Articles about drones

A 3D Robotics Solo drone seen in flight. Pic: Ian Hudson

Drones thrown a bone: Americans can ask nicely to go where FAA says they can't roam

The US Department of Transportation is toying with allowing regional governments to set rules for drone owners that are otherwise incompatible with federal law. In a pilot program, no pun intended, the DoT will let quadcopter fanatics work with local officials to obtain waivers to operate their gizmos in ways that might not …
Shaun Nichols, 25 Oct 2017
A Starship bot face-tp-face with a pensioner on the street

Brit cities overrun with middle-aged dronies, reckons survey

Most British drone fliers are old men knocking on for retirement, reckons a drone retailer that carried out a survey. The survey from e-tailer Drones Direct reckons that 96 per cent of drone users are men, while 59 per cent of all those surveyed are aged 45 and upwards. Not even 10 per cent of drone fliers in the survey fell …
Gareth Corfield, 24 Oct 2017

Drone smacks commercial passenger plane in Canada

Canada's transport minster has told drone operators to stay away from airports after a remotely piloted craft bonked a passenger plane during its final approach to Jean Lesage International Airport in Québec City. Minister Marc Garneau hasn't revealed the model of the drone, but we do know that it hit a plane operated by …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Oct 2017
Cannabis leaves

Totally uncool California bureaucrats shoot down drone weed delivery

California says its impending legalization of recreational marijuana will not include skies full of herb-toting drone delivery bots. A set of rules [PDF] handed down from the state's Bureau of Cannabis Control mandates that any delivery services operating in the state only use cars to make their drop-offs. The ruling expressly …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Sep 2017
An Amazon Prime Air drone

The bigger the drone, the bigger the impact

At the end of 2013 (the world seemed much simpler back then) Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos gave a rare interview to CBS’ 60 Minutes program during which he revealed - with an almost Jobsian flourish - an autonomous deliver drone that would drop packages on customers' doorsteps 30 minutes after they pressed the ‘buy’ button. Like most …
Mark Pesce, 11 Sep 2017
US Air Force MQ-9 Reaper drone on display last year (2016) at the Exhibition ILA Berlin Air Show.

France to tack weapons onto spy drones – reports

France is fitting weapons to its fleet of reconnaissance drones, according to reports. French defence minister Florence Parly said the EU nation's six Reaper drones would equipped with weapons, though she did not specify precisely what weapons, by 2020. The drone fleet is reportedly deployed in northwest Africa, being used in …
A Royal Air Force MQ-9 Reaper drone. Crown copyright

Q: How many drones are we bombing ISIS with? A: That's secret, mmkay

The UK's Information Tribunal has rejected an appeal by campaigners trying to find out how many British Reaper drones are being used for warlike missions in the Middle East. The Tribunal ruled that Blighty's Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) was right to reject anti-drone campaign group Drone Wars UK’s Freedom of …
Gareth Corfield, 18 Aug 2017
"Bad dog": Owner wags finger at naughty bulldog

Drone-maker DJI's Go app contains naughty Javascript hot-patching framework

Updated Chinese drone firm DJI appears to have baked a hot-patching framework into its Go app that breaks Apple's App Store terms and conditions, according to drone hacker sources. The patching framework in question, JSPatch, appears to be baked into the iOS version of Go. Earlier this year Apple ejected a handful of JSPatch-using …
Gareth Corfield, 15 Aug 2017

Britain shouldn't turn its back on EU drone regs, warns aerospace boffin

The UK's ability to successfully export – and import – drone technology relies on our aviation safety regulators staying as closely aligned with the EU as possible, Royal Aeronautical Society UAV committee chairman Tony Henley told The Register. Reversing the UK's membership of the European Aerospace Safety Agency (EASA) would …
Gareth Corfield, 17 May 2017
Canard Drones inspects airfield lighting with, er, drones. Pic: Breed Reply

A sensible Internet of Things investment house? Breed Reply looks like it

Internet of Things startup investment firm Breed Reply is a curious creature, pouring cash into IoT companies that aren’t punting laughably silly technology. “We are people with an industrial background,” chief exec Emanuele Angelidis told us. The firm, founded in 2015, has 17 upstarts on its books at the moment. Amongst …
Gareth Corfield, 28 Apr 2017

2016 has been a garbage fire. But 2017's looking up – there'll be loads of IPOs, beams Intel

Pretty much everyone can agree that 2016 has been awful all round, but hey here's something we can look forward come January 1: 2017 is going to be the year of new tech IPOs, according to the CEO of Intel's venture capital arm. Giving the keynote at the Intel Capital Global Summit in San Diego, Wendell Brooks was bullish about …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Oct 2016
Professional carbon drone with GPS. Pic via Shutterstock

US government publishes drone best practices

You can't use drones to check whether your employee really is sick, or to take pictures of your neighbors, unless you're a news organization in which case the sky is the limit - or more accurately not the limit. That's according to advice published by the US government over how best to use drones – or unmanned aircraft systems …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 May 2016
An Amazon Prime Air drone

FAA rules out fast-tracking drone regulations

America's Federal Aviation Administration has ruled out changing low-altitude airspace rules for drones at least until 2019. Organisations like Amazon, which is dead-set convinced it can handle the economics of drone deliveries if only regulators would do their bidding. Last year, Bezos' bros asked the FAA to segregate …

UK authorities probe 'drone hitting plane at Heathrow'

The United Kingdom's Metropolitan Police and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) are both investigating an apparent collision between a drone and a passenger aircraft. British Airways says the pilot of an A320 landing at Heathrow on Sunday reported hitting something during the landing approach. The object has since been recovered …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Apr 2016

Hacker reveals $40 attack that steals police drones from 2km away

Black Hat Asia IBM security guy Nils Rodday says thieves can hijack expensive professional drones used widely across the law enforcement, emergency, and private sectors thanks to absent encryption in on-board chips. Rodday says the €25,000 (US$28,463, £19,816, AU$37,048) quadcopters can be hijacked with less than $40 of hardware, and some …
Darren Pauli, 1 Apr 2016
Amazon talking blinking drone patent

Hi! Up here! I'm your Amazon drone. Do you mind if I land now?

Amazon has filed a fascinating patent for automated aerial vehicle (AAV) technology. The invention has two aspects, the first of which is the use of multiple propellors rotating in different directions to reduce noise. Amazon imagines one propellor rotating in one direction to provide lift. “While the second propeller may …
Simon Sharwood, 31 Mar 2016
Zephyr 7 in flight

How to build a plane that never needs to land

The British military is reportedly set to purchase two planes that can fly for months on end without needing to land. These large solar-powered “Zephyr” drones would likely be sent to carry out long-term surveillance missions and could constantly monitor an area with high-quality imagery. They could also be used to provide …
Eagle's head

Drone-busting eagles to darken Blighty's skies?

The Metropolitan Police have confirmed they're looking into deploying drone-busting eagles, a few days after a Scottish MP called for cops north of the border to investigate the possibility of using feathered interceptors to deal with growing flocks of wild UAVs. According to the Times, Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe …
Lester Haines, 8 Feb 2016

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