This LEGO police drone chase set has the drone industry freaking out

This LEGO police drone chase set has the drone industry freaking out

The latest enemy of the drone industry? LEGO. The tiny brick toymaker now makes a play set as part of its LEGO City collection called “Sky Police Drone Chase.” The LEGO police drone play set includes a police helicopter — but not just any helicopter. This one has a firing net shooter intended to catch a tiny LEGO drone, which also comes with the kit. You’ll also get three mini-figures, a police officer, a “crook” and a golden mini-figure statue. According to the description on LEGO’s site, the story of the play set goes like this: A crook is trying to steal the gold statue with his drone. And that kit set off a firestorm in the drone industry, which tends to always be on edge when it comes to negative, fear-mongering press around drones. And now, industry leaders fear that fear-mongering could be subconsciously set in kid’s minds as they play with the LEGO police set. “Call in the police helicopter and fire the net shooter to catch the crook and his drone before he escapes with it,” LEGO’s description states. “It’s another exciting day in LEGO City!” The kit has prompted outcry from drone industry advocates, such as dronemaker DJI’s VP of Policy, Brendan Schulman. Come on, @LEGO_Group. Civilian drones have helped save at least 212 lives. They have never stolen a statue from a city square. Very disappointed to see the impression you are creating about drones, for kids “Ages 5+” pic.twitter.com/sEab2nVXhn — Brendan Schulman (@dronelaws) March

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AirMap adds four new partnerships, despite losing one big one

Drone software startup AirMap may have lost one major partnership over the past year, but it’s looking to make up for the lost by making five other partnerships. Most of them involve drone air traffic control — referred to in industry jargon as UTM (unmanned traffic management). AirMap today announced a new partnership with Fortem Technologies to provide UTM and U-Space solutions. The news bits today follows-up on three new partnerships announced yesterday. AirMap announced a national UTM system for the Czech Republic called SmartSky, created in partnership with the Air Navigation Service of the Czech Republic (ANS CR). Drone perators in the Czech Republic can use a mobile application, powered by AirMap, to access U-space services (U-space is the term used to refer to Europe’s first national drone traffic management system) that have been localized to the Czech language. And Skyguide, the Swiss air navigation service provider announced the trial phase for automated flight authorizations and services for drones, done in partnership with AirMap in Swiss airspace. As part of the trial phase, select drone operators in Switzerland (including drone delivery company Matternet) can request automated and manual flight authorization to fly in airspaces in the cantons of Lugano and Geneva through the skyguide U-space mobile application. And finally, AirMap and Honeywell together launched a drone tracking solution that the pair say is “cost-effective,” providing airspace safety authorities with safe manned and unmanned aircraft operations within airspaces. That product is intended to allow operators to broadcast real-time drone telemetry

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Here are all the winners of the AirVūz Second Annual Drone Video Awards

It may have been freezing cold, but this year I got the pleasure of attending the AirVūz Second Annual Drone Video Awards, live at the awards ceremony in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This is one of the highest-stakes drone video contests, with more than $15,000 in cash and prizes awarded to the creators of videos in 18 different categories, plus a Drone Video of the Year, a First Person View (FPV) Video of the Year, and a People’s Choice award — all drawn from a collection of more than 30,000 drone videos uploaded to the AirVūz website throughout 2018. Full disclosure: I also served as one of the judges! 4 amazing ladies talking drones for the 2nd Annual @AirVuz #DroneVideoAwards! pic.twitter.com/3S9XpSaM2D — Sally French (@TheDroneGirl) February 19, 2019 Winners were announced via a Facebook Live broadcast (which you can watch on Facebook here). I participated in the broadcast myself, getting to announce the Drones for Good winner. Coincidentally, that winner, Mike Bishop, also won the top honor, Drone Video of the Year, for the same video, called Kingdom of the Wild: Wildlife in Namibia, Africa. His video, which was undertaken in collaboration with leading drone manufacturer DJI and the Cheetah Conservation Fund, was filmed at the country’s Erindi game preserve. What an honor to present the award to @AirVuz Drones For Good winner, @mikebishop_tv (yes that’s our cue card!) pic.twitter.com/ILOrq4a91A — Sally French (@TheDroneGirl) February 18, 2019 Bishop is no newbie to making stunning drone videos. He won the “Countries” category at

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Whatever happened to Airware? Meet the company that acquired it

Whatever happened to Airware? Meet the company that acquired it

One of Silicon Valley’s most talked-about and heavily funded companies, Airware, shut down suddenly in fall of 2018. The news came as a shock to many employees — and the broader industry, especially since the drone darling had raised $118 million from big investors such as Andreessen Horowitz, Google’s GV, and Kleiner Perkins. But the company that acquired now-defunct Airware’s assets has a different story. That company is one you might have never heard of, but they are quietly growing, a sleeping giant that is slowly expanding its reach in the drone industry. The company that acquired Airware’s assets is called Delair. It’s a French company that has received significant investment from Intel Capital (both parties would not disclose the financial terms, but experts peg the investment in the eight-figure range). Delair started on a similar path to Airware (as well as plenty of now defunct — or significantly smaller — companies, such as 3D Robotics) by making hardware. Delair makes fixed-wing commercial drones used mostly in utilities, agriculture and construction. Delair’s initial strategy was making hardware, particularly fixed-wing drones. But while Delair still makes hardware, it’s increasingly focused on software. The company in September 2018 announced that along with its Intel investment round, it would expand its software platform. Delair is the brains behind The Intel Insight Platform, a powerful piece of software for storing, organizing drone data. Analytical and monitoring tools allow users to manage drone imagery, 2D and 3D models. Software companies like Delair became the next drone

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How do I lookup my drone registration number? I’ve lost/forgotten it!

How do I lookup my drone registration number? I’ve lost/forgotten it!

Next up in our “Ask Drone Girl” series is about how to lookup your FAA drone registration number if you’ve lost or forgotten it. If you have a question for Drone Girl, contact her here. My drone FAA license number is no longer showing up on my personal drone. How can I lookup my license number so I can re-apply it to my DJI Phantom 2 Vision + drone? If your drone registration number has disappeared from your aircraft (whether the ink wiped off or a sticker stating the number peeled off), you can retrieve it! As long as you remember the email you used to register when you first signed up on the FAA’s drone registration website to get your registration number in the first place, it should be easy! Here’s how you can find a lost FAA drone registration number: Login to FAADroneZone website. (You can use the password recovery tool if you’ve forgotten your password, too.) From there, you’ll be automatically taken to a new home screen, that shows your drone registration number on the left column. It looks like this (unique identifying information has been removed from this screenshot): Of course, if you’ve completely lost your email and password, your next alternative would be to simply register again and get a completely new drone registration number — though you’ll be on the hook for paying the $5 registration fee again, if that’s the case. In case you haven’t heard, this time around when you reaffix your

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