Robots Luise, Renate join Airbus A320 production line...

Daily Mail

Airbus has unveiled the latest employees helping it put together the hugely popular A320 passenger plane. The European planemaker has unveiled a new production line for its best-selling A320 jet with robots Luise and Renate joining human workers as it turns to new automation to help it deal with an eight-year order backlog. Airbus hopes digital technology will enable higher production and trigger a significant shift in research and development spending towards high-tech manufacturing. Airbus is is ramping up production of the single-aisle A320 jet, which competes with Boeing's 737, from 50 to 60 planes per month. The two robots, whose names were chosen by employees, will in particular help to drill over 2,000 holes to join the two halves of the fuselage together, work normally done by humans.

A Single Drone Helped Mexican Police Drop Crime 10 Percent


In Ensenada, a Mexican city about two hours south of Tijuana, a new crime fighter has taken to the skies. And over a few months on patrol, it's had quite the impact. The city's police department claims the solitary DJI Inspire 1 Quadcopter led to more than 500 arrests and a 10 percent drop in overall crime rates, with a 30 percent drop in home robberies. It's the latest example of drones slowly finding their place in civilian life, like soldiers returning from war, seeking to apply their skills to life in a country not entirely comfortable with what they were up to overseas. Unmanned aerial vehicles may have gotten their start with the military, flying recon missions in Vietnam and dropping bombs over Afghanistan.

NASA's building new tools to manage water, as climate dangers grow

MIT Technology Review

On the Sunday morning after the weather cleared, a pair of NASA researchers loaded onto a small plane at the Mammoth Yosemite Airport, a single-runway operation that stretches out before the pyramid peak of Mount Morrison. After final safety checks, the pilots lifted off, marking the Airborne Snow Observatory's inaugural flight of the season. The ASO is a twin-turboprop Beechcraft King Air 90, equipped with a pair of sensors pointing through a glass cutout on the bottom of the plane. The lidar measures the volume of the mountain snowpack while a spectrometer gauges its reflectivity, together providing a highly accurate estimate of how much water will run off the mountain in the spring and when it will flow through California's warren of dams, reservoirs, and aqueducts. The data allows water authorities to more carefully manage the water charging hydroelectric power plants, feeding towns and cities, and nourishing one of the United States' most productive agricultural regions.

10 ways drones are changing the world


This week Dezeen released Elevation, an 18-minute documentary that explores the impact drones will have on our lives. Here, we take a look at 10 innovative ways drones will change the world. Customers of supermarket giant Walmart may soon be able to summon assistance from unmanned aerial vehicles using mobile electronic devices. The vehicles will help locate products in store and advise on prices by crosscheck information stored on the store's central databases. PriestmanGoode's fleet of urban delivery drones, called Dragonfly, are featured in Dezeen's documentary.

'Innovation zone' sites picked for program aimed at expanding drone flights

The Japan Times

BISMARCK, NORTH DAKOTA – U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao on Wednesday announced 10 sites for a test program aimed at increasing the use of unmanned aircraft for projects that range from monitoring crops and oil pipelines in North Dakota to applying mosquito-killing treatments in Florida and package deliveries in Tennessee. President Donald Trump signed a directive last year to establish the "innovation zones" that allow exemptions to some drone regulations, such as flying over people, nighttime flights and flights where the aircraft can't be seen by the operator. States, communities and tribes selected to participate would devise their own trial programs in partnership with government and industry drone users. "Data gathered from these pilot projects will form the basis of a new regulatory framework to safely integrate drones into our national airspace," Chao said in a statement. Chao, who called the rapidly developing drone industry the biggest development since the jet age, said about 150 applications were received.

Certified Aerial Thermographer Program Will Help Use Infrared Photography With UAVs


UAV Experts and a division of Atlanta Hobby, is rotating out a new'Certified Aerial Thermographer Program.' This two-day program is basically designed to complement UAV Experts current UAVs flight training offerings. Moreover, this program will instruct both the companies and individuals on the use of infrared photography with UAVs. "We have been flying infrared for a long time and are excited about launching this new training program headed by Monroe's Vice President and Level III certified thermographer, Bill Fabian, and this infrared program adds to our other extensive training programs," mentioned Cliff Whitney, CEO of UAV Experts. "Our new partnership with UAV Experts puts the right people and skillsets together for a winning education for our students," added Bill Fabian.

The flying taxi takes off in Cincinnati: Workhorse tests its radical passenger drone

Daily Mail

Surefly, a division of Workhorse, has successfully sent its flying taxi into the air with a person inside it for the first time. The Surefly drone completed a successful manned and untethered test hover outside of Cincinnati. Workhorse is the only company with the necessary FAA experimental certification to test this type of vehicle in the United States, according to the company. Workhorse's flying taxi has taken off with a person inside it for the first time. The Surefly drone was first unveiled at the Paris Air Show in June last year.

Solar spy drone can fly for a year without maintenance or fuel

Daily Mail

A solar-powered spy drone that can fly for a year without maintenance or fuel could one day carry out missions for the British military. The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) uses the sun to power its engines during the day as well as recharge its batteries for overnight operation. Known as Phasa-35, the aircraft could one day be used for surveillance and provide vital communications to remote areas at altitudes of up to 70,000ft (21,000m). Work is already underway to prepare the first drone for flight tests in 2019, according to British defence giant BAE Systems, which is developing the aircraft. A solar-powered spy drone (artist's impression) that can fly for a year without maintenance or fuel could one day carry out missions for the British military Engineers from BAE and Farnborough-based firm Prismatic announced Thursday they would collaborate on the development of the UAV.

Drone In Combination With HoloLens Enables X-ray Vision


Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV's) can move over large areas, identifying damages, and also helps in surveying and rescuing. Researchers from Graz University of Technology, in Syria, Austria have something innovative to do with the drones. They want to change the way we interface with drones. HoloLens, a Microsoft's mixed reality head-mounted display, when combined with drones can create a X-ray vision, enabling us to see straight through walls, and placing the drone where one want it to be. To test the system, the researchers set up a study where participants were asked to perform the remote tasks like reading text on a monitor through the drone's camera.

ILA 2018: Drone technology showcase in Berlin air show

Al Jazeera

Many of the world's leading aircraft makers are in Germany for the ILA Berlin Air Show, with the focus this year on drone technology. Its development is helping spark a revolution in sustainable flight.