Wednesday, 28 June 2017
News with tag Drones  RSS
"Drone Warrior" author on what it's like to hunt a terrorist

Added: 27.06.2017 22:26 | 2 views | 0 comments

Former intelligence analyst Brett Velicovich shares his experiences as one of an elite handful in the military at the center of America's covert drone war

Tags: Drones

MIT develops drone swarms that can drive

Added: 27.06.2017 21:52 | 2 views | 0 comments

MIT's CSAIL team created a swarm of eight quadcopter drones that can fly and drive through a city-like setting.

Tags: Drones

China's verdant 'forest city' will fight pollution with a million plants

Added: 27.06.2017 21:17 | 2 views | 0 comments

If tree-covered skyscrapers act like enormous air filters, this cluster of buildings will be a clean air oasis. China has broken ground on a "forest city" in the southern city of Liuzhou. The development, which will span two-thirds of a mile along the Liujiang River, involves blanketing offices, apartments, hotels, and schools with more than a million plants and about 40,000 trees. SEE ALSO: How drones are helping to plant trees The verdant towers will help soak up urban air pollution, produce clean oxygen, and boost local biodiversity. The greenery also provides shade on sunny days and acts as an insulating blanket during winter, allowing tenants to use less heating and electricity. Liuzhou Forest City will span 175 hectares, or 0.67 miles, along the Liujiang River.Image: stefano boeri architettiIf the concept sounds familiar, that's because these buildings are the work of Stefano Boeri Architetti, the same architecture firm behind the two "vertical forest" buildings planned for Nanjing in eastern China.  Liuzhou city officials commissioned the Italian company to build the development, which will host about 30,000 people and be connected to the main Liuzhou city — population 3.8 million — via a fast-rail line used by electric cars. The forest city, now under construction, is expected to be completed by 2020, the Milan-based architects confirmed by email. 'Vertical forest' buildings in the Liuzhou development.Image: stefano boeri architettiThe development is a flashy but tiny effort to combat the dangerous smog and toxic air pollution that's choking China's industrialized cities. It comes as China is building more wind and solar power than any country in the world to slash emissions from coal plants, factories, and vehicles, and to combat climate change. Stefano Boeri's firm, which recently completed two verdant towers in Milan, is planning to expand into other smoggy cities, including China's Shijiazhuang, Guizhou, Shanghai, and Chongqing. In the Liuzhou Forest City, buildings, parks, and gardens will absorb almost 10,000 tons of carbon dioxide and 57 tons of fine dust pollutants per year, while producing about 900 tons of oxygen, the architects said in a press release.  By comparison, the two green towers in Nanjing will absorb 25 tons of carbon dioxide and produce 0.06 tons of oxygen.  An electric railway will link the 'forest city' to the main Liuzhou city.Image: stefano boeri architettiBeyond sucking up toxic air, the urban greenery is also expected to stifle noise pollution and support biodiversity by providing a habitat for the local birds, insects, and small animals that inhabit Liuzhou. The project will include residential areas, commercial and recreational spaces, plus two schools and a hospital. Along with plants, the buildings will also feature rooftop solar panels to produce clean electricity and use geothermal energy systems for interior air-conditioning. Stefano Boeri Architetti said the Liuzhou Forest City represents its broader effort to design a "new generation" of architecture and urban environments to address climate change. WATCH: China's big, beautiful, green 'vertical forests' will suck up toxic smog

Amazon's Delivery Drones Could Take Off from Beehive-Like 'Airport'

Added: 27.06.2017 15:03 | 3 views | 0 comments

If Amazon's package-carrying drones ever become a reality, they may one day pick up deliveries from beehive-shaped buildings strategically placed in cities around the world, according to a patent application filed by the company.

Tags: Drones, HIV, Amazon
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Why Oscar Mayer is making hot dogs fall from the sky

Added: 27.06.2017 13:36 | 4 views | 0 comments

Oscar Mayer just released a hot dog-carrying drone as part of a stunt to introduce revamped hot dogs. Sean Dowling (@seandowlingtv) has more.


LEGO City Volcano Exploration Base Set for $67 + free shipping

Added: 27.06.2017 0:03 | 2 views | 0 comments

Walmart offers the LEGO City Volcano Exploration Base Set for $67 with free shipping. That's tied with last week's mention and the lowest price we could find by $14. (Most major retailers charge around $85 to $95.) This 824-piece set features a mobile operations center, excavator, wheeled dumper, drone, boulder rack, volcano with an eruption function, and six minifigures.

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Parrot Drones at TechRabbit: Extra 10% off + free shipping

Added: 26.06.2017 20:04 | 2 views | 0 comments

TechRabbit takes up to 81% off a selection of new and refurbished Parrot drones and accessories. (Prices are as marked.) Even better, take an extra 10% off via coupon code "TRPARROT10". Plus, all orders bag free shipping.
Note: A 1-year TechRabbit warranty applies for all refurbished items.

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Amazon Visualizes Speedy Home Delivery From Cylindrical Towers

Added: 26.06.2017 12:13 | 3 views | 0 comments

Amazon visualizes drone delivery from cylindrical towers. It's close to customers. A sku scraper building will be the launch pad.


Sensor Fusion Software Simplifies Design of Robots, Autonomous Cars

Added: 26.06.2017 9:05 | 4 views | 0 comments

Using a novel arithmetic approach, a new sensor fusion solution fits on a single microcontroller, allowing developers to use it in applications ranging from autonomous cars to robots to drones.
Known as , the new software product could help engineers more effectively deal with the blizzard of data coming from radar, Lidar, cameras, and ultrasonic sensors, while simultaneously enabling them to reduce the number of electronic control units in their overall system. “We’ve shrunk down the software to make it available to a wider class of applications,” Julien Mottin, research engineer for the , told Design News. “And there’s no drawback in terms of mathematical precision, even though we can run it on a much smaller platform.”
Mottin said the key to the product’s capabilities is its ability to execute so-called occupancy grids without the need for a floating point unit. Using an integer unit instead of floating point, he said, makes for a smaller software footprint. Because it is less compute-intensive, it can be incorporated in a single MCU, and yet still control powertrain, body-safety, and ADAS applications in vehicles.

Leti’s SigmaFusion can run the occupancy grids needed in forward path recognition, without the need for floating point operations. (Source: Leti Research Institute of CEA Tech)

“The major problem with those occupancy grids is that in the current state of the art, it’s a challenge to run them in hardware,” Mottin said. “They use complex computation techniques that (typically) rely on floating point arithmetic.”

Leti announced last week that SigmaFusion has been embedded in Infineon Technologies’ Aurix TC29x platform. (Source: Infineon Technologies)

But by eliminating the need for floating point arithmetic, Leti engineers say their product is a candidate, not only for autonomous cars, but for smaller applications. Mottin said the technology could be applied to small robots and drones. He added that the company is even working with a supplier on the use of SigmaFusion in a cane for the blind. In that application, the sensor fusion package could draw information from sensors and provide an audible warning of potential obstacles, not only in the path of the user’s feet, but in front of his or her head. The sensor fusion software could help keep costs down in such applications by enabling its use without the need for a costly hardware platform.
Mottin added that SigmaFusion also offers the advantage of being able to characterize free space, as well as obstacles, in the path of the sensors. Typically, he said, the occupancy grids that form the backbone of the software are capable only of distinguishing obstacles – such as trees, cars, and pedestrians. But by characterizing free space, he said, it provides another level of assurance regarding the road ahead.
“To fully assess safety, you really need to know, not only about the obstacles, but how much free space you have in front of you,” he told us.
The technology has already been embedded in Infineon Technologies’ platform. Leti is also working with other, unnamed, suppliers on incorporation of the sensor fusion package into their MCUs.
Mottin said he expects initial applications to be in the automotive space. “The difference is that we’ve been able to shrink the software down so it fits in automotive-grade platforms, especially those used in ADAS,” he said. “With this, there’s no need for complex graphics processing units or accelerators.”
Senior technical editor Chuck Murray has been writing about technology for 33 years. He joined Design News in 1987, and has covered electronics, automation, fluid power, and auto.

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Trump admin OKs drone sale to India, manufacturer says

Added: 25.06.2017 21:55 | 1 views | 0 comments

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration has authorized the sale of unarmed surveillance drones to India, the manufacturer said Friday, as the two nations' leaders prepare for their first face-to-face meeting.

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