Tag: Drones

Facebook wants to buy into that drone craze

Facebook wants to buy into that drone craze

March 4, 2014 10:08 | By | Add a Comment

Facebook is in talks to aquire Titan Aerospace, best known for their solar powered unmanned airplanes that are designed to stay aloft for up to 5 years without landing. Apparently the plan is for Facebook to be able to provide internet coverage for otherwise unconnected regions. This goes directly up against a similar effort by Google called Project Loon. If something actually comes of it remains to be seen – especially with UAV regulations in the US being what they are now.

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UAE plans to introduce drones for official document delivery, public surveillance

UAE plans to introduce drones for official document delivery, public surveillance

February 12, 2014 10:44 | By | Add a Comment

Dubai is a place of extremes, and their policy on drones reflects that. They recently announced plans to start using drones for various uses, including “delivery of official documents” while also able to check the receiver identity via fingerprint reading, as well as “infrastructure monitoring” (aka surveillance) via high resolution cameras.

The former is not very realistic for the same reasons that Amazon’s PR stunt was little more than just that, but the latter is of course where the meat is – after all, drone surveillance is Orwell’s wet dream come true.

Full press release after the break.

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Amazon Drone delivery for you…

Amazon Drone delivery for you…

January 30, 2014 22:11 | By | Add a Comment

amazondrone

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UPS announces: “Me too!”

UPS announces: “Me too!”

December 4, 2013 13:53 | By | Add a Comment

In a statement to TheVerge, a UPS spokesman stated that UPS, too, is playing with the idea of using multicopters for small parcel delivery.

“The commercial use of drones is an interesting technology and we’ll continue to evaluate it. UPS invests more in technology than any other company in the delivery business, and we’re always planning for the future.”

Aside from this being an obvious “me too” statement in response to Amazon’s well-executed PR maneuver, DJI has announced that they could produce suitable models within “18 to 24 months”. The question now is: Who else will make such an announcement next? It’s not too late for sticking a company logo on a multirotor craft for some nice press shots…

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Eric Schmidt calls for state to take “mini drones” out of civilian hands

Eric Schmidt calls for state to take “mini drones” out of civilian hands

April 15, 2013 9:28 | By | Add a Comment

Google’s head honcho, Eric Schmidt, recently gave an interview for the Guardian, in which he urged lawmakers to regulate what he called “mini-drones”.

“How would you feel if your neighbour went over and bought a commercial observation drone that they can launch from their backyard. It just flies over your house all day. How would you feel about it?”

He also mentioned the alleged risk of terrorist attacks using homemade drones, saying “it’s got to be regulated”.

What we are seeing is a typical call for a ban of the tool. Invasion of privacy and attacking other people is already well covered in most country’s law. The problem is that such calls for regulation contain two grave errors in reasoning: One, the assumption that powerful tools should only be in the hand of the state instead of the individual is a flawed one, since states aren’t immune to misuse of power, and have in fact always been biggest mis-user of weapons, for example. Two, regulation of “mini-drones” will kill RC model flight, while potential terrorists and other lawbreakers will… break these laws.

To hear such simple-minded arguments and calls for bans from Eric Schmidt of all people is pretty alarming.

Source: Slashgear

(Photography: Guillaume Paumier / Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-3.0)