its flight to use such information.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Amazon cleared to put its delivery drones to the test

amazon_drone_test

The Federal Aviation Administration has given Amazon permission to begin testing its drone delivery operations.

via Nick Lavars at Gizmag:

It’s been more than a year in the making, but it seems that the regulatory wheels are beginning to turn on Amazon’s bold plan for drone deliveries. The FAA has today granted the online retailer permission to start testing its unmanned aircraft as part of its Prime Air initiative. It does come with its share of caveats, however, so don’t expect a box set to be air-delivered to your doorstep anytime soon.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos first unveiled plans to use drones to deliver small packages in late 2013, saying that “we hope the FAA’s rules will be in place as early as sometime in 2015. We will be ready at that time.” But since then, Amazon has played the waiting game as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) revamps its regulations for unmanned aerial vehicles.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

A New Kind of Mental Disturbance? Drone Pilots Are Quitting in Droves

David Rodriguez Martin (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

David Rodriguez Martin (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Pratap Chatterjee via AlterNet:

To stay on top of important articles like these, sign up to receive the latest updates from TomDispatch.com here.

The U.S. drone war across much of the Greater Middle East and parts of Africa is in crisis and not because civilians are dying or the target list for that war or the right to wage it just about anywhere on the planet are in question in Washington. Something far more basic is at stake: drone pilots are quitting in record numbers.

There are roughly 1,000 such drone pilots, known in the trade as “18Xs,” working for the U.S. Air Force today. Another 180 pilots graduate annually from a training program that takes about a year to complete at Holloman and Randolph Air Force bases in, respectively, New Mexico and Texas. As it happens, in those same 12 months, about 240 trained pilots quit and the Air Force is at a loss to explain the phenomenon.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

US Authorizes Sale of Armed Drones

Image Credit: U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson

Image Credit: U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson

Franz-Stefan Gady via The Diplomat:

The United States will authorize for the first time the export of armed drones to allied nations, according to media reports. The new policy has been announced this Tuesday. The exact rules will remain classified but, according to Reuters, requests by foreign governments will be examined on a case by case basis and allied states must agree to certain “end use assurances.”

States interesting in purchasing U.S. armed drones have to agree to a set of “proper use” principles and,according to an unclassified summary of the policy, not use UAVs “to conduct unlawful surveillance or [for] unlawful force against their domestic populations.” So far, the United States has only exported lethal drones to the United Kingdom. Other allies, such as France and Italy, have purchased unarmed U.S. drones in the last few years, but have not been provided with weapons.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Unauthorized Government Attacks Are Murder

Unmanned

Via Ivan Eland at Antiwar.com:

Although U.S. drones firing missiles at suspected bad guys in faraway places – such as Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia – have gotten much publicity in recent years, it was recently revealed that the CIA assassinated top Hezbollah terrorist Imad Mugniyah with a good old fashioned car bomb in Damascus, Syria with President George W. Bush’s strident approval in 2008. Because of an executive order, signed in 1975 by President Gerald Ford, prohibiting assassinations by the CIA, presidents usually get around that order by using the military to kill an enemy bigwig and then make the disingenuous claim that it was merely taking out a “command and control” target rather than an assassination. In this case, Bush, never one to observe constitutional or legal niceties, became incensed that the CIA director was being too timid in carrying out the hit using the exploding car. The real issue in such cases is not whether it is more dangerous to liberty to kill the enemy using a high tech drone or a more traditional car bomb, but whether it constitutional to do either.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

The Drone Film Festival

Drones continue to be a thing in 2015, as evidenced by the launch of the Drone Film Festival in New York next month. Omnicom’s Media Pulse picks up on it:

It’s official: the next frontier in art is… drones. Between recently relaxed regulations and the proliferation of sub-$150 camera drones, the Next Big Thing in consumer electronics, post CES, is set to become the Next Big Thing among art’s elite, too. So much so, in fact, the first ever Drone Film Festival is set to debut in (where else?) New York City in March of this year.

Founded by director Randy Scott Slavin, the festival came about mid-2014 when one of Slavin’s own drone films went viral. Says Slavin, “I looked around and realized that there were not only no drone categories in bigger festivals, but there were no exclusive drone festivals.” One of Slavin’s inspirations, in fact, was a drone film called Pritty Sweet, directed by the legendary Spike Jonze.

Read the rest
Continue Reading