Weekly news digest for December 14, 2014

Will 2015 be the year that drones become art?

Published December 19, 2014

In an interesting article by the Guardian, the creative side of the drone community is highlighted for their recent artistic contributions. The accessibility of drones has dramatically expanded in recent years and many performance artists have gotten a hold on them. Drones can be a useful tool for these works because of their first person view of areas that are not accessible to humans and their great maneuverability. Drones can not only capture footage for a performance, but can also be used to move lights, puppets and other props.

New Software Allows Fleets of Drones to be Controlled by the Cloud.

Published December 15, 2014

One of the newest innovations in drone software is the PixiePath, a cloud based system that allows multiples drones to be controlled at one time. This could be used for a number of different fields that currently benefit from drone technology. Scientists could efficiently survey wildlife from many locations at once or Realtors could photograph all of the many houses that they are interested in documenting at once. Another feature of this software is the real time data transmission that is available through its connection to the cloud. Footage, location, and other forms of data could be uploaded to a service like DropBox while the drone is still in the air.

The Future of HealthTech — Ambulance Drones

Published December 14, 2014

In this past October, the Netherlands’ Delft University of Technology announced the development of an “ambulance drone” that would use a mobile phone’s GPS to arrive at the scene of a medical emergency long before human responders could. This innovation highlights many more potential uses for drones in the health field, but it will take some time before significant limitations like still developing drone navigation, legal regulation, and pilot training can be overcome.

Aerial Drones Cause Dramatic Fall in Rhino Poaching

Published December 18, 2014

Rhinos have been one of the biggest sufferers at the hands of poachers, but drones have recently been shown to significantly drive down these poaching efforts. The Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park in KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa deployed drones to capture real-time footage of poachers with infra-red and thermal imaging over the course of a year. Conversationalists can then respond quickly to capture and prevent poachers in a very quick manner. The park has claimed a 92% drop in poaching during the year and even had months where not a single rhino was killed. For comparison, many of the most plagued reserves report 50 rhinos poached per month.