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Tag Archives: drones

Automated Drone Textbook Delivery Service To Launch In Australia

Parcel-delivring-drone_4

It’s the start of the semester and you need your textbooks. You could go to the library and line up for hours to shell out hundreds of dollars on them. Or you could just launch an app, press a couple buttons, and have a hexacopter drone deliver rental books right to your location in a few minutes. That’s the service being launched in Australia with the partnership of Zookal, a textbook-rental service and Flirtey, the aerial delivery arm of the operation. The founders say their technology would let you get your books in as little as 2 to 3 minutes, and the drone would use the GPS coordinates on your smartphone to find you, as well as collision avoidance technology to navigate the skies safely. This is in contrast to the 2 to 3 days that deliveries regularly take.

They’re planning on launching in 2014 in Australia, since the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (the Australian FAA) has already allowed commercial use of drones for this type of activity. The FAA is lagging behind (what a surprise) so they’re hoping to hone their service there, before potentially launching stateside in 2015. They envision, quite reasonably we think, a future where same day deliveries are conducted routinely with aerial drones at a fraction of the time and cost, not just for textbooks but anything that fits within the vehicle’s payload.

[ Techcrunch ] VIA [ DamnGeeky ]

‘Stealth Wear’ is a Statement Against Drones and Intrusive Surveillance Systems

Cloaking Clothing

In this day and age, people with the right hardware and technology could probably trace your location at any given moment. They could take images of you covertly, and it won’t matter if you’re out on the streets or in the office or in your private bathroom. Drones are everywhere, cameras line most street corners, and communications are easier to intercept now more than ever.

There’s reason for concern, and designer Adam Harvey isn’t afraid to voice out his with his newest collection called ‘Stealth Wear’, which is more of a statement than anything else.

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Japan’s Ball Shaped Drone Is Awesome

By David Ponce

The US’s military drones can do a bunch of things, but they aren’t the only drones in town. Currently in development by the Japanese Defense Ministry, the ball-shaped drone you see in the picture (and in the video below) can do some things regular drones can’t. Its spherical shape allows it to roll around the ground and land pretty much anywhere. It can takeoff vertically, but once in flight can deploy wings for forward travel at 60km/h (that’s 37 mph for you Yanks). If it hits an obstacle, it simply keeps on trucking like nothing happened (watch the demonstrator in the video slap it around some).

The prototype you see in the video was made with commercially available parts costing around $1,400. But that also means that it’s nowhere near final specification as production models will likely have parts engineered specifically for it. Consider this a proof of concept, so that 8 minute flight autonomy is more than likely to increase with later iterations. Currently it weighs 350g (12 ounces?) and is meant primarily as a reconnaissance craft.

[ Diginfo Article ] VIA [ Techcrunch Gadgets ]

Canada’s Aeryon Labs Has Been Providing Drones To Libya’s Rebels

By David Ponce

While the fighting has not completely subsided, it appears as though Gaddafi’s regime has all but crumbled and the revolution in Libya was successful. Initially described as a ragtag group of disorganized youths, Libya’s rebels managed to topple the Colonel’s 42 year rule with the help of NATO… but also from a Waterloo, Ontario company called Aeryon Labs. They’ve been providing the Transitional National Council with the Aeryon Scout, a small surveillance drone which the company describes thusly:

The Aeryon Scout is a small, easy-to-fly man-packable flying robotic reconnaissance system design for operation in real-world, harsh conditions. It weighs just 3 pounds, packs into a suitcase or a backpack and can be quickly and easily deployed and operated by soldiers in the field. Instead of using joysticks, the Scout uses a map-based, touch-screen interface that allows new users to pilot the system in just minutes. The Scout essentially flies itself allowing the operator to focus on acquiring imagery.

Hit the jump for a video and links.

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