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Inside Drones

Inside Drones (Jan 25th, 2019)

Hello Readers,

Unfortunately, Inside Drones has not been able to maintain the open rates and growth rates that our other newsletters have. So we're taking the hint and scaling back this newsletter for the time-being to be published just once per week, on Wednesdays.

And don't worry, I'm not going anywhere! I'll still be writing the Wednesday edition of Inside Drones as well as Inside Streaming.

Thanks for being a loyal subscriber,

- Beth Duckett, Inside Drones writer

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1. The Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten plans to begin drone deliveries in April. The platform will "make regular deliveries during the 2019 fiscal year in underpopulated areas" of the country, said Hideaki Mukai, general manager of Rakuten's drone business department. The company conducted a delivery trial in the city of Chichibu, north of Tokyo, this week. The drone flew nearly 2 miles in an automated 10-minute flight to deliver barbecue equipment to a customer. Japan relaxed its drone rules last year, although flights are still banned at night and in urban areas. - NIKKEI

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2. Uber is trying to receive permission from federal regulators not to train flight attendants to operate delivery drones. The company’s drone fleet is subject to regulations dating back to the 1920s, known as Part 135, which requires drones to have the same safety and economic reviews as a 12-passenger private jet, including training flight attendants. However, this may be delayed by the government shutdown, with the Federal Aviation Administration saying it could not respond to Bloomberg because of a staff shortage. - BLOOMBERG

This story first appeared in Inside Automotive, our newsletter covering electric vehicles, self-driving automobiles, smart cars, and the world of 21st-century transportation.

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3. One of Swiss Post's blood-delivery drones fell into Lake Zurich in Switzerland. In an announcement this week, Swiss Post said it will suspend the flights to a university hospital until a cause of the accident is determined. The country's national postal service is conducting drone test flights between clinics, labs, and hospitals as part of its medical deliveries program. More than 3,000 drone flights have occurred without incident as part the program taking place in Lugano, Zurich, and Berne. - SWISS INFO

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4. A drone located two missing equestrians in Myakka City, Florida. A 46-year-old woman and her 12-year-old daughter became lost in the Edward W. Chance Reserve for four hours on Jan. 19. As sunset was approaching, sheriff’s deputies deployed a drone to help with the search. Nearly an hour later, the riders were found with a drone, which led deputies on foot to the riders. - WFLA

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5. While the recent Heathrow, Gatwick, and Newark drone scares have raised concerns about UAVs, some publications are noting that not every drone sighting actually turns out to be a drone. The issue was highlighted in Drone Life's article, "5 Times It Wasn't a Drone After All."

6. Images have appeared online of Russia's Sukhoi “Okhotnik” (“Hunter”) heavy strike drone.

7. A man equipped a UAV with reaction wheels to better control the drone’s pitch and roll.

8. Drone operators and hobbyists are forming an association to protect their interests in Fiji.

9. Forbes published an article explaining how people can capitalize on the real-estate benefits of drone flying.

10. Conservationists used drones to drop poison onto the Galapagos Islands, which is facing an emergency due to invasive rodents.

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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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