Skype founders invent self-driving robot that can deliver groceries for £1

By Sophie Curtis, video by Robert Midgley:  You've heard of Amazon's plan to deliver packages using drones; now a new company called Starship is promising to disrupt local delivery with the launch of a self-driving robot that can deliver groceries to customers' doors in under 30 minutes for less than £1. The Starship robot has been developed by Skype co-founders Ahti Heinla and Janus Friis. It drives on pavements at an average speed of 4mph, and uses proprietary mapping and navigation technology to avoid crashing into obstacles, (check out the video we made).   Cont'd...  

New Flight: Despite Hurdles, Drones Are Taking Off

The drone market will represent more than $4.8B in hardware and software sales by 2021.

Leeds could become the first 'self-repairing city' with a fleet of robotic civil servants

By Chloe Olewitz for Digital Trends:  Most people don’t know a whole lot about the city of Leeds other than its distinct regional accent, but believe it or not, local Leeds University is actually known for being a pioneering research leader in the field of robotics. The university’s School of Civil Engineering has put together a key research team that is currently developing a fleet of civil service robots and drones that would effectively turn Leeds into a self-repairing city. The robotics research project is funded with £4.2M ($6.5M) of national funds, focusing on autonomous machines that would fix infrastructure issues across the city of Leeds, and perhaps, eventually, beyond. Leeds’ robot fleet will focus on robotic fixes for citywide issues like burst or damaged utility pipes, broken or nonfunctional street lights, and road fractures that disturb drivers on their way to anywhere. Three main branches of the project cover the functions of the Leeds robots: Perch and Repair; Perceive and Patch; and Fire and Forget. The Perch and Repair segment covers research into robotic drones that can land, or “perch” like birds atop tall structures like street lamps or building-mounted civil structures. The Perceive and Patch team leads research into drones that can survey popular roads or even particularly dangerous ones in order to identify and repair potholes where they exist, and in the future, even prevent them before they occur.   Cont'd...

Era of Drones in Japan and Challenges

In Japan, a few technology experts are calling 2015 "Year One of the Era of the Drone."

Precision Drones for Structural Inspection

PRENAV's drones take photographs from precise locations in close proximity to structures, and those photos are then used to build an accurate 3D reconstruction of the asset.

Hello World. PRENAV Releases Video of the World's Most Precise Commercial Drone System

Bay Area Startup Snags $1.2M in Seed Funding to Develop a Precision Drone System with Centimeter-Level Accuracy for Infrastructure Inspection

Hawk Aerial Introduces the CropHawk350 Solution for Agricultural Industry

Solution includes options for drone purchase, periodic crop monitoring and reporting

Why being able to 3-D print glass objects is such a big deal

By Dominic Basulto for the Washington Post:  Researchers at MIT have just unveiled the ability to 3-D-print beautiful glass objects. While humanity has been forming, blowing and molding glass objects for more than 4,500 years, this is the first time that a 3-D printer has been used to process glass from a molten state to an annealed product. Obviously, there are some purely aesthetic applications here, as in the potential for epic blown glass art. Think museum-worthy glass objects worthy of Dale Chihuly. In fact, the MIT team — a collaborative team of researchers that includes the MIT Media Lab’s Mediated Matter group, the MIT Glass Lab and MIT’s Mechanical Engineering Department — plan to display a few of their beautiful objects at an upcoming exhibition at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in 2016.  But the applications go beyond just beautiful new designs that might be created via 3-D printers one day. As the MIT research team points out in a forthcoming paper for the journal 3-D Printing and Additive Manufacturing, “As designers learn to utilize this new freedom in glass manufacturing it is expected that a whole range of novel applications will be discovered.” That’s the real future potential of glass 3-D printing — the ability to create objects and applications that do not exist today.   Cont'd...

Here comes the drone backlash

Mike Elgan for Computer World:  Consumer drone technology is barely taking off, and already a harsh public backlash is growing. Your typical garden variety consumer drone is lightweight, battery operated, has four propellers and is controlled by a smartphone. Most have cameras and beam back live video, which can be recorded for posterity. Some have high-quality HD cameras on them, and from that high vantage point can take stunning photos and videos. Drones are fun. They're exciting. They're accessible. But increasingly, they're becoming unacceptable. I'm sensing a growing backlash, a kind of social media pitchfork mob against drones and drone fans. It's only a matter of time, and not much time, before it will be politically incorrect to express any kind of enthusiasm for drones in polite company. I fear that many are about to embark on an "everybody knows drones are bad" mentality that will suppress the nascent industry and spoil this innovative and exhilarating technology. Here's what's driving the coming backlash:   Cont'd...

NASA to Discuss First Drone Delivery at Logistics Summit

Emerging technologies will take center stage when speakers from NASA and Indiana State University address logistics leaders at the 13th annual Indiana Logistics Summit on Tuesday, Sept. 22, at the Indiana Convention Center. Unmanned systems, which include drones and robots, will be a primary theme for presentations by Frank Jones, Associate Director for Research Services Directorate at the NASA Langley Research Center and Dr. Richard Baker, director of Indiana State University's new Center for Unmanned Systems.

International Drone Expo and Business Conference Announces IDE 2015 Drone Pitchfest

The second International Drone Expo (IDE) and Drone Business Conference, the largest global commercial drone gathering today announced the IDE 2015 Drone Pitchfest, a once in a lifetime opportunity for drone entrepreneurs to get in front of the most influential venture capitalists dominating the powerful drone community with $150,000 of funding to be won.

InterDrone Las Vegas Welcomes Leading Venture Capitalists to Program. Accel Partners to Sponsor Start-Up Zone

Largest North American Drone Conference Creates Dynamic Environment Called The Hangar for Start-Ups to Connect With Leading Funding Companies; Adjoins Main Expo Hall, Includes Targeted Panel Sessions

Hendrix Consulting Group Granted FAA Section 333 Exemption to Operate UAS

The Federal Aviation Administration Grants Section 333 Exemption Status and a Certificate of Authorization to Hendrix Consulting Group, an aerial imaging solutions company.

DJI Releases Photography and Video Drone Designed for Beginner Pilots

DJI Phantom 3 Standard makes aerial imaging more accessible than ever before -- Includes intelligent flight functions that make cinematic shots easy to capture -- Integrated HD camera records video up to 2.7k -- Available for purchase today at US$799

Drone World Releases Phantom 3 Bundle Pro Upgrade Kit

The leading Phantom 3 kit retailer adds a professional-level Phantom 3 bundle to their line-up of exclusive drone kits.

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