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Inside Drones

Inside Drones (Nov 27th, 2018)

1. A scale model of the "Pop.Up Next" drone-car made its first public flight in Amsterdam this week. The prototype is made up of three modules: a two-seat passenger capsule, a four-rotor drone, and a chassis with wheels. In Tuesday's demo, the small car was driven underneath the drone and the two were docked. The passenger capsule latched on to the underside of the drone, which flew back to its starting point. "I think it will take more than a decade until a real significant, massive deployment of an air taxi system" is ready," said Jean Brice Dumon, an executive with Airbus, which developed the prototype with automaker Audi and the Italdesign design house. - AP

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2. Researchers from Purdue University have developed a method to fly and take pictures simultaneously with a drone. The touch-screen navigation system, known as FlyCam, combines the two actions, so the pilot "doesn’t have to think about multiple controls for the drone and the camera,” said Bedrich Benes, a professor of computer graphics technology at Purdue. Benes created the method, which works best on a tablet, with doctoral student Hao Kang and corporate researchers. “We did a user study and most of the users performed with the FlyCam better,” Kang said. - PURDUE

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3. The U.S. government plans to evaluate technology for taking down rogue drones next year. Sandia National Laboratories issued a recent request to find off-the-shelf counter-drone systems that it could analyze and deploy against airborne threats in the future. Commercial drones "have quickly become a security concern due to the ease with which they can aid in intelligence gathering and/or be used as a malicious delivery platform," according to the request. - AVIATION TODAY

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4. A drone crashed through a window of an SUV in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, injuring a child. The 15-month-old child was in the back seat of the car when the drone crashed through the rear passenger side window. The child was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries from the broken glass and drone parts, police said. The drone's owner told police that he lost control of the UAV, which stopped responding to his commands. The incident reports were forwarded to the FAA for review. - LEADER-TELEGRAM

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5. The POWERUP 3.0 Smartphone Controlled Paper Airplane Kit is on sale for $34.39 (normally $49.95) using a special code on Interesting Engineering's website. The kit allows users to upgrade paper airplanes into smartphone-controlled drones.

6. The Magothy River Association in Maryland is using drones to survey underwater grasses in the river.

7. DroneSeed continues to refine its drone-based seed-dispersing system, which could help replant vegetation in wide swathes after a wildfire.

8. Drones are being used to map and measure deteriorating sections of China's Great Wall.

9. Australia's Air Force has started using a DJI Phantom 4 drone to inspect its aircraft.

10. Politicians in Gloucestershire, England have raised concerns about an anti-gull drone that's used to locate the birds' nests. Members of the Cheltenham Borough Council are worried that the drone, which could help tackle the area's gull overpopulation, could be used to spy on people.

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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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