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UAV

— Aircraft

AREND Project aims to ward off poachers with unmanned aerial vehicles

By - September 2, 2014 2 Pictures
Like many a technology before it, the aerial drone is finding applications far beyond military circles, from burrito delivery to surveying broken bridges. One emerging area with huge potential is wildlife conservation, with drones delivering the ability to patrol and detect illegal poachers from the air. AREND (Aircraft for Rhino and Environmental Defense) is an international team of students currently developing an unmanned aerial system with the ultimate objective of combating poaching in Africa's national parks. Read More
— Environment

Autonomous mini helicopters hunt down invasive weeds from the air

By - August 26, 2014 10 Pictures
The sheer density of the rainforests in Australia's far-north creates a slight problem for local conservationists. With incursions by invasive plants posing a threat to the native flora, inaccessibility for people makes it a difficult and time-consuming task to monitor the region. Now researchers from the CSIRO have developed two mini helicopters capable of hunting down the dangerous weeds from the air, significantly reducing the resources needed to preserve local plant life. Read More
— Robotics

New control method enables drones to land autonomously on moving vehicles

By - August 20, 2014 1 Picture
While continual improvements are allowing larger UAVs to stay in the air for longer, the lifting capacity and endurance of smaller UAVs is largely constrained by the weight and size of their batteries. In a move that could greatly expand the reach and applications of small UAVs, a team of robotics researchers propose pairing a UAV with a ground vehicle that would provide a place of respite. However, such a vision requires autonomous coordinated docking between the two vehicles, which is exactly what the team has achieved. Read More
— Aircraft

Autonomous drones could be used to inspect bridges

By - August 19, 2014 1 Picture
When bridges are inspected for cracks and other defects that could lead to their collapse, engineers must either hang beneath those bridges on lines, or view them from elevated platforms. Whichever approach is used, a lot of setup is involved, and defects may get missed. In the future, however, unmanned aircraft may be able to more quickly and thoroughly check out bridges, working with wireless sensors built into the structures. Read More
— Aircraft

X-47B learns to share the deck with manned aircraft

By - August 18, 2014 3 Pictures
Anyone who’s seen an aircraft carrier in full operation knows that everything needs to be carried out with absolute precision by a small army of sailors as one plane lands and is hurried aside to make room for the next. To show that its X-47B Unmanned Combat Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UCAV) can work in this hectic environment alongside manned ones, the US Navy sent it to carry out landing and deck maneuvers aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) in concert with an F/A-18 fighter. Read More
— Aircraft

VertiKUL drone "delivers" on both hovering and forward flight

By - August 18, 2014 2 Pictures
When something is sent to you by airmail, it travels in a fast and relatively fuel-efficient fixed-wing aircraft, not a fuel-guzzling helicopter. Nonetheless, when we hear about the possibility of drones being used to deliver items within cities, multirotor-style aircraft are almost always what's proposed – while they're good at maneuvering in urban spaces, they're essentially just little unmanned helicopters. With that in mind, a group of three engineering students from Belgium's KU Leuven (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) have created a prototype delivery drone known as VertiKUL, which combines the best features of both types of aircraft. Read More
— Aircraft

Cargo UAS set to deliver

By - July 24, 2014 3 Pictures
With the number of multi-rotor drone concepts competing for a narrow market share, you really need a unique selling point if you want to get your project off the ground. In the case of the developers of the Cargo Unmanned Air System (UAS), their point of difference is to claim a massive 60 kg (132 lb) lift capacity for their proof of concept, with the promise of an eventual production unmanned aerial vehicle that can carry payloads of up to 400 kg (880 lb) with automated "sense and avoid" capability. Read More

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