UAVs are tackling everything from disease control to vacuuming up ocean waste to delivering pizza, and more. Drone technology has been used by defense organizations and tech-savvy consumers for quite some time. However, the benefits of this technology extends well beyond just these sectors. With the rising accessibility of drones, many of the most dangerous and high-paying jobs within the commercial sector are ripe for displacement by drone technology. The use cases for safe, cost-effective solutions range from data collection to delivery. And as autonomy and collision-avoidance technologies improve, so too will drones' ability to perform increasingly complex tasks. According to forecasts, the emerging global market for business services using drones is valued at over $127B. As more companies look to capitalize on these commercial opportunities, investment into the drone space continues to grow. A drone or a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) typically refers to a pilotless aircraft that operates through a combination of technologies, including computer vision, artificial intelligence, object avoidance tech, and others. But drones can also be ground or sea vehicles that operate autonomously.
A postal drone in Russia crashed into a wall and smashed into pieces during its maiden flight. The unmanned aerial vehicle took off to deliver a small package to a village near Ulan-Ude, a city in Siberia, but hit a three-storey building shortly after lifting off from a mini launch pad in front of a crowd of spectators. The drone had been touted as a new way to deliver post in the rural Buryatia region, located more than 2,700 miles from the Russian capital Moscow. Video footage of the crash showed the vehicle taking off before veering into the apartment building and showering onlookers with debris. No one was harmed in the incident.
North Carolina, one of the states the Transportation Department authorized to conduct drone testing beyond FAA limits, is apparently working with Apple. Cupertino has revealed that it's using drones in the state to improve its Maps application, effectively confirming a Bloomberg report from way back in 2016 that said the company was putting a team together to capture mapping data with the use of UAVs. A spokesperson said in a statement that Apple collects "both aerial and ground images around the world to improve Apple Maps," and it will soon "begin to capture additional aerial images in select areas using drones." Since people are now more conscious about their privacy following high-profiles hacks and leaks, such as Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal, the spokesperson also assured that Apple will take measures to ensure it doesn't publish sensitive data. "Apple is committed to protecting people's privacy including processing this data to blur faces and license plates prior to publication," he said.
Riga, Latvia – February 21, 2019 – The new automatic Facade Scan tool of UgCS for drone inspection mission planning is a time and cost saver for construction, engineering and mining industries. Various tools for surveying horizontal surfaces, even the uneven ones, have been developed to a high standard and are widely available on the market. Inspecting vertical surfaces is a completely different story -- previously it required a lot of manual work and so was a burden for professional drone users. But now, with the automatic Facade Scan tool from UgCS, this has changed. Making accurate digital models of buildings or cultural heritage objects, and finding heat leaks or damage to walls: these are some of the applications of the new Facade Scan tool for construction and architecture.
The EHang 184 autonomous aerial vehicle is unveiled at the EHang booth at CES International in January in Las Vegas. The drone is large enough to fit a human passenger. The EHang 184 autonomous aerial vehicle is unveiled at the EHang booth at CES International in January in Las Vegas. The drone is large enough to fit a human passenger. The idea: a drone taxi that can transport a single passenger for up to 23 minutes.