Drone sales increased by an estimated 60 percent last year to over 2.2 million units sold, according to research firm Gartner. Mass amounts of drones are swarming the skies and sparking innovation in fields like cinema, wildlife preservation, and security. Thanks to counter-drone technology, multiple drones can fly safely throughout the airspace with controls in place to ensure that it doesn’t enter restricted areas or fly too close to other vehicles in the air.
Oceans Unmanned, a marine conservation organization, uses drones to save endangered whales that are tangled in fishing lines. Every fall, groups of humpback whales head towards the warmer water of Hawaii, often finding danger in their path like plastic trash and fishing lines. Whales tangled in the garbage can get stuck under the surface of the water, preventing them from coming up for air. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is implementing drone technology that will greatly reduce the risk for both humans and wildlife who find themselves trapped by human debris.
“In the past, we had to get close to the whales at least three times,” said Matt Pickett, former manned aircraft pilot and NOAA sanctuary manager. “Once to figure out where the animal was entangled, once to cut them free, and once to make sure the job was done right and nothing was left behind.”
Read more on DroneLife.
Drones are becoming incorporated into art, cinema, and photography, offering a view people can only imagine seeing first-person. Drones adorned with GoPro cameras are allowing creators to capture images and footage they have never been able to before. Almost anyone can fly a drone, making it a budget-friendly option for many filmmakers striving to capture the perfect shot.
“If you think about traditional art and Renaissance perspective, the ideal viewer was on the ground with a stable horizon line,” says Matthew Biro, a professor of modern and contemporary art at the University of Michigan. “And the drone takes us off that. It takes us out of our body in a certain way, kind of giving us an overlaid perspective.”
Read more on TIME.
TIME Magazine recently released their drone issue partnering with Intel’s drone division to create a unique cover featuring 958 drones. The drones were synchronized and color-coded to spell TIME in the California sky. This is the first time in the magazine’s 95-year history that a cover shot was taken via drone.
Although the fleet encountered some heavy winds and in-flight collisions, the aerial display met the physical design requirements of the magazine and made history.
Read more on The Drive.
With millions of drones in the airspace doing everything from wildlife rescue to photography, air traffic safety is a growing concern. The number of small-hobbyist UAS are expected to exceed 2.4 million by 2022 in the United States alone. Department 13 has developed a patented technology that can help keep the airspace safe by manipulating radio waves to identify and control airborne drones.
“The impact of drones is significant. Even the estimation that there are more than 1 million drones in the U.S. skies only takes into consideration the systems we know are in the air,” said Jonathan Hunter, Chairman and CEO of D13.
Read more here.
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