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CNN gets a first-of-its-kind waiver to fly drones over crowds

October 18, 2017 - 9:12am
 CNN has won an interesting waiver regarding its commercial drone operating license with the FAA – an exemption that allows it to fly its Vantage Robotics Snap drone over open-air crowds of people at altitudes of up to 150 feet. This is a new precedent in this kind of waiver: Previous exemptions allowed flight of drones over people in closed set operations (like for filmmaking purposes)… Read More

Mercedes-Benz kicks off drone delivery pilot in Zurich

September 28, 2017 - 9:22am
 Drone delivery may be closer than you think: Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz Vans teamed up with e-commerce startup siroop, and drone logistics provider Matternet to kick off a pilot in Zurich of its van-based drone delivery concept. The partners demonstrated a delivery live to an audience of media today, showing a coffee delivery from a small Swiss merchant using siroop’s platform. The… Read More

JD X taps Nvidia for drone deliveries, rescue and agricultural use

September 25, 2017 - 8:00pm
 GPU maker Nvidia has announced that it will work with retail giant JD.com to help with an outdoor robotics initiative that sprung out of JD X, the commerce company’s innovation lab. JDrone and JDrover are two new robots, the former aerial and the latter ground-based, and both Nvidia’s Jetson platform for embedded AI-based navigation intelligence. JDrover is going to be put to use… Read More

Fully autonomous drone maker Airobotics nabs $32.5M, expands into defense

September 7, 2017 - 4:48am
 Airobotics, a startup building autonomous drones for the enterprise sector that do not require humans to get involved in any aspect of operating them, has picked up $32.5 million in funding to expand its business into defense and homeland security, and to expand its business globally. The Series C round was led by BlueRun Ventures China, with participation also from Microsoft Ventures… Read More

The Tortilla Drone is the flying robot we’ve all been waiting for

September 5, 2017 - 7:56am
 You’ve seen it all before: a drone takes off in an open field, everything is clear. The drone flies straight up for a moment then, on the way down, it hits a tree. A moment later the whole thing is a mess. Plastic everywhere, the motors whizzing and failing, a camera flinging off and into the bushes. Disaster! But what if you could easily take that broken drone, fry it, and dip it into… Read More

13 things drones are doing besides flying around your yard

August 25, 2017 - 2:39pm
 Everyone who’s flown around a drone (or UAV, or multirotor, or what have you) knows that they’re a lot of fun. But they’re being used all over the world for more serious purposes — after all, an autonomous flying vehicle is a great place to start for all kinds of applications, from delivery to archaeology. Here’s a sampling of what drones are getting up to across… Read More

Wal-Mart takes a cue from Amazon and applies for its own drone-deploying blimp patent

August 21, 2017 - 5:21pm
 Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is taking on Amazon in what appears to be a copycat move — by applying for a drone-deploying blimp patent. You may recall about a year ago Amazon filed a patent for a flying warehouse that will send drones to your door. Now Walmart wants in on Amazon’s idea. Read More

Separating fiction from feasibility in the future of drone delivery

August 15, 2017 - 3:00pm
 From donuts to life-saving anti-venom, drone delivery draws attention to what the technology might look like in a few short years. While the full potential of drones extends beyond transport, there’s little doubt that the fledgling technology will turn consumer package delivery upside down. Read More

DJI adds an offline mode to its drones for clients with ‘sensitive operations’

August 14, 2017 - 4:07pm
 DJI is working on a “local data mode” for its apps that prevents any data from being sent to or received from the internet. The feature will be welcomed by many, but it’s hard not to attribute the timing and urgency of the announcement to the recent ban of DJI gear by the U.S. Army over unspecified “cyber vulnerabilities.” Read More

Edge computing could push the cloud to the fringe

August 3, 2017 - 10:22am
 Peter Levine has an interesting working theory. He believes cloud computing is going to take a back seat to edge computing — and we will soon see the majority of processing taking place at the device level. Levine says it’s based on sound analysis of where he sees computing going — and his job as an investor is to recognize where the industry is heading before it happens. Read More

DJI drones can now run 3DR’s Site Scan software as old competitors become friends

August 1, 2017 - 6:00am
 3D Robotics was supposed to be the drone manufacturer that could finally take on DJI. But its flagship drone, the Solo, never really became a big hit, and soon after the company exited the consumer business and raised a last-ditch funding round to try to pivot to an enterprise offering. Well it worked, and now 3DR has found its sweet spot as a provider of software for mapping and surveying… Read More

Anti-drone radio wave startup SkySafe secures $11.5M from Andreessen

July 20, 2017 - 9:07am
 Drones are a threat to both military and public safety, whether flown by a terrorist or just a reckless pilot. SkySafe’s radio wave technology can detect and stop rogue drones from entering unauthorized areas like military bases, stadiums, prisons and airports. Read More

Watch this racing drone set the Guinness World Record for fastest drone

July 14, 2017 - 10:07am
 A 1.76 pound drone can now move faster than a Tesla at top speed in Ludicrous Mode. Yesterday, the Drone Racing League set the Guinness World Record for fastest drone, or the category of “fastest ground speed by a battery-powered remote-controlled quadcopter.”  Called the DRL Racer X, the drone can fly at a top speed of 179.6 MPH. The test was done in a field outside of New York… Read More

Here’s how to get a refund if you registered your drone with the FAA

July 8, 2017 - 9:44am
 If you’ve been following the drone registration saga in the United States, you may remember that in May a Federal Appeals Court struck down the FAA’s drone registration requirement. The registration requirement, which mandated hobbyists pay $5 and submit their personal information into an FAA database and attach a registration number to their drone, was relatively mild. However… Read More

Facebook’s Aquila drone completes its second test flight, lands well this time

June 29, 2017 - 11:00am
 Facebook’s plan to use large solar-powered high-altitude drones to connect areas of the world that traditionally haven’t had reliable internet access marked a significant milestone on Thursday. Aquila, its first functional aircraft, completed its second successful test flight — and landed successfully, too. Read More