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Drones


The National Guard's Fire-Mapping Drones Get an AI Upgrade

WIRED

More than 3 million acres of California have burned this year, and 18,000 firefighters are still battling 27 major wildfires across the sooty state sometimes called golden. And every day, high above the smoke, a military drone with a wingspan roughly 10 times that of LeBron James feeds infrared video of the flames back to March Air Reserve Base, east of Los Angeles, to help map the destruction and assist firefighters. These MQ-9 "Reaper" drones don't usually fly domestic--they're on standby in case the Air Force needs them for overseas reconnaissance. But climate change has helped make crisscrossing California gathering video a new fall tradition for the 163rd Attack Wing. Its drones have helped map wildfires every year since 2017, thanks to special permission from the secretary of defense.


MoD unveils drone armed with twin shotguns and machine vision

Daily Mail - Science & tech

The Ministry of Defence has unveiled a drone armed with twin stabilised shotguns that uses AI to identify its targets. The drone has six rotor blades and is attached with a camera to provide a live-stream of indoor conflicts to a remote solider, who fires the device's weapons. A first prototype of the metre-long machine, which is designed only for indoor combat, has been called the i9. MoD has developed the flying'armed fighter' with an undisclosed British company to deploy specifically in urban situations, such as buildings barricaded by armed personnel. MoD told MailOnline it's unable to provide photos of the prototype, as this has been developed with a UK start-up that is in negotiations around Series A funding, and is therefore in'stealth mode' or without a public profile (stock image) 'UK Strategic Command has been developing a capability under Project i9 to develop an armed urban warfare unmanned aerial system (UAS),' MoD said in a statement to MailOnline.


Amazon's Ring will sell a $250 security drone that flies around your home

#artificialintelligence

Ring, the Amazon-owned home security business, introduced a flying camera on Thursday that may excite home-surveillance fans but is almost certain to rankle privacy advocates. The $250 drone, called Ring Always Home Cam, is among a slew of products unveiled during Amazon's invitation-only online hardware event. The drone is small and light, with a high-definition camera, and it can automatically fly on preset paths to specific spots in your home, streaming video to your smartphone of what it sees along the way. Users can set up paths for the drone via a smartphone app, or if the drone detects motion in a part of your home it can fly on its own to that spot and take video of what's going on. Set for release next year, the drone is meant for indoor use only, and it can be set to work with the Ring Alarm system so that it will fly a preset route if the alarm is triggered.


Can Amazon convince you to welcome a security drone into your home?

ZDNet

The past few years of Alexa-related product launches have seen rise to some of the most unusual devices launched by a major tech company. There's been the Alexa ring, the Alexa glasses, the Alexa wall clock, and the Alexa microwave. This year, though, as Amazon released the biggest upgrade to Alexa since the agent first showed up in its cylindrical house called Echo, its developer brought forth a smaller range of Alexa devices. That may be in part because the company has been doing such a good job of getting third parties to spread the cyan-accompanied conversationalist far and wide as well as the company's commitment to sustainability, which not only favors fewer, more durable devices, but those using sustainable materials that may not be so easily leveraged in niche forays. In contrast to the Echo proliferation slowdown, Amazon's Ring product line continued to expand well beyond its signature video doorbell with a new premium service offering and a move into vehicles with a car alarm and camera connection service that showed more thoughtfulness than the dashboard screen invasions of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The division also showed off a small mailbox sensor that can alert you of new postal mail and address mail theft.


Drone carries kidneys a record 10 miles across the Nevada desert

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Kidneys were flown a record 10 miles across the Nevada desert by drone earlier this month, setting a record for unmanned aerial organ delivery. It comes after the first-ever successful drone delivery of an organ was completed last year, when a 44-year-old's new kidney over two miles in an unmanned drone from the Living Legacy Foundation organ distribution center to the University of Maryland Medical Center (both in Baltimore) on April 19. The latest drone organ delivery - completed by a MissionGo device - surpasses that historic flight by traveling five-times further. It was the second of two human tissue drone flights completed the same day, September 17. MissionGO and the Nevada Donor Network flew corneas two miles by drone, from one hospital to another, then flew research kidneys 10 miles from a remote airport to a town in the middle of the state's desert.


Ring's latest security camera is a drone that flies around inside your house

#artificialintelligence

This one had me do a double take. If you really want to feel like your home is some sort of impenetrable fortress complete with roving security drones. Amazon's Ring has a new product for you. Ring latest home security camera is taking flight -- literally. The new Always Home Cam is an autonomous drone that can fly around inside your home to give you a perspective of any room you want when you're not home. Once it's done flying, the Always Home Cam returns to its dock to charge its battery.


Air Force Betting on New Robotic Wingman

#artificialintelligence

The next year will be pivotal for the Air Force's effort to acquire a new class of autonomous drones, as industry teams compete for a chance to build a fleet of robotic wingmen that will soon undergo operational experimentation. The "Skyborg" program is one of the service's top science-and-technology priorities under the "Vanguard" initiative to deliver game-changing capabilities to its warfighters. The aim is to acquire relatively inexpensive, attritable unmanned aircraft that can leverage artificial intelligence and accompany manned fighter jets into battle. "I expect that we will do sorties where a set number are expected to fly with the manned systems, and we'll have crazy new [concepts of operation] for how they'll be used," Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Will Roper said during an online event hosted by the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies. The platforms might even be called upon to conduct kamikaze missions.


Amazon's new Ring camera is actually a flying drone -- for inside your home

#artificialintelligence

Ring's Always Home Cam is an indoor security camera drone. Ring on Thursday introduced a new product to its growing roster of smart home devices -- the Ring Always Home Cam. Unlike the Amazon company's other security cameras, the Always Home Cam is a flying camera drone that docks when it isn't in use. The Ring Always Home Cam will be available in 2021 for $250. Along with this hardware announcement, Ring says you'll be able to turn on end-to-end encryption in the Ring app's Control Center "later this year" in an effort to improve the security of its devices.


AI Weekly: Amazon went wide with Alexa; now it's going deep

#artificialintelligence

Amazon's naked ambition to become part of everyone's daily lives was on full display this week at its annual hardware event. It announced a slew of new Alexa-powered devices, including a home surveillance drone, a suite of Ring-branded car alarm systems, and miscellany like an adorable little kids' Echo device. But it's clear Amazon's strategy has shifted, even if only for a product cycle, from going wide to going deep. Last year, Amazon baked its virtual assistant into any household device that could accommodate a chip. Its list of new widgets with Alexa seemed a mile long and included a menagerie of home goods, like lamps and microwaves.


Drones – the New Critical Infrastructure

#artificialintelligence

Be prepared in the near future when you gaze into the blue skies to perceive a whole series of strange-looking things – no, they will not be birds, nor planes, or even superman. They may be temporarily, and in some cases startlingly mistaken as UFOs, given their bizarre and ominous appearance. But, in due course, they will become recognized as valuable objects of a new era of human-made flying machines, intended to serve a broad range of missions and objectives. Many such applications are already incorporated and well entrenched in serving essential functions for extending capabilities in our vital infrastructures such as transportation, utilities, the electric grid, agriculture, emergency services, and many others. Rapidly advancing technologies have made possible the dramatic capabilities of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV/drones) to uniquely perform various functions that were inconceivable a mere few years ago.