Drone Notes: Uber service, helping healthcare and ending droughts

by Todd Jones (tejones1971@gmail.com) 131 views 

Drones continue to be a rising trend as more people are producing, selling and buying the unmanned aerial vehicles for hobby, work, and big business. This month’s Drone Notes include a startup that allows you to rent a drone pilot, drones being used in the healthcare industry, seeding drones, a drone regulations update, and the local news of Drone Surveying Solutions.

DRONE STARTUP LAUNCHES UBER TYPE SERVICE

Droning About is a startup in Ohio created by students Matt King and Greg Carbo from Ball State University. The service allows consumers to rent a drone pilot to shoot pictures or video and the Droning About team edits the video which is sent to the client.

Consumers choose a pilot in their area, schedule the flight and filming, and receive their edited footage within a few days. All pilots are licensed with the Federal Aviation Administration.

The service targets real estate agents, farmers, and vineyards.

DRONES CAN HELP WITH THE HEALTHCARE INDUSTRY

The use of drones has driven innovation in multiple areas and it appears that healthcare is using the technology to its advantage, in particular with deliveries.

Drones have already been used in various emergency disaster situations to deliver aid to survivors. Rural, third world countries have particular challenges for getting medical supplies and drugs to clinics and patients. Some come with impassable roads while others have other challenges such as snake filled forests.

Zipline is a robotics company from San Francisco that has been negotiating with countries in Africa such as Rwanda to offer drone service to deliver much-needed supplies. In turn, the foreign efforts are not only saving lives they may also revolutionize healthcare.

FAA MAINTAINS AIRSPACE REGULATION, MAKES IT EASIER FOR STUDENTS TO FLY DRONES

The Federal Aviation Administration recently announced that it will not change regulations for drones until 2019. The current regulations do not allow drones to be flown from the view of their pilots.

The ruling hurts e-commerce retailers such as Amazon and Wal-Mart, both of which are testing the idea of package delivery. The announcement is not without a reason as was reported in Business Insider:

“The FAA may have made this announcement because it is waiting to evaluate the results of its partnership with NASA. This project is the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) traffic management platform, essentially an air traffic control system for drones. The platform would allow the tracking of drones to make sure they don’t fly into prohibited airspace and could even ground the drones in case of emergency.”

While the FAA is not reconsidering the airspace regulations, it is making it easier for students to fly drones for education purposes. In the near future, students will not need the FAA Section 333 exemption or authorization to fly drones as long as they follow the aircraft rules.

CAN DRONES HELP END A DROUGHT?

A group in Nevada is using drones to help with drought conditions. The group used cloud seeding drones to release cloud seeding payloads. The group which is made up of three organizations – Desert Research Institute, Drone America, and AviSight – received funding from the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

“The teams used silver-iodide flares in their drone, which could create ice to encourage clouds to generate more raindrops. This boosts a cloud’s efficiency, which is vital during a drought. The technology, which has been around since the 1940s, can’t actually make clouds on its own, and wouldn’t completely end a drought. But it could build up water supplies in reservoirs and even alleviate other weather patterns such as hail,” according to an article in Inhabitat.

Read more here.

LOCAL DRONE NEWS: DRONE SURVEYING SOLUTIONS WINS GOVERNOR’S CUP

Drone Surveying Solutions of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock won the undergraduate division of the Donald W. Reynolds Governor’s Cup business plan competition last month. The winning prize was worth $25,000 and a trip to Las Vegas for the Tri-State Awards, where they will compete against undergraduate winners from Oklahoma and Nevada.

Drone Surveying Solutions hopes to help farmers save money by using drones to identify crop losses, negative environmental effects, and help decrease expenses.

What drone news has caught your interest recently? Let us know.

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