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Inside Drones

Inside Drones (Jun 1st, 2018)

Drones were used to re-create Time magazine's logo in the sky. Intel flew 958 of its Shooting Star drones over Folsom, California to create the iconic red border and logo, which were published on the front cover of Time's latest issue. The cover image was also shot by a drone. The photo coincides with the issue's special report on "The Drone Age," which covers how drones are advancing aerial photography, studying whales, and monitoring the U.S.-Mexico border. The Shooting Star drones, which can be pre-programmed to create different shapes in the sky, also appeared during the 2018 Winter Olympics. - CNET

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Chinese officials have granted permission for Ele.me to deliver food by drone in a Shanghai industrial park. The Alibaba-owned food delivery service is using drones to help deliver orders from 100 restaurant operating in the Jinshan Industrial Park. Delivery staff will physically place the orders in the drones, which will then deliver them to other locations for other staffers to pick up and deliver directly to the customer. Trials of the deliveries were held last September using the firm's E7 drone model, which is reportedly capable of flying at speeds of up to 40 mph. - BBC

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A Japanese company has developed a prototype for a drone umbrella. Asahi Power Services says its Free Parasol will use AI and a camera to track and autonomously follow users, keeping them dry from downpours. The company plans to begin selling the umbrellas to private ventures, such as golf courses, starting in 2019. The cost will be $275. - GIZMODO

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Drones are being used to help workers free whales from ocean debris. Drone manufacturer DJI released a video showing how UA systems are assisting with the effort, a project undertaken by Oceans Unmanned and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. Workers from the groups are deploying drones to assess whales that are trapped by fishing lines and other debris, providing a better image of the situation before the whale is freed. The drones help responders "figure out what’s going on, with less risk to both the responders and the whales," said Matt Pickett, a trained drone pilot and president of Oceans Unmanned. - DRONE DJ

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