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Archive for the ‘drones’ category

Jul 4, 2020

This New Drone Training Program Could Re-Tool Your Career

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, drones

The first black US Drone company has created a new drone training program to help people re-tool their careers in a post-Covid-19 world.

Jul 3, 2020

‘Hunter drone’ that flies at night could be used to find gemstone deposits

Posted by in categories: drones, robotics/AI

An autonomous ‘hunter drone’ finds fluorescent targets including minerals and gemstones.

Jun 27, 2020

Skip the traffic with your personal flying drone

Posted by in category: drones

Click on photo to start video.

The Surefly is your personal octocopter that flies like a drone and can even be parked in your garage.

Jun 27, 2020

The technologies the world is using to track coronavirus — and people

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, drones, education, health, robotics/AI, wearables

Now that the world is in the thick of the coronavirus pandemic, governments are quickly deploying their own cocktails of tracking methods. These include device-based contact tracing, wearables, thermal scanning, drones, and facial recognition technology. It’s important to understand how those tools and technologies work and how governments are using them to track not just the spread of the coronavirus, but the movements of their citizens.

Contact tracing is one of the fastest-growing means of viral tracking. Although the term entered the common lexicon with the novel coronavirus, it’s not a new practice. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says contact tracing is “a core disease control measure employed by local and state health department personnel for decades.”

Traditionally, contact tracing involves a trained public health professional interviewing an ill patient about everyone they’ve been in contact with and then contacting those people to provide education and support, all without revealing the identity of the original patient. But in a global pandemic, that careful manual method cannot keep pace, so a more automated system is needed.

Jun 19, 2020

Teaching physics to neural networks removes ‘chaos blindness’

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, drones, robotics/AI

Researchers from North Carolina State University have discovered that teaching physics to neural networks enables those networks to better adapt to chaos within their environment. The work has implications for improved artificial intelligence (AI) applications ranging from medical diagnostics to automated drone piloting.

Neural networks are an advanced type of AI loosely based on the way that our brains work. Our natural neurons exchange electrical impulses according to the strengths of their connections. Artificial neural networks mimic this behavior by adjusting numerical weights and biases during training sessions to minimize the difference between their actual and desired outputs. For example, a can be trained to identify photos of dogs by sifting through a large number of photos, making a guess about whether the photo is of a dog, seeing how far off it is and then adjusting its weights and biases until they are closer to reality.

The drawback to this is something called “ blindness”—an inability to predict or respond to chaos in a system. Conventional AI is chaos blind. But researchers from NC State’s Nonlinear Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (NAIL) have found that incorporating a Hamiltonian function into neural networks better enables them to “see” chaos within a system and adapt accordingly.

Jun 18, 2020

Qualcomm Brings 5G And AI To Next Gen Robotics And Drones

Posted by in categories: drones, internet, robotics/AI, security

Qualcomm today announced its RB5 reference design platform for the robotics and intelligent drone ecosystem. As the field of robotics continues to evolve towards more advanced capabilities, Qualcomm’s latest platform should help drive the next step in robotics evolution with intelligence and connectivity. The company has combined its 5G connectivity and AI-focused processing along with a flexible peripherals architecture based on what they are calling “mezzanine” modules. The new Qualcomm RB5 platform promises an acceleration in the robotics design and development process with a full suite of hardware, software and development tools. The company is making big promises for the RB5 platform, and if current levels of ecosystem engagement are any indicator, the platform will have ample opportunities to prove itself.

Targeting robot and drone designs meant for enterprise, industrial and professional service applications, at the heart of the platform is Qualcomm’s QRB5165 system on chip (SOC) processor. The QRB5165 is derived from the Snapdragon 865 processor used in mobile devices, but customized for robotic applications with increased camera and image signal processor (ISP) capabilities for additional camera sensors, higher industrial grade temperature and security ratings and a non-Package-on-Package (POP) configuration option.

To help bring highly capable artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities to bear in these applications, the chip is rated for 15 Tera Operations Per Second (TOPS) of AI performance. Additionally, as it is critical that robots and drones can “see” their surroundings, the architecture also includes support for up to seven concurrent cameras and a dedicated computer vision engine meant to provide enhanced video analytics. Given the sheer amount of information that the platform can generate, process and analyze, the platform also has support for a communications module boasting 4G and 5G connectivity speeds. In particular, the addition of 5G to the platform will allow high speed and low latency data connectivity to the robots or drones.

Continue reading “Qualcomm Brings 5G And AI To Next Gen Robotics And Drones” »

Jun 16, 2020

“Hovering” boats could solve one of the biggest problems for electric aircraft

Posted by in categories: drones, physics, robotics/AI, solar power, sustainability

This mouth-full of a boat uses simple physics to create a cushion of air that allows it to effortlessly fly along the tops of ocean waves with near inexhaustible solar energy. The researchers say that this sleek, solar vessel could act as a mobile charging station for drones in the deep ocean or could conduct oceanic search and rescue missions.


Researchers in Russia have designed a solar-powered, and AI piloted, boat that can walk on water and serve as a mid-ocean fuel-up station for drones.

Jun 13, 2020

Are AI-Powered Killer Robots Inevitable?

Posted by in categories: drones, military, nuclear weapons, robotics/AI, singularity

Autonomous weapons present some unique challenges to regulation. They can’t be observed and quantified in quite the same way as, say, a 1.5-megaton nuclear warhead. Just what constitutes autonomy, and how much of it should be allowed? How do you distinguish an adversary’s remotely piloted drone from one equipped with Terminator software? Unless security analysts can find satisfactory answers to these questions and China, Russia, and the US can decide on mutually agreeable limits, the march of automation will continue. And whichever way the major powers lead, the rest of the world will inevitably follow.


Military scholars warn of a “battlefield singularity,” a point at which humans can no longer keep up with the pace of conflict.

Jun 10, 2020

MQ-25 Stingray Drones Are Giving Navy Aircraft Carriers A Life Extension

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, drones, military, robotics/AI

Here’s What You Need To Remember: Chinese so-called “carrier-killer” missiles could, quite possibly, push a carrier back to a point where its fighters no longer have range to strike inland enemy targets from the air. The new drone is being engineered, at least in large measure, as a specific way to address this problem. If the attack distance of an F-18, which might have a combat radius of 500 miles or so, can double — then carrier-based fighters can strike targets as far as 1000 miles away if they are refueled from the air.

The Navy will choose a new carrier-launched drone at the end of this year as part of a plan to massively expand fighter jet attack range and power projection ability of aircraft carriers.

The emerging Navy MQ-25 Stingray program, to enter service in the mid-2020s, will bring a new generation of technology by engineering a first-of-its-kind unmanned re-fueler for the carrier air wing.

Jun 8, 2020

The US Air Force is preparing a human versus AI dogfight

Posted by in categories: drones, military, robotics/AI

The US Air Force wants to pit an autonomous fighter drone against a pilot.

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