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Inside Drones

Inside Drones (Jan 15th, 2019)

1. The Los Angeles Police Department deployed a drone for the first time last week. The department's Police Commission approved a year-long pilot program for drones last summer, despite concerns among activists that could infringe on people's privacy and safety. On Tuesday, the LAPD said it used a drone to search a building where a robbery suspect was hiding. The drone help first responders determine that it was safe to enter the building, where the man was arrested. "We're going to use devices such as this as we would all of our tools -- in a responsible way, in a thoughtful way, and in a way that's going to improve public safety as well as the safety of our personnel," LAPD Chief Michel Moore said. - CITY NEWS SERVICE

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2. Results of a new study suggest that animals can get used to drones. The research, published in Conservation Physiology, studied the stress levels of American black bears who were exposed to drone flights over an extended period. Through the use of implanted cardiac biologgers, researchers were able to measure the heart rates of five captive bears, which showed signs of increased tolerance to drones, both in the short term and after a period of three months. The results could impact the ways that scientists collect data on wildlife. "Close-proximity drone flights near wildlife should be avoided without a valid purpose," lead author Mark Ditmer said. "However, our findings do show that drone use in conservation, for things such as anti-poaching patrols, can provide benefits without long-term high- stress consequences." - NEWSWISE

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3. Pensa Systems developed a drone that can keep track of a store's inventory is almost real time. According to Popular Science, the startup worked alongside Anheuser-Busch InBev to create a pilot program to figure out how to integrate the drones into current retail stores. Pensa's drone is capable of examining items on shelves and comparing what's there to store and inventory plans. - POPULAR SCIENCE

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4. A Colorado Senate committee approved a bill that could help first responders track drones affecting firefighting efforts. Last year, there were 26 drone incursions reported nationally over wildland fires. "In all those cases, wildland suppressions were halted," said Ben Miller, the director of the center, which is a research arm of the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention and Control. On Monday, the Senate State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee unanimously passed the measure, known as SB20, which asks the Rifle-based Center of Excellence for Advanced Technology Aerial Firefighting to study and, later, possibly implement tracking technology to catch rogue drones. - COLORADO SUN

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5. The cities of Reno and Henderson in Nevada will be the sites for drone testing, which could help integrate drones more safely into the national airspace.

6. SureFly Octocopter showed off its two-person passenger drone at this week's Detroit auto show. The mostly computer-controlled drone can carry up to 400 pounds and travel 75 miles.

7. DJI issued a statement supporting the U.S. government's proposal to allow drone flights at night and over people.

8. Robert Garbett, founder of Drone Major Group, warned that nearly all the world's airports and other venues remain vulnerable to drone attacks.

9. Larry Merlo, chief executive of CVS, said the company is looking into how it could one day deliver prescriptions by drone.

10. A drone pilot claims he flew his unmodified DJI Mavic 2 Pro for more than 22 miles, which could be the longest continuous flight for that drone model.

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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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