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Inside Drones

Inside Drones (Jun 8th, 2018)

General Electric (GE) has launched a startup that specializes in traffic management for drones. The startup Airxos will focus on software, hardware and services to help UAVs navigate and share the skies safely, Alan Caslavka, president of avionics at GE Aviation, said. Airxos will provide service for Transportation Department programs that focus on using drones at night, in cities and at long distances. The venture has partnered with the state of Ohio, NASA, and a regional drone research program to assist with the transition. - CNN MONEY

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The French drone manufacturer Parrot has introduced a new lightweight foldable drone, called Anafi. The drone will be available at retailers starting July 1 and can be pre-ordered for $699.99. It features a 21MP Sony sensor and shoots 4K video and HDR photos. When designing the drone, the company found inspiration from insects, including the wasp and beetle; the drone is slender and has a gimbal that can move 90 degrees upward and downward. According to Twitter user Ken Rutkowski, it can fold into a compact package and weights only 0.7 pounds. The FreeFlight 6 mobile app and Parrot Skycontroller 3 will control the device. - DRONEDJ

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Drones carried dresses down the runway during a fashion show in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The UAVs replaced models during the event last Saturday at the Hilton Hotel. Ali Nabil Akbar, one of the organizers, said the drones were suitable for the month of Ramadan. "The idea is that we want to add things that are simple yet beautiful," Akbar told the BBC. The decision comes after Dolce & Gabbana used drones to show off handbags and accessories during its 2018 show. - NPR

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Scientists have introduced a drone system that can identify violent behavior in crowds. In a report titled “Eye in the Sky,” researchers outlined the system, which uses a Parrot AR quadcopter to transmit video over an internet connection. An algorithm then matches human poses in the footage to postures considered "violent," including kicking and shooting. The hope is to use the system to detect potential violence and crime in large crowds. Lead researcher Amarjot Singh told the Verge that events such as the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing were the motivation to create the system. - THE VERGE

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A drone helped pollinate an apple orchard in central New York. The startup Dropcopter developed the technology, which uses a hexacopter drone to spray pollen on crops. The UAV sprayed several acres of trees at the Beak & Skiff Apple Orchard in LaFayette two weeks ago. Dropcopter is selling the system to supplement pollination performed by bees. - SYRACUSE.COM

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