An FAA Center of Excellence for UAS, 3D printing a drone, the industry pressures FAA on UAS regs, drone privacy, a thought-controlled quadcopter, drones used for and against hunters, anti-drone legislation, Korean drones, and who needs drones when you have gulls?
Within the next year, the FAA intends to competitively select a Center of Excellence for UAS. The Center will conduct UAS related research, education, and training. It will also work with university partners on issues of mutual interest and concern.
Following the Notice of Intent, the FAA will issue a Draft Solicitation for public comment, hold a public meeting in May, and issue awards within “the next year.”
Additive manufacturing, popularly known as 3D printing, has been used by the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) at the University of Sheffield to build a UAV. The polymer UAV made of nine parts that snap together. It’s thought to be an example of a low cost craft that could be built “on demand.”
The aerospace and the consumer electronics industries are teaming up to pressure the FAA into moving quickly to define the regulations governing UAS operations.
An 18-year old student with hopes of becoming a filmmaker was flying his DJI Phantom when some kind of failure occurred. It went down around some homes, but couldn’t be found after a 2-hour search. So he put fliers on doors, hoping someone would find the Phantom. One woman found the flier and contacted the police, the mayors office, and even State officials fearing she was being spied on.
In a project funded through the Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities, the University of North Georgia is using brain impulses to control a small quadcopter. Using an electroencephalogram-sensor headset, students are experimenting with control by thoughts without actually moving.
The Alaska Board of Game has wants to ban hunters from using drones to track animals. It’s already illegal there to use manned aircraft to spot game and kill them on the same day.
Alaska is not alone in this. The Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission banned unmanned aircraft “from hunting, scouting, and any other pursuit involved in the taking of wildlife.”
The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance is pushing states to take up legislation that protects “hunters, anglers and trappers from harassment by unmanned, aerial drones while exercising their legal right to pursue and take wildlife.”
The Washington State Legislature has passed anti-drone House Bill 2789, which seeks to address privacy concerns. This “speculative lawmaking” looks at negative uses of drones, and not positive ones. The Bill does look for transparency and appropriate legal approval to collect personal information via drones.
As North and South Korea recently exchanged hostilities, some blue drones equipped with cameras crashed in South Korea.
Under the concept from Block Island called B.I.R.D.S. (Block Island Rural Delivery Service), restaurants and stores on the island will use gulls to deliver food and merchandise. Gull training is underway now.
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