C-SPAN, that much-ignored trove of treasures hidden beneath uncountable hours of bureaucratic pomp and process, has served up another gem for the annals of tech history.
Rise of the Drones
It seems like everyone needs a good drone pilot these days. Unfortunately for our armed services, that means they have to come up with new ways of holding on to the drone pilots they already have.
We’re one step closer to that whole swarm-of-military-insect-robots scenario.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the government group tasked with using technology, robotics, science and biology to make sure our enemies don’t have a leg up on us, announced last week that they’re working on developing little military drones based on hawks and insects.
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2014 was the year that drones found their way into the mainstream as tools for photographers, police officers and even badly-behaved brands. So what’s next on the horizon for drones?
Making them fight.
Game of Drones founder Marque Cornblatt, a robot builder and creator of the Aerial Sports League, bills his company as the “bad boys” of the drone biz. He believes that not only are drones going to be everywhere soon, but that his company is going to be the premier label for drone sports, drone television, drone combat and all other drone media. Read More
It doesn’t matter if you’re still floundering on Thanksgiving plans: the holiday season is definitely upon us (yes, already) and you’re going to be out shopping soon enough. If Weird Al’s bizarre Radio Shack commercial is any indication, small quadcopters drones are going to be a hot item for dads who’ve already upgraded their spoiled kids to the iPhone 6 Plus already.
In advance of the holiday drone-buying onslaught, the United States and the U.K. are attempting to educate people about the laws surrounding their drone usage. After all, small drones inhabit a funny legal grey area between model planes and small aircraft — a distinction that gets more fuzzy if you plan on using them to pick up some freelance aerial photography gigs. Read More
At the rate we’re going, drones are going to be a part of everything. Forget wedding photography and earth-porn GoPro videos — major real estate firms, agriculture companies and delivery giants are looking at small fleets of quadcopters for the future of their business. Unfortunately, no one understands exactly how to do that right now without running afoul of the Federal Aviation Administration.
This week, massive international law firm Hunton & Williams opened their “Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Unit,” which is basically a small legal task force for helping Hunton’s clients — which include titanic institutions in energy and finance — deal with slowly incorporating drones into the way they do business. Hunton clients have been coming to them often enough to ask for advice that they need to dedicate full-time resources to drone-specific issues. Read More
Every college graduate has poured through entry level job listings that ask for “5+ years experience” and wondered, probably aloud and to his or her nagging family, “How is anyone supposed to get experience if every job already requires experience?” Listen, consider yourself lucky — consider how that conversation goes for drone pilots, whose entire industry didn’t even exist five years ago.
Amazon has open job listings for a “Flight Operations Engineer” who would be based in Cambridge, England. In the truly meaningless fashion of job boards, the job requires “5+ years of relevant aviation experience.” Read More
Back in 2012, when it was becoming clear that the sky would someday be filled with little quadcopters delivering our packages and peaking in our windows, Congress told the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that they had to get it together and have a plan for drone legislation ready by September 15, 2015.
It turns out, we may find out what the FAA has in store in the next month or two. FAA official Jim Williams said during an annual program review that by the end of the year, we’ll finally get a glimpse at FAA’s master plan for how drones will be regulated and controlled in American airspace. Read More
In the past few years, the most remunerative majors have been in STEM fields like computer science and engineering, and energy-related coursework in petroleum sciences. But there’s a new lucrative major on the rise, meeting the demand of one of technology’s most controversial new developments: Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS).
In other words, the newest hot major on campuses across the country is drones. Thirty universities already have UAS programs, where students learn how to fly everything from small quadrocopters to military-grade drones, Business Insider reports. Read More
When Professor David Sheffler first made a 3D-printed jet engine as a class experiment, one of the students whipped out a cell phone to record the results. That video ended up in the hands of a team at The MITRE Corporation, a research titan with military aviation contracts. When MITRE reached out to Mr. Sheffler, they wanted to know if he Read More