Items tagged with drones

Facebook picked up a new team member this week in its quest to bring Internet access to developing countries. Kevin Martin, who has been consulting for Facebook for the past two years, is better known as the former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from 2005 to 2009. Martin joins as a vice president and will be responsible for policies that affect Facebook’s Internet.org project, among others. Facebook is in the process of launching a fleet of massive drones that will fly over developing countries, providing Internet access to as many as 2.8 billion people who are believed... Read more...
Amazon won approval from the Federal Aviation Administration this week to test its new delivery drones. The planned service, known as Amazon Prime Air, will reduce purchase-to-delivery times to hours or even minutes, thanks to an army of flying drones. If the FAA’s approval sounds like old news, you’re thinking of the FAA’s first approval notice, which related to an outdated Amazon drone model. After Amazon complained that the FAA’s approval process wasn’t keeping up with rapidly-changing drone technology, the agency revised its policy. “The new approach will speed up Section 333 exemption approvals... Read more...
Considering all of the talk and worry in the air these days on the subject of drones it seems all but impossible that nearly 16 months have passed since Jeff Bezos first revealed Amazon's plan to deploy such devices in the service of delivering our books, tech hardware, etc., in the can-see-it-from-here future.  In the days immediately following Bezos's reveal on "60 Minutes" in December 2013, the Amazon drone service — Prime Air — became for a short time one of the most shared stories (and videos) across the social media sphere. Then as fast as... Read more...
The latest milestone in Amazon’s quest to get products to your door faster is going to involve trucks that can print items on the way to your house. Amazon filed a patent this week with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) that envisions delivery trucks bearing 3D printers, rather than boxes.  The patent lays out a fairly simple plan. A customer places an order, which is directed to a local Amazon truck. “A manufacturing apparatus can be selected to manufacture the item based on the 3D manufacturing instructions,” the patent abstract reads. At that point, the truck... Read more...
In response to the growing popularity of drones, the Federal Aviation Authority has started to modify its rules and regulations to include remote controlled aircraft. However, Amazon, which plans to use drones to deliver packages, warned the FAA that it needs to be more lenient with its regulation on the use of drones outdoors; otherwise the retailer will move its research teams out of the country.Amazon has been planning to test drones for its Prime Air program and, back in July, approached the FAA for permission to test drones outdoors near Seattle where one of the company’s R&D labs is working... Read more...
As drones become more popular, so does the risk of drone-related incidents. While Google and Amazon are looking to employ drones for delivery purposes, the number of drone owners continues to climb and has prompted the FAA to outlaw drone usage over stadiums and large public events. However, a passenger jet’s near miss with a drone might call for more stringent measures.An Airbus A320, capable of carrying 180 passengers, nearly collided with an unidentified drone at Heathrow Airport on July 22. The jet was flying at an altitude of 700 feet when the pilot... Read more...
On Monday, the Federal Aviation Administration released an updated notice criminalizing the operation of drones or model plans over large sports stadiums and auto racetracks. According to the notice, operators who violate certain conditions can be fined and imprisoned for up to a year. The updated notice states that aircraft, which now includes unmanned and remote controlled planes, are not allowed to fly within three miles, or below 3,000 feet of any stadium that can seat 30,000 or more people during the regular or post season of Major League Baseball, National Football League, and NCAA Division... Read more...
As Facebook and Google rush to connect the remaining regions of the world that lack Internet connectivity, they are increasingly looking to the skies. While Google has balloons in mind, Facebook is planning drones that will be able to fly for days or months at high altitudes, beaming Internet connections to remote areas below. A high-flying, solar-powered unmanned plane. Images Credit: Internet.org Facebook has been working on this project for some time, having bought a company that designs solar-powered drones in March. The solar-powered Internet drone plan is part of Internet.org, which is supported... Read more...
If you grew up watching The Jetsons on television, you might have thought the future would be filled with flying cars. Instead, some 52 years after the original series first aired, the skies are filling up with delivery drones, not flying cars. It's not just Amazon, either -- apparently the Google X team has been working drones of its own for the past two years as part of Project Wing, only we're just now finding out about them. Project Wing is different from Amazon's PrimeAir initiative in that Google's goal isn't necessarily to delivery purchased goods like diapers and iPads. From the way things... Read more...
We live at a quizzical time in technology. The tech boom has revolutionized the world, and the innovations that are pouring out of brilliant minds are incredible in both their frequency and content. But there is also a backlash against a lot of technology, perhaps highlighted best by the curious rage that Google Glass seems to engender in a startling number of people. To gauge attitudes about technology’s future, the Pew Research Center did what it does and conducted a survey. Primarily, the study looks at our collective level of excitement or fear over current and future technologies. “Overall,... Read more...
There’s a new battlefront in the tech field, it involves air space and the Internet, and it’s an exciting front. Google and Facebook are forerunners here, and the former just snapped up drone maker Titan Aerospace, which the latter was reportedly interested in buying recently. Facebook ended up with drone maker Ascenta, and now Google has reportedly secured Titan Aerospace for an undisclosed sum, according to the WSJ. Both purchases are aimed at developing new ways to bring Internet access and related technological perks to areas of the world that don’t already have it, and the... Read more...
We’d bet that when Mark Zuckerberg drunkenly dashed off the original Facebook precursor in his dorm room, he never imagined that within a decade he’d be actively trying to connect two-thirds of the world to the Internet and working with NASA to do so, but that is indeed what has transpired. Zuckerberg announced that Internet.org, the organization comprising Facebook and many other Internet companies, is “working on ways to beam internet to people from the sky” by building drones, satellites, and lasers in the new Facebook Connectivity Lab. Different population densities... Read more...
You have to hand it to Mark Zuckerberg: He is not screwing around when it comes to his ambitious Internet.org venture to connect the entire world to the Internet, at least if the rumors are true that Facebook is going to buy drone maker Titan Aerospace for $60 million. Titan Aerospace makes unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), also known as drones, and Facebook would most certainly be interested in the devices’ ability to carry networking equipment that could provide Internet access for all. Credit: Titan Aerospace Titan’s Solara 50 and Solara 60 models appear to be the main target here.... Read more...
Amazon is testing the use of drones to make deliveries in populated areas, but the Lakemade Beer Company of Stevens Point, Wisconsin is testing the idea of drones in decidedly unpopulated areas--namely, ice fishing shacks. “Our tests are on vast, wide-open frozen lakes free of trees and power lines. Our drone can fly as the crow flies, straight to our target, based on GPS coordinates provided by an ice angler. Fish houses are very uniform in height, so we can fly lower than FAA limits, too,” said Lakemade Beer Company president Jack Supple. “It’s the perfect proving ground... Read more...
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