Inside Drones - April 3rd, 2019

Inside Drones (Apr 3rd, 2019)

Amazon blimp inspiration / Tello Iron Man Edition / DARPA Subterranean Challenge

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1. A computer-generated clip of a rendered Amazon blimp releasing drones is based on the Lockheed Martin P-791, an experimental hybrid airship, according to the artist. Initial reports compared the fake video, which went viral on social media, to Amazon's patent for an "airborne fulfillment center." The company, which is known for filing seemingly unconventional patents, filed plans for the blimplike airships, which would store products midair and deploy delivery drones to reach customers below. The company said it could conserve energy for the drones, which could "float" to the ground instead of fly. - DRONE DJ

2. Ryze Tech's new Tello Iron Man Edition drone is now for sale on DJI's website. The $129 drone, which was designed to match the suit worn by the Marvel superhero, is mostly the same as the original $99 Tello mini-drone but has a new coat of paint. The programmable drone supports the Tello EDU and Switch Playground apps, Python, and Scratch, which provide code learning tools to children. Through the Tello Hero app, users can interact with FRIDAY — the AI assistant from the films — to learn more about the drone's capabilities. The drone has electronic image stabilization and can shoot 5MP photos and record video at 720p, with a max flight time of 13 minutes. - SLASHGEAR

3. A team from Carnegie Mellon and Oregon State University developed a system that uses ground robots and a hexacopter to navigate underground areas during rescues. The group is competing in DARPA’s Subterranean Challenge, which tasks teams with search and rescue missions in mines, subways, and other underground locations. CMU’s system consists of lidar-equipped ground robots, which can track the terrain and a drone that can lift off of one of the robots and continue the search if obstacles appear. Testing of the robots will begin in September. - TECHCRUNCH

4. The pranks were out in full force for April Fool's Day — and one of them included Emirates' Airlines bluff about an autonomous passenger drone. Dubai's flagship airline posted a tweet about the so-called chauffeur-less drone, which it claimed comes with "two fully-enclosed First Class private suites." The company joked that the drone could fly people between city locations and Dubai International Airport starting in 2020. Social media users were quick to point out the prank, although some news publications took it to be true. - KHALEEJ TIMES

5. The aerospace engineering company Blue Bear opened a 5G-enabled drone flight test center in England that will test UAV's flying beyond the visual line of sight.

6. Drones could deliver supplies — like firewood and beer — to individual campgrounds in the U.S, under a vision created by Kampgrounds of America (KOA) for its “Campground of the Future” exhibit.

7. The St. Louis Cardinals are supporting a state bill in the Missouri General Assembly that would ban drones from flying over large stadiums, as well as prisons, jails, and mental hospitals.

8. PetaPixel's Christopher V. Sherman used a Nikon-equipped DJI Mavic 2 Pro to capture images of the Milky Way’s galactic core, as well as meteors and satellites.

9. A falling drone struck an NYPD officer in the head during a funeral procession in Brooklyn on Tuesday.

10. Police recovered nearly $40,000 of drone-related equipment that was stolen from Washington-based DieHard RC, which hosts competitive drone races. The suspect allegedly filmed himself while piloting one of the stolen drones.

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: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside); Susmita Baral (senior editor at Inside, who runs the biggest mac and cheese account on Instagram); and David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology).

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