In October, the White House announced that it will deploy a Predator drone unit to Cameroon. We have obtained the first photographic evidence of this drone outpost, which was erected in the northern city of Garoua. Here’s a close look at what we found.
Registered drones now outnumber all registered manned aircraft in the U.S., FAA Administrator Michael Huerta has announced. The FAA, which implemented a compulsory registration program for drones last fall, has recorded over 325,000 registrations.
With their near-vertical walls and deep fractures, glacier crevasses are dangerously narrow ice caves that present a huge risk to search and rescue teams. In a partnership between Flyability (Winner of the 2015 UAE Drones for Good Award) and the Zermatt Glacier mountain rescue team, drones were used to explore a remote crevasse in the Swiss Alps. The goal is to one day use the drones to help locate injured parties before dispatching a rescue team into dangerous territory, and also to help refine rescue techniques related to crevasse fall emergencies.
Getting drones to fly around without hitting things is no small task. Obstacle-detection and motion-planning are two of computer science’s trickiest challenges because of the complexity involved in creating real-time flight plans that avoid obstacles and handle surprises like wind and weather. In a pair of projects announced this week, CSAIL researchers demonstrated software that allow drones to stop on a dime to make hairpin movements over, under, and around some 26 distinct obstacles in a simulated “forest.”
A US jury convicted Thaddeus Shortz of intending to use a drone to smuggle contraband into a Maryland prison. During the trial, witnesses testified that Shortz had confessed to smuggling contraband into the Western Correctional Institution on several previous occasions.
The U.S. Marine Corps canceled the Legged Squad Support System program due to noise issues and other concerns. The LS3, also known as the robotic mule, was a highly publicized autonomous mechanical pack animal, capable of carrying up to 400 lb. of supplies and gear.
In the first known lethal strike by a Chinese-made drone, an Iraqi military CH-4 drone launched a strike against suspected ISIL militants in Ramadi. Iraq acquired the Caihong-4, a Chinese version of the American MQ-9 Reaper, earlier this year.
With the holiday season approaching, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) estimates that up to one million new drones will be entering U.S. airspace, creating potentially dangerous situations for unmanned and manned aircraft. A new study released by The Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College offers a comprehensive examination of incidents involving drones and manned aircraft in the national airspace over the past two years.
Switzerland concluded a deal with Israeli drone manufacturer Elbit Systems to purchase an unspecified number of Hermes 900 drones, a medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned reconnaissance aircraft. The $200 million deal will be fulfilled over four years.