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Inside Drones

Inside Drones (Aug 15th, 2017)

DJI is adding an offline mode to its drones. The move comes after the U.S. Army banned DJI drones for security concerns. The company will add a “local data mode” to its apps before the end of September that would prevent any data from being sent to or received from the internet. It is still not clear why the Army banned the Chinese manufacturer’s drones; DJI has said that its products are not suited for military usage. According to the company, the offline mode was in development before the Army’s order. — TECHCRUNCH

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A new study from the RAND Corporation suggests that neighborhoods should embrace proposals for drone delivery centers. A few months ago, Amazon filed a patent for a drone delivery “beehive” concept that would exist in city centers. The non-profit think tank suggested that neighborhood drone delivery centers would mean shorter flights, fewer regions to fly over and would decrease the number of delivery drones needed to serve an area. The report also says drone centers would reduce street traffic from delivery trucks and cleaner air. — STATESCOOP

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Duke Robotics has built a prototype of a gun-carrying drone. The drone from the Florida-based company can carry and fire machine guns and grenade launchers. The intention is for the drone to be used by the military, which has the potential to reduce the number of troops on the ground. The company’s prototype has already won the Security Innovation Award from the U.S. Department of Defense. You can see a promo video of the drone here. — THE DRIVE

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A photographer landed his drone on the flight deck of a new British aircraft carrier. Officials on the carrier did not notice that the drone landed on the deck of the HMS Queen Elizabeth. The drone operator, who goes by the working name of Black Isle Images, said he did not mean to fly his DJI Phantom drone on the deck of the aircraft carrier, but a gust of wind triggered the drone’s high wind sensors and set it down on the carrier’s flight deck as a precaution. You can watch a video of the flyover here. The operator reported himself to the police, but has not been charged. — POPULAR MECHANICS

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Lawmakers in Nebraska want to enact legislation that would hold drone operators accountable if they commit crimes. Among the laws being proposed by state Sen. Carol Blood include making it illegal to use a drone to spy or peep on an individual, using a drone within 300 feet of a school or a critical infrastructure facility, and using a drone within 150 feet of a jail, among others. Previous attempts to establish drone-regulating legislation in Nebraska have largely failed. — OMAHA WORLD-HERALD

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