A bladeless drone wins a design award, women to watch in UAS, drone support for Hurricane Harvey, DJI issues a mandatory firmware update, Customs and Border Protection nabs a drug runner, video gamers as drone pilots, and talking drones from Amazon.
Mexican designer Edgar Herrera has created a concept for a bladeless drone that is a winner in the 2017 Red Dot Design Concept Award. In this design concept, three bladeless air ducts control direction and can rotate 20 degrees. A fourth central duct provides lift. Is it a viable design? Maybe yes, maybe no.
Drone360 magazine and Women and Drones announced the 2017 Women to Watch in UAS List. Nine women were chosen “for their work disrupting, innovating, and shaping the future of the UAS industry.” The women are:
- Holly Kasun, COO/CMO and Cofounder of Flybrix based in San Francisco, CA.
- Mary Wohnrade, Civil engineer, Part 107 operator, and President/Owner of Wohnrade Civil Engineers, based in Broomfield, CO.
- Karen Joyce, Scientist and Senior Lecturer at James Cook University, Cofounder of She Flies, based in Queensland, Australia.
- Lexie Janson, FPV drone racer, software developer, drone certification teacher based in Gdynia, Poland.
- Natalie Cheung, General Manager of Drone Light Shows in the UAV Group at Intel based in Santa Clara, CA.
- Catherine Ball, Cofounder of World of Drones Congress, Cofounder and Chief Engagement Officer at She Flies, Founder and Publisher of Gumption Trigger, based in Queensland, Australia.
- Helena Samsioe, Founder and CEO of GLOBHE based in Stockholm, Sweden.
- Gretchen West, Senior Advisor at Hogan Lovells U.S. LLP, Co-Executive Director at the Commercial Drone Alliance, and Cofounder of Women of Commercial Drones, based in Menlo Park, CA.
- Leah LaSalla, Technical Founder and CEO at Astral AR based in Austin, TX.
As of August 31, 2017, the FAA had issued 43 unmanned aircraft system authorizations to drone operators supporting the response and recovery for Hurricane Harvey or covering it as part of the media.
DJI is pushing out a firmware update to fix the problem with some Spark drones falling out of the sky.This is a mandatory firmware update. Your Spark won’t fly without the update. DJI says the problem is related to the battery management system and power supply.
See the DJI press release: DJI Spark Firmware Update Enhances Flight Safety
The Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Customs and Border Protection has arrested a 25-year-old man for using a consumer drone to transport several pounds of methamphetamine across the Mexican border.
Psychologists at the University of Liverpool in the UK conducted a study. “Findings support the idea that VGPs (video game players) could be considered a resource in UAS operation.” The report is published in the journal Cogent Psychology: Unmanned aerial systems (UAS) operators’ accuracy and confidence of decisions: Professional pilots or video game players?
Defense contractors see a market opportunity for large military-style drones to be used instead of police helicopters. General Atomics is investing in a new version of the Reaper.
An Amazon patent envisions drones that interact with people – live audio and video. This could be used to warn someone standing too close to the landing zone or to have a conversation with customer support.
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