Drone News – Wed June 17, 2020

Here are today's most important drone articles. We publish this post every weekday at 5:30 p.m. Some of these stories are from DroneXL.co and some of them will be from other sources. If you'd like to receive this in an email going forward, be sure to subscribe using the form below.

Drone news from DroneXL.co

DJI Mavic Air 2 firmware update released – V01.00.0250 firmware update released. This latest version was released by the Chinese drone maker yesterday. It is version V01.00.0250 for DJI latest drone model and it brings some important improvements.

Air Force's AI-Powered Skyborg drones could fly as early as 2023 – An article in Popular Mechanics reports that the U.S. Air Force is finally pushing into the worlds of robot combat drones. The first AI-powered Skyborg drones could be ready to fly as soon as 2023.

Washington State University uses drones to deter birds in trials State University has used drones to deter birds in trials. Hovering unmanned aerial systems or drones over fruit blocks such as this vineyard in 2018 near Prosser reduced visits from birds by a factor three to five.

Drone solution makes aircraft hangar a smart facility – A new drone solution from ST Engineering helps make an aircraft hangar a smart facility. The Civil Aviation Authority of (CAAS) has authorized ST Engineering to use their in-house developed drone solution DroScan to perform General Visual Inspection (GVI) during aircraft maintenance.

DroneBase raises $7.5M Series C and expands to Europe – Today, we're excited to announce that has raised $7.5 million in Series C funding to expand our services to the renewable energy market with DroneBase Insights for Wind and Solar, and to found DroneBase Europe in Germany. New investors Valor Equity Partners and Razi Ventures joined Union Square Ventures (USV), Upfront Ventures, Hearst Ventures, Pritzker Group Venture Capital, and DJI in the round, bringing total funding to $32 million.

Drone video shows Great White Sharks feeding off Padaro Lane – This drone video shows Great White Sharks feeding off Padaro Lane near swimmers and surfers. The video was shot this past Sunday around 3 PM and shows at least four Great White Sharks feasting on a dolphin off Padaro Lane.

Terra Drone solidifies South East Asia presence with new base in Malaysia – Terra Drone aspires to collaborate with local players to provide services in O&G, Telco, Power and Construction, Agriculture and Government Agencies. Terra Drone Corporation (TDJP), a Tokyo-based technology company and one of the global leaders in the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) total solutions provider and enabler, is now officially in Malaysia.

Sterile mosquitoes deployed by drone to stop spread of insect-borne illnesses – Sterile male mosquitos will be deployed by drone to help stop the spread of insect-born illnesses such as malaria. As the male mosquitos will not produce any offspring, this proof of concept experiment if successful could save thousands of lives around the world. #dronesforgood

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Other drone news

Shhhh, the whales are resting – We need new guidelines to shield whales from human-made noise to ensure them some peace and quiet. It is no good keeping whale-watching boats out of whales' sight if the noise from the boats' engines disturb the whales most. And whales can hear the boats' engines from far away, according to a Danish-Australian research team.

Drone Delivery Canada stock could fly, Echelon says – With its first commercial revenues now in the bag, the sky's the limit for Drone Delivery (Drone Delivery Canada Stock Quote, Chart, News TSXV:FLT), says Echelon Wealth Partners analyst Rob Goff, who launched coverage of the stock on Monday with a “Speculative Buy” rating and $1.80 target price. Founded in 2011, Toronto-based company Drone Delivery Canada has a proprietary logistics software platform and provides depot-to-depot and depot-to-consumer drone delivery services. The company initially saw its stock soar at its debut in late 2017 but it has been for the most part been on the decline since.

Ladakh face-off: China used drones to track down Indian soldiers in Galwan Valley – Sources tell Today TV that the Chinese used drones to track down Indian soldiers in eastern Ladakh's Galwan Valley. A violent face-off between Indian troops and soldiers of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) took place in the Galwan Valley on the night of June 15. Going by the most recent input, India lost 20 soldiers in the line of duty and the Chinese are expected to have incurred more than 40 casualties. It has also been clarified by the Indian Army in multiple statements that not even a single bullet was fired during the face-off that occurred during the de-escalation process.

IAI produces SkysPrinter, the first fully 3D printed drone for Israel's Defense – The joint program by the MoD's Flight Technologies Department, part of the Directorate for Defense Research and Development, and IAI has seen the production of the SkysPrinter UAV and a successful test flight – Defense intelligence website Janes exclusively reported. SkySprinterThe electrically powered UAV was made from 26 parts 3D printed using metal, nylon, carbon, and other complex materials. These were assembled together with glue and fasteners without the need for specialized tools. SkysPrinter's body is 1.65 m-long, has a wingspan of 1.5 m, and take-off weight of 7 kg, according to the MoD.

US to ‘Reinterpret' Arms Pact To Sell More Drones – The plans to reinterpret a decades-old arms control agreement so that US weapons companies can sell more unmanned aerial drones to nations including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, whose air strikes in Yemen have killed thousands of civilians. An unnamed US government official and several arms industry executives told Reuters that the Trump administration wants to sidestep the Cold War-era Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), a multilateral export control between 35 nations that seeks to limit the proliferation of missiles and missile technology. One of the pact's goals is preventing the export of rockets or cruise missiles that can carry nuclear warheads or other weapons of mass destruction.

Pizza drone delivery: Yungaburra chef wants to fly in food – DRONE pizza delivery could soon become a reality for one Far North Queensland town, with a veteran chef poring over documents to ascertain the legality of the practice. Yungaburra chef Nick Crameri has been the proprietor of the aptly named Nick's Restaurant at the Tablelands town 68km southwest of Cairns for more than 30 years.

NAFC REQUESTS INPUT ON DRONE USE FOR AERIAL FIREFIGHTING IN AUSTRALIA – Australia's National Aerial Firefighting Center (NAFC) released a survey today t0 investigate use of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) in Fire and Emergency Management and the possibilities of expansion. This survey released by NAFC is seeking further understanding of the current extent of RPAS use, how they are utilized, the types of systems being used, opportunities, and constraints to developing their use by agencies.

Drone blows clouds of pollen laden bubbles that could help farmers out – Soap bubbles are a cheap and effective way to pollinate flowers and could help farms continue to supply food as insect numbers decline. In recent years, scientists have recorded a worrying drop in populations of bees and other pollinating insects. This has serious implications for the agricultural sector, as without bees flowering crops aren't pollinated and fruits don't develop. As a result, many researchers have tried to develop new ways to pollinate plants.

New EU regulation on drone operations set to take off in December 2020 – The EU unmanned aircraft system (UAS) industry will face a new challenge as of 31 December 2020 when most of the EU Implementing Regulation 2019/947 of 24 May 2019 on the rules and procedures for the operation of unmanned aircraft (UAS Regulation) will enter into force. The new UAS Regulation will replace most of the existing domestic provisions on UAS operations in EU member states. Although its effective date was originally scheduled for 1 July 2020, the European Commission has postponed the regulation's application until the end of 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak from which no one has emerged completely unscathed. Nevertheless, public authorities, UAS operators and pilots will have six months of extra time to adapt before the regulation enters into force at the end 2020. The first consequence of this milestone will be the homogenisation of UAS-related legislation across all EU member states, thus reducing the variety of operational requirements, obligations and restrictions between and harmonising the different legal frameworks both for leisure and commercial drone (ie, remotely piloted aircraft system and completely autonomous UAS) flights.

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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of DroneXL.co, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and EVXL.co, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ dronexl.co or @hayekesteloo.

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