Category Archives: News

DroneSeed is sending drones to change the forestry industry

DroneSeed is the latest example of how drones are taking jobs — but in a good way.

The $200 billion forestry industry depends on manual labor to plant seeds in the ground, with work crews using shovels for the chore. One human worker typically can plant 800 seeds in a day, but DroneSeed predicts its device can plant 800 seeds per hour. It’s back-bending work — literally. Workers have to do 1,000 backbends a day and carry small trees up and down hills. Some estimate the work involved in one day of working as a seed planter is equivalent to running two marathons each day.

DroneSeed’s drones blasting fertilizer and seeds into the ground at 350 feet per second.

DroneSeed says its solution is good for the environment, worker safety and investors. DroneSeed’s drones currently have a flight time of about 30 minutes; after changing batteries, the drones can cover an acre within 1.5 hours.

Read more about DroneSeed in the full article I wrote over at MarketWatch.com.

 

Drones fly at America’s Got Talent

America’s Got Talent’s latest episode featuring feats of engineering, science and creativity as drones graced the stage.

Japanese multimedia dance troupe Elevenplay used drones and lights to create a stunning visual performance. The troupe, headed by director and principal choreographer Mikiko, is known for incorporating advanced technology into their work, and in the past has used projection mapping, lasers and iPads in their performances.

And judges Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Mel B and Howie Mandel were impressed. Mandel and Klum gave the group a standing ovation.
Continue reading Drones fly at America’s Got Talent

Drone combat and racing entertainment complex to open in San Francisco

Drone Sports World is going to become the next big thing.

Drone racing is already pretty sweet, having garnered media attention in the wake of the inaugural World Drone Prix in Dubai earlier this year, when  15-year-old winner Luke Bannister walked away with a $250,000 prize, and later when ESPN announced drone racing would air.

But drone combat is on my mind recently. It’s fast-paced and high-action. It draws cheers and groans from the crowd.

And it’s going to become the next date night adventure for residents and tourists in San Francisco._MG_0974

I got the scoop from Aerial Sports League’s Marque Cornblatt, who let me in on a little secret. The Aerial Sports League is opening up to the public with an entertainment complex where people can learn how to build, race and combat with drones inside the Palace of Fine Arts — located just a couple miles from Drone Girl HQ. It’s both racing and combat — and family fun. Continue reading Drone combat and racing entertainment complex to open in San Francisco

Here’s how DJI’s Snotbot drone works to research whales

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Courtesy DJI

The concept of a “Snotbot” has been one of my favorite uses of a drone to date ever since I learned how NOAA’s Wayne Perryman was using drones to collect whale snot back in August of 2013.

For years now, researchers have been mounting collection devices on drones and flying them over whales as they blow fluid in the air, allowing scientists to collect better samples at less risk and lower cost without the whale even noticing.

DJI today released a video featuring Dr. Iain Kerr, CEO of Ocean Alliance, who explains how it all works. Continue reading Here’s how DJI’s Snotbot drone works to research whales

Here’s just how crazy popular drones have gotten in the past year

This is an excerpt of a story originally written for MarketWatch.com. Read the entire story here.

The drone industry only keeps flying higher. Drone sales grew 224% year-over-year, according to a report from The NPD Group’s Retail Tracking Service.
Within that period, the 2015 holiday season was a big winner for drones, as unit sales increased 445% from the prior holiday season.

Federal requirements that drone operators must register did nothing to hurt sales of drones, as drone sales doubled month over month between October and December 2015, according to The NPD Group’s report. Many drone operators initially resisted registration because they feared giving away personal information to a federal database and were opposed to the $5 registration fee. Since registration opened in December 2015, there are now nearly half a million drone users in the U.S., according to the Federal Aviation Administration’s database.cs01
But for such a futuristic piece of technology, young people aren’t the ones buying drones. 90% of drone buyers are older than 31, according to a separate report from Colin Snow‘s Skylogic Research.

Read the rest of this story here.

Drone Gaming: what to expect

Drones have gained popularity worldwide over the last 24 months, with the industry expected to be worth approximately $5.6 billion by 2020, according to a Markets and Markets report. There will be a 32% annual growth, according to the report. Many industries are now looking at leveraging the technology, particularly the gaming sector eyeing the use of drones with the help of mobile devices.

The gaming industry expects plenty of new changes, as innovative platforms and technologies are being launched year-on-year. Apart from drones, we’ve seen how virtual reality (VR) has greatly influenced the sector. Mobile devices have also seen greatly affecting the gaming domain, as even games that were once only available in physical form are now available on digital formats. Board and card games now have apps, while machine games have been now into online games, such as Slingo that can now be accessed via mobile devices and on PCs. Smartphones and tablets have played an important role in drone gaming, too.

And in the drone sector, the world’s first smartphone-controlled gaming drone successfully reached its funding goal last year. Created by German company TobyRich, the Kickstarter project reached €102,003 (about $115,000) in funding due to 587 backers. The drone will be powered by a smartphone with gaming joysticks on the screen. Through its supported free Android or iOS app, gamers will be able to engage in single and multiplayer dogfights, air races and stunts no matter what the setting. It will be able to augment reality through actual camera feeds from the drone, giving users a host of games to tackle. Continue reading Drone Gaming: what to expect

This city has the most registered drones of them all

This is an excerpt of a piece originally written for MarketWatch.com. Read the entire story here.

California is home to Silicon Valley, Silicon Beach, and now — it appears — Silicon Sky. The state comes in No. 1 for having the most registered drones, both in the commercial and hobby space.

The Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday released two databases of all registered commercial and hobby drones in the U.S., five months after announcing a rule that all owners of drones greater than 0.55 pounds need to register their aerial vehicles online with the government.

In the commercial drone space, Menlo Park, Calif. takes the cake for having the most registered drone users. Menlo Park, which has 176 registered drone users, is one of the cities that makes up Silicon Valley and is home to Facebook Inc. FB, +0.26% (which is working on drones of its own). It’s also home to startups such as drone delivery company Matternet and Skydio, which was founded by a team of researchers from MIT and Google’s drone team, and creates drones that are smart enough to react to and avoid obstacles like trees.

Other areas topping the list include Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, as well as Los Angeles and its neighboring city Burbank, where crews are increasingly using drones to shoot Hollywood films.

Read the rest of this story and see the complete rankings here.

Drone Girl to lead second InterDrone Women in Drones Panel

I’m pleased to announce that I’ll once again be heading up one of my favorite events of the year — the second annual InterDrone Women in Drones panel discussion and luncheon.

The International Drone Conference & Exposition will be held September 7-9 at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas.

I’ll join moderator Gretchen West, a Senior Advisor at Hogan Lovells US LLP and former executive at Drone Deploy and AUVSI alongside panelists Lisa Ellman and Jennifer Richter.

“BZ Media and InterDrone are proud to have created this unique networking event allowing women to have an open discussion about both the challenges and opportunities in this growing but predominantly male industry. We are flattered that smaller niche UAV shows have copied the event and allowed this powerful gathering to occur at more than just our show,” said Katie Flash, Director of Conference Programs at BZ Media LLC.

InterDrone had 2,800 attendees in its first year and expects to host more than 4,000 this year along with 120 sessions and 135 exhibitors.

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A photo from last year’s Women in Drones luncheon

“In the year since the first Women in Drones Luncheon, the commercial drone industry has gained tremendous momentum — it’s one of the fastest growing sectors in technology. Women have been an early and integral part of paving the way for the commercial drone industry to succeed,” said Lisa Ellman, co-chair, UAS Group, Hogan Lovells and Co-founder, Women of Commercial Drones Group. “I’m so excited to be back with some of the most talented women in the space for this next Women in Drones Luncheon, and I am looking forward to meeting others who are getting into the industry and exploring drones’ transformative economic potential.”