Drone Scare Grounds Flights at Dubai Airport

WSJ.com: WSJD - Technology

Flight departures from Dubai International, which handled around 90 million passengers last year, were suspended between 10:13 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. The incident, a Dubai official said, was caused by "a guy in the desert" operating a drone. It wasn't immediately clear if the person was apprehended. Although operating a drone without a license is illegal, individuals often fly their drones in the open space of the desert, in part to take pictures in the often scenic setting. The suspension came only weeks after U.S. regulators halted flights at Newark Liberty International Airport after a drone was spotted near another New Jersey airport.

Dubai Airport drone scare temporarily disrupts flights


Dubai International Airport is the latest to halt flights over a drone scare following similar incidents at London's Gatwick and Heathrow. The world's third-busiest airport temporarily stopped operations for just under 30 minutes due to "unauthorized drone activity," according to a tweet from the Dubai Media Office. Incoming flights were permitted to land during the disruption, reports The New York Times, which occurred between 10.15AM and 10.45AM local time. Operations are now reportedly back to normal. "Dubai Airports has worked closely with the appropriate authorities to ensure that the safety of airport operations is maintained at all times and to minimize any inconvenience to our customers," the airport said.

Dubai airport disrupted after reported drone sightings

Al Jazeera

Flights at Dubai International Airport, one of the busiest in the world, were disrupted on Friday after sightings of a drone flying nearby. The airport told the AP news agency that it halted flights from 10:13am to 10:45am (local time) over "suspected drone activity". It said flights were later resumed. Alleged drone sightings have previously disrupted flights into the airport, which is the base of the long-haul carrier Emirates. One disgruntled passenger tweeted: "Stuck for ages at Dubai airport runway unable to taxi as unauthorized drones have entered the airspace here and all takeoffs have been grounded! "This seems to be happening often in airports everywhere." Stuck for ages at Dubai airport runway unable to taxi as unauthorized drones have entered the airspace here and all takeoffs have been grounded! This seems to be happening often in airports everywhere. Another passenger wrote: "Dubai airport going nowhere due to drone flying around.

World calls for international treaty to stop killer robots before rogue states acquire them

The Independent

There is widespread public support for a ban on so-called "killer robots", which campaigners say would "cross a moral line" after which it would be difficult to return. Polling across 26 countries found over 60 per cent of the thousands asked opposed lethal autonomous weapons that can kill with no human input, and only around a fifth backed them. The figures showed public support was growing for a treaty to regulate these controversial new technologies - a treaty which is already being pushed by campaigners, scientists and many world leaders. However, a meeting in Geneva at the close of last year ended in a stalemate after nations including the US and Russia indicated they would not support the creation of such a global agreement. Mary Wareham of Human Rights Watch, who coordinates the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, compared the movement to successful efforts to eradicate landmines from battlefields.

No, the Pentagon Is Not Working on Killer Robots--Yet


The U.S. Department of Defense on Feb. 12 released its roadmap for artificial intelligence, and the most interesting thing about it might be what's missing from the report: The military is nowhere close to building a lethal weapon capable of thinking and acting on its own. As it turns out, the military applications of artificial intelligence today and in the foreseeable future are much more mundane. The Defense Department has several pilot projects in the works that focus on using AI to solve everyday problems such as floods, fires, and maintenance, said U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Jack Shanahan, who heads up the Pentagon's new Joint Artificial Intelligence Center. "We are nowhere close to the full autonomy question that most people seem to leap to a conclusion on when they think about DoD and AI," Shanahan said during a briefing Tuesday. It's not that Department of Defense hasn't given the idea of fully autonomous weapons much thought.

DJI updates geofencing system in Europe after Gatwick airport scare


Drone manufacturer DJI announced today that it is updating the geofencing system it uses in Europe to prevent drone pilots from flying the unmanned aircraft in places where they don't belong. The updated Geospatial Environment Online (GEO) 2.0 system will be introduced in 19 European countries and is expected to roll out over the course of this month. According to DJI, the GEO 2.0 system creates stronger boundaries around airports to keep drones from interrupting flight plans. It will place 3/4th of a mile boundaries around runways and will fence off flight paths at the end of the runway where planes take off and land. The geofenced boundaries are based on recommendations from the Civil International Organization's standards for airspace safety.

Forget People, Elroy's Self-Flying Drone Hauls Heavy Cargo


If your vision of the flying future involves whooshing about in an air taxi while chuckling at the car-bound suckers below, Elroy Air is not here to help. But if you dream of a world of smooth logistics, where emergency supplies, firefighting chemicals, and all the crap you order online moves through the world faster and cheaper than ever, then 2019 might be your year. "We're developing a big cargo drone," says Elroy CEO Dave Merrill. One that will carry 500 pounds and fly 300 miles at a time. One he intends to start testing this year, and to put into service come 2020.

AI guides single-camera drone through hallways it's never seen before


Researchers at the University of Colorado recently demonstrated a system that helps robots figure out the direction of hiking trails from camera footage, and scientists at ETH Zurich described in a January paper a machine learning framework that aids four-legged robots in getting up from the ground when they trip and fall. But might such AI perform just as proficiently when applied to a drone rather than machines planted firmly on the ground? A team at the University of California at Berkeley set out to find out. In a newly published paper on the preprint server Arxiv ("Generalization through Simulation: Integrating Simulated and Real Data into Deep Reinforcement Learning for Vision-Based Autonomous Flight"), the team proposes a "hybrid" deep reinforcement learning algorithm that combines data from both a digital simulation and the real world to guide a quadcopter through carpeted corridors. "In this work, we … aim to devise a transfer learning algorithm where the physical behavior of the vehicle is learned," the paper's authors wrote.

The US plans to launch swarms of attack drones from robo-submarines

New Scientist

Individually, these drones can't do much damage, but as a swarm they are hard to defend against. They can carry explosives or electronic jammers capable of knocking out a radar system or other sensors. This is the plan for LOCUST, the US Navy's low-cost, swarming technology, which has just been revealed in Pentagon documents.

Drones Pose A Unique Big Data Challenge For Business Users


A SZ DJI Technology Co. drone is displayed during keynote presentations on artificial intelligence at the Microsoft Developers Build Conference in Seattle, Washington, U.S., on Monday, May 7, 2018. The public might consider them nuisances, but in the commercial market, drones are valuable data collection devices. Their primary task is to capture, store, and transmit data. So as IT departments consider integrating more drone data into existing enterprise business processes, they face new data governance requirements. As drone technology matures, it is important for companies to know what it means for their information technology and software.