Ford has long been part of what happens on the road, but now, it’s setting its sights just a little higher — literally. The automotive company recently published a blog post that revealed it is “looking to the skies” with drone research.
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Enlarge / During the recent California wild fires, there were several reports of drones interfering with firefighting attempts. (credit: Photo by Ronen Tivony/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Switzerland is on the cusp of becoming the first country to formally integrate drones into the air traffic management system that controls its airspace.
The limited integration is the first to be launched under a broader European initiative called U-space, which seeks to create a digital infrastructure that would allow millions of small drones to safely operate beyond line-of-sight in approved airspace. A similar, though more modest, model in the US called Unmanned Aircraft System Traffic Management (UTM) has been developed by NASA. Managing and tracking small drones is key to opening the commercial market for drone services
We’ve seen some cheap quadcopter builds over the years, but this one takes the cake. After seeing somebody post a joke about building a quadcopter frame out of zip ties and hot glue, [IronMew] decided to try it for real. The final result is a micro quadcopter that actually flies half-way decently and seems to be fairly resistant to crash damage thanks to the flexible structure.
The first attempts at building the frame failed, as the zip ties (unsurprisingly) were too flexible and couldn’t support the weight of the motors. Eventually, [IronMew] realized that trying to replicate the traditional quadcopter frame design just wasn’t going to work
Wiretapping laws mean the police can’t use a radio jammer to bring down a misbehaving drone, but officials are discussing potential legislation to change that. The bill isn’t official yet — and a similar proposal failed last year.
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US Army soldiers are vulnerable to swarms of tiny drones packing explosives or other weapons. And the problem is bound to get worse as the Army struggles to develop defenses against robotic swarms faster than America’s enemies field better drones. That’s the alarming conclusion of a new study from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. “The Army timeframes are significantly out of sync with the rapidly advancing performance capabilities of individual sUASs and teams of sUASs,” the experts wrote, using the military’s acronym for “small unmanned aerial systems.” The National Academies began its study in 2016, at a time when Islamic State was waging an intensive aerial campaign against US and allied forces using off-the-shelf quadcopter-style drones armed with small bombs or rigged to explode in close proximity to people on the ground