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Submission + - FAA to relax Commercial drone flight rules (

garymortimer writes: The FAA are expected to usher in the new drone era at 1300 EST on Tuesday 21st June 2016. They will announce Part 107, new regulations that will make it possible to fly drones for money without requiring a real pilots licence.

Remote PICs are required to:
  Be at least 16 years old Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language (FAA may make exceptions for medical reasons) Be in a physical and mental condition that would not interfere with the safe operation of suAS Pass an initial aeronautical knowledge test at an FAA-approved knowledge testing center (or pass this online course, for part 61 certificate holders) Obtain an unmanned aircraft operator certificate with a small UAS rating (like existing pilot airman certificates, never expires) Pass a recurrent aeronautical knowledge test every 24 months

Submission + - Commercial drones less than 2kg may be set free ( DJI Phantom, SenseFly eBee) (

garymortimer writes: The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is establishing an aviation rulemaking committee with industry stakeholders to develop recommendations for a regulatory framework that would allow certain UAS to be operated over people who are not directly involved in the operation of the aircraft. The FAA is taking this action to provide a more flexible, performance-based approach for these operations than what was considered for Micro UAS. The committee will begin its work in March and issue its final report to the FAA on April 1.

Submission + - Navy Launches UAV from Submerged Submarine (

garymortimer writes: “Developing disruptive technologies and quickly getting them into the hands of our sailors is what our SwampWorks program is all about,” said Craig A. Hughes, Acting Director of Innovation at ONR. “This demonstration really underpins ONR’s dedication and ability to address emerging fleet priorities.” The successful submerged launch of a remotely deployed UAS offers a pathway to providing mission critical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities to the U.S. Navy’s submarine force. Operating under support of the Los Angeles class USS Providence (SSN 719) and the Naval Undersea Warfare Center-Newport Division (NUWC-NPT), the NRL developed XFC UAS—eXperimental Fuel Cell Unmanned Aerial System—was fired from the submarine’s torpedo tube using a ‘Sea Robin’ launch vehicle system.

Submission + - High school student launches a trash bag aircraft. (

An anonymous reader writes: A high school student at Advanced Technologies Academy in Las Vegas, Nevada managed to launch an aircraft using trash bags. The trash bag aircraft traveled for hundreds of miles and rose to thousands of feet while capturing thousands of images of the Earth. In addition, the trash bag consisted of household equipment and only cost $50.

Submission + - Base Jumping Robot parachutes back from buildings. (

garymortimer writes: Johnny Five is alive!

We thought we had seen it all but students from ETH Zurich have teamed up with Disney Research to create the first climbing and flying robot system.

This is yet another perch and stare method

The robot uses a an impeller to create a vortex that lets it stick to the wall as it climbs.

“It’s like a mini tornado within the robot,” says ETH student Lukas Geissmann, who presented Paraswift yesterday at the Conference on Climbing and Walking Robots and the Support Technologies for Mobile Machines in Paris, France, in collaboration with Paul Beardsley of Disney Research. The centre of this vortex is low pressure, just like the centre of a tornado, and the pressure gradient glues the robot to the wall.

A parachute then brings the robot safely back to earth!


Submission + - Retailers Dread Phone-Wielding Shoppers (

Ponca City writes: "The WSJ reports that until recently, retailers could reasonably assume that if they just lured shoppers to stores with enticing specials, the customers could be coaxed into buying more profitable stuff too, but now marketers must contend with shoppers who can use their smartphones inside stores to check whether the specials are really so special. "The retailer's advantage has been eroded," says Greg Girard adding that that roughly 45% of customers with smartphones had used them to perform due diligence on a store's prices. "The four walls of the store have become porous." Although store executives publicly welcome a price-transparent world, retail experts don't expect all chains to measure up to the harsh judgment of mobile price comparisons and some will need to find new ways to survive. "Only a couple of retailers can play the lowest-price game," says Noam Paransky. "This is going to accelerate the demise of retailers who do not have either competitive pricing" or a standout store experience."
PlayStation (Games)

Submission + - Singapores drone for Xbox Generation soldiers ( 2

garymortimer writes: For instance, unlike that of many standard UAVs, Skyblade III's ground-control system may be familiar to many video gamers as it uses gamepad-like controllers.

SLTC Ong said the design takes into account the new generation of soldiers who grew up with such technologies.

Indeed, 3SIR Third Sergeant Quek Jian Liang finds the craft a breeze to operate.

oeFor people of my generation, (controlling the mini-UAV) is like playing games on the Xbox or PlayStation Portable. Its pretty easy the 20-year-old said


Submission + - Secret space plane missing again (

garymortimer writes: The X37B has disappeared from amateur trackers radar for the second time.

There has been much speculation whether the craft is a military attempt to weaponize space. However, according to former Air Force officer Brian Wheeden, who is currently a Technical Adviser to the Secure World Foundation, the likelihood that the space plane could be used as a weapon is equal to zero. Instead, the X-37B has excellent capability as an orbital spy platform, Brian Wheeden points out.


Robot Drawn Caricatures Screenshot-sm 29

ptresset writes "From Singularity Hub: 'Artists and programmers in the UK have decided to improve upon the male and female symbols outside many toilet facilities. They’ve developed a set of robotic arms that take pictures of people entering into a bathroom and then use that image to create a unique drawing to place outside the door. It then wipes away this art to make room for the next person’s caricature.'"

Submission + - Did Google Go Instant Just to Show More Ads? ( 1

eldavojohn writes: Google, already the largest search engine in the United States, went instant a few weeks ago. It's a new feature that none of the competitors have and uses an extra five to fifty kilobytes per search. MIT's tech review asks why Google went instant and is skeptical that users actually look at search results before they finish typing their query. Othar Hansson, Google's lead on the initiative, informs them otherwise and claims that Google's traffic monitors didn't even blink at the extra data being sent across — primarily because of its insignificance next to streaming one video on YouTube. Hansson also reveals that Google's search engine is no longer stateless and therefore takes up a little more memory in their server hives. The Tech Review claims that 'sources at the company say Google Instant's impact on ad sales was a primary focus in testing the service. Google only gets paid for an advertisement, or sponsored link, when a user clicks on the ad, and ads are targeted to specific searches. By displaying a search's ads onscreen a couple of seconds sooner, the frequency of users clicking on those ads could only go up.' So money seemed to be the prime motivator and the article also coyly notes that the average length of time a user spends between typing in any two characters is 300 milliseconds — much too fast for old JavaScript engines. So of course you might recall Google's efforts to change all that with JavaScript speed wars. Do you find Google instant to be useful in anyway or does it strike you as just more ad gravity for your mouse?

Submission + - Drone phone home, UAV controlled over 3G (

garymortimer writes: An avionics research team from QUT’s Australian Research Centre for Aerospace Automation (ARCAA) has used Telstra’s Next GTM mobile network to command an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS).

The flight test is believed to be one of the first in the world to demonstrate the feasibility of using a secure commercial mobile communications network for the command and control of a pilotless aircraft.


Submission + - Flying robots to help with oil spill clean up (

garymortimer writes: Aeryon Labs – manufacturer of the Aeryon Scout, a small man-packable flying robotic reconnaissance system announced it has delivered multiple Aeryon Scout UAVs to British Petroleum to aid in BP’s oil spill clean-up efforts.

The Aeryon Scout is a small, lightweight mini-helicopter that is remote-controlled from the ground using a patent-pending map-based touch-screen computer interface. It is able to provide a real-time bird’s-eye view of how oil is moving across the ocean surface. These geo-referenced images can be streamed directly to ground and ocean based clean-up crews, enabling the crews to instantly and accurately direct their resources accordingly.


Submission + - Swiss Region Solothurn stops Migration to Linux

An anonymous reader writes: The swiss canton Solothurn has put a stop to their ongoing migration to Linux. The project started in 2001, and has been under harsh public criticism evver since. The responsible CIO resigned this summer. Solothurn plans to convert all desktop Computers to Windows 7 in 2011. (Artikel in German).

Submission + - GRASP II, Rise of the multirotor (

MikeMcSmith writes: The GRASP Lab at University of Pennsylvania highlighted again this week the ever closing gap between science fiction and technical reality in yet another alarmingly impressive demonstration of Autonomous Quadrotor Flight in a restrictive environment.

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