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Inside Drones

Inside Drones (Sep 10th, 2018)

1. A drone crashed to the ground while it was inspecting a cracked window at San Francisco's Millennium Tower. Local station KPIX 5 published footage of the crash, which showed pedestrians running for cover as parts of the drone fell to the ground near the high-rise building. The station reported that the drone was inspecting cracks in a window on the 36th floor when it lost its signal. No one was injured. The 58-story building, which has been dubbed the “Leaning Tower of San Francisco," has tilted more than a foot on one side and sunk 18 inches since it was completed in 2009. - SF CHRONICLE

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2. Impossible Aerospace has introduced an electric quadcopter that can fly for two hours on a single charge. According to IEEE Spectrum, the US-1 commercial drone is capable of flying four times longer than most other battery-powered drones. Spencer Gore, founder of California-based Impossible Aerospace, called the drone “essentially just one big flying battery." It can support up to 2 kilograms of payload and is equipped with thermal and optical sensors, which can benefit law enforcement and firefighting operations. The drone has a starting price of $7,500. “It’s the first aircraft designed properly from the ground up to be electric, using existing battery cells without compromise," said Gore, who previously worked for Tesla as a battery module design engineer. - ENGADGET

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3. Researchers at the University of Bristol have developed sensing devices that can be dropped into volcanoes using drones. The so-called "dragon eggs" can detect volcanic tremors and begin recording data, such as temperature, humidity and the presence of toxic gasses, from inside a volcano's crater. Teams will utilize remote quadcopters to drop off the devices, which can remain operational for several months on a single battery. - NEW ATLAS

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4. Only 5.8 percent of remote-pilot certificates for small drone operations have been issued to women, according to data from the Federal Aviation Administration. As of September 1, 102,769 remote pilot certificates have been issued to people across the U.S. Of these, 5,946 were given to women, according to the FAA. Lorena Diaz, director of operations for the California-based drone software company 3DR, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the industry is in "that middle, transformational generation right now where we are realizing women can also excel and women can also be interested.” - REVIEW-JOURNAL

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5. Major League Baseball (MBL) has hired a lobbyist to represent the league on drone-related issues. Lisa Ellman, of the Hogan Lovells international law firm, will lobby for the league as it works with lawmakers "to develop new policies, procedures and approaches that continue to ensure fan safety," she said. Drones are prohibited at all MLB ballparks without special approval.

6. More than 70 drones were put on display as part of an exhibition at a global drone conference in China. The UAVs included an emergency rescue illumination drone. (Check out the photos here).

7. Drones account for the majority of an increase in U.K. air proximity reports over the last five years, according to the country's Civil Aviation Authority. The reports, which include near misses with other aircraft, increased to 272 in 2017, up from 172 in 2013, according to agency data.

8. The Sun reported that a man was questioned by police after flying a drone over U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May near Downing Street in London.

9. DJI has maintained that two leaked photos do not actually show its Phantom 5 prototype. A company spokesperson told DroneDJ that the photos shows "a one-off for a customer" and "not a P5 prototype.”

10. A county in east Texas has added a drone to its crime-fighting operations. The Henderson County Sheriff's Office plans to use the Inspire 1 drone to locate missing people, oversee active shooter sites and conduct analyses of crime scenes. 

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Written and curated by Beth Duckett in California. 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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