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IIoT Top News: Fly Away Drones, Fly Away

It is truly hard to keep up on the numerus ways drones are being used throughout our daily lives. This week’s IIoT Top News is dedicated to these unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), these wonders in the sky that come in all shapes and sizes, yet are all called drones. Now that we have these UAS in the air what purpose are they serving?

Can drones be helpful? A new report by Forrester suggests that no additional disruption occurs with the use of drones in a commercial environment. The report further reminds us how they are being used to collect sensor data and video, and down the road they might help create automated delivery and autonomous inspection of infrastructure. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) believes that UAS are becoming more important for firefighting, border protection, law enforcement, precision agriculture and damage evaluation for natural disasters.

But, are they safe when flying? How does the addition of more UAVs impact the other aircrafts already in the air? It depends on who you ask. According to WPTV in West Palm Beach, the FAA receives about 100 reports of drone sightings from pilots every month. David Bejellos, an aviation expert, thinks with technology increasing, and as the popularity of drones keeps rising, “it is inevitable a collision between a drone and a manned aircraft is absolutely going to happen.” So, the FAA is doing its part to keep the airways safe by offering campaign awareness about which areas are considered a ‘no drone zone,’ complete with downloadable graphic images visually reminding people the rules. Also, the FAA is working on regulations that would require all unmanned aircrafts to be registered and compatible with the technology to communicate to those drones in the air, instructing them if they need to land or clear an airspace. Some may argue the FAA is taking too long to approve commercial usage, but overall this process is going to take some fine tuning to ensure that we can all continue enjoying flying the friendly skies.

Now, this week started off with a bang, encouraging software developers to examine their new canvas-drones-and the endless possibilities of what they could code. The next day we picked up more steam with NASA and the FAA joining forces for the greater good in order to offer better safety in the skies. Third we learned that drones may be banned from flying near wildfires. Fourth in our week, The Independent goes green with drones planting trees. Then fifth on the list we have Japan bulldozing fleets controlled by drones. Last but not least for the week, Singapore successfully delivers its first piece of mail for their postal service.

It has been a week of developing, planting, delivering and new safety measures for drones in the IIoT. Enjoy this week’s read!

Drones: The Sky’s the Limit (SD Times)

Sunset and Drones

Drones are a new area developers can capitalize on in this digital age. The software development for drones can impact our daily lives as the need for them continues to soar. SD Times claims that “drones are already being implemented in agriculture, search and rescue, journalism, real estate, oil and gas, insurance, infrastructure surveying, photography, and videography industries, but it is up to developers to really take the drone industry off the ground.”

Will Drones of the Future Constantly Collide? NASA’s Working On It (KQED Science)

DronesFAA and NASA

The FAA is considering a new round of technology with NASA to combat the ever-growing drone population near airports. Last year alone at least 100 sightings of drones were reported by pilots. Bottom line is,  “it will be up to the FAA to set policy, like under what circumstances drone operators would be required to file a flight plan. Meanwhile, NASA is working on the technology to make such a system possible.”

Drones Could Soon Be Banned from Flying Near Wildfires (Wired)

A firefighting plane drops a load of fire retardant over a smoldering hillside Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015, in Middletown, Calif. The fire that sped through Middletown and other parts of rural Lake County, less than 100 miles north of San Francisco, has continued to burn since Saturday despite a massive firefighting effort. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

As drone usage increases across the board lawmakers feel forced to create more laws to enforce them. The biggest concern comes from the consumer drone usage. The agriculture, commercial, and safety surveying of things with drones seem for now to be exempt from this latest round of crackdown. But when the US Forest Service says, “drones have interfered with firefighting aircraft 13 times so far this year alone, now lawmakers are determined to stop it.”

Deforestation: British Firm Developing Tree-Planting Drone to Counter Industrial Scale Logging (The Independent)


Drones Plant Trees

A British engineering company is hoping to get international backing for an automated tree planting drone system. The purpose of these drone planting fleets, would be not only to plant trees, but also to plant trees in difficult and dangerous places to hard to reach and plant for people. BioCarbon Engineering explained to Horticulture Week that, “drones may soon have the potential to plant around one billion trees per year.”

Robo-Bulldozers Guided by Drones Are Helping Ease Japan’s Labor Shortage (The Verge)


Komatsu had to find a way to complete construction projects, as Japan gets closer to the 2020 Olympics. The aging population makes it hard to find anyone able to complete the work. The fix Komatsu has found is to offer a service called Smart Construction where, “a team of robotic vehicles scoops rock and pushes dirt without a human behind the wheel. They are guided in their work by a fleet of drones, which map the area in three dimensions and update the data in real time to track how the massive volumes of soil and cement are moving around the site.”

Drones Could Soon Be Used to Deliver the Mail in Singapore (TechCrunch)

Drone Mail Delivery

SingPost, the country’s postal service just completed a test flight delivering mail via drone. The first package they delivered was a T-shirt and a letter. Singapore is not giving a timeframe on when they expect to have the drone mail carriers ready, but they are the first postal service considering drone usage. Overall the drones are designed to, “have the capacity to carry a payload of up to half a kilogram, fly at a height of up to 45 meters and travel a distance of 2.3 kilometers.”

The post IIoT Top News: Fly Away Drones, Fly Away appeared first on FreeWave WaveLengths.

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