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Human Side(s) of UAVs – Future Concepts

Dear friends,

Although only five months young, dronologista blog has grown and needs a new attire.

As of 1st of September, dronologista.com moves to a new hosting, new address and slightly changes the appearance . Content will remain the same, and dronologista will continue to provide information about non-military drones only.

Enjoy!

Couple of days ago, I stumbled upon an article describing the potential future use of drones. It actually fits perfectly in the Human Side(S) of UAV topic, and after writing about demining and search&rescue application, here comes the post about possible applications in the years to come.

1. Firestorm

Dronologista already wrote about UAV used for firefighting. This drone would act literally like a scout wandering through the building on fire searching for victims. It could be fully equipped with different sensors in order to detect dangerous gases and possible threats. Also camera can be attached, giving the firefighters both conventional and thermal image in real-time so they can asses situation more precise and make relevant decisions.  LEDs could also be attached to the drone so it can act like a beacon for victims and guide them through perilous conditions to safety.

2. Snow Cyclops

One of the most interesting application of  UAV, is to search for potential avalanche risk zones. This is of tremendous interest for the ski resorts, remote mountain villages and roadways. Also, if needed, it could carry a small amount of explosives in order to trigger the „controlled avalanches“ where needed. Moreover if avalanche strikes before it could have been forecasted, drones could be sent in search and rescue mission, something already described here. Last but not the least, it could carry small first aid kit in order to assist at the very first moments after the undesirable event. All in all a couple of drones could easily replace helicopter with a crew of several men in this kind of situations. From the cost perspective there is not much to say since it heavily supports drone’s side. About the human life in whole story it is not necessary to say anything.

Snow Cyclops

Snow Cyclops

3. The Cyclodrone

This concept is bit far-fetched, but hey, it just might work. This drone flies in front of a solo bike rider at a predetermined distance from the rider and while maintaining the connection with the rider’s mobile device. Large LEDs should make a visible warning to other riders, cars and any object that might affect rider’s path and safety.

AirDog, the drone that has been successfully funded on Kickstarter is a similar concept, but it follows the object (bike in this case). These two concepts could be combined and provide enhanced traffic safety while making breathtaking shoots of the movable objects. Actually, just imagine the “Le Tour de France” with these flyers instead of bunch of guys on motorcycles with huge cameras. That could give someone an idea…

Some of above mentioned concepts could become reality sooner, some later, but they are all products of a vivid imagination, and as Albert Einstein noted „Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere“ . It would not be surprise to see some of these solutions a reality in near future, where dronologista will wait and give you the latest update.

Pictures property of DesignMind

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5 attempts of drone food delivery

Dear friends,

Although only five months young, dronologista blog has grown and needs a new attire.

As of 1st of September, dronologista.com moves to a new hosting, new address and slightly changes the appearance . Content will remain the same, and dronologista will continue to provide information about non-military drones only.

Enjoy!

Food delivery business can be very profitable, but not necessarily fun. Customer orders, meal gets prepared, courier guy fetches it, delivers it to your doorstep and walks away, tens of times a day (just think of Fry and Futurama).

Futurama style food delivery

Futurama style food delivery

It became so commonplace and glamorous almost as a public transport ride.  But, entrepreneurs keep on trying to reinvent the whole thing, and to bring something interesting in the mix. That is where drones kick in. Several attempts have been made so far, to deliver food using a UAV as a delivery platform. Some of them have been fake, some genuine, but all of them were cool enough to hit the headlines, and proved to be excellent marketing tool.

So, let’s see what airborne food delivery attempts we have so far:

1. Tacocopter

One of the first to play with the notion of aerial food delivery, was Tacocopter. Tacocopter idea is built around some of the most prominent touchstones of modern America: fast food, smartphone apps, robots and laziness. You use a smartphone app to order a taco, which is then delivered to you by a drone. There is ofcourse, a small issue of FAA prohibiting commercial use of UAV. Also, usual problems of drone delivery such as navigation, sense&avoid etc. are persistent, so no taco raining from the sky any time soon in US of A. Maybe in Mexico though…

2. Burrito Bomber

Early adopter of the Tacocopter idea was Darwin Aerospace with their Burrito Bomber project. They used a fixed wing UAV, a very unorthodox choice, and instead of handing the food to you it was parachuting it. The whole process worked something like this:

  1. You connect to the Burrito Bomber web-app and order a burrito. Your smartphone sends your current location to the server, which generates a waypoint file compatible with the drone’s autopilot.
  2. Waypoint file is then uploaded to the drone and burrito is loaded to custom made Burrito Delivery Tube
  3. The drone flies to your location and releases the Burrito Delivery Tube. The burrito parachutes down to you and the drone flies itself home

As you can guess, the concept of food bombing didn’t appeal to FAA, so no flying  carne asada either.

3. Sushi Flying Waiter

It is not actually called Sushi Flying Waiter but iTray. London restaurant Yo!Sushi introduced the iTray during summer 2013. In essence, a Parrot AR Drone 2.0 with an attached food tray was piloted by staff and delivering rice sushi burgers to customers sitting in front of the venue. Doesn’t look very stable though, and hopefully there will be no wasabi in customers laps. But with a lot of dedication, little bit of know-how and blade protection this could become a viable concept. Just like sushi conveyor belt did.

4. Pizza drone delivery

Where to start with this one? First it was UK based Domino’s  pizzeria with the DomiCopter, delivering two pepperoni pizzas in 2013. Then there was Francesco’s pizzeria in Mumbai doing the same thing (ok, not the same, it was not pepperoni pizza). This is rumored to be a fake, as the pizza crate was empty. And then there was this week’s entry, a Russian active sales guy, ordering drone pizza delivery in northern Russian city of Syktyvkar. This video will be featured here as it has coolest music by far.

5. Beer Chopper

Beer is food, alright. If you ever had a two pints of wheat ale, you know how filling that can be. If you haven’t, well, you should. Anyway, beer chopper was a brainchild of Lakemaid Brewery in Minnesota, as it wanted to provide ice fishermen with a fresh cold beer, while they are on the lake. Cool idea, but it will have to wait for a while, until FAA decides what to do with commercial drones. On the other end of the world, in South Africa, OppiKoppi festival goers had a chance to see OppiKoppi Beer Drone Tech parachuting the beer as ordered. No need to stand in the long queue to have your beer thirst quenched, just use your smartphone and watch your head.

 

Coke delivery in Singapore wasn’t included intentionally. Coke  is not food, though it does make you fat.

Bon Appétit

Drone Startups – Announcement

Dear friends,

Although only five months young, dronologista blog has grown and needs a new attire.

As of 1st of September, dronologista.com moves to a new hosting, new address and slightly changes the appearance . Content will remain the same, and dronologista will continue to provide information about non-military drones only.

Enjoy!

Two of the startups mentioned here, Easy Drone and AirDog, smashed their way through the Kickstarter in rather amazing fashion. Both projects successfully reached their goals in just a couple of days ,  and are now definitely becoming more than just a great idea.

And in case of Easy Drone, there is a stretch goal #1 that will be incorporated in the original product, giving some extraordinary capabilities to an already extraordinary drone.

Great job guys!

 

Human Side(s) Of UAV –Mine Detection Operations And Solutions

Dear friends,

Although only five months young, dronologista blog has grown and needs a new attire.

As of 1st of September, dronologista.com moves to a new hosting, new address and slightly changes the appearance . Content will remain the same, and dronologista will continue to provide information about non-military drones only.

Enjoy!

Twenty thousand. Once again, 20.000. Reasonable question arises after this meaningless number is mentioned. What does it mean and what implications does it have on us? It implies that only in 2013, about 20.000 individuals suffered injuries or passed away as a result of “successful“ performance of land mines all over the world around 78 countries. Pretty scary, shady and dramatic introduction for today’s topic. I am going to try to put the light at the end of the tunnel.

As dronologista mentioned in one of previous posts, the idea is not brand new. Definitely one of the break-through projects was the pioneer project in Croatia, named ARC – Airborne Minefield Area Reduction. The project was developed with a generous support of EU between 2001 and 2003. Helicopter UAV (supported by Mine Information System – MIS) combined with GIS database were the backbone of the project. MIS contains information about mine incidents, drawing, reference maps, etc. Furthermore, it was concluded to be promising and that more research has to be done in order to gain more knowledge and experience. However, since then nothing particularly important happened in this regard, and it seems that whole project is set aside, unfortunately.

ARC Croatia

ARC Croatia

On the other side, we have one Caucasus’s state which is already investing considerable amount of money in developing drones which are going to carry sensors in order to detect mines and at the same time making a huge step ahead in this area. Azerbeijan’s R&D is partly based on the Croatian case as well. The catch about this “aerial vehicle“, as they are used to say (ANAMA), is that it is going to search for a soil distortion in chemical respect which is to be considered as a direct result of mine existance on the particular area. Quite imaginary and ambitious for a laymen, but definitely the long-shot idea which promises a lot. However the technical details are scarce at the moment.

senseFly

senseFly

Together with various countries and international organizations fully engaged in the de-mining issue, there is a solution named eBee manufactured by Swiss company SenseFly Ltd. Referring to the previous text about eBee’s here, it is supposed to bring additional advantages such as 3D flight planning and optical terrain sensor, enabling successful operation in mountainous and remote areas. Moreover it has been already deployed in North Iraq by Iraqi Kurdistan Mine Action Agency (IKMAA) for independent testings and researches. One of the first examples of explicit human usage of UAV systems.

All in all, there are listed some of the solutions that is possible to employ. It goes without saying that this technology (as many other) has its bright and dark sides. As for advantages the list is rather long starting with civilian benefits, protecting the personal and individual on the ground, efficiency and time cut and at the very end of the list is cost downsize. On the other side, one of the main disadvantage is reliability of the whole system, as well how the whole system is going to be updated about different and new sorts of improvised explosive devices which are stunningly hard to discover even on the ground.

More improvements are to be expected in this specifically delicate area and dangerous area. Moreover, I would like to come up with the fact that approximately 110 million explosives devices are unevenly located on the planet influencing the life, as a rule, of the poorest share of population. The possible negative impact is only up to your imagination. But luckily more and more UAV systems are to be deployed in order to facilitate life of those affected the most. Because of the human dimension and overall importance of the topic, dronologista is going to update you on any news that come up. Stay tuned.

Pictures taken from sensefly, ANAMA , ARC.

FIFA World Cup Drones – How to spy on your opponents

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Although only five months young, dronologista blog has grown and needs a new attire.

As of 1st of September, dronologista.com moves to a new hosting, new address and slightly changes the appearance . Content will remain the same, and dronologista will continue to provide information about non-military drones only.

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For quite some time now, UAVs or drones are present in sports. Mostly they are being used for aerial filming of open air games and races. S.L Benfica, a Portuguese football club from Lisbon, even used a drone to hand out shirts during their game, two months ago.

S.L. Benfica drone

S.L. Benfica drone

Two weeks ago, ESPN had a very cool report on how drones penetrated sport events, first as a way to offer  a new perspective to viewers, and then as a tool for coaches to capture data in order to analyze and improve teams performance.

But if a coach uses aerial filming platform to analyze his own team performance, what stops him to use a drone to analyze opponents performance?

Apparently, exactly that happened last Tuesday on a closed training session of the French national team. French national team coach Didier Deschamps is reportedly calling for an investigation into a quadcopter drone that was spotted spying over his team’s closed training session, and local police is promising a quick resolution.

Closed training sessions are being used in order to check physical fitness of key players and to decide on gametime tactics and player selection. If rival managers acquire that information, that would be a distinctive tactical advantage during the actual game. Taking into consideration the amount of money that is involved in every aspect of the FIFA World Cup ($14 billion cost to Brazilian Government, ~$500 million is the prize money pot), it is no wonder that the French coach is upset about the drone with camera flying over his team.

Using drones for military reconnaissance is long known fact, and it is almost a standard on any given battlefield. In Brazil, however, we saw for the first time a drone being used to acquire intel on a football battlefield. Dronologista thinks that Pandora’s box of drone enabled sport espionage is officially open, and we can expect more events like this to happen.

Interesting article about the case you can find on Motherboard and Yahoo! sport.

Image and video courtesy of 101 Great Goals and ESPN.

Air-Vid: The Worldwide Directory of Drone and UAV Pilots

Dear friends,

Although only five months young, dronologista blog has grown and needs a new attire.

As of 1st of September, dronologista.com moves to a new hosting, new address and slightly changes the appearance . Content will remain the same, and dronologista will continue to provide information about non-military drones only.

Enjoy!

Aerial pilot directory Air-Vid is announcing the milestone of their 500th drone pilot to join its community, now encompassing UAV pilots from over 44 countries.

Air-Vid_logo_400_aniGIF3B

Air-Vid is a web-based community of remote aerial pilots, built with both pilots and anyone looking to hire an aerial photographer in mind. UAV pilots can upload their contact information, location, photos and demo reels, while anyone who needs aerial video, stills or surveys can easily search the directory to connect with a pilot whose UAV flying capabilities meet their needs. The site benefits both parties, helping pilots and customers to connect their businesses.

“It’s an easy process to find a videographer,” said Air-Vid Chief Marketing Officer George Gooderham. “It’s like a matchmaker service.”

No transactions are done on the site; pilots manage the transactions with their customers after getting connected through Air-Vid.

Pilots in the Air-Vid community range from hobbyists to professionals who have worked on Hollywood films — among them are Drone Dudes, whose clients include Nike and GoPro. Customers can search pilots based on the skill level they’re looking for, whether they’re looking for someone to fly over an event, rescue mission, news story or even a wedding. “Air-Vid is a one stop shop to find and compare companies from all over the world,” said Eric Maloney, Head of Production at Drone Dudes. “It will allow clients to quickly decipher who the real talented high-end guys are and who is just getting started.”

Air-Vid pilots are capable of doing flights including: search and rescue, cinematography, mapping, roof inspections 3D Imaging and asset management.

The site, unlike any other drone community in existence, was founded by Patrick Egan, George Gooderham and David French, all self-described “serial entrepreneurs wearing 400 hats.”

Gooderham, an accomplished aerial photographer, had the idea to crowd-source a UAV pilot when his daughter went on a school trip to Italy.

“Wouldn’t it be cool if I could watch their outdoor concert in Rome from my home in Toronto?” he said.

Meanwhile Egan, a licensed pilot, who separately works for a major commercial real estate firm, wanted a way to show off multi-million dollar parcels of land in order to differentiate his marketing.

“Typically there’s always a photo with no context looking out over a green field, but there’s no proximity to retail, roads or traffic,” Egan said. “An aerial image would give context to that property.”

Over coffee one day, they realized why isn’t there an easy way to find a UAV pilot online?

Air-Vid does just that.

“Finding a pilot in the Turks was really easy,” said Sarah Matthews. Matthews Consulting, a project manager for a major resort development on the Turks and Caicos Islands. “I reviewed his previous work from my office and arranged to have him meet me at the property 2,500 km away. I needed a flyover of the property and wanted some stills for my portfolio.”

Since its inception, pilots have participated in aerial cinematography opportunities including: a lifestyle clothing brand shoot, monitoring ice flows in a river for a township and aerial video for resort marketing. Air-Vid looks to find pilots that use innovative ways to use aerial photography to solve problems.

“These technologies have taken root,” co-founder David French said. “They are powerful tools with limitless consumer and commercial applications, and this industry is poised for growth.”

Aerial videos of floods in Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia

Dear friends,

Although only five months young, dronologista blog has grown and needs a new attire.

As of 1st of September, dronologista.com moves to a new hosting, new address and slightly changes the appearance . Content will remain the same, and dronologista will continue to provide information about non-military drones only.

Enjoy!

Videos of flooded areas in Serbia and Bosnia showing enormous proportions of the disaster.

For help, please contact embassies of Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia

Serbian tenis players Novak Djokovic and Nenad Zimonjic pleading for help

Serbian tenis players Novak Djokovic and Nenad Zimonjic pleading for help