Technology Here's John Deere's Cropdusting Drone

22:40  07 november  2019
22:40  07 november  2019 Source:   popularmechanics.com

Lebanon's Hezbollah downs Israeli drone - Al-Manar TV

Lebanon's Hezbollah downs Israeli drone - Al-Manar TV Lebanon's Hezbollah downs Israeli drone - Al-Manar TV The Israeli drone is now in the hands of Hezbollah's fighters, the Iran-backed group said in a statement. Hezbollah and the Israeli army exchanged cross-border fire a week ago after a drone attack in a Hezbollah-controlled Beirut suburb in the fiercest shelling exchange between the two adversaries since the 2006 Lebanon war. Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah had blamed Israel for the drone attack and vowed the group would target Israeli drones that enter Lebanon’s airspace.

a close up of a green field: John Deere and Volocopter's 18-rotor VoloDrone could save farmers money by reducing waste and overhead. Here's how the cool craft would work.© Volocopter/John Deere John Deere and Volocopter's 18-rotor VoloDrone could save farmers money by reducing waste and overhead. Here's how the cool craft would work.
  • The 18-rotor VoloDrone could save farmers money by reducing waste and overhead.
  • Farmers have long embraced innovation, including other autonomous helpers.
  • Volocopter’s drone has potential applications in many other industries.

Volocopter, the multicopter startup, has partnered with John Deere to announce a planned cropdusting craft, Tech Crunchreports. Volocopter’s base VoloDrone will be fitted with an agricultural trim package to allow more controlled spread of farming chemicals with potential for less waste and maybe even less cost overall.

Walgreens, Google affiliate to test drone deliveries

  Walgreens, Google affiliate to test drone deliveries Walgreens and a Google affiliate are testing drone deliveries that can put drugstore products on customer doorsteps minutes after being ordered. Snacks like Goldfish Crackers or gummi bears as well as aspirin for sick kids will be delivered starting next month in Christiansburg, Virginia, by a 10-pound drone flying as fast as 70 miles per hour, the companies said Thursday. Customers will be able to order from a list of more than 100 items that includes consumer goods and cough and cold remedies but not prescriptions.The drone will be run by Wing Aviation LLC, a subsidiary of Google parent Alphabet Inc.

A traditional helicopter has one or sometimes two rotors, and each rotor has a curved cross-section like that of an airplane wing. These rotors can tilt like a plane’s wing flaps. On the typical consumer-use drone, there are four rotors that are mounted at a fixed, static angle⁠—one at each corner, which mimics the full range of motion and attack angle of a traditional helicopter. (Helicopters with two rotors are usually using the second rotor to generate more lift overall in order to carry heavier payloads.)

But Volocopter’s VoloDrone design has a whopping 18 rotors, capping off a Dungeons & Dragons’ dice bag of hexacopters (six rotors), octocopters (eight rotors), and more. Volocopter says the small, electric, remote-controlled craft can carry over 400 pounds for about 30 minutes. Each can be programmed to follow a set path, which saves time and money over manual control for farmers who run the same routes as part of a routine. Even manual remote control is a far cry from the industry standard of hiring piloted helicopters or kitted-out small agricultural planes.

Uber Eats' delivery drone is a VTOL speedster

  Uber Eats' delivery drone is a VTOL speedster An unmanned aerial system capable of vertical take-off and landing might transport your Uber Eats orders in the future. The ride-hailing company, which has been expanding its repertoire recently, has unveiled a new design for its food delivery drone at the Forbes 30 under 30 Summit. Uber's drone design has rotating wings with six rotors "for increased speed and efficiency" and can carry meals for up to two people. Its battery can only last for around eight minutes, including loading and unloading, and it only has a range of 12 miles for a roundtrip delivery -- but that's OK, because Uber expects to use it for just a part of the process.

Volocopter claims its air taxis and other models have received the first permit for multicopter flight, but multicopters, even if novel, have actually existed in some form for decades. George de Bothezat fled Russia in the 1910s and was hired by the U.S. military to develop a four-rotor helicopter aptly called the De Bothezat Helicopter. Other experimental crafts had varying amounts of success over time. Certainly nothing mainstream has approached the 18-rotor system of the manned Volocopter and the unmanned VoloDrone.

Drone startups and agriculture may not seem like the most natural pairing, but small farms especially are working on razor-thin profit margins that larger farms aren’t subject to. Especially when much of modern farming involves proprietary crops and fertilizers, the cost of overapplying nutrients and chemicals can be great.

On top of that, careful, specific application is one of the fundamental ways farmers can reduce agricultural runoff from crops. Wasting less of these costly products benefits farmers and their communities alike. If the VoloDrone partnership proves successful, it isn’t hard to imagine a tax break for use of a greener technology, like the ones given to consumers and businesses that use greener building technology and keep their appliances up to date.

UK introduces mandatory drone registration and pilot test

  UK introduces mandatory drone registration and pilot test There have been calls for more regulation of drone flights in the UK, especially since drones caused chaos last Christmas at the country's second-busiest airport. Now, the UK's Civil Aviation Authority is requiring operators to register their drones. The registration system is a way to connect drones to their owners, both to return drones which get lost and to ensure that operators are flying their drones responsibly. The registration is cheap, at just £9 ($12), but operators will need to take an online education course and test as part of the process.

Agriculture isn’t the only potential market for a more efficient form of distribution from the air. Airplanes that drop a payload of water or fire retardant are one of the major and most costly ways to attempt to fight wildfires. Chemicals in dry powder or foam form may be compatible with the relatively small payload (440 pounds is about 50 gallons of water) of a VoloDrone-style electric craft. The electric Volocopter original model is approved for carrying people, and its precise flight and relatively small form factor may suit it for dropping firefighters directly where they need to go.

The John Deere Company, nearly 200 years old, started with its own contemporary innovation. John Deere himself developed a new kind of steel plow that revolutionized farming in the unfamiliar soil systems across the Midwest. Farming has always thrived on innovation, and the future may just be in unmanned drone deliveries.

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