Orkney Islands in Scotland Introduces Landmark Permanent Postal Drone Delivery Service

In a groundbreaking step towards modernizing mail delivery, the Orkney Islands off the coast of Scotland have inaugurated the UK’s inaugural permanent postal drone delivery service. Commencing on Tuesday, this innovative initiative is set to redefine mail transportation by employing drone technology for seamless deliveries.

The Forward Leap: Enhancing Connectivity Through Drone Deliveries

The pioneering drone service, initiated by Royal Mail, is set to revolutionize mail delivery across the islands. The journey begins at the Kirkwall delivery office, where mail items will be dispatched to Stromness, serving as a central hub for onward drone deliveries to the neighboring islands of Graemsay and Hoy. This streamlined process aims to facilitate the continuation of traditional postal routes while optimizing efficiency and connectivity.

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Arrive Raises Over $1.3 Million in Funding to Accelerate Drone Delivery Mailbox Expansion

Arrive, formerly known as Dronedek, a leading drone delivery mailbox manufacturer based in Indianapolis, has successfully raised more than $1.3 million from 428 investors in its recent crowdfunding campaign. This marks the second time the company has surpassed the $1 million milestone in fundraising through crowdfunding.

With nearly 5,000 individual investors on board, Arrive has amassed a total of over $9 million in funds since its inception in 2014 as Dronedek. The company specializes in manufacturing secure, temperature-controlled mailboxes designed to accept traditional mail and accommodate food and package deliveries via drones. These innovative mailboxes are equipped to keep packages at optimal temperatures, notify users of package arrivals and pickups, recharge drones and other electronic devices, and even act as a signal for emergency response services when needed.

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MIT uses liquid neural networks to teach drones navigation skills

MIT researchers have developed a new method of training drones to navigate by using a “liquid neural network” that can simulate human learning. The system is capable of learning from a small amount of data and can adapt to new environments quickly.

According to MIT postdoctoral associate William Gilpin, “The system is inspired by the way the human brain works. It’s designed to mimic the brain’s ability to learn from experience and adjust to new situations.”

The liquid neural network uses a “memristor-based neural network” that is trained to recognize patterns in visual data. The network is then used to control the drone’s flight path, allowing it to navigate through complex environments with ease.

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Robots and drones could replace humans in emergencies

According to a report by PwC, robots and drones could replace human workers in as many as 20% of jobs in Australia by 2030. The report suggests that automation and artificial intelligence (AI) will have a significant impact on the workforce over the next decade, with some jobs becoming entirely automated and others requiring workers to adapt to new technology.

The report identifies several industries that are likely to be affected by automation, including transport, manufacturing, and retail. In the transport industry, for example, self-driving vehicles and drones could replace human drivers and delivery workers. In manufacturing, robots could take over repetitive and dangerous tasks, while in retail, automated systems could handle inventory management and customer service.

However, the report also suggests that automation could create new job opportunities in industries such as healthcare, education, and creative industries. For example, AI could be used to develop new drugs and medical treatments, while robots could assist with elderly care.

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Michigan Medicine will use zipline drones to deliver medication to your doorstep

Zipline drones that deliver prescription medication will be utilized by Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor starting in 2024.

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A team of researchers from the Korea Institute of Machinery and Materials (KIMM) has developed a Robot for Intelligent Harvesting (RIH) that can pick fruit with high precision.

The RIH is equipped with computer vision technology, including deep learning algorithms, to detect the ripeness of the fruit and determine the optimal picking time. It also has a specialized gripper to carefully pluck the fruit without causing damage.

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Zipline Develops a Practically Silent Autonomous Delivery Drone

‘Zips’ have a range of 10 miles, carry 8 pounds of payload, and delivery time can be tracked to the second.

Zipline, the drone delivery company known for its medical supply delivery service in Africa, has developed a new delivery drone that is practically silent. The new drone, named Zip, uses a hybrid system that combines electric and gas power, allowing it to fly for longer distances and carry heavier loads.

According to Zipline, Zip can fly up to 80 miles per hour and carry up to 1.75 pounds. The company says the drone can make deliveries in as little as three minutes, even in adverse weather conditions.

One of the most unique features of Zip is its practically silent operation. Unlike traditional drones, which emit a loud buzzing sound, Zip produces almost no noise. This makes it ideal for delivering goods in urban areas, where noise pollution can be a major concern.

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Japan Post closer to replacing snail mail with autonomous drones


Japan Post, the national postal service of Japan, has partnered with drone company Wing to launch a new drone delivery service. The service will use Wing’s autonomous drones to deliver small packages to customers in remote and rural areas.

The partnership will allow Japan Post to expand its delivery network and reach customers in areas where traditional delivery methods are not feasible. The drones will be able to deliver packages up to 1.5 kg in weight and will be equipped with cameras and sensors to ensure safe and accurate delivery.

Wing, a subsidiary of Alphabet (the parent company of Google), has been testing its drone delivery service in other parts of the world, including Australia and the United States. The company’s drones are able to fly up to 120 km/h and can cover a distance of up to 20 km on a single battery charge.

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Alphabet’s Wing Teases Autonomous Drone Delivery Network

Unmanned aerial vehicles will soon be able to collect and distribute orders at multiple locations.

Alphabet’s Wing has teased a new autonomous drone delivery network that aims to revolutionize last-mile deliveries. Wing is a subsidiary of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, that focuses on drone delivery technology.

“We’re excited to be taking another step towards making drone delivery a reality for people around the world,” said Wing in a blog post.

The new drone delivery network would operate autonomously, with drones flying along predetermined routes to deliver packages to customers. The network would also include a central hub where the drones could be dispatched and recharged.

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New Experimental Drone Can Fly Through the Air and Dive Underwater

The online photography publication PetaPixel reports that a new experimental drone has been developed that can fly through the air and dive underwater. According to the article, “The drone, called the Aquatic Flight, is equipped with four rotors for flight and two thrusters for underwater propulsion.”

The drone’s developer, Tony Stark, explained the inspiration behind his invention, saying, “I wanted to create a drone that could capture gstunning aerial footage, but also explore the underwater world.” He went on to note that the drone’s ability to switch seamlessly between air and water makes it ideal for filming aquatic wildlife.

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Watch a UK drone firm perform a world-first microgravity experiment

The new technology will “open the world of microgravity research to a new market.”

BHAero, a UK-based drone company, has announced plans to launch a new service that offers short periods of microgravity for scientific research and experimentation. The company’s founder, Dr. Bhupendra Khandelwal, envisions the service as a game-changer for the field of microgravity research.

In an interview with Interesting Engineering, Dr. Khandelwal explained, “We believe that providing a microgravity service using drones will help revolutionize the field of microgravity research. Currently, microgravity research is only accessible to a select few organizations due to the high cost associated with conducting experiments in space. Our service will make microgravity research more affordable and accessible to a wider range of organizations.”

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MightyFly unveils its Cento second-generation cargo drone

By Bruce Crumley

San Francisco Bay Area cargo UAV developer MightyFly has unveiled the second generation of its hybrid-powered vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) drone, Cento, which it plans to produce and operate for end-to-end freight services on flights of up to 600 miles.

Formerly known as the potentially wise-crack generating MF-100, the new Cento version of MightyFly’s cargo drone has already begun testing following the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issuing the craft a Special Airworthiness Certificate and a Certificate of Authorization (COA) for long-range operation. The company says the approval to begin demonstrations of autonomous VTOL flights of up to 600 miles with 100 pounds of freight aboard is “unprecedented in the industry.”

Founded in 2019, MightyFly is wasting no time in getting its innovative approach to air freight transport aloft.

Mightyfly says presentation of its Centro cargo drone comes less than two years since the company raised $5.1M seed funding for the second-generation VTOL, and just nine months after its initial concept stage. The 13.1 x 16.7-foot autonomous UAV is made up of a high wing carbon fiber airframe, eight electric vertical lift fans, one forward propulsion propeller, and a 6 x 1 x 1- foot internal payload bay that can hold 96 small USPS packages.

The cargo drone’s hybrid powertrain shifts between an internal combustion engine that recharges depleted batteries that will otherwise be used for flight, enabling Centro to make multiple deliveries along a route, or single long-haul run, that MightyFly will operate from start to finish as a seamless service to customers.

The relatively compact size of the craft requires limited landing and takeoff space, while an automated conveyor belt handling loading and offloading of packages obviates the need for human intervention.

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The challenge to imitate nature’s gravity-defying designs has confounded some of the most brilliant engineering minds for at least the last 1,200 years. Specifically, designing a functional ornithopter–the technical term for an aircraft that flies by flapping its wings–has proven to be an exceptionally difficult task. 

Now, thanks to a recent breakthrough, the development of the world’s first true ornithopter and dexterous-winged unmanned aircraft, capable of flying and perching just like a bird, appears to be on the horizon. 

Researchers working with the European Union-funded GRIFFIN project recently demonstrated the ability of an ornithopter to fly, land, and perch on a tree branch using a talon-like claw system. All autonomously, without any additional in-flight input from a remote user. The achievement marks the first time a large-scale autonomous ornithopter has been able to perform this incredibly complicated maneuver. 

According to the GRIFFIN project, this recent breakthrough will pave the way for flapping-wing robots to perform a number of real-world applications, including long-range observation and logistics missions. 

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