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Solar panel cleaning robot can be dropped off and picked up by drone

New Scientist

Every day the dust settles on thousands of square kilometres of solar panels around the world, cutting the amount of electricity they produce. A robot designed by an Israeli start-up can autonomously clean rooftop solar panels that other cleaning robots can't access, increasing the panels' electricity generation by as much as 15 per cent. Autonomous robots are widely used to clean large-scale solar arrays on the ground.


Special drone collects environmental DNA from trees

Robohub

Ecologists are increasingly using traces of genetic material left behind by living organisms left behind in the environment, called environmental DNA (eDNA), to catalogue and monitor biodiversity. Based on these DNA traces, researchers can determine which species are present in a certain area. Obtaining samples from water or soil is easy, but other habitats – such as the forest canopy – are difficult for researchers to access. As a result, many species remain untracked in poorly explored areas. Researchers at ETH Zurich and the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL, and the company SPYGEN have partnered to develop a special drone that can autonomously collect samples on tree branches.


North and South Korea violated armistice with drones: UN Command

Al Jazeera

North Korea and South Korea violated the armistice that governs their shared border by sending drones into each other's airspace in December, the US-led United Nations Command says. Five North Korean drones crossed into the South on December 26, prompting South Korea's military to scramble fighter jets and helicopters as well as send surveillance aircraft into the North to photograph its military installations. The UN Command, which has helped oversee the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between the two Koreas since an armistice ended fighting in the 1950-1953 Korean War, said on Thursday that it had conducted a special investigation of the airspace incursions to determine whether there were any violations of the ceasefire. The drone incursions by the two countries constituted violations, but South Korea's efforts to shoot down the drones in its airspace did not violate the armistice, the UN Command said in a statement. Seoul and Pyongyang remain technically at war because no permanent peace treaty has ever been reached to end the Korean War.


Drones could soon be forced to have electronic NUMBER PLATES so police can track them

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Drones could soon be forced to have electronic number plates so they can be tracked by police and security teams as they fly through the skies. The plans are part of new regulations being drawn up by the Government that would allow a drone's speed, location, height, take-off point to be tracked - as well as the operator's location. To collect the information, remote ID technology will be installed in the drones, working in a similar way to the automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) system used on cars, vans and lorries. The move comes amid growing concern that the UK's drone registration scheme is not being enforced properly, as well as fears that drones could be used by terrorists to cause serious harm or economic damage. According to the Civil Aviation Authority, anyone with a drone weighing more than 250g needs to pass a test and get a flyer ID from the authority.


Enjoy this drone set for 67% off its usual price for a limited time

Mashable

TL;DR: Through Jan. 30, you can score the Alpha Z Pro 4K and Flying Fox 4K drone bundle(Opens in a new window)(opens in a new tab) for just $129.99 rather than $398 -- that's 67% in savings and basically like getting a drone for free. If you're in search of a fun idea, why not embrace your inner child and buy yourself a toy to play with? Adults buying toys for themselves is a new craze, and they've been coined "kidults(Opens in a new window)." And if you'd like to join in the fun, get yourself a drone, head outside, and enjoy the view. During the Kidults campaign, you can score massive savings on toys that adults can enjoy, like the Alpha Z PRO 4K Flying Fox 4K Wide-Angle Dual-Camera Drone Bundle.


How China became the world's leading exporter of combat drones

Al Jazeera

From Saudi Arabia to Myanmar and Iraq to Ethiopia, more and more militaries across the world are stockpiling Chinese combat drones and deploying them on the battlefield. In Yemen, a Saudi-led coalition has dispatched the Chinese aircraft, also known as uncrewed aerial vehicles or UAVs, as part of a devastating air campaign that has killed more than 8,000 Yemeni civilians in the past eight years. In Iraq, authorities say they used Chinese drones to carry out more than 260 air raids against ISIL (ISIS) targets as of mid-2018, with a success rate of nearly 100 percent. In Myanmar, the military -- armed with Chinese drones -- has conducted hundreds of air attacks on civilians and ethnic armed groups opposed to its power grab two years ago, while in Ethiopia, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's fleet of Chinese, Iranian and Turkish drones was critical in helping his forces thwart a rebel march in 2021 that threatened to overthrow his government. Other buyers of China's combat drones -- aircraft that, in addition to intelligence gathering, can also fire air-to-surface missiles -- include Morocco, Egypt, Algeria, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Pakistan and Serbia.


The 10 Scariest Future Tech Trends Everyone Must Know About Right Now

#artificialintelligence

There is some incredible emerging tech on the horizon for 2023, but there are also some dangerous and worrying advances that should be on your radar. This emerging tech could have huge implications for the human race. After all, we applaud scientific progress, but it's important for us to monitor how some of these technologies are being used. Some breakthroughs can easily be abused or used in dangerous or scary ways. Let's take a look at the scariest tech trends everyone should know about today.


MIT's 10 breakthrough technologies for 2023: Abortion pills via telehealth and engineered organs

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Engineered organs that could end transplant waiting lists, abortion pills on demand and mass-marketing military drones that will revolutionize warfare are among those listed on MIT Technology Review's 10 Breakthrough Technologies of 2023. The list also includes the use of CRISPR to edit away people's problems with high cholesterol by rewriting a sliver of their DNA, artificial intelligence that makes artwork and NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, which is set to remodel our knowledge of the cosmos. The 22nd annual list features critical technological advances predicted to change how we live and work fundamentally. MIT Technology Review, owned by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, compiled the list of companies or institutions set to develop breakthroughs and when the public can expect these innovations. Mat Honan, editor-in-chief of MIT Technology Review, said: 'Our breakthrough technologies lists are fascinating snapshots of the evolution of big tech innovation breakthroughs.


Amazon's drone delivery division was reportedly hit hard by layoffs

Engadget

Earlier this month, Amazon confirmed plans to lay off around 18,000 workers. The move has hit certain divisions hard, including Comixology and Prime Air. The latter's drone delivery program was just starting to gain traction after commencing deliveries in test markets and unveiling a new model, but the layoffs have reportedly had a significant impact on that team. Prime Air employees learned about the cuts on Wednesday, according to CNBC. Employees in the drone delivery department's design, maintenance, systems engineering, flight testing and flight operations teams are said to have been laid off.


Drone attack hits US-led coalition base in southern Syria

Al Jazeera

A drone attack hit a US-led coalition base in southern Syria, the US military's Central Command has said. "Three one-way attack drones attacked the al-Tanf Garrison in Syria," a CENTCOM statement said on Friday. Two of the drones were shot down by the coalition, but the third hit the compound, wounding two allied Syrian opposition fighters who received treatment, the statement added. "Attacks of this kind are unacceptable," CENTCOM spokesperson Joe Buccino said, without specifying who carried it out. "They place our troops and our partners at risk and jeopardise the fight against ISIL." There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.