Drone News & Drone Directory

Drone News

Why Motorola Solutions backed a drone maker

Upstart Business Journal reported this new investment from Motorola:

CyPhy which offers two drones, the Parc and the Ease has raised $12.5 million to date and has under 50 employees, according to a spokesman.

Illinois-based telecommunications equipment company Motorola Solutions said Monday it invested an undisclosed amount in Danvers, Mass., drone maker CyPhy Works.

Motorola Solutions (NYSE: MSI) makes communications equipment for first responders such as two-way radios, and CyPhy’s technology that’s aimed at military and first responders fits into Motorola Solutions’ market.

CyPhy — which offers two drones, the Parc and the Ease — has raised $12.5 million to date and has under 50 employees, according to a spokesman. The main reason for Motorola Solutions investment is due to CyPhy’s use of a “micro-filament tether” that provides the drones with extended power and connectivity.

While the terms of the investment by Motorola Solutions Venture Capital were not disclosed, Reese Schroeder, managing director of Motorola Solutions Venture Capital, said a typical initial investment for the firm is between $2 million and $5 million.

Read Full Story

Google Working on New Drone After ‘Wing’ Design Failed

Google Working on New Drone After ‘Wing’ Design Failed
By  ALISTAIR BARR and TED GREENWALD Google GOOGL -0.72% has scrapped its initial drone design because it was difficult to control and is now working on a new version, according to Astro Teller, head of the Internet company’s Google X research lab. Teller told the…

Read Full Story

State Farm to test commercial use of unmanned aircraft

State Farm to test commercial use of unmanned aircraft
BLOOMINGTON, Illinois — State Farm announced it has received permission from the FAA to test unmanned aircraft systems for commercial use, becoming the first insurer in the U.S. to do so. The insurance company plans to use unmanned aircraft to…

Read Full Story

Israeli RT has successfully completed all the levels of the AEWE 2014 program

Israeli RT has successfully completed all the levels of the AEWE 2014 program
The Skystar 180 system, showcased at the AEWE, includes a Multi Sensor Miniature Stabilized  TR STAMP Payload of the Israeli company CONTROP and a communication relay of both HARRIS and THALES. The Skystar 180is ideal for defense missions, operating from company…

Read Full Story

Canada says if a drone has a "remote" it’s not autonomous. What would Chappie think?

Another clever legal post from Diana Marina Cooper, a lawyer doing some smart writing on the frontiers of robot regulation. FWIW, Canada seems to have confused "autonomous" with "optionally autonomous", which is actually what most modern drones are (they have both fly-by-wire and autonomous modes). From RoboHub:

Chappie, the new robo-film on the block, takes place in Johannesburg, where the police force is made up of robots. In one of the early scenes, the main characters, Die Antwoord’s Ninja and Yolandi take part in a drug deal that is raided by robot cops. Hoping to avoid a similar fate in their next deal, Yolandi suggests that they find the robots’ remote so that they can switch them off like TV sets. Do the robots have a remote? And do Ninja and Yolandi find it? No spoilers here, but let’s take up the underlying question in the context of drone regulations…

What is Canada’s position on autonomous and automated operations? Does your drone have a ‘remote’? If it does, according to Transport Canada, it is not an autonomous drone. Transport Canada defines an autonomous drone as one that does “not allow pilot intervention in the management of the flight.” It is not enough for an autonomous drone to be capable of self-governance, rather it must not allow for any possibility of human intervention.

What about drones that have a remote but can complete automated tasks such as take-offs or landings or that can execute pre-defined waypoint operations? Transport Canada distinguishes these drones from autonomous drones by pointing to the fact that they require operator initiation or intervention.

Although there is no express prohibition, truly autonomous operations are outside of the scope of Canada’s current regulations. For the time being, if your drone doesn’t have a remote, you wouldn’t be able to operate. Our framework permits operations that involve automation, but it requires that an operator have the capability to intervene – or rather, as Ninja and Yolandi would hope – your flying robot must have a remote.

Read Full Story