How Drones Will Fight Poachers To Save Endangered Species
May 08, 2013
The World Wildlife Fund wants to thwart international crime with robots.
Telecom-Equipped Drones Could Revolutionize Wireless Market
April 30, 2013
“Each one of our small unmanned aircraft can operate somewhat like a miniature and very low-cost communications satellite at 400 to 500 feet above ground,” Gitlin said. “It’s basically like a flying Wi-Fi hot spot.”
From Battle to Birds: Drones Get Second Life Counting Critters
April 26, 2013
The U.S. military and law enforcement agencies have seen on the domestic use of the robotically piloted planes known as drones. Working on the sidelines of this debate, the U.S. Geological Survey has been trying to find a second life for retired military drones in the areas of environmental and wildlife management. Instead of watching the battlefield, these drones are watching birds.
How to Charge Millions of Electric Cars? Not All at Once
April 25, 2013
PROPONENTS of electric vehicles like to talk about a not-too-distant future when plug-in cars become ubiquitous, with millions being driven by their owners on the daily commute. Now imagine the end of a workday in that not-too-distant future, when many of those millions of cars are back in their owners’ driveways or garages, plugged in for battery recharging, all at roughly the same time.
UC Berkeley Perfecting “Good” Drones at “Drone Lab”
April 24, 2013
Berkeley drone lab working on robots for good.
Much hoopla, fear and knee-jerk reactions follow the mention of drones in the Bay Area, but not all drones are the scary weapons used in the war on terror. Researchers at UC Berkeley are at this moment working on "good" drones, according to SF Weekly.
Best Selling Nissan in Portland: LEAF Electric Car–Due to Electric Highway?
April 23, 2013
We've already asked whether the Tesla Model S sells more units than the equivalent BMW, Audi or Mercedes--and now Nissan is outselling regular vehicles with its Leaf. Not Corollas or Ford Focus countrywide, of course--but apparently every other Nissan vehicle in March, in Portland, Oregon.
FBI Used Drones In Hostage Rescue
February 05, 2013
Idaho Power Uses Drones to Find Salmon in the Snake River
February 01, 2013
BOISE -- The state legislature is currently debating some issues that deal with drones, including whether Idaho may become a testing site and how privacy issues will be handled. Drones are small-unmanned remotely controlled aircraft, and some are even used for biology research.
Each fall, Idaho Power uses aircraft, usually helicopters, to survey Chinook Salmon nests on the Snake River and make sure the company's projects aren't negatively impacting the threatened species.
Coming Soon: Your Own Personal Drone
January 21, 2013
The recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas was a treasure trove of new ideas for investors. Motley Fool analyst Rex Moore was there, and in the following video, he reports back on one of the most fascinating forward-looking technologies he saw. Would you believe ... your own personal drone?
Air&Space Smithsonian: Drones for Hire
January 01, 2013
Though there is enormous potential for drone use in emergency situations, infrastructure inspection, and ecological monitoring, many buyers still aren't sure exactly what they need. "The industry is pretty immature," says Embry-Riddle's Currier of the current offerings at AUVSI. He compares it to the early years of auto manufacturing, when motorists had hundreds of brands, and no company dominated. "It's hard to tell which is a production-ready aircraft by just looking at it," says Roy Minson, a vice president at AeroVironment Inc., a leading producer of unmanned aircraft, including the Raven and another fixed-wing, the Puma AE, both of which are popular with the military. But the company is spending millions to refine a multi-rotor it calls the Qube, aimed at civilian firefighters and officers who need an easy way to get a camera overhead and transmitting video within minutes.
Army Unmanned Aircraft Programs: Winners and Losers
December 12, 2012
One winner is the Puma, a small hand-launched UAV that small units are using for reconnaissance and surveillance. The Army requested the system under a rapid fielding initiative in 2007 to complement its other small drone, the Raven. Soldiers were demanding an all-weather capable aircraft with longer endurance and a gimbaled camera.
Ultimate EV Driver’s Gift Guide
November 29, 2012
With the holidays fast approaching, AeroVironment is feeling merry, and wanted to share its Ultimate EV Driver's Gift Guide with you. The Electric Vehicle (EV) community is growing; new EVs came to market in 2012 and more are slated to hit the road in 2013. EV new and soon-to-be drivers deserve their own gift guide this year.
Watch out Nissan and Tesla: EVs from Chevrolet, Fiat, and BMW take off at the LA Auto Show
November 29, 2012
The Nissan Leaf and Tesla S have competition. Electric vehicles from Chevrolet, Fiat, and BMW were unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show on Wednesday, bringing the number of EVs and plug-in hybrids on display to more than a dozen.
UAV Evolution - How Natural Selection Directed the Drone Revolution
November 19, 2012
Designers often take their inspiration from nature to produce tiny UAVs that can hover, perch or dart forward - AeroVironment's Nano Hummingbird and TechJect Dragonfly both fly like their namesakes from the natural world. AeroVironment is also behind the first man-portable tactical armed drone, the tube-launched 2.5kg Switchblade, which went into operation with the US Army in September 2012.
Drones, Balloons May Help In Next Hurricane, Beaming Wi-Fi From The Sky
November 15, 2012
As Hurricane Sandy battered the Northeast, power outages wreaked havoc on telecommunications networks, knocking out wireless service for thousands of cell phone users.
If a future hurricane triggers similar failures, regulators say they have a potential solution. It has the hallmarks of science fiction: floating wireless antennas from balloons or drones.
AeroVironment Mantis i23 Gimbaled Payload Selected as One of Year’s Biggest Breakthroughs by C4ISR
October 09, 2012
Each year, C4ISR Journal scans the world of networks, sensors and intelligence, looking for the new technologies and new efforts changing the way military forces and policymakers do their jobs.
We find these candidates in many ways. Some are nominated by their manufacturers, some by their users; still others are in the news. We scrutinize each one. Is it new? Is it available? Is it useful? Is it being used? ? and slim down the pool to a list of the best.
Why Electric Cars Are Our Future
October 02, 2012
As the president of Rochester Institute of Technology, one of the nation's largest technical universities, I became interested in electric vehicles a few years ago because one of our major research centers was working on advanced battery and fuel cell research projects for major automotive companies. I was at first quite skeptical of electric vehicles because electricity must be generated from another source of energy, and that seemed to insert another inefficient step in the energy conversion process that would make such vehicles inherently less efficient than the current generation of gasoline-powered cars and trucks.
Marines Stand Up Schools For Small UAV Training
September 11, 2012
Hundreds of U.S. Marines will begin receiving advanced training in the use of unmanned aerial vehicles before deploying to the war zone.
Combined, about 480 officers and enlisted Marines will attend schoolhouses at Camp Lejeune, N.C., and Camp Pendleton, Calif., each year to learn how to operate and maintain the Corps' smallest UAVs, according to Marine officials. The school at Camp Lejeune, called Training and Logistics Support Activity, began enrolling students in mid-July.
For Electric Car Batteries, The Race for a Rapid Charge
September 06, 2012
If stopping for gas took five or six hours, would you rethink that road trip? How about an hour? When it comes to electric vehicles, topping up the "tank" does indeed take a long time, one of the primary barriers to more widespread adoption of EVs. So it is no surprise that there is an aggressive push to improve batteries and charging infrastructure, with a goal of making a stop for a recharge no different than a stop for gas.
Afghanistan is the Proving Ground for UAS Capability
August 28, 2012
No doubt about it, unmanned systems are proving effective in Afghanistan, said Peter Singer of the Brookings Institution think tank. ?It?s a revolutionary technology. It?s creating both possibilities, but also dilemmas we didn?t imagine we?d be facing just a generation ago,? such as the identity of the forces in the future, he said. ?Its historic parallel is things like gun powder, the steam engine? it?s that level of change,? Singer added.
MTSU Strengthens Its Robotic Partnership
August 19, 2012
In collaboration with the military, Middle Tennessee State University will investigate the means to enhance the potential application of technology related to unmanned aerial and ground vehicles.
The recent educational collaboration between the U.S. Army, the U.S. Marine Corps and MTSU will discover the ways to augment the existing small robots with affordable hardware and software that promotes Raven unmanned aircraft to be deployed as an eye-in-the-sky relay, thereby ensuring the synchronous operation of land robots with unmanned vehicles in the air.
From Jay Leno’s Own Chevy Volt to Foothill Transit’s Advanced Full-Size Electric Bus
August 14, 2012
From Jay Leno's own Chevy Volt to Foothill Transit's advanced full-size electric bus (featured in this video), AeroVironment provides real world EV charging systems that cover the spectrum of clean transportation needs.
Jay gets to play with all the coolest toys - he's tested lots of EVs, from SUVs to roadsters to motorcycles. The latest episode of Jay Leno's Garage features a hot rod for public transport buffs - the Proterra Ecoliner electric bus. Designed from the ground up as an EV, the new bus has been in service for Foothills Transit in Pomona, California for a year. The agency's director gives Jay a complete demonstration.
Drones Aimed At Fighting Future Wars
August 13, 2012
Imagine swarms of drone aircraft fighting the wars of the future.
One big remotely piloted "bird" could control an array of stealthy planes with bombs and missiles to "knock the door down" for manned fighter jets high over enemy territory via satellite links to a ground station in Nevada. Or South Dakota. Or anywhere.
LA Times: Drones Tested As Tools For Police And Firefighters
August 05, 2012
WASHINGTON -- On a chaparral-covered hillside 40 miles north of Los Angeles in June 2010, researchers from the Department of Homeland Security hid a device the size of a pack of cigarettes that emitted a safe pulse of low-grade radiation.
It was a stand-in for a dirty bomb, or fallout from a nuclear meltdown.
Nearby, a pilot toggled a joystick, and a gray drone with the wingspan of a California condor banked through the sky. As the plane's sensor sniffed for radioactive isotopes, law enforcement officers and firefighters watched a portable controller that looked like an oversized Game Boy.
In minutes, a warning signal glowed on the screen. The drone had detected the radiation.
Drones: From War Weapons To Homemade Toy
August 02, 2012
Drones transformed the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan. But their use has been extremely limited in U.S. skies. The Federal Aviation Administration essentially bans the commercial use of drones, and government use is still highly restricted.
But that's changing.
For a long time, drones, which are formally known as unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, were exotic, expensive and out of reach for all but military users. Today, however, a clever hobbyist can have his own eye in the sky.
ABC 7: Future of Electric Cars On Display At EVS26
May 08, 2012
The future of electric cars was on display at the annual Electric Vehicle Symposium at in downtown Los Angeles.
Military Expo Touches on Range of Issues
May 08, 2012
Dennis Biddick, deputy assistant secretary of the Navy, on Tuesday emphasized the need for total force integration that brings together military personnel, reserves, civilian employees and contractors in a more efficient system.
With the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, he noted that a new baseline is being drawn. He made the observation during his keynote speech at the fifth annual Military Business and Community Expo in Camarillo.
Army Announces “Green Warrior Convoy”
April 11, 2012
WASHINGTON (April 11, 2012) -- The Army announced plans today for a "Green Warrior Convoy" to demonstrate and educate the value of science and technology in Army vehicles.
Katherine Hammack, the assistant secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment, made the announcement during the opening of the Army's new Ground Systems Power and Energy Laboratory, or GSPEL, at the Detroit Arsenal, Warren, Mich.
Electric Power Research Institute Tests UAS to Assess Storm Damage on Power Cables
April 11, 2012
The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) has completed tests determining that unmanned aircraft systems can be used effectively to assess storm damage on utility distribution systems.
Conducted at the New Mexico State University Flight Test Center, the tests involved navigating several aircraft technologies and using high resolution video cameras to transmit images of power lines from a height of 5,000 to 7,000 feet. The tests determined that such images can be used by electric utilities to assess damage and pinpoint its location following a storm.
AeroVironment’s Qube™ Profiled on CNN
March 15, 2012
CNN's Anna Coren reports on the domestic uses of drone technology, and whether "personal drones" are in your future.
LA Times: FAA Seeks Comments On Test Sites For Drones In U.S. Airspace
March 08, 2012
The agency says the sites will play a key role in providing data so it can allow unmanned aircraft to fly in national airspace along with manned airplanes.
Looking to take the next step in integrating drones into U.S. airspace, the Federal Aviation Administration has asked for public comments on the agency's selection process for picking unmanned aircraft system test sites.
The Economist: Unblinking Eyes in the Sky
March 01, 2012
Technology and society: Drone aircraft are no longer restricted to military use. They are being built and used by hobbyists, activists and estate agents, among others.
The New York Times: Drones In Afghanistan, Drones In ...Akron
February 20, 2012
Now that American civilians have wide latitude to use drone aircraft, the potential is dizzying: shooting Hollywood films, crop dusting, monitoring weather, spying on neighbors, photographing celebrities.
Should the government restrict where drones can fly and film, to protect people's privacy? Or should we all assume that if we are outdoors or near a window, we have no privacy?
UAS Drive Growth in Small Precision Missiles Market
February 03, 2012
Increased use of unmanned aircraft is driving demand for smaller precision-attack weapons.
Strike weapons is the only segment of the world missile-systems market expected to see significant increases in value and production through 2016, with the lightweight missile sub-segment projected to experience rapid growth.
Unmanned Aircraft A Controversial Surveillance Tool For N.D. Law Enforcement
January 31, 2012
Grand Forks, N.D. -- In a first for local law enforcement in the region, 16 North Dakota counties will soon use two small unmanned aircraft to monitor crime scenes and track suspects.
Much like the unmanned aircraft flying over war zones in Afghanistan or along U.S. borders, these aircraft are small enough to into the back of an SUV. But each carry a camera and can provide streaming video to a police officer piloting the plane from the ground.
Will 100,000 Electric Cars Be Sold In U.S. This Year Or Not?
January 25, 2012
Technology market research firm Gartner announced yesterday that it forecasts plug-in car sales in the U.S. will top 100,000 vehicles during 2012.
But with 2011 sales figures much totaling just over 17,000 fully electric and plug-in hybrids, is it conceivable that total plug-in car sales will more than quintuple in just one year?
Drones Fly Into Nascent Civilian Market Ripe With Energy, Environmental Applications
January 25, 2012
As a Russian tanker plowed through the frozen Bering Sea to deliver fuel to Nome, Alaska, earlier this month, it had an unlikely helper: a small drone that hovered overhead, sending images of the sea ice to researchers onshore who were plotting the vessel's path and planning oil spill contingencies.
Drone technology, which revolutionized the way the U.S. military spies and fights, is now opening vast new opportunities for environmental researchers and the energy industry. And the Arctic -- with its brutal temperatures and vast, unpopulated spaces making manned flight difficult and dangerous -- is ground zero for those efforts.
engineering TV: Top 5 Small Robots of 2011
December 19, 2011
What do a hummingbird, a maple seed and a skate have in common? They've inspired design engineers to come up with some of the most unique unmanned systems we saw in 2011. These are the Top 5 Small Robots.
Energy Companies Eyeing Drones to Survey Pipelines
December 18, 2011
New regulatory recommendations expected to be released by the Federal Aviation Administration soon could allow oil-and-gas companies to purchase light-weight unmanned drones akin to those used by the military.
Energy companies already use remotely operated vehicles to monitor and manipulate wells at extreme underwater depths, and unmanned aircraft companies hope that in the coming years, companies will be able to hire or buy aerial drones to survey pipelines, check on hard-to-reach parts of platforms and gather information after an offshore accident occurs.
UAV Makers Expect U.S. Defense Demand to Continue
December 17, 2011
DAYTON -- The recent crashes of U.S. unmanned military drones in Iran and Seychelles won't be major setbacks to America's unmanned aircraft program, a defense industry analyst said.
"Unmanned systems, people recognize, are more liable to crash than other aircraft," said Philip Finnegan, an analyst with Teal Group Corp. in Fairfax, Va. "They're too expensive to be expendable. The goal is to bring them back."
"But, at the same time, there's a recognition that the loss of an unmanned system doesn't involve a loss of life"? Finnegan said.