Enlarge / Our $24 drone. You can see the missing propeller on the right. (credit: Timothy B. Lee / Ars Technica) Like thousands of other parents, I decided to get my kids a cheap drone for Christmas. I spent $24 for a plastic flying machine with rudimentary collision-avoidance capabilities View original article at Ars Technica

Enlarge (credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) After months of uncertainty, corporations and hobbyists alike finally have a set of drone guidelines from the Federal Aviation Administration. The final rules are a step back from some proposed restrictions, as they will allow flights over crowds and some nighttime operations. But all drones weighing over 0.25kg (0.55lb) will need to have a unique Remote ID, as will smaller drones that are flown over crowds View original article at Ars Technica

Enlarge / A DJI Inspire drone flying in Brandenburg, Germany. (credit: Patrick Pleul / Getty Images) The US Department of Commerce has added dozens of Chinese companies to its “entity list” of companies that may not purchase technology from US companies without a license from the feds. The new list includes DJI, the world’s largest drone manufacturer. It also includes SMIC, a major Chinese chipmaker that has done business with Qualcomm and other Western companies. This is one of the legal weapons the Trump administration used against smartphone-makers…

(video link) The renewed war between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagoro-Karabakh region has captured the attention of military strategists worldwide, including the United States, because of the degree to which drones have changed the battlefield. While the wide-open, rugged terrain of the region has played a role, Turkish- and Israeli-built remotely piloted vehicles are dominating the battlefield, causing strategists to think a lot about land-battle tactics—and about the value of tanks in the 21st century. Azerbaijan has been using a number of weapons systems from both Turkey…

(video link) This summer, the US Air Force awarded contracts to four companies to develop prototypes for the Skyborg Program, the Air Force’s effort to provide relatively inexpensive autonomous uncrewed combat aircraft to serve as robotic wingmen to human-piloted F-22 and F-35 fighters. Skyborg is one of three Vanguard initiatives—programs intended to stretch the Air Force’s capabilities with disruptive new technologies. The US military has been talking about so-called “loyal wingman” drones for close to a decade. The Navy had its own carrier-based drone effort, which after successes…

Enlarge / Photo taken on Aug. 28, 2020 shows the wreckage at the site where a wildfire swept through in Vacaville of Solano County in northern California. (credit: Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images) The US interior department’s decision not to buy more drones with Chinese parts has made it more difficult to fight wildfires, according to an internal departmental memo that lays bare one cost of the Trump administration’s crackdown on Chinese technology. The memo, which was written by the department’s Office of Aviation Services earlier this…

Enlarge / Closeup of a Predator MQ-9 uncrewed aerial vehicle. (credit: Tobias Schwarz | Getty Images) US Reps. Will Hurd and Robin Kelly are from opposite sides of the ever-widening aisle, but they share a concern that the United States may lose its grip on artificial intelligence, threatening the American economy and the balance of world power. On Thursday, Hurd (R-Tex.) and Kelly (D-Ill View original article at Ars Technica

Enlarge (credit: Customs and Border Patrol) Thousands of people took to the streets of Minneapolis on Friday to protest the death of George Floyd, a local black man who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck during an arrest. All the while, a Customs and Border Patrol drone kept a careful eye on the unfolding unrest. The drone, using the tracking signal CBP104, took off from Grand Forks Airforce Base at 9:08 am Central Daylight Time and shortly afterward headed directly to Minneapolis, this feed…

Enlarge / A World Health Organization advisory. (credit: World Health Organization) The Department of Homeland Security is reportedly issuing alerts to wireless telecom providers and law enforcement agencies about potential attacks on cell towers and telecommunications workers by 5G/coronavirus conspiracy theorists. The DHS warned that there have already been “arson and physical attacks against cell towers in several US states.” The preposterous claim that 5G can spread the coronavirus, either by suppressing the immune system or by directly transmitting the virus over radio waves, led to dozens of…

Enlarge (credit: Richard Newstead / Getty Images) A Minnesota man is facing two felony charges for shooting down a drone, The Free Press reports. The incident began when an unnamed man flew a drone over Butterfield Foods, a producer of meat products—including chicken—in the Southern Minnesota town of Butterfield. The man later told a sheriff’s deputy he was trying to prove that chickens were being slaughtered because of the pandemic. Two employees approached the man and asked him what he was doing. Soon afterwards, someone else shot the…