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Dogs vs. drones: the war begins | Fusion
"Small camera-equipped drones are poised to revolutionize all kinds of industries in the next few years. More importantly, they’re going to revolutionize the way we mess with our pets.

Like the Roomba, the quadcopter drone is deeply polarizing among dogs. Some dogs see drones as terrifying killer robots, while others (like mine) just view them as strange new toys to be chased around the yard. But one thing is clear: this will end in war.

Here are 13 of the best dog vs. drone battles of all-time."
pets  animals  dogs  quadcopters  drones  droneproject  kevinroose  2015 
april 2015 by robertogreco
A card game about drone strikes makes you comfortably numb - Kill Screen - Videogame Arts & Culture.
"By my third game of Bycatch, I was no longer bothered if the target was a child. It didn’t matter who the target was at all. They were a number and a few identifying characteristics: red bag, orange dress, man or woman, young or old. I was surprised by how quickly I settled into the rhythms of the game and its dictionary. This is the reason such language is so meticulously crafted by state departments and militaries to remove the humanity from a war zone. “Bycatch,” collateral damage, the fish in the net you didn’t mean to swoop up that is too worthless to worry about.

Those first couple games, though, it was unsettling. Bycatch is a Rummy-like card game in which each player is a country looking to place numerically ordered runs of citizens into shelters, taking them out of play and earning that player points. Nine numbered cards make up the citizens, each with flat but distinct character art. Two of these citizens are children; one of them wears a yarmulke. “Intelligence” cards randomly determine the current target; if you shelter the target, your points for that shelter are doubled. But you can also send out the drones.

Along the lines of Go Fish, where you are sniffing around the other players’ hands and calling out what you want and think they might have, Bycatch gives you the option to use a camera phone to shakily spy on your neighboring countries to identify targets worth a strike attempt. Remote-manned military vehicles have dominated our collective consciousness lately, and with good reason: We are told in many ways that they are all-knowing, all-powerful, and they would never be used against us. Here your camera-in-hand is the drone, and when taking surveillance over another player, you hold your phone over their hand such that you can’t see the screen or the faces of their cards. Thus you don’t know what you’ve got until you have already taken the picture, and your resulting intelligence is often pointed up your own nose or just a blur, though even a little info is better than nothing.

During your turn you can only take a single action: survey an opposing player’s hand with your drone-phone, build a shelter for points, order a strike if you discard two of the same citizens, or do nothing. You can’t drop bombs willy-nilly, and information is always outdated. Whenever a drone strike is ordered, three citizens are removed; if one of them is the target then the attacking player gets 100 points per matching target, minus 10 for each citizen that was not the target, aka the “bycatch” or collateral damage.

As we played, I learned a few things about myself: Taking blind photos of your opponent’s hand is difficult at first, resulting in some hilarious and creepy selfies; no intelligence is infallible and the ability to bluff is key; and, though I was quite uncomfortable with the idea of administrating death from above during the first game or two, I would eventually to order drone strikes with no information and no concern who the current target was, just to mess up an opponent’s chance to build a high-scoring shelter.

Bycatch does have an explicit goal of getting people to talk about this sort of military activity, done on our behalf and affecting thousands of innocent people around the world. And it works, though it doesn’t dominate the experience. When my opponent racks up ten collateral damage kills in a sort of scorched earth campaign against me, eventually he gets his target, but at what cost? Even a successful strike sweeps up the innocent, you will pretty much always catch non-targeted citizens in an attack, so a strike is often imprecise and never clean.

But it’s easy to bury those impulses relatively quickly. In the moment it’s simply a game, with rules and a lexicon that strips out empathy from drone strike victims while simultaneously every card is a picture of a person living an ordinary life and collateral damage is nothing short of murder executed at your order. I mean, ok: we are holding cards, not nuclear launch codes, but the artwork of Bycatch is a consistent reminder of the human costs involved even if this is all just a metaphor. It’s all disconcerting at first, but by my sixth go-round I was cheering successful strikes and moving on accordingly. Still, even a number of games later, uncertainty creeps up on me. By then it’s too late."
games  cardgames  drones  droneproject  2015  bycatch  collateraldamage  military  warfare  war  toplay 
march 2015 by robertogreco
This defensive drone has a net to capture other drones -- Fusion
"France gets 75 percent of its electricity from nuclear power, which means the country has a lot of nuclear plants. And in the airspace above those plants, French authorities have discovered a troubling thing: little drones flying to and fro. The AP reports that “a recent spate of mystery drones flying over its nuclear plants, military installations and even the presidential palace” have caused the country’s government to ask scientists to “devise ways to counteract the small — and so far harmless — motorized menaces overhead.”

The U.S. government is similarly interested in anti-drone technologies. American authorities are particularly worried about swarms of small drones.

But if you like your drone deterrence with a bit of French slapstick thrown in, behold the video above. That’s the Drone Interceptor MP200, a net-bearing flying vehicle developed by Malou Tech, a startup associated with the French telecom Groupe Assmann (not a typo or a joke).

The MP200 is designed to autonomously fly up to other drones—and using a suite of on-board sensors—literally drop a net on them. That binds their blades, and allows the MP200 to deliver the offending vehicle away from the nuclear power plant or presidential palace or what have you.

There is a future in which small drones flown by terrorists and governments evolve rapidly—like predators and prey after the Cambrian explosion. Your drone gets a net? Mine has on-board scissors. Your drone smashes my scissors with a hammer? My drone deploys a shield. And on and on.

Or, as the chief of Malou Tech told the AP after one of his drones dropped a 16-ounce water bottle by remote control: “Everything is possible.”"
drones  droneproject  2015  alexismadrigal 
february 2015 by robertogreco
prosthetic knowledge — DroneDeploy Cloud-based serive offers real-time...
"Cloud-based serive offers real-time drone cartography for personal or business use.

DroneDeploy makes Drone Operations Simple.

DroneDeploy.com is a smart drone management platform that helps you get stuff done with drones. It’s built to be simple, safe and powerful, controlling multiple drones, from anywhere, on any device.

Making flight plans has never been easier - just describe your mission, and DroneDeploy will build a dynamic flight path that avoids other aircraft, airports, and even urban areas while respecting local laws.

DroneDeploy also makes it easy to fulfil the purpose of missions, with a growing selection of Apps that enable a number of operations, including seamless photo-stitching and object identification. Our APIs are simple and open to developers."
drones  droneproject  aerialimagery  2014  dronedeploy  cartography  maps  mapping 
october 2014 by robertogreco
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Drones (HBO) - YouTube
"The United States has launched a huge number of drone strikes under President Obama.
It’s widely accepted and extremely terrifying."
drones  droneproject  us  policy  foreignpolicy  military  2014  johnoliver 
october 2014 by robertogreco
Here Is a Ram Headbutting a Drone | Motherboard
"First an alligator. Then some coyotes. Now, a ram. Another day, another animal getting hot pissed over a drone flying too close for comfort.

Small-fry drones, of course, are revolutionizing the way we see, study, and conserve the animal kingdom, even if the very act of flying a drone still hovers in legal gray areas in many parts of the world. We've seen everything from anti-poaching conservation drones in Kenya to whale-monitoring drones off the California coast offer unprecedented access and views of animals—and what's threatening them.

Drones let us get close to animals. But then, it's the allure of getting closer, ever closer to wildlife that can tempt a drone operator over the line. Suddenly, observation looks more like harassment."

[Direct link to video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfLCb4ewDDc ]

[See also: http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/watch-this-guy-get-knocked-off-his-motorcycle-through-the-eyes-of-a-ram-cam ]
animals  drones  droneproject  cameras  2014  quadcopters  video  sheep  rams 
september 2014 by robertogreco
Inside Google's Secret Drone-Delivery Program - The Atlantic
"For two years, the company has been working to build flying robots that can deliver products across a city in a minute or two. An Atlantic exclusive."
alexismadrigal  2014  google  drones  droneproject  delivery  robots 
august 2014 by robertogreco
New to the Archaeologist’s Tool Kit: The Drone - NYTimes.com
"Archaeologists around the world, who have long relied on the classic tools of their profession, like the trowel and the plumb bob, are now turning to the modern technology of drones to defend and explore endangered sites. And perhaps nowhere is the shift happening as swiftly as in Peru, where Dr. Castillo has created a drone air force to map, monitor and safeguard his country’s ancient treasures.

Drones mark “a before and after in archaeology,” said Dr. Castillo, who is also a prominent archaeologist and one of a dozen experts who will outline the use of drones at a conference in San Francisco next year.

In remote northwestern New Mexico, archaeologists are using drones outfitted with thermal-imaging cameras to track the walls and passages of a 1,000-year-old Chaco Canyon settlement, now buried beneath the dirt.

In the Middle East, researchers have employed them to guard against looting.

“Aerial survey at the site is allowing for the identification of new looting pits and determinations of whether any of the looters’ holes had been revisited,” said Morag Kersel, an archaeologist from DePaul University in Chicago who is part of a team using drones in Jordan and Israel.

Peru, with its stunning concentration of archaeological riches, is suddenly fertile ground to try out this new technology. The country is becoming a research hot spot as archaeologists in the Middle East and elsewhere find their work interrupted by unrest.

But in Peru they encounter another kind of conflict. Here they struggle to protect the country’s archaeological heritage from squatters and land traffickers, who often secure property through fraud or political connections to profit from rising land values. Experts say hundreds, perhaps thousands of ancient sites are endangered by such encroachment.

The drones can address the problem, quickly and cheaply, by providing bird’s-eye views of ruins that can be converted into 3-D images and highly detailed maps.

The maps are then used to legally register the protected boundaries of sites, a kind of landmarking that can be cited in court to prevent development or to punish those who damage ruins by building anyway."
drones  archaeology  droneproject  2014  perú 
august 2014 by robertogreco
This Airport Wants to Use Bird-Shaped Drones to Prevent Plane Crashes | Motherboard
" The main argument against drones, at this point, is a safety one: What happens if a drone crashes into a plane? Well now, at least one airport is looking at using drones as a means of protecting planes that land and take off from its runways.

Drones, it turns out, can scare birds away from airports, where they pose a threat to planes. My colleague Becky Ferreira took a deep dive into the technology behind "raptor drones" earlier this month, and now it appears at least one US airport is considering using the technology (or other drone technology) to protect planes.

Westchester County Airport has had seven bird strikes so far this year, and 338 since 2008, according to the Journal News, and CBS is reporting that the airport is now looking into using "radio-controlled drones or fake predator birds to drive birds away from airspace."

It makes sense—the only issue, now, is what the Federal Aviation Administration will think of it. The FAA has repeatedly suggested that drones are a manned plane's worst enemy, which is part of the reason it's taken the agency so long to implement commercial drones in the public airspace.

It's also one of the reasons why the agency has cracked down on hobby use of drones. The FAA has been clear: No commercial use of drones (unless you're a major oil company) is approved by the agency, and use of raptor drones would certainly be a "commercial" use.

Whenever the FAA goes after a commercial drone operator, it does so under the guise of drones being a threat to "safety" and a threat to air traffic. Well, the airport says it can keep pilots safe from bird strikes with the limited use of raptor drones, what's the FAA going to say then?"

[Direct link to video: https://vimeo.com/98017489

"This movie shows the Falcon model chasing birds at a waste management site. The pilot scares a group of jackdaws, and hunts a group of gulls.

After operations for half a day at a site like this, birds typically stay away for 2-3 days. Average bird numbers drop significantly with regular operations. Birds that do return due to the abundance of food, show very nervous behavior and are easily chased away."]

[See also: "Realistic Robo-Hawks Designed to Fly Around and Terrorize Real Birds"
http://www.wired.com/2014/08/realistic-robo-hawks-designed-to-fly-around-and-terrorize-real-birds/ ]
drones  droneproject  birds  raptors  airports  2014 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Drone journalism takes off to give Kenyans a new view - SciDev.Net
"Flying drones are helping journalists in Kenya report on disaster stories by enabling them to film in dangerous or hard-to-access areas.

The pilot African SkyCAM project funded by the Africa News Innovation Challenge is using these unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in Kenya, and a follow-up initiative, africanDRONE, is planned to agree safe community standards for ‘drone journalism’ across Africa.

Filming from a high vantage point helps bring a sense of scale to stories that might otherwise be unavailable to journalists in developing countries, says Dickens Olewe, African SkyCAM’s founder.

“Many African media cannot afford to buy or hire helicopters to cover fast-moving stories,” says Olewe, also a journalist at Kenyan newspaper The Star. “UAVs aid storytelling from a new perspective.”

African SkyCAM sprang from Olewe’s observations of how traditional news media covered disasters such as flooding. Journalists would row boats into flooded areas, he says, “risking life and equipment”.

The low cost of drones and digital cameras now potentially allows journalists to cover such events with little risk to themselves or their equipment.

Olewe says many African newsrooms must rely on military or police vehicles for aerial reporting, which can compromise editorial independence."
drones  droneproject  journalism  kenya  2014 
august 2014 by robertogreco
How Drones Are Emerging As Valuable Conservation Tool by Crystal Gammon: Yale Environment 360
"Lian Pin Koh believes drones can be a key part of conservation efforts, particularly in remote regions. In a Yale Environment 360 interview, he talks about how his project, ConservationDrones, is promoting the use of drones for everything from counting orangutans to stopping poaching."

[Related: "Using Ocean Robots to Unlock Mysteries of CO2 and the Seas"
http://e360.yale.edu/feature/interview_tracy_villareal_using_ocean_robots_to_unlock_mysteries_of_co2_and_the_seas/2708/ ]
drones  droneproject  conservation  environment  2014  ecology  lianpinkoh  oceanbiology  nature 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Nothing Says "Sorry Our Drones Hit Your Wedding Party" Like $800,000 And Some Guns
"On December 12, 2013, a drone struck and killed 12 members of a wedding party in Yemen. If the U.S., which claims the strike was clean and justified, didn’t pony up the $800,000 in cash and guns as reparations, then who did?"
drones  droneproject  military  via:timmaly  2014 
august 2014 by robertogreco
The undersea drones revealing the ocean's secrets - CNN.com
"Beyond averting disasters, the drone is being used on missions to break new water in understanding the 95% of the world's oceans that remain unexplored. Wave Gliders are measuring acidification levels and environmental damage, and monitoring wildlife to aid conservation efforts. They are searching for new sources of fuel, chemicals and medicines, and providing security against mines and other hazards.

Hine believes the drone has already transformed exploration and foresees rapid progress. "The more you use the more efficient they are because if you launch 50 you only use one ship -- which is the bulk of expense," he says. "It's a paradigm shift toward using large fleets for wider coverage and research. And the (sensor) technology gets better the more you use it."

The fleet is expanding steadily -- this summer saw the largest set of Gliders yet probing the Arctic ice to chart the effects of warming as well as to search for hydrocarbons. Such capabilities have earned the company a growing list of conservation, fuel and military clients.

The current SV3 model is being upgraded to improve power storage, reliability and the sophistication of its algorithm, but experts believe the systems are already mature."

[See also: http://www.liquidr.com/technology/waveglider/sv3.html
and http://openrov.com/ ]
oceans  drones  oceanography  droneproject  2014  openrov  waveglider  liquidrobotics  robots 
august 2014 by robertogreco
Don't Fly Drones Here
"This map represents areas where it is not recommended to fly drones due to regulations. If you'd like to add a source to the map, submit an issue in the GitHub repository or read more on our blog."
maps  mapping  us  drones  droneproject  mapbox 
july 2014 by robertogreco
Amazon.com: Drone (Object Lessons) (9781628926323): Adam Rothstein: Books
"Drones are in the newspaper, on the TV screen, and swarming through the networks. But what are drones? The word encompasses everything from toys to weapons. And yet, as broadly defined as they are, the word “drone” fills many of us with a sense of technological dread. This book will cut through the mystery, the unknown, and the political posturing, and talk about what drones really are: what technologies are out there, and what’s coming next; how drones are talked about, and how they are represented in popular culture. It turns out that drones are not as scary as they appear—but they are more complicated than you might expect. In drones, we find strange relationships that humans are forming with their new technologies."
books  drones  droneproject  2014  adamrothstein  toread 
july 2014 by robertogreco
When These Experts Savage U.S. Drone Policy, It's Time to Worry - Conor Friedersdorf - The Atlantic
To sum up, the Obama administration hasn't rigorously evaluated whether its drone strikes are helping or harming national security; it is setting dangerous precedents; it isn't doing enough to prevent proliferation; and it is undermining democracy with excessively secretive practices that could also undermine the program's long-term efficacy. 

I can't emphasize the source of these criticisms enough. In addition to the aforementioned leaders, the panel included a former head of Combined Forces Command-Afghanistan; a former senior associate counsel to the president and legal adviser to the National Security Council; a former assistant secretary of State for political-military affairs; a former Navy pilot; a former deputy assistant secretary of Defense for plans and Air Force pilot; a former under secretary of Commerce for industry and security; a former deputy director at both the FBI and CIA; and a former general counsel of the CIA. These are consummate insiders disposed to think the best of the CIA, the military, and the executive branch.

Regular readers know me as a staunch, outsider critic of U.S. targeted-killing policy. One of the most complete accountings of my views can be found in extended remarks I delivered during a University of Richmond debate on drones. The panel of experts echoes many of the same concerns I raised that evening. It's a noteworthy convergence of concerns, given our very different perspectives. 
drones  droneproject  policy  us  barackobama  democracy  2014  defense  conorfriedersdorf 
july 2014 by robertogreco
When drones fall from the sky | The Washington Post
"Drones have revolutionized warfare. Now they are poised to revolutionize civil aviation. Under the law passed by Congress, the Federal Aviation Administration is scheduled to issue rules by September 2015 that will begin the widespread integration of drones into civilian airspace.

Pent-up demand to buy and fly remotely controlled aircraft is enormous. Law enforcement agencies, which already own a small number of camera-equipped drones, are projected to purchase thousands more; police departments covet them as an inexpensive tool to provide bird’s-eye surveillance for up to 24 hours straight.

Businesses see profitable possibilities for drones, to tend crops, move cargo, inspect real estate or film Hollywood movies. Journalists have applied for drone licenses to cover the news. Amazon.com chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos wants his company to use autonomous drones to deliver small packages to customers’ doorsteps. (Bezos also owns The Post.)

First flown in 1994, it later became the first weaponized drone. Designed to conduct surveillance with powerful cameras and sensors, it can be armed with laser-guided Hellfire missiles. It often stays aloft on missions for more than 20 hours at a time and can reach an altitude of 25,000 feet. (Alberto Cuadra)
SEE MORE DRONE TYPES

The military owns about 10,000 drones, from one-pound Wasps and four-pound Ravens to one-ton Predators and 15-ton Global Hawks. By 2017, the armed forces plan to fly drones from at least 110 bases in 39 states, plus Guam and Puerto Rico.

The drone industry, which lobbied Congress to pass the new law, predicts $82 billion in economic benefits and 100,000 new jobs by 2025.

Public opposition has centered on civil-liberties concerns, such as the morality and legality of using drones to spy on people in their back yards. There has been scant scrutiny of the safety record of remotely controlled aircraft. A report released June 5 by the National Academy of Sciences concluded that there were “serious unanswered questions” about how to safely integrate civilian drones into the national airspace, calling it a “critical, crosscutting challenge.”

Nobody has more experience with drones than the U.S. military, which has logged more than 4 million flight hours. But the Defense Department tightly guards the particulars of its drone operations, including how, when and where most accidents occur.

The Post filed more than two dozen Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with the Air Force, Army, Navy and Marine Corps. Responding intermittently over the course of a year, the military released investigative files and other records that collectively identified 418 major drone crashes around the world between September 2001 and the end of last year.

That figure is almost equivalent to the number of major crashes incurred by the Air Force’s fleet of fighter jets and attack planes during the same period, even though the drones flew far fewer missions and hours, according to Air Force safety statistics.

The military divided the major accidents into two categories of severity, based on the amount of damage inflicted to the aircraft or other property. (There are three other categories for more minor accidents.)

According to the records, 194 drones fell into the first category — Class A accidents that destroyed the aircraft or caused, under current standards, at least $2 million in damage.

Slightly more than half of those accidents occurred in Afghanistan and Iraq. Almost a quarter happened in the United States."
craigwhitlock  drones  droneproject  safety  2014  military  law  legal  militaryindustrialcomplex  reliability  generalatomics  danger 
june 2014 by robertogreco
Nightmare in the Sky: Drugs via Drones - Robotics Business Review
"Anyone who can build a hobby aircraft successfully has all of the tools to ramp up the dimensions and integrate control technology to build a workable drone.

In the case of drug drones, the wings need to fold up so that it will fit in a semi-truck both before and after flight so that it can be serviced, reloaded and flown from another site.

It’s a lot easier and less expensive than running a drug submarine. You can build and operate two dozen drone aircraft for the price of one submarine. The swarm effect also makes it unlikely that more than one at most will be apprehended by American law enforcement at any one time.

The assembly line for narcotics drones is located in the Santa Fe District of Mexico City and near the Bombardier factory at Queretaro where aircraft factory workers can moonlight and double their money."
drones  droneproject  drugs  drugtrafficking  border  borders  querétaro  mexico  mexicodf  aircraft  airplanes  df  mexicocity 
may 2014 by robertogreco
San Diego’s Undercover Drone Companies Fight the Feds | Voice of San Diego
"A business owner in your neighborhood may be battling the FAA over his moneymaking device.

At least 15 San Diego area companies use drones to take photos or video footage or help develop the small unmanned systems that do so. You might not know this, but the FAA does. The companies have received formal nasty grams or phone calls from the federal aviation officials in recent years based on their work.

That’s because the FAA effectively banned commercial drone flights in 2007. But now the FAA’s policy is under fire and the San Diego companies are fighting back.

The FAA’s ban is an informal dictum against commercial drone use, not a law. In 2012, the agency fined aerial photographer Raphael Pirker $10,000 for flying a drone near the University of Virginia. Pirker refused to accept that punishment and appealed to the National Transportation Safety Board. An administrative law judge recently agreed with Pirker, ruling that the FAA can’t ban commercial drone flights without a formal law doing so.

More than a dozen media companies came out in support of Pirker on Monday. Organizations including The Associated Press and The New York Times Company argued in a brief that the FAA’s position violates the First Amendment.

Now an Encinitas-based attorney who represents the 15 drone companies in San Diego County has joined the fray.

Attorney Michael D. Curran, a small unmanned systems enthusiast who also has a pilot’s license, filed a supportive brief on Tuesday on behalf of more than two-dozen clients, some of whom live in other states.

You can read his filing here.

Curran doesn’t identify his clients in the filing and told Voice of San Diego they haven’t given him the OK to reveal their names. He would only say each is either involved with the manufacturing or development of drones, or in some form of aerial photography.

Those clients also have something else in common: They’ve all been threatened by the FAA, a tack Curran argues is without legal basis.

And they’ve lost money as a result.

“The general story of my clients like many of those across the country is they’ve been financially damaged,” Curran said. “Many of them invested thousands and thousands of dollars on a prototype only to be told by the FAA you can’t do it.”

Drone companies initially believed they’d only need to wait months for FAA rules that would allow them to press on with their investments but it’s now been seven years since the agency’s unofficial ban.

The FAA has said the situation should change soon. It expects to release guidelines by the end of the year but those are unlikely to be finalized until at least 2015."
sandiego  faa  drones  droneproject  2014  policy 
may 2014 by robertogreco
60 Words - Radiolab
"This hour we pull apart one sentence, written in the hours after September 11th, 2001, that has led to the longest war in U.S. history. We examine how just 60 words of legal language have blurred the line between war and peace.

In the hours after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, a lawyer sat down in front of a computer and started writing a legal justification for taking action against those responsible. The language that he drafted and that President George W. Bush signed into law - called the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) - has at its heart one single sentence, 60 words long. Over the last decade, those 60 words have become the legal foundation for the "war on terror."

In this collaboration with BuzzFeed, reporter Gregory Johnsen tells us the story of how this has come to be one of the most important, confusing, troubling sentences of the past 12 years. We go into the meetings that took place in the chaotic days just after 9/11, speak with Congresswoman Barbara Lee and former Congressman Ron Dellums about the vote on the AUMF. We hear from former White House and State Department lawyers John Bellinger & Harold Koh. We learn how this legal language unleashed Guantanamo, Navy Seal raids and drone strikes. And we speak with journalist Daniel Klaidman, legal expert Benjamin Wittes and Virginia Senator Tim Kaine about how these words came to be interpreted, and what they mean for the future of war and peace."
radiolab  language  law  barbaralee  2001  government  9-11  war  waronterror  guantanamo  johnbellinger  rondellums  grecoryjohnsen  haroldkoh  drones  droneproject  dronestrikes  military  timkaine  benjaminwittes  danielklainman 
may 2014 by robertogreco
This Bird Tricks Other Animals Into Handing Over Their Meals | Science | Smithsonian
"The African drongo mimics warning calls of other animals to scare them away from food, but mixes true warnings with lies to keep those animals guessing"
animals  birds  lies  mimicry  2014  drongo  behavior  deception  nature  drones  droneproject 
may 2014 by robertogreco
We Will Show You Fear in a Handful of Dust | 2014 - Finishing School
""We Will Show You Fear in a Handful of Dust" is a participatory sculpture project by Los Angeles-based artist collective in collaboration with artists Nadia Afghani and Matt Fisher that utilized the fabrication of a full size replica of a MQ-1B Predator drone aircraft. Over two hundred people helped FS and collaborators at Occidental College hand-finish the drone with an age-old application method using architectural-grade mud to the surface of the cnc'd substrate. This process is still used today in rural areas of the world, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Northern Africa. These specific areas listed are where the US is most active with the military drone program. In the dichotomy between the drone's form and its surface, the sculpture initiated a powerful discussion of technology and contemporary foreign policy while inviting multiple propositions about cultural legacies and possible resistances in the era of pervasive global surveillance and warfare."
drones  droneproject  2014  nadiaafghani  mattfisher  occidentalcollege  oxy  finishingschool 
april 2014 by robertogreco
How We Read a NYTimes Story on Drone Strikes in Yemen | Just Security
"In this post, we’re trying something new. Below, we present an almost line-by-line annotation of yesterday’s New York Times story on US and Yemeni military operations in Yemen. Among other things, the following is intended to identify legal implications of the news being reported, the significance of some of the revelations, and paths for further investigative reporting."
yemen  drones  droneproject  nytimes  2014  security  military  legal  news  reporting  journalism  language  editorial 
april 2014 by robertogreco
A New iPhone App Catalogues and Maps U.S. Drone Killings - Robinson Meyer - The Atlantic
“I love my phone…it puts me at the center of the map. But I'm not the center of the map.”



"On Monday, the new publication First Look reported that electronically obtained metadata controls who, how, and when U.S. drones kill abroad. Journalists Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill write that that kind of information doesn’t only determine who is killed: Metadata on phone SIM cards determines how victims of the strikes are found.

“The drone program amounts to little more than death by unreliable metadata,” they write, paraphrasing an ex-drone operator.

Now, a new iPhone app lets you explore the consequences of that phenomenon. Named—fittingly—Metadata+, it catalogues and maps drone killings by the United States and is now free and available for download.

The app was made by data artist and web developer Josh Begley. Its two views variously mirror iOS’s Messages interface, displaying the date, location, and victims of each killing; it also shows a map of U.S. drone strikes across the Middle East and Somalia.

Most strikingly, Metadata+ will send users an in-app notification whenever there’s a new strike.

The app, in other words, places an experience foreign to many Americans in a context they’re familiar with: their smartphone. It isn’t the first project do so. Begley’s own @dronestream Twitter account, followed by more than 27,000 people, tweets about every new strike, interrupting their friends’ chatter with more violent news. And London-based artist James Bridle has led two similar efforts, operating an Instagram feed that posts satellite imagery of every strike’s location and painting the shadow of drones on the ground in major Western cities.

Each project tries to transplant the anxiety of those who live below drones to the everyday experience of those very distant from them."



"Begley says he’s next thinking about developing an ephemeral app. “When Steve Jobs announced the iPhone, one of the things he said is that the problem with phones [of that period was,] ‘They all have these control buttons that are fixed in plastic. They’re the same for every application,’” he said.

“So,” Begley asked, “what if you made an app that was designed to change? Like Snapchat, its content fades away and it becomes something else in 6 months. The act of opening a Snap is exciting to me because I'm not sure what it will be. Might you open an app more frequently if the only thing you know is that you're not sure what it will contain?”"
ios  iphone  applications  drones  droneproject  robinsonmeyer  2014  joshbegley  ephemeral  ephemerality 
april 2014 by robertogreco
Dronies!
"A dronie is a video selfie taken with a drone. I featured Amit Gupta's beautiful dronie yesterday: [video embedded]

Other people have since taken dronies of their own and the idea seems like it's on the cusp of becoming a thing. Here's one taken by Joshua Works of him and his family on the shore of a lake in Nevada: [video embedded]

The Works clan sold most of their worldly possessions in 2011 and has been travelling the US in an Airstream ever since, logging more than 75,000 miles so far.

Adam Lisagor took this dronie of him and fellow drone enthusiast Alex Cornell standing on the roof of a building in LA: [video embedded]

Adam was inspired to begin playing with drone photography because of Alex's recent video on Our Drone Future.

Have you taken a dronie? Let me know and I'll add it to the list.

Update: Jakob Lodwick reversed Amit's dronie from a pull back shot to a Spielbergesque close-up. This reel from Antimedia begins with a dronie. Steffan van Esch took a group dronie. This video opens with a quick dronie. I like this one from Taylor Scott Mason, if only for the F1-like whine of the receding drone: [video embedded]

Here's a Powers of Ten-inspired dronie that combines a Google Earth zoom-in with drone-shot footage covering the last few hundred feet: [video embedded]

Adam Lisagor wrote a bit about drone photography and how photographers always come back to the human subject, no matter what format the camera takes:
There's a reason that you're going to see a lot of these from drone flyers like me, and it's this: once you get past the novelty of taking a camera high up in the air, getting a bird's eye view of stuff is actually a little boring.

What birds see is actually a little boring. Humans are interesting. Getting close to stuff is interesting. I bet if we could strap tiny cameras to bird heads, most of what we'd want to look at would happen when they fly close to people. If we could, we'd put cameras on bird heads to take pictures of ourselves.

The company that Amit runs, Photojojo, is going to start doing rentals soon, including kits for drone photography. And they're gonna do flying lessons as well. For now, there's a tutorial on the page about how to make "the perfect dronie". (thx to everyone who sent in videos)
amitgupta  kottke  drones  droneproject  dronies  photography  video  adamligasor  joshuaworks  taylorscottmason  steffanvanesch  jakoblodwick 
april 2014 by robertogreco
Our Drone Future on Vimeo
[See also the follow-up video: "Drones on Demand: Gofor provides drones on demand. Using the mobile app, you can task a drone to complete a variety of helpful tasks. "Uber for drones"."
https://vimeo.com/91952031 ]

"twitter.com/alexcornell
alexcornell.com/
GoPro, DJI Phantom, After Effects, Premier, Logic

Our Drone Future explores the technology, capability, and purpose of drones, as their presence becomes an increasingly pervasive reality in the skies of tomorrow.

In the near future, cities use semi-autonomous drones for urban security. Human officers monitor drone feeds remotely, and data reports are displayed with a detailed HUD and communicated via a simulated human voice (designed to mitigate discomfort with sentient drone technology). While the drones operate independently, they are "guided" by the human monitors, who can suggest alternate mission plans and ask questions.

Specializing in predictive analysis, the security drones can retask themselves to investigate potential threats. As shown in this video, an urban security drone surveys San Francisco's landmarks and encounters fierce civilian resistance."
drones  droneproject  security  video  photography  cameras 
april 2014 by robertogreco
With Purchase of Drone Maker, Google Sees a Fleet of Satellites - NYTimes.com - NYTimes.com
"On Monday, the company said that it had purchased Titan Aerospace, a maker of high-altitude drone satellites, which Google says will be used to take photos of the earth and to connect people to the Internet.

“Titan Aerospace and Google share a profound optimism about the potential for technology to improve the world,” a Google spokesman said in a statement. Atmospheric satellites “could help bring Internet access to millions of people, and help solve other problems, including disaster relief and environmental damage like deforestation.”

The news was first reported by The Wall Street Journal. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

While Google’s goals may sound lofty, Google may share them with a competitor: Facebook, which recently bought Ascenta, a British company that makes a similar type of drone. Earlier reports said that Facebook was in talks to buy Titan Aerospace.

The Titan Aerospace drones are notable because they are solar-powered and can fly for several years, according to the company’s website.

Drones that can remain aloft for long periods of time could be used to constantly update images of the earth, which Google could put to use in its Maps platform.

Both Google and Facebook are also competing to deliver Internet access to people who live in places that are too difficult to reach with wires and other traditional means of accessing the Internet. While satellites can deliver Internet access to sparsely populated areas, the cost of using satellite data connections can be very high. Drones, in comparison, will be able to reach those customers at a much lower cost.

The Titan Aerospace drones are unique because they are solar-powered and can fly for several years, according to the company’s website.

Drones that can fly for long periods of time without having to land could be used to offer constant updates of images of the earth, allowing a company like Google to update the photos in its maps platform.

Both Google and Facebook are also competing to try and connect more people to the Internet that live in places that are too difficult to reach with traditional wires and traditional Internet solutions. While satellites can deliver the Internet to sparsely populated areas, the cost can be very high to use data connections. Drones, in comparison, will be able to do it at a much lower cost."
drones  droneproject  google  2014  facebook  internet  maps  mapping  imagery 
april 2014 by robertogreco
senseFly: eBee
"Collects aerial photography of 1-10sqkm in a single flight at down to 5cm precision.
The eBee has a flight time of up to 45 minutes allowing to cover areas of up to 10sqkm in a single flight. With its 16MP camera it can shoot aerial imagery at down to 3cm/pixel resolution. The images can then be used to create maps and elevation models with a precision of 5cm."

[via video within: http://slavin.tumblr.com/post/75567104781/playfulsystems-game-company-of-ex-ubisoft ]
gis  mapping  aerialphotography  photography  drones  sensefly  ebee  cameras  droneproject  maps  imagery 
february 2014 by robertogreco
Drone Eat Drone: American Scream, Ken Rinaldo : ANTIATLAS OF BORDERS
"Consists of two reaper drones crashing into each other, riding around on a hacked and reprogrammed, Roomba vacuum cleaner. On the robot base is a bucolic country house, with mini humans and cows and speaks to the issues of the coming of the drones, being used as autonomous military robots expand into domestic markets worldwide.

As many who study technology and the issues of borders know, drones in particular have become the weapon of choice, for crossing borders and carrying out undeclared war. These drones and the technology they employ, are playing an increasing role in world politics and in particular the military industrial complexes in the United States and increasingly worldwide.

As lobbyist work to fund more military robots and we are on the cusp of autonomous drones, which can algorithmically come to decide if a person is an “enemy combatant” of not, this work critiques the businesses such as IRobot (producer of military robots and the domestic Roomba vacuum cleaners) with the drone manufacturers General Atomics. The work questions and challenges the act of continuous war and the affect on populations especially in regions targeted such as Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen where the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/) out of the United Kingdom, that over a nine year period, out of 372 flights 400 civilians were confirmed dead, 94 of them children.

This work questions the notion of borders, where you can have a few countries or businesses lobbying governments to purchase and use new technologies, that also fundamentally challenge the notion of national autonomy and borders. The work is itself an autonomous robot, as it uses the intelligence programmed by the artist, who has highjacked thee digital programming and logic of the Roomba vacuum cleaner, which shares many algorithmic similarities to military robots. It conflates the land of other countries with the terrain of your living room (home) and seeks to join and help others understand the relationships between domestic consumer goods and the military industrial complexes, which increasingly manipulate, control and create foreign policy, through military robotics and autonomous killing machines."
drones  droneproject  roomba  irobot  generalatomics  2013  kenrinaldo  art  military  borders  war 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Chapter 1. Attitudes toward the United States | Pew Global Attitudes Project
Link points to section titled "Drone Strikes Widely Unpopular"

"In most of the nations polled, there continues to be extensive opposition to the American drone campaign against extremist leaders and organizations. In 31 nations, at least half disapprove of the U.S. conducting drone missile strikes targeting extremists in places such as Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. At least three-in-four hold this view in 15 countries from all corners of the world, including nations from the Middle East, Europe, Latin America and Asia.

The only three countries where majorities support the drone campaign are Israel (64% approve), Kenya (56%), and the U.S. itself (61%). In the U.S., Republicans (69% approve) are especially likely to endorse this policy, although most independents (60%) and Democrats (59%) also approve.

Opinions on this issue are essentially divided in Australia, Canada and Germany. German support for U.S. drone attacks has actually risen slightly since last year – today, 45% approve, compared with 38% in 2012. Although most in France still oppose the drone strikes, support has also increased there, rising from 37% last year to 45% now.

Balance of Power39In France, Germany and Spain, there are sharp ideological divisions on this issue, with those on the political right far more supportive of U.S. drone strikes than those on the left side of the political spectrum.

Balance of Power38Views about drones also differ sharply along gender lines in many countries. For instance, in Japan, 41% of men approve of the drone attacks, compared with just 10% of women. Double digit gender gaps are also found in six of the eight EU nations polled, as well as Australia, Canada, the U.S., South Korea and Uganda."

[A chart is next to this text.]
drones  droneproject  2013  us  opinions  international  war  surveillance 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Drone Survival Guide
"Our ancestors could spot natural predators from far by their silhouettes. Are we equally aware of the predators in the present-day? Drones are remote-controlled planes that can be used for anything from surveillance and deadly force, to rescue operations and scientific research. Most drones are used today by military powers for remote-controlled surveillance and attack, and their numbers are growing. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) predicted in 2012 that within 20 years there could be as many as 30.000 drones flying over U.S. Soil alone. As robotic birds will become commonplace in the near future, we should be prepared to identify them. This survival guide is an attempt to familiarise ourselves and future generations, with a changing technological environment.

This document contains the silhouettes of the most common drone species used today and in the near future. Each indicating nationality and whether they are used for surveillance only or for deadly force. All drones are drawn in scale for size indication. From the smallest consumer drones measuring less than 1 meter, up to the Global Hawk measuring 39,9 meter in length."



"The guide contains tactics for hiding from drones and interfering with the drones’ sensors, collected from various online sources. Health Ranger’s intelligence analysis of military drones: payloads, countermeasures and more’, by Mike Adams and ‘The Al-Qaida Papers - Drones’, Associated Press, Feb 2013. To keep this document widely available it can be downloaded in .pdf or .doc format. Send a new translation to us and receive a free printed Drone Survival Guide. All translations will be shared here. The Drone Survival Guide is collected and translated as a form of civil initiative, not for profit and without government or commercial funding and/or support."

"One of the techniques for misleading a drone's camera is putting reflective material on the rooftops of houses or cars (glass, mirror) to try to reflect sunlight into the drone's camera, making this poster a useful tool to interfere with the drone's sensors. On a more associative level the mirrored material reminds us that drone surveillance is ultimately people watching people. In a way we are looking at ourselves through sophisticated mirrors."
drones  droneproject  survivalguide 
december 2013 by robertogreco
Drones, Sound, and Super-Panoptic Surveillance » Cyborgology
"Drones “drone” by creating a consistent psychological timbre or pitch–terror. Or rather, frequent, repeated Predator drone strikes have struck a drone in the psyches of targeted populations. As Hussain puts it,
The buzz of a distant propeller is a constant reminder of imminent death…The same prolonged hovering that produces the terrifying buzzing here adds oversight to sight, combining surveillance with legal scrutiny.


This droning timbre/pitch of terror resembles what Foucaultians might call the internalized (or panoptic) gaze–instead of needing to be watched by police, we police ourselves.



"The gaze and the drone are absolutely not opposed or mutually exclusive; more often than not, they’re deeply and complexly implicated in one another. That’s why super-panoptic surveillance is above or on top of regular old visual panopticism; it’s an additional layer, not a replacement."



"The Gaze is alienating—it desensitizes us to sound and in that very same set of gestures, to the humanity, the moral personhood, and the suffering of those whom the US drones. Because we can’t hear them, these targets “seem unalive, even before they are killed.” The Gaze alienates “us” (the US) from our receptivity to others. Hussain’s article implies that sound is a/the remedy to imperialist alienation, which manifests here as the separation of sight from sound. If only “we”—the imperialist drone operators—could hear what our victims hear, then we wouldn’t be so quick to dehumanize them.***

It is certainly true that visual technologies and techniques developed cooperatively with imperialism. But so have sonic ones. My concept of “Droning” shows that sound is not necessarily a remedy to imperialist control. It’s not just vision that can be “myopic” (to use one of Hussain’s terms)–hearing can be similarly structured by ignorance. It structures ignorance in different forms and with different methods. So, for example, instead of alienation, Droning rivets you to material conditions, affects, and sensations that compel you to behave in specific ways, and not in others. So riveted, you might think and feel like “there is no alternative,” to use a catchphrase often associated with neoliberal ideology.

I’m trying to push back against tendencies to reduce sound to sight (or rather, sight’s opposite), and to conflate superpanoptic surveillance–what I call “Droning”–with more conventional panopticism, a.k.a. “Gazing.” It’s important to consider the sonic dimensions of drone tech and drone practices. And de-centering vision and sight means we also have to de-center “the Gaze” as a conceptual framework. That’s what I’m trying to accomplish with this concept of “Droning”."
aircraft  drones  sound  surveillance  droneproject  2013  gaze  gazetheory  panopticon  robinjames 
november 2013 by robertogreco
Drone Imagery for OpenStreetMap | MapBox
"Last weekend we captured 100 acres of aerial imagery at 4cm resolution. It took less than an hour to fly, and it was easy to publish the imagery on the web using TileMill and then trace in OpenStreetMap. Autonomous flying platforms like Sensefly's eBee paired up with a nimble software stack are changing aerial mapping. Drones like the eBee can cheaply and accurately photograph medium-sized areas, and then the imagery can be made immediately available to everyone.

The drone operates less like an RC plane and more like a Roomba. You can define an area of interest on a laptop, beam it to the eBee, and then just toss the drone in the air where it will autonomously collect imagery. Within 40 minutes, the drone took 225 photos covering 100 acres from an altitude of 120 meters. Larger areas of 2,500 acres and more are possible, but this was sufficient for our needs.

As soon as the drone landed, the images were loaded into Postflight/Pix4D for georeferencing and mosaicing and then into TileMill for resampling and tiling for the web. Afterward the imagery is easily added as a custom layer in OpenStreetMap's iD editor for tracing.

The high resolution of the stitched mosaic is really useful for editing in iD. As you can tell, we're excited about what Sensefly's eBee means for the future of open-source mapping. Small autonomous aircraft are excellent for capturing timely imagery or where other aerial imagery is not available."
mapbox  maps  mapping  drones  droneproject  osm  openstreetmap  2013  gis 
november 2013 by robertogreco
Unmanned Systems DC Metro Ads - a set on Flickr
"The Unmanned Systems ads are located at the Capitol South metro stop in Washington D.C. The ads feature silhouettes of Northrop Grumman’s unmanned systems, including Global Hawk and Fire Scout. Inside each silhouette is an image, a visual example of the system’s capabilities accompanied by simple text describing capabilities and accomplishments."

[via: http://notes.husk.org/post/66701702029/global-hawk-advert ]
drones  droneproject  northropgrumman  advertising 
november 2013 by robertogreco
BBC - Future - Science & Environment - Inside Nasa’s hurricane drone lab
"Take a behind the scenes tour of the US space agency's unmanned aerial vehicle programme."
drones  droneproject  nasa  2013 
november 2013 by robertogreco
Confessions of an American Drone Operator
"He was an experiment, really. One of the first recruits for a new kind of warfare in which men and machines merge. He flew multiple missions, but he never left his computer. He hunted top terrorists, saved lives, but always from afar. He stalked and killed countless people, but could not always tell you precisely what he was hitting. Meet the 21st-century American killing machine. who's still utterly, terrifyingly human"
drones  droneproject  2013  matthewpower  military  war  warfare 
october 2013 by robertogreco
The Sound of Terror: Phenomenology of a Drone Strike | Boston Review
"“The drones were terrifying. From the ground, it is impossible to determine who or what they are tracking as they circle overhead. The buzz of a distant propeller is a constant reminder of imminent death." This account of what a drone feels and sounds like from the ground comes from David Rohde, a journalist who was kidnapped and held by the Taliban for seven months in 2008. Yet this kind of report rarely registers in debates in the United States over the use of drones. Instead these debates seem to have reached an impasse. Opponents of drone strikes say they violate international law and have caused unacknowledged civilian deaths. Proponents insist they actually save the lives of both U.S. soldiers, who would otherwise be deployed in dangerous ground operations, and of civilians, because of the drone’s capacity to survey and strike more precisely than combat. If the alternative is a prolonged and messy ground operation, the advantage of drone strikes in terms of casualties is indisputable, and it is not my intention to dispute it here.

But the terms of this debate give a one-sided view of both the larger financial and political costs of drones, as well as the less than lethal but nonetheless chronic and intense harm continuous strikes wage on communities. This myopia restricts our understanding of the full effects of drones; in order to widen our vision, I provide a phenomenology of drone strikes, examining both how the world appears through the lens of a drone camera and the experience of the people on the ground. What is it like to watch a drone’s footage, or to wait below for it to strike? What does the drone’s camera capture, and what does it occlude?"
drones  droneproject  2013 
october 2013 by robertogreco
Lasers, Drones, and Future Tech on the Front Lines of Archaeology
"James Newhard is Director of Archaeology at the College of Charleston, where he works to bring 3D imaging, mobile technology and geographic information systems to a field more popularly associated with shovels and dusty brushes. Gizmodo got in touch with Dr. Newhard to learn how he uses emerging tech to dig deep into ancient societies."



"In another blog post you mention drones in archaeology. What's a good example of how you could use drones?

Drones—oh man, they are hot. In early 2000, I was a grad student working in Albania with a young PhD. We had the inglorious task of mapping the site. We’d start out every morning, and jot down a point every four to five steps to make a high-resolution topographic map. It took us about 12 weeks of field work to put that map together.

Now, you just put a couple sensors on a drone and fly that thing over the site, and you’ve got it in a day. It goes off at a low altitude and snaps everything up; the images are all geo-rectified; bada bing bada boom, there it is."
jamesnewhard  archaeology  3dimaging  mobiletechnology  mobile  gis  fieldwork  geoffmanaugh  drones  droneproject  maps  mapping 
october 2013 by robertogreco
Q&A on Fully Autonomous Weapons | Human Rights Watch
"Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC) discussed the move toward full autonomy in weapons systems and analyzed the risks the technology could pose to civilians. We also called on countries to prohibit fully autonomous weapons through an internationally legally binding instrument and to adopt national laws and policies on the subject. This Question and Answer document summarizes, clarifies, and expands on some of the issues discussed in Losing Humanity. It examines the legal problems posed by fully autonomous weapons and then elaborates on why banning these weapons is the best approach for dealing with this emerging means of war.

Why are fully autonomous weapons a pressing issue?

What are the potential benefits of fully autonomous weapons?

If fully autonomous weapons could have some advantages, why should they be prohibited?

Could fully autonomous weapons comply with the requirements of international humanitarian law to protect civilians in armed conflict?

Are there other concerns under international humanitarian law?

Is accountability an issue for fully autonomous weapons?

How would a new legal instrument for fully autonomous weapons supplement existing international humanitarian law?

Why pursue a ban rather than regulation of fully autonomous weapons?

Why should countries institute a pre-emptive ban?

What weapons would the ban encompass?

Would a ban entail an absolute prohibition on all development of autonomous robotic technology?"
drones  droneproject  ethics  weapons  humanrights  2013 
october 2013 by robertogreco
Underwater drones to improve climate change predictions
"UK: Underwater drones that can navigate ocean currents are going to help British scientists improve climate change predictions as part of a newly funded project. The UK’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) has announced funding for two projects in collaboration with the US to study the circulation of water in the Atlantic that keep Europe’s climate mild and how it could be affected by changing global temperatures.

One of the projects, known as OSNAP, involves mooring monitoring arrays that reach from the bottom to the surface of the ocean at key points across the northern Atlantic, and sending autonomous underwater gliders to gather data from in between. Dr Sheldon Bacon of the National Oceanography Centre at Southampton University, who is leading the UK team for OSNAP, said this will help them better understand how geographical features of the seabed affect the currents that transfer heat across the Atlantic."
via:bopuc  drones  droneproject  2013 
october 2013 by robertogreco
A Preliminary Atlas of Robot Killing Fields — Weird Future — Medium
"Drones are not individual objects. They are distributed hyper-entities, smeared across the globe."
timmaly  drones  droneproject  sandiego  generalatomics 
october 2013 by robertogreco
Sergei Takes his Robot for a Walk | MAKE
"Sergei Lupashin has a PhD from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH), and is currently doing post-doctoral work with the University of Zurich’s Robotics and Perception Group.

Sergei came to the Drones & Aerial Robotics Conference (DARC) in New York City to demonstrate his Fotokite, an autonomous quadcopter tethered on a small dog leash. He explains that by constraining the robot with the leash, he is able to simplify the dynamics it has to deal with. The robot is programmed to maintain a set angle, and effectively hovers at the end of the leash. A camera mounted on the robot provides an effect that is a cross between an airborne pet and a steady cam."
drones  droneproject  2013  cameras  pets 
october 2013 by robertogreco
Tupperwolf - Updrafts as drone currency
"Next thing that we want to try: swarms. We’ve got an active experimentation program going on in a couple areas. One is: how do we deconflict these UAVs and have them auto-sense how they can deconflict themselves for working in swarms? If we can begin to do this, we can cover large areas very quickly. It also turns out that communicating thermals and their location enables these UAVs to stay up for a very long time, because they tell each other where to find the place to give them lift, and that greatly reduces fuel and gives us a lot of airtime."
drones  droneproject  johncrowley  2013  swarms  networks  networkeddrones 
october 2013 by robertogreco
Black Hawk Paint : ADDIE WAGENKNECHT
"If unmanned drones and systems are being used to kill and destruct places and people in war remotely, why aren't drones being used to create and build creatively. In Black Hawk Paint, the experimental series uses a computer vision tracking systems based on a grid of coordinate points which the artist then uses to create one of a kind paintings with the drone as a brush. The drones paint abstract art onto a canvas laid horizontally on the gallery floor over the period of the work."

[via: http://we-make-money-not-art.com/archives/2013/09/interview-with-addie-wagenknec.php ]
drones  droneproject  art  addiewagenknecht 
october 2013 by robertogreco
Peace drone - MyNameIsAxel
"A proposal to United States Armed Forces

Killing foreign people with predator drones is history. Let me introduce the peace drone.
Hovering over hostile settlements or cities playing loud clown music, smiling around and delivering clouds of oxycontin. A beautiful American drug described as a pharmaceutical grade heroin.

Happy people are better than dead people and best of all, they will be addicted to you!"
drones  droneproject  axelbrechensbauer  2013  happiness  pharmaceuticals  oxycontin 
october 2013 by robertogreco
AP News: UN selects unarmed surveillance drone for Congo
"The United Nations has selected its first unarmed surveillance drone, an Italian-made plane that will be tried out by peacekeepers in eastern Congo.

U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said Thursday the world body's peacekeeping department chose an unmanned aerial vehicle produced by SELES ES, known as the Falco, which is "capable of carrying a range of payloads including several types of high-resolution sensors."

In January, the U.N. Security Council gave approval for the trial use of unarmed drones for eastern Congo. It's also given peacekeepers an unprecedented offensive mandate to attack rebels.

Nesirky said deployment of the medium-altitude, medium-endurance drone is planned in the coming weeks.

He said it will allow U.N. peacekeepers, especially in eastern Congo, "to monitor the movements of armed groups and protect the civilian population more efficiently.""
drones  droneproject  2013  via:vruba  congo  un 
august 2013 by robertogreco
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