No one (publicly) cares about drones flying over people, and that’s a big problem

Whenever the Federal Aviation Administration proposes new rules, there is generally a period of public comment, where regular people, drone pilots and companies can submit their opinions online. We’re currently in one of those periods, in the wake of the FAA’s January 2019 proposed new rules that could allow drones to fly at night and over people without waivers under certain conditions. But fewer than 100 public comments — 84 to be exact — have been submitted. That’s a paltry figure when you consider that almost 1,300 comments have been received about safe and secure drone operations. (those proposals include possible restrictions on safe and secure drone operation, including standoff distances from drone operations, performance limits for drones, how UTM should operate, payload restrictions and critical system design requirements). The lack of public comment on drones flying at night and over people has industry leaders nervous that the lack of interest may mean the rules are not put into place. “We want more drone operators (both individual pilots and fleet managers) to comment, because the FAA really does pay attention to comments, but time is short,” DJI spokesperson Adam Lisberg said in an email to The Drone Girl. DJI said it also intends to submit formal comments. The complete set of proposed rules for flying small drones over people and at night can be reviewed at this link.  The 60-day open comment period ends a week from now on Monday, April 15. But the lack of public comment does not mean

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Stunning aerial tour shows Game of Thrones sets

The eighth and final season of “Game of Thrones” premieres exactly one week from today. And since that date can’t come quickly enough, here’s something to satiate your appetite over the next week: an aerial tour of the top Game of Thrones filming locations. You won’t find Khaleesi in these videos, but instead, you’ll find spectacular beauty of ancient cities that still stand today, as well as epic landscapes that aren’t just Hollywood CGI. And all of them are shot via drone, and curated by the team at drone video-sharing site AirVuz. Most of the outdoor footage seen in the show was created across six countries: Croatia, Iceland, Malta, Spain, the United Kingdom and Morocco. In honor of season eight of the hit series, check out this collection of eight videos all shot by drone, showing some of the top spots from the past seven seasons of “Game of Thrones.” Westeros (it’s actually Dubrovnik, Croatia) Dubrovnik, Croatia, serves as the fictional King’s Landing capital city of Westeros. The well-preserved, 11th century city is a magnificent Croatian seaport. Even if you’re not a Game of Thrones enthusiast, it has played a major role in other films recently, including “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” Daenarys’ Throne Room (it’s actually Diocletian’s Palace in Split, Croatia) Also in Croatia but a bit farther north along the Dalmatian Coast, you’ll find Split. Split has stunning beaches, Roman and Venetian ruins, and architecture spanning centuries, including the famous Diocletian’s Palace. In that palace, you’ll find the

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Nominations are open for 2019 Women To Watch In UAS awards

In honor of Women’s History Month, drone organization Women And Drones is launching the 2019 Women To Watch In UAS awards. You can nominate an influential woman to win a 2019 Women To Watch award by submitting a form on the Women and Drones website. The only criteria to win? You must be working in some capacity (freelancing, volunteering, employed by a company) in the drone industry. Awards will be given out in each of the following categories: Innovation Leadership Education Humanitarian (Drones for Good) Entrepreneurship Nomination forms must be submitted by 5 p.m. CST on Friday, May 3, 2019, and semi-finalists will be contacted by June 10. And yes — you can nominate yourself. Finalists will be selected by July 30. The honorees will be announced live at the 2019 InterDrone conference on Thursday, September 5th in Las Vegas during the annual Women In Drones Luncheon. This is the third time the awards will be held. Here’s a complete list of 2018’s winners, including Sonal Baid, who leads product management and strategic operations for software platform Kittyhawk, and photojournalist Gail Orenstein. And here’s a list of 2017’s (the inaugural year’s) winners. Women in Drones aims to encourage and support more women in the drone industry. There were 102,769 remote pilot certificates issued for drone operations as of Sept. 1, 2018 according to the Federal Aviation Administration. But of those, only 5,946 (that’s 5.8%) were issued to women. Interesting data from @WomenandDrones: there are now nearly as many female, FAA-certified

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The Iron Man Tello drone is here

The Iron Man Tello drone is here

Two of my favorite worlds: drones and Disney, have just collided. DJI, whose tech powers the $99 Tello drone, just announced the Tello Iron Man edition. The Tello drone is a $99 toy drone (the Iron Man edition is slightly more expensive at $129) made by a Chinese startup called Ryze Tech, made in partnership with both DJI and Intel (it’s got an Intel vision processing chip and flight stabilization from DJI). Together, they created a budget camera drone that also can be used to teach newbies the basics of programming. Weighing in at just 80 grams, the Tello drone can fly for 13 minutes and shoot 5 megapixel photos (DJI’s next-smallest drone is the DJI Spark, which weighs 3x as much. It uses an Intel Movidius Myriad 2 VPU, allowing it to respond to hand gestures and land in the pilot’s hand. And now, Marvel fans have more reason to get excited about DJI stuff. The new Iron Man Tello drone is designed to resemble Tony Stark’s red Iron Man suit. The Iron Man version of the Tello drone also comes with a special “Hero” app, simulating FRIDAY, Iron Man’s virtual assistant. Other than the Iron Man design, the drone is otherwise the same as the standard Tello, and is also compatible with the custom Tello Hero app. Read more: Tello drone review Iron Man is one of the most popular characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a property acquired by Disney in 2009. Perhaps the most-anticipated movie Marvel

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The drone industry’s biggest challenge, according to Delair’s CEO (and it’s not policy)

French drone maker Delair is looking to be one of the biggest players in the drone industry in the coming years. The company, which started by making fixed-wing drones but today is increasingly focus more of its efforts on software, has been on a tear with fund raising from Intel in October, the acquisition of Airware in November, and launch of its new delair.ai software platform last month.  The company also has plans to hire dozens of employees this year. So what are the roadblocks? While many drone companies blame slow policy and regulation implementation as the reason why they haven’t grown as fast as anticipated, Delair says that’s not the case for his company. Why Delair doesn’t think slow policy implementation is as big of a roadblock as some experts may say “’Policy’ is the rules of the game, so you have to play by them,” he said. “I would not say policy is my greatest concern.” De Lagarde said when his company started in 2011, the drone industry was the “Wild West.” “But regulation is part of almost any business,” he said. “Now, there are drone regulations in pretty much every country.” That could have been a roadblock for the company, which, by 2015, was already operating in 30 countries and today operates in 70 countries.  In 2016, Delair made its first international expansion beyond France by opening offices in the U.S. and Australia and today has about 180 employees worldwide. De Lagarde says he expects it to still be quite a long time

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