The forecast for passenger drones is sky high

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EHANG 184 AAV Manned Flight Test by EHANG CEO Mr. Hu Huazhi

A new forecast for passenger drones and the eVTOL aircraft market predicts dramatic growth over the next 10 years.

According to the new market research report from MarketsandMarkets on the “eVTOL Aircraft Market … Global Forecast to 2030”, the eVTOL aircraft market is projected to grow from USD 162 million in 2025 to USD 411 million by 2030, at a CAGR of 20.42% from 2025 to 2030.

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New drone technology promises a 5-minute recharge

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 A FlashBattery-packin’ drone lifts off from the StoreDot charging stationStoreDot

 Most multicopter drones can only fly for about 30 minutes, after which their battery has to be recharged for one to two hours – this limits their practical use. According to Israeli company StoreDot, though, its FlashBattery tech delivers a full charge in just five minutes.

We last heard from StoreDot three years ago. At that time, the startup reportedly used a higher-capacity version of the FlashBattery system to recharge an electric car’s battery pack in five minutes.

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How to hide from a drone – the subtle art of ‘ghosting’ in the age of surveillance

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The federal government has used military-grade border patrol drones like this one to monitor protests in US cities.

Drones of all sizes are being used by environmental advocates to monitor deforestation, by conservationists to track poachers, and by journalists and activists to document large protests.

As a political sociologist who studies social movements and drones, I document a wide range of nonviolent and pro-social drone uses in my new book, “The Good Drone.” I show that these efforts have the potential to democratize surveillance.   But when the Department of Homeland Security redirects large, fixed-wing drones from the U.S.-Mexico border to monitor protests, and when towns experiment with using drones to test people for fevers, it’s time to think about how many eyes are in the sky and how to avoid unwanted aerial surveillance.

One way that’s within reach of nearly everyone is learning how to simply disappear from view.   Crowded skies   Over the past decade there’s been an explosion in the public’s use of drones – everyday people with everyday tech doing interesting things. As drones enter already-crowded airspace, the Federal Aviation Administration is struggling to respond.

The near future is likely to see even more of these devices in the sky, flown by an ever-growing cast of social, political and economic actors.

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The F-16’s replacement won’t have a pilot at all

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Somehow, Skyborg will be an operational weapon system in just three years.

The U.S. Air Force is planning to field an operational combat drone by 2023.

The service says Skyborg will replace older weapon-slinging drones and even early models of the F-16.

Skyborg will be reusable but could be sacrificed in combat if necessary.

The U.S. Air Force plans to have an operational combat drone by 2023. The service plans to build out a family of unmanned aircraft, known as Skyborg, capable of carrying weapons and actively participating in combat. The Air Force’s goal is to build up a large fleet of armed, sort-of disposable jets that don’t need conventional runways to take off and land.

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The first long-distance drone deliveries in the U.S. are bringing PPE to healthcare workers

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If a hospital in Huntersville, North Carolina, needs to quickly replenish its supply of surgical masks and gowns as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, it will now be able to summon a drone to make a delivery. Novant Health, the nonprofit that runs the hospital and hundreds of other facilities in the Southeast, just became the first hospital system to be granted a drone operator permit from the FAA. The system will begin the first long-range, ongoing drone deliveries in the U.S., using technology from Zipline, a startup that first launched its services in Africa.

“We believe this will allow us to, in a very precise, on-demand way, get supplies to where they need to be exactly when they need to be there,” says Angela Yochem, executive vice president and chief digital and technology officer at Novant Health. The organization already has a well-tuned distribution system, and has calculated that if coronavirus cases surge in the region, it has enough personal protective equipment to cover the need. But it also wanted to do everything possible to prepare for the crisis—and will eventually use the same system to make more routine deliveries.

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These drones will plant 40,000 trees in a month. By 2028, they’ll have planted 1 billion

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One of Flash Forest’s prototype drones.

We need to massively reforest the planet, in a very short period of time. Flash Forest’s drones can plant trees a lot faster than humans.

This week, on land north of Toronto that previously burned in a wildfire, drones are hovering over fields and firing seed pods into the ground, planting native pine and spruce trees to help restore habitat for birds. Flash Forest, the Canadian startup behind the project, plans to use its technology to plant 40,000 trees in the area this month. By the end of the year, as it expands to other regions, it will plant hundreds of thousands of trees. By 2028, the startup aims to have planted a full 1 billion trees.

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10 technology trends to watch in the COVID-19 pandemic

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The coronavirus demonstrates the importance of and the challenges associated with tech like digital payments, telehealth and robotics.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated 10 key technology trends, including digital payments, telehealth and robotics.

These technologies can help reduce the spread of the coronavirus while helping businesses stay open.

Technology can help make society more resilient in the face of pandemic and other threats.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, technologies are playing a crucial role in keeping our society functional in a time of lockdowns and quarantines. And these technologies may have a long-lasting impact beyond COVID-19.

Here are 10 technology trends that can help build a resilient society, as well as considerations about their effects on how we do business, how we trade, how we work, how we produce goods, how we learn, how we seek medical services and how we entertain ourselves.

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Virginia town where drone deliveries are daily

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Paul Sensmeier awaits his drone delivery

Futurist Thomas Frey has predicted that drones will become the most disruptive technology in human history. In a quiet residential neighborhood in Christiansburg, Virginia., one happens to be disrupting the work of two landscapers.

The workers silence their weed eaters, looking to the sky in wonder as the whining drone slows, descends, steadies, then hovers about 23 feet above the front yard of Paul and Susie Sensmeier, two retirees in their eighties.

The drone carries a three-pound plastic package, attached by a cord and a hook. It lowers the package until it softly touches down on the turf. The hook detaches, the line is reeled back in, and the craft zooms off into the horizon at 70 mph.

“There’s been no complaints that I know of from the neighborhood, and there’s quite a few customers that live here,” says Paul, a retired engineer who knows a thing or two about innovations in technology. His son works as an aerospace engineer, and his son-in-law is a researcher at the nearby Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. “It is the wave of the future, and it’s exciting to be a part of the developmental process.”

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World’s first internationally piloted drone delivery

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At present, 170 countries are affected by the pandemic, COVID-19. The rate of infection continues to rise fivefold on a daily basis across the world, and the data continues to highlight the transnational force of contagion. To date, there is no unifying or effective method to treat the disease or its spread, which would need the capacity to reach and save an estimated 5.3 billion people who are expected to contract the illness in the coming months.

The COVID- 19 pandemic we face currently is an important reminder of the power of infectious diseases.

But, in the midst of all this doom and gloom, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted some important lessons for the global health sector. It offers a critical insight into how innovation and advanced technology may better equip and support us as we tackle this global pandemic and handle public health emergencies to contain, mitigate and eradicate the spread of infectious diseases globally.

Yesterday, Swoop Aero took a leading role in global health transformation. We became the first drone logistics company globally to operate a fleet of aircraft from outside the country of operation. We have deployed this capability in order to support the Malawian national government’s health system as they commence their response to the pandemic. With the backing of the College of Medicine and the Malawian Department of Civil Aviation, our ground operations teams, staffed by local Malawians that have been trained over the last few months, made this possible. There were no members of the Australian flight operations team present, as they have all returned to Australia to comply with the government’s strict travel restrictions. The goal of this remotely piloted operation is to support the government’s COVID-19 response following reports of an acceleration of reported cases across the country. It means that our local Malawian ground operations teams are not losing their jobs at a difficult time for the economy. In addition, at a time when normality has been suspended for most, this means that we can continue routine flight operations in our network, delivering essential healthcare supplies for pre-existing communicable diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB.

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Helicopter drone is made to drop bombs on forest fires

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The QilingUAV JC260, loaded up and ready to go

 One of the good things about drones is the fact that they can safely be flown in conditions that would prove hazardous for crewed aircraft. That’s where the JC260 unmanned helicopter comes in, as it’s designed to fight forest fires.

Created by Chinese manufacturer QilingUAV, the JC260 can be equipped with two of the company’s retardant-filled “fire extinguishing bombs.” Dropped separately or in unison, each of the bombs can reportedly cover a flaming forest area of 50 cubic meters (1,766 cu ft).

Lift is provided by two sets of counter-rotating rotor blades, measuring 3.6 m (11.8 ft) in diameter. These are powered by two 34-hp water-cooled gasoline engines, taking the aircraft to a claimed cruising speed of 100 km/h (62 mph). One tank of gas should be good for a flight time of three to four hours.

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Man “walks” dog with a drone while in quarantine

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This is some next level problem solving

As preventative measures against COVID-19 are increasing around the world, more and more folks are staying inside. This is especially fantastic news for pets. They have no idea what’s going on, but suddenly their humans are home all the friggin’ time. Literally pet heaven.

However, stricter lockdown rules mean those pets are in danger of becoming just as bored and stir crazy as their owners. Just because pets can’t contract or infect humans with coronavirus, (the strains that affect humans and animals are completely different) pet owners are still under strict social distancing orders and cannot all congregate in the same place. So no more human-run dog daycares, no more pet playdates, no more busy park visits.

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Drone swarms use nets to catch other drones in flight

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Sandia National Laboratories researchers leading the MARCUS project are working to develop a system that addresses current and future national security threats posed by small unmanned aircraft systems

Robotics engineers from Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) are developing drones that can capture hostile drones in flight. Funded by the NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme, the Mobile Adaptive/Reactive Counter Unmanned System (MARCUS) project uses swarms of four unmanned quad-copters working in concert to intercept a drone and catch it in a net.

As drones become more numerous and more sophisticated, they also pose a growing threat. Unmanned aerial systems (UAS) are now a major component of the world’s major militaries but drones are also showing up in terrorist attacks, invasions of privacy, or acts of mischief at airports that could down an aircraft.

There have been a number of anti-drone systems developed over the years, including jammers, lasers, and even eagles trained to bring them down, but MARCUS aims to not only counter the threat of small UAVs but also to capture them for disposal or information gathering. According to SNL, this isn’t the first system to use nets but it is the first to combine nets with teams of drones controlled by a ground-based computer to coordinate the swarm’s course to ensure interception.

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