Investors still believe in drone delivery as startup raises millions of dollars

The general public may have given up hope on drone delivery as none of their presents were delivered over the latest holiday season — despite what Jeff Bezos led us to believe. But investors still haven’t given up hope. Drones logistics company Flytrex this month announced that it has raised $7.5 million in Series B funding in a round led by Benhamou Global Ventures (BGV) with additional investment from btov. The latest Flytrex Series B funding round will go towards scaling-up the company’s operations and technology. Flytrex is most famously known for establishing a fully operational drone delivery service in Iceland, back in 2017. The company, which was founded in 2013, recently extended service to cover half of Reykjavik and has since launched their service in North Dakota as part of a gold course drone delivery system. The company says it anticipates bringing their operations to North Carolina in 2019. So how do Flytrex’s drone deliveries work? Rather than relying on landing pads and having the drones make contact with the ground, Flytrex’s patented “InAir” wire-drop system employs a tethered cord that lowers the package to the ground after the customer confirms on Flytrex’s phone app that they are in position nearby. Flytrex says it is targeting use among small and mid-sized retailers looking to keep pace with the e-commerce giants (who likely have their own delivery systems in the works — a la Google’s Project Wing and Amazon Prime Air). Many companies have struggled to turn drone deliveries into viable business models beyond one-off stunt flights. Most

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25 drone birthday gift ideas for the drone lover in your life

25 drone birthday gift ideas for the drone lover in your life

So you need to get a gift for someone who loves drones, but you aren’t actually going to buy them a drone? These drone themed gift ideas won’t blow away your budget (many of them are less than $20), and they are all unique, creative gifts sure to be loved by dronies that will instantly make you look like the most clever gift-giver on the planet. Here are 25 drone-themed gift ideas — perfect for birthdays, anniversaries, thank-you gifts or just because: 25. “Before You Ask” Drone Pilot shirt If this isn’t the most relatable drone-themed shirt on the planet, then I truly don’t know what is. I seriously need to wear this every time I fly. It’s brilliant. Price: $13.99 24. Drone Erasers Pencil Sharpeners I know that only like .0001% of the American population still uses pencils, but this is seriously amazing. It’s a combination eraser and pencil sharpener, AND it’s shaped like a drone! You can buy various size packs, but this page sells them in 24-packs, making them a great party favor. Price: $23 for a 24-pack 23. Set of drone filters: Neutral density (ND) filters are coin-sized pieces of semi-transparent glass that have long been used by videographers. ND filters fix common problems you see in any photo — but particularly aerial photos — including glare, overexposure, harsh shadows and other issues, making them a perfect gift for dronies who want to step up their photography game. 22. “Best Drone Master In The Galaxy” shirt Any

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French Armed Forces sign $89 million contract for FLIR drones

Thermal camera maker FLIR in recent years has been ramping up its presence in the drone industry. And that presence is about to get a lot bigger. FLIR has been awarded an $89 million contract to supply its drones to the French Armed Forces. The Oregon-based thermal camera more specifically signed a contract with the French Defense Procurement Agency’s French Operational Pocket Drone (DrOP) program, where it will provide its FLIR Black Hornet® 3 nano-unmanned aerial vehicle and Personal Reconnaissance System. The Black Hornet PRS claims to be the world’s smallest combat-proven nano-drone and is intended to help military troops “maintain situational awareness, threat detection, and surveillance.” The drone has a flight time of 25 minutes and is equipped with electro-optical/infrared sensors. My friends at Roswell Flight Test Crew take a deeper look at the Black Hornet drone: The French are not the first to use the drone. It is currently deployed in more than 30 countries. FLIR isn’t just focusing on military drone. It has made major headway in the commercial drone market as well. Last month, major drone manufacturer DJI launched the Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual. So what’s the dual? This drone houses both a side-by-side 4K sensor for capturing visible light, and a FLIR Lepton thermal microcamera for capturing thermal data. The Lepton is FLIR’s smallest thermal microcamera. FLIR also has partnered with DJI on numerous occasions in the past. The first of those partnerships was the introduction of the XT camera in 2015. In March 2018, the

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DJI uncovers massive employee fraud scheme

Dronemaker DJI unearthed a massive case of employee fraud happening via an internal probe, in what could have cost the company up to 1 billion yuan ($150 million). Employees were inflating the cost of parts and materials for personal gain. DJI responded by firing a number of employees, alerting law enforcement, and also set up new internal channels for employees to submit confidential and anonymous reports relating to any violations of the company’s workplace conduct policies. DJI added in a statement that it not incur a full year loss in 2018. DJI discovered the employee fraud corruption via an internal probe and has fired at least some of the workers involved. According to Reuters, news of the massive embezzlement began on Friday when an internal document regarding the incident was shared on Chinese social media. DJI did not disclose how many employees were involved, but the Financial Times reported it could be as high as 29 employees. “DJI holds our employees to strict ethical standards and takes any violation of our code of conduct very seriously,” DJI said in a prepared statement. “DJI took swift action to address this issue, dismissed a number of employees who violated company policies, and contacted law enforcement officials. We continue to investigate the situation and are cooperating fully with law enforcement’s investigation.” DJI is far and away the world’s largest drone maker, making popular drones including the DJI Mavic Air, DJI Phantom and DJI Mavic Pro. The company employees about 14,000 people globally. The

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New online drone photo course launches from creators of Part 107 FAA course

New online drone photo course launches from creators of Part 107 FAA course

Update: Get $50 off the Drone Launch Academy Aerial Photo Pro course using promo code DRONEGIRL50App (automatically applied through this link). So you have your Part 107 FAA Drone Pilot License, and now want to step up your drone photography game? Or maybe the inverse — you want to make sure you’re already a drone photo pro before taking the next step to running a drone photography business. Either way, there’s a new online course available to help teach you what you need to know about drone photography. Drone Launch Academy, which initially started as a platform to help students take and pass their FAA knowledge exams, such as the Unmanned Aircraft exam required for the Remote Pilot Certificate (what you need to fly drones commercially), has since expanded its offerings. This year, Drone Launch Academy launched the Aerial Photo Pro course. The $249 course goes over the entire process of taking the perfect photo, ranging from getting the composition right while you’re flying, to editing it back at home. Some things you can expect to learn: How the pros frame up shots and the guidelines they use to help them have consistency The secret to cleaning up unsightly objects that mess up your photos (wish that car wasn’t in the parking lot? Done.) How to take photos in low-light that have that “glowing” look Best practice for real estate photography: how high to shoot and what angles you need How to shoot panoramic photos with your drone You’ll learn

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