Zala Aero, a Russian UAV manufacturer, presented its state-of-the-art vertical takeoff and landing drone – the ZALA VTOL – at the MAKS 2021 International Aviation and Space Salon, the company told reporters during the air show. "The ZALA VTOL combines the properties of an airplane type drone and a tilt-rotor aircraft. The flight configuration changes depending on the assigned mission. The electric propulsion system enables the aircraft to be in the air for up to 4 hours, providing a range of up to 200 km in aircraft configuration," the company said. The built-in on-board computer ZX1 based on artificial intelligence makes it possible to process Full HD format data and transmit HD videos and photos over encrypted communication links to a ground control station.
To be useful, drones need to be quick. Because of their limited battery life they must complete whatever task they have – searching for survivors on a disaster site, inspecting a building, delivering cargo – in the shortest possible time. And they may have to do it by going through a series of waypoints like windows, rooms, or specific locations to inspect, adopting the best trajectory and the right acceleration or deceleration at each segment. The best human drone pilots are very good at doing this and have so far always outperformed autonomous systems in drone racing. Now, a research group at the University of Zurich (UZH) has created an algorithm that can find the quickest trajectory to guide a quadrotor – a drone with four propellers – through a series of waypoints on a circuit.
To be useful, drones need to be quick. Because of their limited battery life, they must complete whatever task they have--searching for survivors on a disaster site, inspecting a building, delivering cargo--in the shortest possible time. And they may have to do it by going through a series of waypoints like windows, rooms, or specific locations to inspect, adopting the best trajectory and the right acceleration or deceleration at each segment. The best human drone pilots are very good at doing this and have so far always outperformed autonomous systems in drone racing. Now, a research group at the University of Zurich (UZH) has created an algorithm that can find the quickest trajectory to guide a quadrotor--a drone with four propellers--through a series of waypoints on a circuit.
In the popular Terminator movies, a relentless super-robot played by Arnold Schwarzenegger tracks and attempts to kill human targets. It was pure science fiction in the 1980s. Today, killer robots hunting down targets have not only become reality, but are sold and deployed on the field of battle. The new Turkish-made Kargu-2 quadcopter drone can allegedly autonomously track and kill human targets on the basis of facial recognition and artificial intelligence--a big technological leap from the drone fleets requiring remote control by human operators. A United Nations Security Council report claims the Kargu-2 was used in Libya to mount autonomous attacks on human targets.
Drones have exploded in popularity, but their range often leaves something to be desired. Midrange drones can reach as far as 1.5 miles, while high-end consumer drones can go as far as 4.5 miles away. Distance has been the limit to true freedom -- until now. The new Parrot Anafi Ai drone uses 4G connectivity to eliminate any and all range restrictions. You can precisely control the drone from any distance, no line of sight is required, and obstacles won't interfere with the connection.
If you fly a drone such as the DJI Air 2S or the Mini 2 in the US, there are rule changes that you now need to be aware of, and a safety training and testing program that you need to complete. A lineup of aerial hardware stacks to fit a variety of enterprise photography and video use cases. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced on June 22 that it has approved 16 organizations to provide this test which is known as The Recreational Unmanned Aircraft Systems Safety Test (TRUST). But don't worry, it's free and easy, and quite interesting. The test is broken down into four parts, each consisting of a brief training guide covering drone safety and law, followed by some multiple-choice questions to see if you were paying attention.
With a bit of a drum roll, I now present you with the official statement about the anomaly (as per the NASA website): "Approximately 54 seconds into the flight, a glitch occurred in the pipeline of images being delivered by the navigation camera. This glitch caused a single image to be lost, but more importantly, it resulted in all later navigation images being delivered with inaccurate timestamps. From this point on, each time the navigation algorithm performed a correction based on a navigation image, it was operating based on incorrect information about when the image was taken. The resulting inconsistencies significantly degraded the information used to fly the helicopter, leading to estimates being constantly'corrected' to account for phantom errors.
A British-built solar powered drone with a 115ft wingspan that can stay in the air for over a year will be an alternative to low Earth orbit satellites, its developers claim. PHASA-35 is a cutting edge drone being developed by BAE systems at their facility in Warton, Lancashire that can fly about at 70,000ft above the surface for 20 months. It harnesses power from the Sun to stay airborne, charging a bank of small batteries during the day to keep it flying overnight, allowing for longer operations. The 150kg drone is able to carry a payload of up to 15kg including cameras, sensors and communications equipment to allow troops to talk to each other or provide internet access to rural locations during a natural disaster or emergency. BAE systems say it will be available by the middle of the decade and provide a'persistent and affordable alternative to satellite technology.'
A Boston-based company that brings autonomy to existing fixed-wing aircraft has come out of stealth to announce a new partnership. Merlin Labs is teaming up with Dynamic Aviation, the owner of the world's largest private King Air fleet, to bring autonomy to 55 airplanes. Merlin is also announcing $25 million in funding from GV (formerly Google Ventures). This places Merlin into a small but active pack of companies scrambling to bring autonomy to aviation. "We're proud to partner with Dynamic to begin the process of moving autonomy from the lab and to the market," said Matthew George, Merlin co-founder and CEO.