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Inside Drones

Inside Drones (Dec 18th, 2018)

1. A drone delivered vaccines to children in the Pacific archipelago of Vanuatu. A 1-month-old became the first child to be immunized by a vaccine delivered by drone to an island in the remote nation in the South Pacific, according to UNICEF. One in five children is not fully immunized there, and Vanuatu's government hopes to integrate the vaccine drone deliveries into its national immunization program. "Today's small flight by drone is a big leap for global health," UNICEF executive director Henrietta Fore said. - CBS NEWS

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2. The British telecommunications company Vodafone used its 4G mobile network to complete a drone delivery for the holidays. The drone was dressed up as a sleigh and carried a stuffed Santa toy and food to volunteers at the Dorset coast in England. According to Vodafone, it was the first time a drone delivery has been completed over a 4G mobile network rather than a radio link. (The company used a portable 4G router to fly the modified drone.) Scott Petty, Vodafone UK’s CTO, said: “Technology plays an increasingly important role in connecting people over Christmas and flying a drone over 4G for the first time gives us a glimpse of what Christmas deliveries of the future might look like.” - COMPUTER WEEKLY

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3. Royal Dutch Shell PLC will test out equipment-inspecting drones at its Technology Center in Houston. Several drones will begin inspections of the 1.2 million-square-foot center early next year, according to Shell's EVP and global CIO Jay Crotts. “Drones can inspect different equipment that could be too hot for individuals to be near. They can help us detect [anomalies by] keeping people out of harm’s way,” Crotts told The Wall Street Journal. Kespry Inc. developed the drones and their cloud-based platform. - WSJ

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4. A Florida mother and a daughter are facing charges for allegedly trying to deliver cell phones and tobacco to a prisoner using a drone. Police arrived at the Martin Correctional Institution to see a drone flying over an inmate housing unit and a pickup truck driving in the prison's parking lot. Officials questioned the driver, Cassandra Kerr of Tampa, who admitted that she dropped off a package at the prison using a drone. Kerr's 22-year-old daughter, Concetta Didiano, was also in the truck at the time. - TCPALM

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5. Police in Quebec issued a new reminder about Canada's drone rules after a drone was discovered on the roof of a house in Chomedey last July.

6. U.S. Air Force Academy cadets are developing a stealthy drone that could one day evolve into a combat-ready warplane.

7. A Crown car ran over a drone that was filming footage for New Zealand's Parliament TV.

8. Drones could help animators shoot highly technical film scenes more easily. A new system, developed by computer scientists at ETH Zürich, uses two commercial drones that follow an actor's movements "and automatically adjust their position so that the target can always be shot from two angles." The actors perform the movements before an animated figure is built around them.

9. London's Metropolitan Police are conducting trials of facial recognition technology, which could impact the agency's drone usage. The police could use the tech to search for criminals in public areas. Drones could provide a more flexible viewpoint of the public than fixed CCTV cameras, according to Drone Life.

10. Britain's government could roll out anti-drone technology at the country's prisons. Prisons minister Rory Stewart said officials are looking into an electronic fencing technique to prevent contraband-carrying drones from entering jail yards.

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Written and curated by Beth Duckett in Orange County. Beth is a former reporter for The Arizona Republic who has written for USA Today, Get Out magazine, and other publications. Follow her tweets about breaking news in southern California here. 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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