DARPA used a hodgepodge of different drone parts to create the UAVs, including a commercial DJI Flamewheel 450 frame and a 3D Robotics Pixhawk onboard autopilot system. In its first successful test, DARPA got its drones flying autonomously at the desired speed and also tested the drone’s ability to “see” obstacles using cameras, inertia measurement devices, and LIDAR and sonar sensors. DARPA, alongside three independent research teams, is using a converted aircraft hangar in at Otis Air National Guard Base in Cape Cod, Massachusetts that will be made more cluttered and complex to further test the drones’ autonomous capabilities.
The increased use of drones has inspired a Salem company to invent a product to capture drones in midair. Theiss UVA Solutions has unveiled …
Written by Ednah Karamagi, BROSDI
Technology in agriculture continues to advance, with farming communities keen to get the best results from their land. One of the latest advancements is Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (SUAVs), also referred to as drones. Wikipedia describes them as aircrafts without a pilot aboard; controlled either autonomously by onboard computers or by the remote control on the ground or in another vehicle. Although drones have been around for a while, using this technology to improve food production is a recent development.
Google’s David Vos’ goal is simple:
“Moving people and stuff around the planet in an efficient way is where I want to get,” Vos said in Washington Monday.
Google is currently working with NASA to create an air traffic control system that would allow for the safe operation of drones in the United States airspace. Vos says there is room for commercial drones in the already busy airspace.
“There’s enough space that’s completely unoccupied,” he said.
The Google executive said the company does not want drones to be a disturbance and maintains they can be operated so quietly people below “won’t even notice.”
As for the safety concern for opening up the skies to commercial drones. Google says it is developing the technology to be even safer than general aviation.
Vos, whose vision of the future looks like an episode of the Jetsons, has other plans beyond delivery drones. He says there will eventually be autonomous airplanes flying passengers from Point A to Point B.
But Vos’ ambitious one to three year time line for Google Drone deliveries is dependent on the tech industry working with a key regulatory agency, the Federal Aviation Administration, to make it happen.
The FAA, which regulates U.S. airspace including drones, is expected to finalize rules for commercial drones sometime this year. An early draft of the rules only allows for drones to be flown within the user’s line of sight, which would be extremely restrictive for companies looking to make deliveries by drone.