Drones and law enforcement, Disney and Google drone patents, a call for anti-drone systems, and a drone that looks and flys like a drone.
The Modesto, California police department has a DJI Phantom painted like a patrol car and recently they used it to track a suspected robber. Three officer pilots will use the drones for official police work only. Fox News reports: “The Modesto Police Department said their drone footage is subject to the same rules as their officers’ body cameras.”
A New Jersey county has an exemption to operate drones for emergency response missions. Initially, there was just one pilot – a police officer with a fixed-wing pilot’s license. But now, other public officials can fly drones after taking an aviation ground school class at a local college. They have used drones to search for a homicide suspect, a missing person, and a berm breach.
Police received a report of a drone flying over Wandsworth prison in England. Officers chased a car seen leaving the scene, which crashed and the driver, a woman in her 20s, was pronounced dead at the scene. She may be the first person to die in a non-military drone-related incident.
Disney applied for three drone-related patents:
- Aerial Display System with Floating Pixels, which contemplates using drones as floating pixels (or flixels) that could replace fireworks.
- Aerial Display System with Floating Projection Screens, which describes drones that can carry a full-sized projector and a screen for images and video.
- Aerial Display System with Marionettes Articulated and Supported by Airborne Devices, which explains a swarm of multicopter drones operating marionettes and puppets.
Google was awarded a patent (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle for Collaboration) for a small drone fitted with a projector and optionally a small screen that can be used as a mobile telepresence system in an office environment.
Czech police don’t have a way to bring rogue drones down, so the Czech Interior Ministry has announced a public tender for an anti-drone system. It would be used to take down drones in no-fly zones and other restricted areas.
The founder of Drone Go Home believes that the proliferation of inexpensive consumer drones will lead to the need for electronic perimeter fences around properties, such as prisons, power grids, and backyards. The company has a video, Drone Go Home Proof of Concept Demonstration.
Video of the Week
The Bionic Bird is a drone designed to look and fly just like a real bird. The drone can fly up to 12 miles per hour for 10 minutes at a time. A patented control system uses wing bending, enabling fast and instantaneous maneuvers.