All posts by Sally French

The U.S. military’s Defense Innovation Unit is experimenting with anti-drone detection

The U.S. military is turning its attention to anti-drone detection.

The  Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx), which is a United States Department of Defense (DoD) organization focused on how the U.S. military can use emerging technologies, this week announced a partnership with Dedrone, a San Francisco-based startup building drone detection software.

DIUx is experimenting with Dedrone’s technology to provide situational awareness of drone activity over protected sites, according to a news release. Dedrone has worked with the DoD previously through a two-month airspace activity survey with Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Washington, D.C. During this time, Dedrone and JBM-HH detected unauthorized drones infiltrating the airspace, despite the area being a no-fly zone. Continue reading The U.S. military’s Defense Innovation Unit is experimenting with anti-drone detection

DroneDeploy snags massive deal with world’s largest software distributor

SoftBank, the world’s largest software distributor, announced this month that drone software company DroneDeploy will be the only cloud drone software solution distributed on its ecosystem.

It’s a big move that means DroneDeploy has the opportunity to become an operating system for drones all over the world.

DroneDeploy is a San Francisco-based drone startup that enables professional-grade 3D modeling , imagery and analysis from a variety of drones. Continue reading DroneDeploy snags massive deal with world’s largest software distributor

DJI wants you to know that its drones data practices are totally secure

In an era where fears of companies tracking user data are increasingly growing, Chinese drone manufacturer DJI has made another push to say the data collected from its drones is totally safe. The news comes in the midst of rumors that DJI was transmitted sensitive user data to China.

The world’s largest drone manufacturer this week released the results of an independent report which concluded that customer data collected by DJI drones is secure.

Consulting firm Kiva conducted a study of DJI drones in the U.S. last year, confirmed that for some types of data (such as media files and flight logs), DJI did not access photos, videos or flight logs generated by the drones unless drone operators voluntarily chose to share them. For other types of data (such as initial location checks or diagnostic data), the user could prevent transmission by deactivating settings in the app or via disabling the Internet connection. Continue reading DJI wants you to know that its drones data practices are totally secure

Kittyhawk’s Sonal Baid: ‘startup culture is playing a major role in defining the drone industry’

The drone industry may be ruled by a few major players, but much of the industry is driven by the industry’s many startups.

The government has largely depended on startups to propel its initiatives forward, such as its Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC) drone program.

And one of the company’s looking to make a big difference in the drone industry is Kittyhawk, a San Francisco-based software startup.

The startup’s product strategy and product management teams are led by Sonal Baid, an aerospace engineer who has been with the company for about a year. She spoke with The Drone Girl about her predictions for the industry, the biggest surprises when it comes to drones and how startup culture is driving the industry forward.

Sonal Baid kittyhawk drone girl india
Courtesy Sonal Baid

Drone Girl: How did your background in aerospace engineering get you to where you are today in the drone industry?

Sonal Baid: From my very first childhood memories, I remember two things, going to the park with my grandfather and going to my small town airport with my dad every Sunday, just to watch airplanes take off and land. I have always been super excited about machines, especially flying machines. Continue reading Kittyhawk’s Sonal Baid: ‘startup culture is playing a major role in defining the drone industry’

Apple security cracks down on drone pilot who shoots epic Apple campus videos

Apple security doesn’t want you flying drones over their campus — which means the days of those sweet drone videos of the iPhone maker’s spaceship-like campus may be over.

Drone pilot Duncan Sinfield, who has been producing videos about twice a month that give aerial tour updates of the progress on the Apple Park, says his videos may be coming to an end.

During recent flights, the Apple security team has been catching him flying his drone and subsequently been asking him to leave, according to a post on Sinfield’s YouTube account today.

“Security at Apple Park generally responds in two white Prius’s to my precise take-off locations in 10 minutes or less,” Sinfield wrote. “As always, I respect all requests by Apple Security to land my drone and leave the area when asked to do so.”

“My instincts tell me that Apple is tracking all drones in the vicinity of the campus with sophisticated radio frequency technology from companies such as Dedrone,” Sinfield added. Continue reading Apple security cracks down on drone pilot who shoots epic Apple campus videos

Yuneec partners with Parrot to put Pix4D’s mapping software in its commercial drones

As drone companies look to compete with  drone industry king DJI, two companies have come up with a unique strategy: combine resources and team up.

Yuneec, a Chinese drone manufacturer known mostly for its Typhoon hobby drone, has partnered with Pix4D, a 3D mapping software company owned by French drone manufacturer Parrot, which is known for its Bebop and AR toy drones.

Pix4D yuneec h520 Parrot
A screengrab of the Pix4D software.

The two companies announced this week that Parrot’s  Pix4Dcapture software would now be available on Yuneec’s H520 ST16S ground station controller. The software gives users the ability to create georeferenced maps and models from drone imagery, Pix4D capture is used in verticals such as law enforcement, inspection and construction, where drone pilots can customize flight plans and parameters and view maps in multiple orientations. Continue reading Yuneec partners with Parrot to put Pix4D’s mapping software in its commercial drones

This drone insurance company will alter your rate based on your safety score

Looking to get a lower drone insurance rate? Prove you’re a “safe” pilot, and you may pay less than everyone else.

Drone insurance company SkyWatch launched an insurance plan in partnership with insurance and financial services organization Starr Companies. The plan determines insurance rates based upon a pilot’s safety score.

To use it, pilots need to download SkyWatch’s mobile app, where they input their flight plan, enabling the app to gather data based on potential hazards like crowds, roads and airports. The software can analyze what happened during the flight, and give a safety score. Once a pilot has made at least five flights, they are eligible to receive reduced insurance rates based upon their safety score. The app  works with a variety of drones, including DJI drones. Continue reading This drone insurance company will alter your rate based on your safety score

DJI is having a big spring sale, offering up to 20% off AND gift-with-purchase incentives

Looking to scoop up a DJI Mavic for 20% off? How about some free memory cards?

Chinese drone manufacturer DJI is running a big spring sale on its drones and accessories, and the deals are Black Friday-worthy.

Here are the best deals:

DJI Spark ($499) on sale for $399, PLUS free remote controller, valued at $149

DJI Mavic Pro ($999) on sale for $899, PLUS a free extra battery

DJI Mavic Pro Fly More Combo ($1,299) on sale for $1,149

Here is a complete list of ALL the deals. Check them out! Continue reading DJI is having a big spring sale, offering up to 20% off AND gift-with-purchase incentives