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Inside Drones

Inside Drones (Aug 17th, 2018)

1. Drones are helping farmers capture wild pigs in Oklahoma. The pigs are known to destroy crops and pollute water sources in the region. As part of the FAA's drone pilot program, members of the Choctaw Nation in central Oklahoma are deploying the drones to drop corn into traps, which are used to capture the pigs. Using drones cuts down on the amount of time and gas needed to refill the traps manually. “We see drones as an extension of smart farming technology. Drones provide that next step toward robotics and automation,” said Mike Komp, an agricultural drone expert at the Noble Research Institute, which advises the Choctaw program. - USA TODAY

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2. Hip-hop star Drake is using Verity Studios' drones during his performances. The studio, which was founded four years ago, orchestrates performances for various events, including Metallica and Cirque du Soleil. “When the Drake team approached us, they said they wanted something that had never been seen before,” said Verity co-founder and CEO Raffaello D’Andrea. “Our drone choreographers worked in partnership with Drake’s creative team to come up with various concepts for the show, like geometric shapes and drone tornadoes, before deciding on the final choreographies." - THE DRIVE

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3. A drone dropped a life jacket to a woman who was caught in an undertow off the coast of Valencia, Spain. The drone captured the rescue in footage that was posted online. According to news reports, the woman was pulled out to sea and struggling against the current when the Auxdron Lifeguard Drone was deployed. The jacket inflated automatically and kept the woman afloat before lifeguards arrived. The Spanish startup GeneralDrones developed the quadcopter, which has eight motors. - DT

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4. A Moroccan startup is developing an AI system that can help drones scan for illegal fishing, poaching and deforestation. ATLAN Space won the National Geographic Society's $150,000 Marine Protection Prize to develop a pilot project to fight illegal fishing in the Seychelles. The AI-guided drone can detect boats and analyze if they are authorized fishing vessels. If they are, the drone will register their ID number, location and the number of people on board, sending the information to police via satellite. The technology could free up coast guard employees from monitoring duties. - CNN

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5. A New Zealand company has developed drones that detect illegal wildlife poaching in South Africa. The Tusk and Horn Wildlife Trust asked to use the Aeronavics drones to protect endangered southern white and black rhinos. The drones detect poachers and alert an anti-poaching team to their location. The Aeronavics' quadcopter can fly for up to 45 minutes and withstand most adverse weather conditions. - WETALKUAV

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6. The Idaho Falls Police Department successfully deployed a drone during a five-hour standoff with a murder suspect this week. On Tuesday, authorities sent in an overhead drone to surveil Pedro Zamora, who was suspected of killing an Idaho Falls man. Team lead David Barker said the drone provided a remote view of Zamora's location and actions. "Having that visual and being able to get close and help with communication and stuff like that, with something that doesn't have a person in it, or on it, or around it, that's always a huge safety benefit," said Sgt. Bryan Lovell with the Bonneville County Sheriff's Office. Zamora later took his own life during the SWAt standoff. - KPVI

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7. A Tampa, Florida family is searching for the owner of a rogue drone that crashed into their yard this week. The drone's camera had video of a man and a teen launching it from a middle school's football field.

8. A person flew a drone over a helicopter that was dumping water on a wildfire in Oregon. The incident took place at Burnt Peak in Jackson County. Sheriff's deputies are still searching for a suspect.

9. Police in India arrested two people who flew a drone illegally near Surat airport. The pilots flew the drone at a height of 1,000 feet, breaking the 200-foot restriction.

10. According to Software Connect, an estimated 26 percent of small to midsize construction businesses will be using drones by 2020.

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Written and curated by Beth Duckett in California. Beth is a former newspaper reporter who has covered everything from politics to art and Arizona's drone industry.

Editing team: Lon Harris (editor-in-chief at Inside.com, game-master at Screen Junkies), Krystle Vermes (Breaking news editor at Inside, B2B marketing news reporter, host of the "All Day Paranormal" podcast), and Susmita Baral (editor at Inside, recent bylines in NatGeo, Teen Vogue, and Quartz. Runs the biggest mac and cheese account on Instagram).

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