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Amazon's Latest Gimmicks Are Pushing the Limits of Privacy

WIRED

At the end of September, amidst its usual flurry of fall hardware announcements, Amazon debuted two especially futuristic products within five days of each other. The first is a small autonomous surveillance drone, Ring Always Home Cam, that waits patiently inside a charging dock to eventually rise up and fly around your house, checking whether you left the stove on or investigating potential burglaries. The second is a palm recognition scanner, Amazon One, that the company is piloting at two of its grocery stores in Seattle as a mechanism for faster entry and checkout. Both products aim to make security and authentication more convenient--but for privacy-conscious consumers, they also raise red flags. Amazon's latest data-hungry innovations are not launching in a vacuum.


DJI Mavic Air 2 Review: The Best Drone for Taking Photos and Videos

WIRED

DJI's new Mavic Air 2 folding-style drone is a huge improvement over the previous model--so much so that for most people, this is the perfect drone. The Mavic Air 2 is the middle child in DJI's consumer drone lineup, sitting between the smaller, lighter, but less capable Mavic Mini, and the more powerful, more capable, but also more expensive, Mavic 2. If you're just getting started with drones, the less expensive Mavic Mini (8/10 WIRED Recommends)--my previous top pick for most people--might be a better buy. That said, the Air 2 offers better collision avoidance systems, higher quality photos and video, and a wide assortment of automated flight features that newcomers and seasoned vets alike can appreciate. The Mavic Air 2 is slightly bigger than its predecessor, at least on paper. The folding design remains compact, and at 1.3 pounds, the drone is plenty portable.


Amateur Drones Detection: A machine learning approach utilizing the acoustic signals in the presence of strong interference

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Owing to small size, sensing capabilities and autonomous nature, the Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) have enormous applications in various areas, e.g., remote sensing, navigation, archaeology, journalism, environmental science, and agriculture. However, the unmonitored deployment of UAVs called the amateur drones (AmDr) can lead to serious security threats and risk to human life and infrastructure. Therefore, timely detection of the AmDr is essential for the protection and security of sensitive organizations, human life and other vital infrastructure. AmDrs can be detected using different techniques based on sound, video, thermal, and radio frequencies. However, the performance of these techniques is limited in sever atmospheric conditions. In this paper, we propose an efficient unsupervise machine learning approach of independent component analysis (ICA) to detect various acoustic signals i.e., sounds of bird, airplanes, thunderstorm, rain, wind and the UAVs in practical scenario. After unmixing the signals, the features like Mel Frequency Cepstral Coefficients (MFCC), the power spectral density (PSD) and the Root Mean Square Value (RMS) of the PSD are extracted by using ICA. The PSD and the RMS of PSD signals are extracted by first passing the signals from octave band filter banks. Based on the above features the signals are classified using Support Vector Machines (SVM) and K Nearest Neighbor (KNN) to detect the presence or absence of AmDr. Unique feature of the proposed technique is the detection of a single or multiple AmDrs at a time in the presence of multiple acoustic interfering signals. The proposed technique is verified through extensive simulations and it is observed that the RMS values of PSD with KNN performs better than the MFCC with KNN and SVM.


Top gadgets of the decade

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

If I had told you in 2010 that one day you'd be able to take photos and videos with a flying camera that would take off from the ground, follow your directions as it soared into the skies and miraculously returned back, you might have thought I was pretty crazy. As did an app that could sense where you were and get a car to you within minutes for a ride. And a small box that connected to the TV and changed how we view entertainment forever. Yup, the "10s" were pretty mind-blowing for tech. So enjoy, as we run them down in the final 2019 edition of the Talking Tech newsletter.


Drone rangers: Thousands of lives will be saved by drones in the next five years

#artificialintelligence

ONCE THOUGHT OF AS A NICHE TOY for early adopters, drones can now be found buzzing over parks, in select cities, and are even being increasingly used for video production as the popularity of aerial photography soars. However, drones aren't only for fun and entertainment, and the high-pitched hum of their spinning propellers could replace the wail of ambulance sirens for global citizens as drones are put to work for humanitarian purposes. In March of 2017, DJI, the manufacturers of the most popular commercial drones, published a report about drones' life-saving capabilities, citing cases in which drones manned by volunteers or bystanders were used in emergency situations like floods and avalanches, resulting in 59 life-saving rescues in China, Canada, the U.S., and Turkey. Given that it takes 25 people 35 hours to search one square mile for missing persons, compared to the 30 minutes it takes a drone to cover the same area, regardless of treacherous conditions on the ground, drones are uniquely suited for search and rescue, even when piloted by hobbyists. Based on the increasing trend of drone use in the last 10 months covered by the report, DJI estimated that drones would be directly responsible for saving at least one person per week in the future.


9 of the best drones according to Amazon reviews

Mashable

Over the past few years, drones and quadcopters have become more accessible. The cost of designing and manufacturing a good quality drone has gone down, so now more and more people can take up the hobby or up their photography game with impressive and daring photos and videos. But some drones are definitely better than others, so we rounded up the best drones for just about any person and situation. But before you start flying, it's important to register your new drone with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) first, so you won't get in trouble with the authorities. After all, piloting an unregistered drone is against the law.


Mystic: The AI-powered drone that sees and understands.

#artificialintelligence

The Mystic is designed to give the ultimate aerial video and photography experience, creating breathtaking imagery without the need to learn complicated film techniques. The Mystic automatically detects objects and avoids obstacles using the cutting-edge motion intelligence similarly found in the self-driving car. With gesture interaction, you can take stunning aerial selfies, using poses to control the drone. The Mystic recognizes each pose as a specific command and will follow your instructions, moving forward and backward, side to side, and taking photos. The Mystic is the first drone to support up to 6 different gestures, all of which can be customized to your personal preference.


Jessup Man's Drone Photography Business Flying High

U.S. News

To fly drones commercially, however, companies must comply with numerous regulations and restrictions. The Federal Aviation Administration requires commercial drone operators to complete a "Part 107" process -- which Deangelis compared to "ground school" -- that includes testing to assure drone pilots understand things like airspace, weather patterns and sectional maps. Commercial operators must retest every two years and carry insurance that can cost several thousand dollars annually.


Hover Camera Passport Self-Flying Drone, 4k Video & 13MP Photography, Auto-Follow, & Facial Recognition

#artificialintelligence

Auto-Follow: Using face and body detection technology, the Hover Camera can accompany your journey hands-free with video recording and photo taking while cycling, running, surfing, or even hang-gliding No FAA Registration Required: Fly confidently and right out of the box without having FAA limitations and restrictions like other drones and operating temperature is 5 degree Celsius-35 degree Celsius (41 degree Fahrenheit-95 degree Fahrenheit) Carbon Fiber Cage: Hover Camera is crafted out of carbon fiber making it extra durable to falls and accidents; The Passport's propellers are enclosed in a cage providing the highest standard of safety Gesture Control Owner Mode: With owner mode you just scan your face into the app and the Passport will automatically find, follow, and record you. Carbon Fiber Cage: Hover Camera is crafted out of carbon fiber making it extra durable to falls and accidents; The Passport's propellers are enclosed in a cage providing the highest standard of safety Gesture Control Owner Mode: With owner mode you just scan your face into the app and the Passport will automatically find, follow, and record you.


How Drones Will Impact Society: From Fighting War to Forecasting Weather, UAVs Change Everything

#artificialintelligence

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.