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Drone Girl

Drone Wars – the best video you’ll ever see with a drone

This video has been out for almost a year, and I can’t believe I’m just NOW seeing it!

This is legit the best video I’ve seen with a drone. Not to mention, you need to watch until the end because there is some SERIOUS girl power happening there.

The film was shot by Devin Graham, a well-known videographer who goes by Devin Supertramp on YouTube.

The video features Parrot drones, including the Parrot Bebop and Parrot Minidrones (click the links to read my reviews).  Parrot is a French drone maker and the first to make a ready-to-fly drone — the AR.Drone back in 2010. It still remains the best-selling drone among drones weighing more than 0.55 pounds on average at major retailers Amazon, Wal-Mart, Target and Best Buy, according to JeeQ data.

The movie was filmed over 6 different nights  in 6K with the Red Dragon, edited and exported out in Adobe Premiere Creative Cloud, according to a post on Graham’s YouTube page.

It’s fun, makes great use of drones and of course, is all about girl power. Watch it!

Want more? Here’s the behind-the-scenes video.

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Things people say in the drone industry that they don’t realize are sexist

It’s no secret that the majority of people buying, flying and working in drones are male. So what’s keeping women out? It’s generally nothing overtly sexist. I’ve never heard a man say “women can’t fly.”

But a lot of the things people say are subtly sexist, which can discourage women from feeling included, getting promoted or wanting to participate. Many of these things come down to unconscious biases — instances where people automatically assume men fly yet assume women don’t. And while some things people say could be well-intentioned, the unconscious biases behind them perpetuate stereotypes.

I asked some of my female friends to tell me their stories of things men have said to them that the man likely didn’t realize was sexist.

I am printing these because I want people to realize that men and women aren’t often viewed equally in the eyes of the drone world. While it is hard to shake our pre-existing biases, I hope people will share this post so that we can at least be cognizant of our biases, and not say these things in the future. And next time, ask yourself, “Would you say or do these things to a man?”

Here are some selections, printed anonymously to protect privacy:

“Wow you’re beautiful AND smart! That’s rare!”

“Where’s your husband, and what company is he with?”

“You’re really smart. You seem to know what you’re talking about. How did you get that way?”

“You’re smarter than you look.”

To a woman wearing a branded, drone-manufacturer shirt standing at a booth: “Wait, so do you actually fly these?”

“How do you know so much about this?”

To a woman answering questions at a company’s booth during a conference: “Isn’t your job just to stand here and look pretty?”

“Let’s get to the bottom line. What do I have to do to get you to come out and give me private lesson on how to fly one of these?”

“Do you even have estrogen in your body?”

Here are some other stories women shared about their experiences:

“Another drone company came into our office to demo our product. They said, ‘We should let someone fly who has never flown before,’ and without even pausing, handed their drone to me. Of course, I had flown before, while many of my male colleagues hadn’t.”

“If I’m out flying with my guy friends, people tend to ask them questions before asking me. They assume that a guy would know more then a woman.”

“Twice I’ve been promised to go out on a job, but then told flat out I can’t go because I’m a woman and it takes too much energy from my male colleagues to ‘watch out for me’.”

From a family-owned businesswoman: “People assume my husband controls every aspect of our business.”

“A fellow drone pilot approaches, introduces himself to my husband, shakes his hand, has a quick chat about the meet, ignores me and walks away like I was completely invisible. He obviously assumed that my husband was the pilot and my daughter and I were tag-alongs.”

“At a recent drone event, a ‘friend’ said they were pleased I’d be there as I could entertain his wife while he and my husband, who I co-founded our family business with, sought business opportunities.”

Of course, women aren’t afraid to speak up.

Here’s one story from a woman whose company frequently has a booth at trade-shows: “An angry man not happy about who-knows-what comes up to booth and says, ‘I need to speak to the man in charge!’ Then, my awesome lady boss (and owner of company) comes up to him with a smile and says, ‘I am the man in charge.'”

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Two new female-led communities for drone users launch

It has been a week since the launch of the Commercial Drone Alliance – the first industry-led non-profit for the working drones sector.

“It helps end users understand the value of drones,” said co-founder Gretchen West, who served for more than a decade as Executive Vice President of AUVSI and is now a Senior Advisor for Technology and Innovation at Hogan Lovells. “A lot of end users have concerns over the ROI of the industry. There are a thousand things we have to do for mass adoption, and we just want to create that connection between the manufacturing communities with the end users.”

That community includes members like Cisco, AirMap and CNN.

The Commercial Drone Alliance is female-led and founded by West and Lisa Ellman.

“You are starting to see more women taking on leadership roles in the drone community,” West said. West led a discussion at AUVSI’s XPONENTIAL conference in New Orleans earlier this month about women in the industry. About 120 women and some men attended.

While the Commercial Drone Alliance focuses on law, perception, policy, development and innovation around drones, West and Ellman are working on a separate group targeted at promoting women in the commercial drone industry.

The duo are planning a nationwide group called the “Women of Commercial Drones.” For now, it’s an online “Meetup” to help organizers determine geographically where women would meet up in person.

West anticipates hosting a networking event in the Bay Area soon.

“It’s about mentoring women, getting them engaged in this community,” she said.

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Parrot offering up to $100 off its drones

130315951849Now through July 4, it’s “Flying Season” at Parrot. The maker of the AR.drone and now Bebop is offering up to $100 off its drones.

Here’s my review of the Bebop 2.

  • $30 off all Minidrones (new generation; except Rolling Spider and Jumping Sumo)
  • $50 off AR.Drone 2.0, Bebop, Bebop2, ‘Bebop drone + Skycontroller’, Skycontroller
  • $100 off ‘Bebop2 + Skycontroller Black Edition’

Pricing on some of the top products looks like this:

Bebop 2: $499 (normally $549)

Bebop2 + Skycontroller Black Edition: $699 (normally $799)

Airborne Minidrone: $69.99 (normally $99.99)


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UPS is becoming a player in drone delivery. First stop: Rwanda

This is an excerpt of a piece written for MarketWatch.com. Read the entire thing here.

United Parcel Service Inc. has for decades been the company that delivers packages to your doorstep with its signature brown trucks, but the company has quietly begun expanding into drone delivery.

The UPS Foundation announced Monday it has entered into a partnership with drone startup Zipline and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to deliver blood for transfusions by drone throughout Rwanda. UPS offered an $800,000 grant to kick off the deliveries._mg_0718_1024

While major corporations like Amazon.com and Domino’s Pizza  have theorized about drones delivering shoes and pizza to your doorstep, UPS has quietly been experimenting in the drone industry—and taking the humanitarian approach. UPS last April participated in a study with the American Red Cross on making deliveries to disaster areas. UPS’s Director of Autonomous Systems Jerome Ferguson, whose purview includes everything from delivery messaging to robotic technologies, has expressed a particular interest in drones.

Drone delivery of blood has the potential to be a life-saving technology, particularly in Rwanda, where roads often wash out and it can be impossible to quickly get medical supplies to more rural areas. A drone can carry just over 3 pounds of weight over a distance of 75 miles round-trip.

Read the rest of this story here._mg_0675_1024

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