Feb 062018
 

DroneGun

 

There are varying views on drones. Users obviously have their reasons for flying one, be it for recreational purposes or something to do with their job. For bystanders, they can be objects of delight or pure annoyances. It’s the latter that the DroneGun Tactical deals with. However, it’s not a device intended to be in the hands of regular citizens.

Let’s face it, there are some irresponsible drone owners. There are certain rules to be followed in order to fly such a craft; you might even need to get a permit to fly in some areas. But the reckless side of the drone-flying population continues to not adhere to such regulations. A company in Australia, DroneShield, has created a solution to solve the issue.

For a few years now DroneShield has been showcasing what their DroneGun can do. What it is, essentially, is a high-powered antenna that can overpower the offending drone’s own antenna – so much so that the controller can’t get instructions through. If a drone meets a situation like this, it either attempts to land safely or return to a known location (assuming the GPS is still functional).

While all that sounds rather fine in terms of “punishing” a transgressing aircraft, the DroneGun isn’t a convenient thing to carry around. It looks like a rifle gun but one that needs a backpack, batteries, and other components.

If you thought that is big, wait until you see the DroneGun Tactical. Sure, only renders have been put out but a physical model has been made. The Tactical measures 56 inches long, 18 inches tall, and 8 inches wide. This time, there is no pack to go with it.

With its enlarged size comes more sophisticated features. According to DroneShield, their Tactical can put down a drone that is more than a kilometer away. But in order to achieve that, a user must be within line of sight of the drone. This is needed because a drone can very well be up in the air in to time should it re-establish connection with its controller.

Battery life has also been improved with the Tactical. It can manage about an hour or maybe even two of drone scrambling. A GPS blocker can even be purchased to ensure that the transgressing craft stays down rather than flies home.

All this sounds good in the name of maintaining order in the skies. How many times have we read articles about the dangers of drones hitting actual airplanes? There was even that one time where it actually hit a passenger aircraft. But ordinary citizens can’t take the law into their own hands with the help of the Tactical; it has not been approved by the FCC for use in the US.

That means it is illegal for a regular citizen to operate a device like the Tactical. However, government agents are allowed use it. That isn’t a surprise given the Tactical was developed after “comprehensive international military end-user trials.”

 

Pilotless Drone Helicopter Taxis Close to Reality

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Mar 312017
 

 

Are you ready for the future of commuting? Well, brace yourself because the next big thing has finally arrived. In fact, the drone helicopter taxi has been unveiled in Las Vegas at the CES International event last January 2017 and in the United Arab Emirates during its World Government Summit.

Pilotless Drone Aerial Vehicle

The concept is simple, but if you look at it, you might have second thoughts as to whether you should embark on this piece of metal without anyone to send you off your destination. Basically, it is a pilotless vehicle with a top speed of 100mph good for one seating only. Sources say, it will be operational by July.

This product is from a Chinese manufacturer EHang 184. It allows the passenger to interact with a touch-screen monitor in order to choose a destination of up to 31 miles away. However, the trip will be supervised by a ground control team to ensure that the drone is performing as expected.

The said aerial vehicles will be operational in Dubai come July after the transport head of the city have confirmed experimentation with the vehicle to meet possible demands of its passengers. The small egg-shaped drone has a couple of small propellers on each leg as part of the design.

Personal Preference of the Designer

According to the designer, it was made out of personal preference. His idea came out when 2 of his friends were killed in a separate airplane crash incident. Thus, it resulted in designing a prototype that should be safe for aerial travel.

The Chinese company aims to make the controls, along with the overall experience as simple as possible. So, once the passenger sets up the flight plan with just a single click, he or she can now take off on any location, sit back, and enjoy the ride.

Possible Safety Issues

However, despite the simplicity and safety features of the design, there are safety concerns that still raised some questions. This includes questions related to the flight controller if ever it would fail in mid-air. In fact, there are no joysticks or steering wheels that users might have to use whenever necessary.

In response, the company states that there are several multiple fail-safe procedures in place that could take over if failure occurs. So, when an accident is imminent, the flight control center is going to intervene if needed.

Future of Transportation

According to Uber head of product, instead of drones or helicopter-style rotors, they are looking for ways to design a shuttle that would send commuters to and from their destination. In fact, they are trying to research about some vertical landing and takeoff technology to follow their design.

The said plan might also change how people travel from one point to another. Moreover, the plan of moving traffic from land to air should cut down traffic congestion, including the time in crossing cities.

On the other hand, EHang is looking forward to materialize the plan of Dubai to unleash the flying drone taxis by July, after successful test flights in 2017.

 

 

Are Delivery Drones the Wave of the Future?

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Jan 122015
 

I was sitting at a local sporting event when, during one of the breaks, an advertisement for a ticket broker came on the big screen. It showed a hangar-like facility where a staff member walked an envelope through the building to a specialized area where he proceeded to load the envelope into a canister. As he walked away, a drone buzzed overhead, swooped down and with careful precision, scooped up the canister and flew off.

The drone did what drones do best; it flew at low, rooftop levels across town providing spectacular aerial video footage before it began to descend on its “target”. The target in this case was a quite unassuming home with a typical soccer mom waiting out front.

Amazon Delivery Drone

The drone swooped down, released its payload and sped off into the distance. The woman opened the canister and inside was a pair of hockey tickets for an upcoming game. Could this be real? Are they really delivering tickets by drone now?

I was ready to place an order right then when the announcer came over the loudspeaker to remind us all that it was just an advertisement and any ticket orders would not be delivered by drone.

My heart sank as I wanted to be the first on my street to have a drone fly over my home and deliver premium seats to the big game. This got me thinking about why I originally believed the advertisement to be true. Didn’t Amazon consider using drones to deliver packages at one time? Yes, and they are still working on it.

Medical Delivery Drone

It seems that as the RC drone hobby becomes extremely popular, we are seeing more people flying drones around parks, playgrounds and neighborhoods and still more people using the same hobby drones to take real estate photos, pictures of farm crops, high school graduations and even capture those impossible to get wedding shots that they can rave about for years to come.

Why not then, have delivery drones dropping off everything from mail to packages, even pizzas and other take-out items. Imagine the possibilities. Less traffic on the roads, faster delivery times since the drones don’t have to wait for traffic lights or even follow paved roadways and, of course, the fact that having a drone deliver something right to your door would be the coolest thing that happened to you all year.

Pizza Delivery Drone

Maybe one day we will see this type of drone delivery service, but until then, I will stick to practicing with the RC drones and perfecting my flying skills just in case. This could be my new future job. 🙂