The FAA is opening the door a crack for self-flying drones like Skydio to reach their potential

You can’t fly a drone at night. You can’t fly a drone over people. You need to be able to see it with your naked eye at all times — or have a dedicated observer who can. These rules exist to keep dumb drones (and reckless pilots) from crashing into people, property, and other aircraft in the skies.

But what happens when drones get smarter, and can dodge obstacles on their own? That’s the kind of drone that Skydio builds, and it appears to be successfully convincing the FAA to create exceptions to that naked-eye, Visual Line Of Sight (VLOS) rule.

This week, the FAA granted the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) a first-of-its-kind blanket waiver to fly Skydio drones beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) to inspect any bridge, anywhere across the state, for four whole years. They just need to make sure the bridge isn’t occupied by

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Falcons will use high-tech drones to clean Mercedes-Benz Stadium once fans return

MLS: Sporting Kansas City at Atlanta United FC
USATSI

The 0-3 Atlanta Falcons’ second-half play this season has been anything but clean, but now with the help of some high-tech drones, at least their stadium will be spotless. The team and Mercedes-Benz Stadium have partnered with Charlotte-based Lucid Drone Technologies for D1 disinfecting drones to sanitize the stadium. They will use two drones to sanitize the 71,000-seat area, with a third on deck if needed.

To get everything in the space clean, the drones use electrostatic spraying nozzles that allows for “medical-grade disinfecting chemicals” to be spread in the stadium, according to ESPN. The move to use these drones comes as the team plans to welcome back fans at a limited capacity in October, starting on the 11th when they host the Carolina Panthers.

“This stadium is incredibly large, and as we begin to slowly welcome fans back, these drones allow us to maximize the time between games

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NFL teams turn to technology, plan to clean stadiums with drones and robots

NFL teams plan to clean stadiums with drones and robots originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the desire to allow fans into their stadium in a limited capacity, the Atlanta Falcons plan to use drones to clean Mercedes-Benz Stadium after each home game for the remainder of the season.

The 71,000-seat stadium has partnered with Lucid Drone Technologies for the use of disinfecting drones to sanitize using electrostatic spraying nozzles that will evenly distribute medical-grade disinfecting chemicals that help fight the virus.

After barring fans from the stadium for their first two home games, the Falcons plan on opening their doors in a limited capacity starting on Oct. 11 against the Panthers. According to Lucid Drone Technologies, one disinfecting drone is the equivalent of 14 workers with backpack sprayers, a 95 percent reduction in time spent cleaning.

“The process of welcoming fans back

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Atlanta Falcons to use drones to clean stadium after games

The Atlanta Falcons’ home, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, is believed to be the first professional sports venue to implement drones to clean the stadium, but they’re not the only ones using new technology.

Beginning after the team’s Oct. 11 game against the Carolina Panthers, the 71,000-seat stadium, which has not hosted fans for the first two home games because of the coronavirus pandemic, will welcome back a limited capacity. (The stadium hosted about 500 family members, friends and associates for a test run during Sunday’s Bears-Falcons game.)

Mercedes-Benz Stadium partnered with Charlotte-based Lucid Drone Technologies for D1 disinfecting drones to sanitize areas. The drones use electrostatic spraying nozzles for even distribution of medical-grade disinfecting chemicals that include an inhibitor that prevents bacteria and virus from adhering to surfaces without leaving a residue. The nontoxic hypochlorous acid solution is in compliance with Environmental Protection Agency standards, according to the company.

Two drones will

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Using Drones to Rescue Wildlife From Climate Disasters

Douglas Thron travels to fire-ravaged forests and towns struck by hurricanes to save animals among the rubble.

▲ A dog left stranded among the ruins of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas in 2019.

Source: Courtesy Douglas Thron

Scientists have long deployed drones to do everything from counting caribou to collecting whale snot. Now the flying machines are helping to rescue animals as climate change takes an increasingly deadly toll on wildlife.  

For the past year, a California videographer named Douglas Thron has chased climate catastrophes around the world, piloting drones outfitted with infrared cameras and spotlights to help find survivors of hurricanes and firestorms whose frequency and intensity are growing with rising temperatures. After Thron locates the animals, wildlife rescuers can move them to safety.

“The potential for these drones to save animals, whether wild or domestic, and

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Landmark waiver lets drones fly into fire

percepto-sparrow-drone.jpg

A landmark emergency waiver granted by the FAA has allowed Verizon to deploy industrial drones to inspect their critical infrastructure during the US wildfires, ensuring first responders have reliable communications for disaster response. The drones are made by a company called Percepto, which are currently operating beyond-line-of-sight for this emergency deployment.

The FAA granted Skyward, A Verizon company, a temporary waiver that allows company pilots to fly the Percepto Sparrow drone from their homes to inspect critical communications infrastructure near the Big Hollow wildfire in Washington. The waiver permits operations 24 hours a day, with less than 3 miles of visibility and no pilot or observer on site. This is the first time a Beyond the Visual Line Of Sight waiver has been granted that allows pilots to control the drone from home. 

The Sparrow drone platform is already able to land in high winds and in snow. Percepto recently

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Fortem Technologies Adds New Capabilities to Autonomously Capture a Wider Array of Drone Threats, Including Faster Moving Fixed Wing Drones

Pleasant Grove, UT, Sept. 16, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Fortem Technologies Inc., a leader in airspace security and defense for detecting and defeating dangerous drones, announced today advancements to its SkyDome® System software that allow the Fortem DroneHunter® to autonomously shift into one of three various modes to best defeat a threatening drone. DroneHunter, the world’s premier AI-driven interceptor drone, autonomously determines whether to chase, attack or defend against the threatening drone depending on the drone’s size, speed and trajectory. These advancements allow DroneHunter to pursue and safely capture an even wider range of drone threats including faster fixed wing drones.

When in defense mode, the DroneHunter maneuvers in front of the target drone, anticipating its approach. Once in range, DroneHunter fires the NetGun precisely as the target attempts to pass. The defensive mode position also facilitates a radically faster detect-to-capture-time, as the time previously required to get behind the

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Autonomous Industrial Drones Now Fly Anywhere By Themselves, Even Underground

There are four ways drones typically navigate. Either they use GPS or other beacons, or they accept guidance instructions from a computer, or they navigate off a stored map, or they are flown by an expert in control.

What do you when absolutely none of the four are possible?

You put AI on the drone and it flies itself with no outside source of data, no built-in mapping, and no operator in control.

At least, that’s what Exyn Technologies says it’s doing with ExynAI: allowing drones to function with no GPS, no radio communications, and no stored map. The goal is to enable drones to work where humans can’t, the company says, including underground in active mines.

The claim: Exyn has the first industrial drone that flies itself anywhere.

“It’s having robots do some of the work that folks are doing underground right

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The Nefarious Nature of Chinese Drones

Chinese access to research, data streams, and information collected within the United States is under increasing scrutiny. While the threat to your personal data or our nation’s critical security information comes from many directions, the biggest wolves in sheep’s clothing are Chinese-based corporations.

This isn’t just happenstance. Chinese corporations are legally obligated to serve the purposes of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), which has used every collection method and form of technology at its disposal to collect or even steal government, corporate, and private data.

The latest technological opportunity is small drones.

Chinese counterespionage and national-intelligence laws make sharing of data collected by Chinese-based corporations mandatory, which means there is no boundary or separation between those corporations and the CCP. Whether using stealthy mechanisms or brute force, the methods and depth that brutal government is willing to go to pilfer that data is hard to fathom fully.

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