Flying a drone for the Air Force is like any other skill; you have to learn it. The Atlantic got a rare look inside the classroom where that instruction happens. It’s a lot like most classrooms you’ve probably been in, except the word problems they’re working through involve killing people. Read more.
A herd of elephants, as seen from a UAV. Image: PLOS OneDrones are supposed to help us save the rhinos and the elephants—something they’re not going to be able to if they’re banned. When people point out the beneficial uses of drones, one of the first things they list is their potential as an anti-poaching tool. Using drones to save endangered animals is about as uncontroversial as you can get—especially because, in the remote savannah, there aren’t as many privacy issues from flying cameras.But that’s apparently not enough for several countries: Kenya’s government just banned the private use of drones, a move that will immediately ground an anti-poaching pilot program that was set to begin in one of the world’s most important wildlife sanctuaries
Image: Mesa County, CO Sheriff’s Dept.Last week, the Los Angeles police department announced a new acquisition: two Draganflyer X6 drones, small hexacopters about three feet wide and capable of being outfitted with a range of sophisticated cameras. This makes the LAPD the largest municipal police department in the country known to possess unmanned aerial vehicles for surveillance or tactical uses.But the LAPD took pains to make it clear that it won’t fly them, at least not immediately. “No decision has been made whether or not these vehicles will be used,” the department said in a short press release issued yesterday
With the advancements in quadrotor parts and technology over the years, it’s become possible to make just about anything fly if you can strap some high-speed rotors to it. Introducing the first edible quadrotor!
[Michael] enjoys building and flying quadrotors. His girlfriend enjoys baking and making chocolates. One day she had a crazy idea — what if they made a quadrotor together, combining their unique skill sets? [Michael] was a bit skeptical at first. After all, chocolate doesn’t really compare to aluminum or carbon for a frame material… and chocolate melts at room temperature
Image: ShutterstockPrison yards have spotlights and surveillance towers and barbed wire fences and security cameras to keep prisoners in—and soon, they might have drones too. Corrections officials in Ohio are looking into using drones to persistently monitor prison grounds in the state.Of all the places for persistent surveillance to occur, prison is probably the best—there’s already all of those previously-mentioned capabilities—but the thought of having a drone constantly hovering over prisons just seems a little too far, no? In any case, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction is at least looking into the idea: Tristan Navera of the Dayton Business Journal reports that prison officials attended a drone demonstration on Monday, with the idea of using unmanned aircraft to keep contraband out of the prison and to keep an eye on any prisoners trying to escape. The demonstration was hosted by researchers at the University of Dayton Research Institute and the Wright State Research Institute at the Wilmington Air Park. None of the researchers involved with the demonstration have gotten back to me yet, but a spokesperson with the prison system confirmed to me that officials did attend the demonstration