Watch a new robot fly just like a bat

Lindzi Wessel for ScienceMag:  Forget drones. Think bat-bots. Engineers have created a new autonomous flying machine that looks and maneuvers just like a bat. Weighing only 93 grams, the robot’s agility comes from its complex wings made of lightweight silicone-based membranes stretched over carbon-fiber bones, the researchers report today in Science Robotics. In addition to nine joints in each wing, it sports adjustable legs, which help it steer by deforming the membrane of its tail.    Full Article:

Taking Flight: Consumer Drones Are Nuisances, Not Profits

The global market for drones is already big and it's getting bigger fast as people see what is possible. Firms like The Teal Group estimate it could be a $91B market over the next few years.

Commercial Drone Startup, Identified Technologies, Grows Revenue 900% in 2016, Brings in High Profile Staff and Adds New Customers Nationwide

In an increasingly dynamic commercial drone market, Identified Technologies today announced it's high flying 2016 growth. The company which provides a fully managed commercial drone solution to the industrial sector (including construction, energy, and mining companies) grew revenues by 900%, added 325% more customers, and increased headcount by 150%.

US Military Unleashes Swarm of Micro Drones Over California

From Seeker:  The Pentagon may soon be unleashing a 21st-century version of locusts on its adversaries after officials on Monday said it had successfully tested a swarm of 103 micro-drones. The important step in the development of new autonomous weapon systems was made possible by improvements in artificial intelligence, holding open the possibility that groups of small robots could act together under human direction. Military strategists have high hopes for such drone swarms that would be cheap to produce and able to overwhelm opponents' defenses with their great numbers. The test of the world's largest micro-drone swarm in California in October included 103 Perdix micro-drones measuring around six inches (16 centimeters) launched from three F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets, the Pentagon said in a statement. "The micro-drones demonstrated advanced swarm behaviors such as collective decision-making, adaptive formation flying and self-healing," it said.   Cont'd...

Amazon patents system to defend drones against hackers, jammers … and arrows

Alan Boyle for GeekWire:  If there are any Robin Hoods out there who are thinking about shooting down drones while they’re making deliveries, Amazon has a patented plan to stop you. The patent, filed in 2014 but published just last week, lays out countermeasures for potential threats ranging from computer hacking to lightning flashes to bows and arrows. If nothing else, the 33-page application illustrates how many things could possibly go wrong with an autonomous navigation system for unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs. The “compromise system” that Amazon’s engineers propose relies on an array of sensors to orient the drone based on the sun’s position in the sky, if need be. That’s in case the drone gets confused by, say, lightning or a muzzle flash.   Cont'd.. .

The Aggressively Flying Quadrotor

Steve Arar for All About Circuits:  Recently, Vijay Kumar’s lab at the University of Pennsylvania in cooperation with researchers from Qualcomm has unveiled a quadrotor which can fly aggressively through a window. You may think that you have seen similar robots before; however, there is a big difference between previously designed robots and this new technology. Generally, to exhibit challenging maneuvers, a quadrotor depends on an array of cameras mounted on the walls and some external processors. The image captured by the cameras is processed and the outcome is delivered to the robot. The computer can issue precise commands and the only thing that the robot needs to do is to follow the orders. However, the new robot performs both the image capturing and processing onboard. The quadrotor carries an IMU, a Qualcomm Snapdragon, and Hexagon DSP. With the onboard sensors and processors, the robot is able to perform localization, state estimation, and path planning autonomously.   Cont'd...

Future Drones Will Fly as Silent as Owls, as Steady as Bees

Glenn McDonald for Seeker:  Want to know what drones of the future will look like? So does David Lentink, editor of Interface Focus, a journal that, as its title suggests, looks at the interface of different scientific disciplines. Each issue zeroes in on a particular intersection of physical sciences and life sciences and invites the world's top scholars to publish their latest work. The latest issue of Interface Focus brings together biologists and engineers to discuss a topic that's relatively straightforward and, well, pretty empirically cool: "It's completely focused on how animals fly and how that can help us build flying robots," said Lentink, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Stanford.  Can't argue with that. The new issue features 18 newly published papers on various ways that engineers are borrowing ideas from nature to make the next generation of drones and aerial robots. Several of the papers detail prototype drones that have already been built and tested.   Cont'd...

Was That an Insect or a Drone?

The insect drone takes on the functions of larger UAVs, but reduces the larger drones down into a miniature undetectable device.

DRONE VOLT Expanding the range of drones with the "DV WING" for agriculture and mapping

DRONE VOLT, the French professional drone manufacturer is launching the "DV WING". This flying wing drone is dedicated to precision agriculture and construction work and will enrich the company's range of professional drones.

uAvionix Partners with PrecisionHawk to add on-board ADS-B to LATAS Enabled Drones

The integration of the uAvionix Ping ADS-B product line will allow for drones equipped with LATAS to receive alerts of nearby manned aircraft equipped with ADS-B technology.

Intel, Disney Light Up the Sky Over Walt Disney World Resort with New 'Starbright Holidays' Drone Show

Marks Public Debut of New Intel® Shooting StarTM Drone Fleet in the U.S.

Flirtey Launches World's First Pizza-By-Drone Commercial Trials, Delivers Domino's Pizza to Customer Homes

The deliveries were conducted in New Zealand as part of Flirtey and Domino's Pizza Enterprises ongoing drone delivery testing.

DJI Raises Bar For Aerial Imaging With Two New Flying Cameras

Inspire 2 And Phantom 4 Pro Give Creators Unique High-Performance Tools

Fly-off Provides Direct Comparison of Aerial Survey Drones

As the number of choices for drone based photogrammetry continue to grow it becomes increasingly difficult to determine which platform to select. A recent CH2M Hill sponsored fly-off provided a unique opportunity to compare between available platforms, and the resulting analysis reveals significant differences between leading systems.

Sentera Launches Disruptive Technology With Quad-Rotor Omni™ UAV

First UAV to provide data capture from virtually any angle - up, down, and all around

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