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Inside Drones

Inside Drones (Jul 10th, 2019)

1. DJI filed a formal complaint against the BBC over the media outlet's release of two investigative documentary videos, which it claims portray drones in a negative light. The first program, BBC Panorama’s “The Gatwick Drone Attack," aired in April and covered the Gatwick Airport shutdown.Britain’s Next Air Disaster? Drones,” which premiered July 1, reported on drone tech and U.K. safety measures surrounding UAVs. In an open letter to the BBC, DJI argued that the BBC engaged in "one-sided reporting" that was based on hearsay and fell short of reporting in an "impartial and accurate manner." In response, a BBC spokesperson argued that the coverage was fair and didn't portray drones as unsafe except "when used maliciously when in the wrong hands.” Read what the drone industry is saying about DJI's complaint here. - PETAPIXEL

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2. London's Metropolitan Police will deploy a drone over local roads as it works to crack down on unsafe driving. As part of London Mayor Sadiq Khan's "Vision Zero" initiative, the agency will use a drone to monitor drivers from the sky and relay any intelligence and evidence it collects on dangerous drivers back to officers. The UAV will be deployed during the city's Vision Zero week July 22 to 26, which is part of Khan's larger plan to eradicate deaths on London roads by 2041. - MIRROR

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3. Moment is releasing an anamorphic lens for the DJI Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom. According to Moment, it’s the world’s first anamorphic lens for consumer drones and can clip onto the drones using a lock-and-balance mounting system. The lineup also includes new CPL and ND filters and a smartphone case that can fit into drone controllers. The company reached its target fundraising goal for the products on Kickstarter, with plans to deliver in November. - DIGITAL TRENDS

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4. The U.S. Department of the Interior has signed off on DJI's new Government Edition software and firmware. The Chinese drone manufacturer announced the new drone tech amid ongoing concerns about unauthorized sharing of drone data back to China. While the company has denied such claims, it created Government Edition firmware and software so that any data captured in flights will never be shared with unauthorized parties. DJI Matrice 600 Pro and Mavic Pro drones equipped with the technology underwent 15 months of testing before receiving government approval. - DRONE DJ

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5. Researchers from the Singapore University of Technology and Design created tiny robotic drones that resemble samara, which are seed pods that whirl to the ground. In a paper published in the journal IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, the researchers describe how they combined five of the samara drones into a larger fan-shaped drone that can break apart, with each mini-drone flying off separately. The team said the technology could one day be used to deliver payloads for research, military, and humanitarian missions. They also produced videos of the drones in action, which are available on YouTube. - IEEE SPECTRUM

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6. A court fined a Singapore-based construction company $9,000 for flying a drone without a permit. It's the first time a company was convicted and sentenced under the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore's drone laws, which requires people to obtain Class 1 activity permits when they're flying drones that aren't for research or recreation. The company, LT Sambo, flew a  DJI Phantom 4 over a public road illegally in 2017. - STRAITS TIMES

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7. Alphabet's Wing (formerly Project Wing) launched an app that helps commercial and recreational drone pilots find out the best places and times to fly in Australia. OpenSky became available on the iOS App Store and Google Play on Tuesday. It allows users to enter addresses in a search box and find out about no-fly zones and other restrictions; it also includes features to help people identify flight hazards and report any unsafe drone flights to CASA, Australia's Civil Aviation Safety Authority. The app is related to Wing's ongoing drone delivery tests in the suburbs of Australia's capital, Canberra. - TECHCRUNCH

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8. A drone show at the California State Fair & Food Festival has been postponed due to a software issue. Instead, the fair's opening weekend will feature a traditional fireworks show on Friday and Saturday nights. While the software issue was fixed, organizers said there's not enough time to prepare for the drone show, which could happen at a later date. Fair officials decided to switch to drones to accommodate families with young children and people who are sensitive to loud noises. - CBS13

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9. The British retailer Currys is selling the Parrot Mambo Mission drone for half off. The drone, which comes with a pair of FPV goggles, is currently £99 ($124), down from its original price of £199 ($249). It can record video footage in 720p HD and has a 40 mph max speed and a nine-minute flight time. - CURRYS

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10. Today's Drone Video of the Week comes from CGTN, which shared this YouTube video of horses running during the Naadam festival in China earlier this month.

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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 and other topics in southern California here.

Editing team: Kim Lyons (Pittsburgh-based journalist and managing editor at Inside), David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology), and Bobby Cherry (senior editor at Inside, who’s always on social media).

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