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Last week the drone industry and the media both scrambled to digest and analyze the surprise release of the FAA’s proposed drone laws—and as often happens, a ton of very cool, very important and very weird stories got lost in the rush: A new drone delivery system could rival Amazon Prime Air… Wind-powered drones have the potential to “fly indefinitely”… Company claims computer vision for drones has arrived in the mainstream… But does the fact that computers think Mark Zuckerberg “looks like a cardigan” confirm or contradict that claim?… And finally: a Japanese robot hat that can feed you tomatoes as you run…
Here are the links that matter:
An interview with the VP of Amazon Prime Air, discussing the future of delivery drones in America. (Popular Science)
Amazon schmamazon: A Cincinnati company is currently developing a drone called Horsefly that deploys from the roof of an electric delivery truck and is strong enough to carry parcels as heavy as 10 pounds—double what Amazon is shooting for. (Popular Science)
The BBC did a great job profiling our CTO Jordi Muñoz this week, dedicating both an article and a video to his incredible self-made story.
Humble brag #2: Here’s a breakdown of the five best funded US drone companies—featuring 3DR. (Silicon Valley Biz Journal)
And if you want to take your IRIS+ abroad, here’s an informative guide to safe international travel with your drone. (Slate)
Eighth Wonder: Check out the world’s first-ever perfect 3D model of Christ the Redeemer statue—the statue is so remote that a model could only be made by drones. (Gizmodo)
Make every district a red-light district: This guy can hack traffic signal systems from above with a drone—and it’s actually fairly alarming. (Wired)
Turning and turning in the widening gyre, the falcon cannot hear the falconer—oh wait, nm: We got drones to train falcons now. (Popular Science)
A clear-eyed and informative piece from a surprising place: What you should know about using drones for your business, from your pals at American Express.
The FAA is currently asking for public comments about the recently proposed small drone regulations. Here are 31 questions the FAA wants you to answer. Speak up for creating a separate category for micro drones (under 4.4 lbs)! (Center for Study of the Drone)
NIMBY: California considers a bill that would prohibit the unauthorized use of drones directly over private property—great start, won’t work, here’s why. (Forbes)
Drone runs entirely on wind power: “During trials, XAir got its drone prototype to fly for more than two hours with no observable battery drain, but Seshu Kiran GS, the company’s founding engineer, told VentureBeat that in theory, it could fly almost indefinitely in the right kind of wind.” (Venture Beat)
And in other breaking wind news: Methane sniffing drones to be deployed in fracking operations. “When released into the atmosphere, methane traps up to 30 times more heat than carbon dioxide, which may accelerate climate change. Flaring by oil and gas companies at drill sites is also a waste of this valuable byproduct, which burns more cleanly than coal.” (ASME.org)
According to this startup, computer vision for drones is here and ready for the big time. (Droneblog)
But according to this comprehensive study, it sure ain’t. In fact, one of the top commercial artificial-intelligence systems thought Mark Zuckerberg was a cardigan—not even a hoodie. (Bloomberg)
Domo arigato, Mr. Tomato: This Japanese robot hat feeds you tomatoes as you run. (Slate)
The post Drone Download #7: A Rival for Amazon; New Drone Privacy Law; Safer Fracking; Let’s Play ‘Mark Zuckerberg or a Cardigan’ appeared first on 3drobotics.com.