Articles about drone

Uncle Sam gives itself the right to shoot down any drone, anywhere, any time, any how

The US federal government has just authorized its staff to shoot down any drone they consider a threat. The provision was added to the routine reauthorization act for the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) – the watchdog that deals with America's skies – and has invited the ire of civil liberties groups who are unhappy at the …
IBM drone patent

IBM slaps patent on coffee-delivering drones that can read your MIND

IBM has filed a patent for mood-sensing coffee delivery drones, because what the world really needs is piping hot liquids flying around over everyone's noggins. Big Blue's plans for aerial hot beverage deliveries not only include deliveries of pre-ordered brews but also taxi-style flagging down of aerial drinks. The US Patent …
Gareth Corfield, 23 Aug 2018
Abandoned houses and ruined city

Engineers, coders – it's down to you to prevent AI being weaponised

Comment Debate has raged for months over various internet giants' forays into providing next-generation technology for war. For example, in March, dissenters at Google went to the press about the web goliath's contract with the US military's Project Maven, which aims to fit drones with object-detecting AI among other things. This US …
Cori Crider, 23 Jul 2018

Facebook quietly kills its Aquila autonomous internet drone program

Facebook has canned its plans to bring high-speed internet via a solar-powered drone beaming lasers to the ground, according to an announcement on Tuesday. The social media behemoth hellbent on ‘global connectivity’ wanted to launch a “high altitude platform station (HAPS) system," nicknamed Aquila, into the stratosphere. …
Katyanna Quach, 27 Jun 2018
Sensat's drone before its 29km BVLOS flight. Pic: Sensat

Brit drone biz Sensat notches up 29km remote-control flight

A Brit drone firm has made a 29km beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS) flight, a small but important step for fuller commercialisation of the tech. Operating under a special dispensation from the Civil Aviation Authority, Sensat flew its craft – a conventional layout small unmanned aeroplane – around its 29km course, during …
Gareth Corfield, 12 Jun 2018

Hmmm, we can already seize your stuff, so why can't we shoot down your drone, officials mull

The US government is worried about its capacity for discrimination, at least with respect to drones. It wants to extend its military's right to seize, surveil, or intercept drones to civilian agencies, the FBI, and criminal prosecutors. Rather than let Uncle Sam's armed forces have all the fun, why not give federal busybodies …
Two people holding their fists up to the camera

RoboCop-ter: Boffins build drone to pinpoint brutal thugs in crowds

Video A drone surveillance system capable of highlighting “violent individuals” in a crowd in real time has been built by eggheads. The artificially intelligent technology uses a video camera on a hovering quadcopter to study the body movements of everyone in view. It then raises an alert when it identifies aggressive actions, such …
Car drift skid marks

Capture your late-night handbrake turns with this 'autonomous' car-chasing camera drone

An American camera drone startup has come up with an eye-opening new feature for its products: automatic car following. Skydio, a Californian upstart that makes, as its blurb says, "flying tools that free your hands and mind" (aka small autonomous aircraft fitted with cameras), has declared that its Skydio R1 quadcopter is now …
Gareth Corfield, 31 May 2018

New UK drone laws are on the way – but actual Drones Bill still in limbo

New drone laws will be brought forward by the British government today in Parliament – but we won't see the long-awaited Drones Bill. The new laws will make it illegal to fly a drone weighing more than 250g without first registering with the Civil Aviation Authority and passing online safety tests. In addition, the existing …
Gareth Corfield, 30 May 2018
Insitu's Scaneagle 3 unmanned aircraft

Eye in the sea skies: Insitu flies Scaneagle 3 UAV in first public demo

Pics The Register was among the first news outlets to get a close-up look at Insitu's new Scaneagle 3 aerial surveillance drone during its first public demo at a naval test range in Spain. The Scaneagle will be known to British readers as the successful unmanned aircraft used by the Royal Navy right up until the UK ran out of money …
Gareth Corfield, 18 May 2018
The Insitu UAV ground control station, as deployed at the CEDEA test range in southern Spain

Open architecture, NATO or civilian, it all works for drone bods Insitu

Balancing military and civilian standards for data-crunching and software development for surveillance drones is an interesting challenge, according to unmanned aircraft company Insitu. Insitu's main products are its unmanned aerial vehicles, which include the Scaneagle and the Integrator. In conceptual terms these are semi- …
Gareth Corfield, 16 May 2018

Boffins build smallest drone to fly itself with AI

A team of computer scientists have built the smallest completely autonomous nano-drone that can control itself without the need for a human guidance. Although computer vision has improved rapidly thanks to machine learning and AI, it remains difficult to deploy algorithms on devices like drones due to memory, bandwidth and …
Katyanna Quach, 16 May 2018

Southend Airport tests drone detection system

Southend Airport has trialled an anti-drone system – though its air traffic control boss cheerfully admitted the airport doesn’t have any “outstanding issues with ‘rogue’ drone operations”. Metis Aerospace’s Skyperion product, which was the one tested at Southend this week, is billed as working through a combination of radio …
Gareth Corfield, 11 May 2018
Swarming bugs

Drone 'swarm' buzzed off FBI surveillance bods, says tech bloke

An American government employee has publicly claimed that a criminal gang used a swarm of drones to fend off an FBI raid. Joe Mazel, the chief of the American Federal Bureau of Investigation’s operational technology law unit, told the AUVSI Xponential conference in Colorado, USA, that a hostage rescue team were driven out of …
Prismatic's Phasa-35 drone. Pic via BAE Systems

45-day drone flights? You are like a little baby. How about a full YEAR?

Defence kit megalith BAE Systems is working on a drone that "has the potential to fly for up to a year before needing maintenance", in a challenge to Airbus' Zephyr being trialled by the Ministry of Defence. The Phasa-35 drone, under development by Hampshire-based firm Prismatic with the backing of BAE Systems, is intended to …

Intel's still-in-beta drone flight planning software gets update

Intel has wheeled out an asset management system along with flight planning software at a US drone conference. Chipzilla, fresh from its drone light show at the Olympics, is keen to punt its line of Falcon 8 drones to industry, mounting a small but growing threat to the market dominance of Chinese manufacturer DJI. At …

Yes, drone biz DJI's Go 4 app does phone home to China – sort of

Chinese drone firm DJI is pushing back against claims it quietly beams user data back to the homeland by releasing the results of an audit it paid for – which found the DJI Go 4 app indeed sends some data to Hong Kong. This follows on from last year’s embarrassing DJI security cockup in which we revealed the firm’s developers …
Gareth Corfield, 25 Apr 2018
A British Army Watchkeeper drone lands at Parc Aberporth. Crown copyright

We 'could' send troubled Watchkeeper drones to war, insists UK minister

Comment The British Army's troubled Watchkeeper drones "could still be deployed on operations", a defence minister has insisted. Labour MP Kevan Jones, a member of Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee, asked the Ministry of Defence "what assessed capability gaps have been created as a result of the Army's Watchkeeper …
Gareth Corfield, 17 Apr 2018

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