UAS For Perimeter Security Systems

The convergence of Cellular data modems, cloud based servers and web apps/software have unlocked the potential of small Unmanned Aerial Systems to be used in a wide array of security uses.  New uses that will lower risk, speed the delivery of results and potentially save each industry a lot of money.

Patrolling a large area like a State Park, a city or even a large shopping mall can be expensive using ground patrols.  These entities will now benefit from new systems designed for the required endurance, and surveillance missions.  Now 60, 90 or even 240 minute endurance VTOL aircraft are providing services that used to require a helicopter.  In fact, many drones are purpose built miniature helicopters.

Olaeris AEVA 3 is an example of this kind of purpose built drone.

The Olaeris system is marketed as an autonomous replacement for a helicopter, with a rang of about 100 miles.  It can be automatically launched in response to an emergency call, and offers much quicker visual response times than on-ground responders.   Markets include perimeter security monitoring of Nuclear Power plants, Border Patrol and Municipal Emergency response.

Companies like SkySense have developed specific products like automatic charging tablets, while still other companies have integrated and/or improved upon their ideas to build self-contained drone enclosure systems like the H3 Dynamics DroneBox solar charging system in the video below.

H3 Dynamics specialize in Power systems, providing Hydrogen Fuel Cell technology, among their other products, aimed at the small UAS industry.

Permanent, tethered, self charging, networkable drones that can wirelessly transmit their data through a cellular cloud based service, or to a monitoring station nearby may change the way we patrol just about everything.  AT&T, Verizon and most major cellular providers are investing heavily in the development and use of cellular network services for drone use.

Companies like Elistaire make systems that connects to a multitude of “off the shelf” drones, like the DJI Inspire 1, turning them into tethered systems with unlimited flight times.  These systems are especially useful providing longer term surveillance for an outdoor festival or concert, etc. where permanent facilities are impractical to install.


Drones at the Palm Beach Boat Show 2017

You cannot fly a Drone anywhere near the Palm Beach International Boat Show, without being certified to fly it,  and gaining special permissions;  filing flight plans with the airport, etc.  

DJI Inspire 1 is the drone of choice, for many of the luxury Yacht Captains, when use is allowed.  Universal access to parts and support in most ports, are the main reasons this unit is chosen.


Brownies Marine had a booth that was displaying the waterproof Splash Drone and other goodies,

our favorite toy is the remotely operated Deep Trecker ROV.  Check out this video:

Although, it is pretty impressive to see a 100′ yacht, with a remote control that allows the captain to stand on the dock.  He can parallel park, or maneuver into the tightest quarters using side thrusters and a sophisticated 900 mhz radio controlled pilot system.  Plus, if you can have your own Helicopter, who needs a drone anyway?

Thanks go out to the folks at Show Management for bringing this fantastic boat show to Palm Beach County every year!



Drone Industry Major Partners Drive Innovation and Growth

What do Intel, Verizon, and John Deere tractors have in common?  An interest in what emerging autonomous unmanned aircraft systems can do.  Each of these companies have partnered with and/or bought a stake in the companies they work with to bring a blending of technology to market.

Intel acquired Ascending Technologies, a well established German Multi-rotor drone manufacturer, this past year.  They were already working together integrating the Intel collision avoidance sensor system designed for small UAS, called “RealSense.”  Together they have the design, sensor, chip manufacturing and programming experience needed to do almost anything.   The first collaboration, of course, was the Swarming drones that can put on a light show and display a heavenly view of the company logo.

Verizon just acquired Skyward, a drone operations software platform.  The Skyward Partner Network is tied in with PrecisionHawk, Drone Deploy and SenseFly to automate flight data logging. They have tested using drones to roll out temporary cell service to emergency situations or outdoor events.  They were early pioneers on studying 3G and 4G network use for drone control BVLOS, (see this article).  Verizon definitely wants to capitalize on monthly access accounts for drones.

Meanwhile, AT&T has paired with QualComm to test it’s LTE networks for use in control and data transfer from drones, while in the air.  BVLOS flight is expected to be one of the best uses for this pairing of technology.

John Deere is very technology oriented, as one of the first to integrate GPS systems with autonomous control of their farm & Construction machinery.  Now they have partnered with Kespry Drone, a California based Drone manufacturer, that also maintains a cloud service data delivery system.  The Kespry drone uses 900mhz to communicate with a tablet controller, that delivers the data automatically to a cloud account using the cellular modem in the tablet.  John Deere will use the Kespry drone’s precision sensors to create three-dimensional models of everything below. The models are accurate within centimeters, which then translates into precise agricultural practices, construction analysis and maps.

Recently, Caterpillar made an equity investment in AirWare, which firm recently acquired RedBird, (read all about it here).   It won’t be long before the only employees needed in a mining operation will be the Programmers.   Using Drones in an intelligent way can help the construction and mining industries cut costs while improving efficiency, is the thought at Caterpillar.

Now let’s get back to Intel for a minute.  Intel invested 60 million dollars into the electronics firm Yuneec in 2015.  This year, however, Yuneec has announced it will eliminate over half of it’s US staff.  That could mean that Intel was more interested in their manufacturing capacity for consumer drones, and the “People Carrying” products that Yuneec produces, like their electric plane, the E430.    This two-seater  won the Lindberg prize for electric aircraft at AirVenture in 2010.

And that is just the beginning of the story.  Intel announced in March 2017 that it would purchase the Israeli Technology Firm Mobileye for between $14 – $15 Billion U.S.   Mobileye is a leading supplier of collision avoidance systems for  Automobiles.

And then there is the E-Volo Multi-Rotor Project…

Who would have thought ten years ago that these companies would be in Aerospace, Photogrametry, Collision Avoidance, Defense?


New DJI Products for 2017

In celebration of Chinese New Year, DJI invited renowned illustrator and designer Martin Sati to customize the Phantom 4, adding colors and his imagination to this flagship DJI product.

Sati’s design features the phoenix as the centerpiece, a symbol of good fortune and happiness in Chinese mythology. He also drew inspiration from the four basic elements of nature – air, fire, water and earth – and reflected each of these elements in his design.

DJI labs have also been busy designing new products, many of which were on display at the C.E.S. 2017 show in Las Vegas.   Click here to read the full Press Release. 

The Mavic Pro, folding pocket drone, that was announced last year, is set to be delivered in January-February.

The new CrystalSky monitor is more than four times as bright as typical mobile devices.


DJI has been building a toolbox of products for commercial use as well.  For example, the new Inspire 2 with the X5 gimbal allows you to choose from Cinematic or Thermal image payloads.

Find out more about DJI Commercial Products by clicking here: 



Sweden Heavily Regulates Camera Drone Use

To the start of the Supreme Administrative Court

Press Release:  Swedish Government regulates the use of a camera on a drone; but not for cameras on a car or bike…  [2016-10-21]

The Supreme Administrative Court in Sweden has, in two judgments, found that a camera mounted on a drone requires a permit under camera surveillance law,  while a camera mounted behind the windscreen of a car or on a bicycle handlebar does not need permission.

Camera regulations need to provide that a camera which is permanently mounted to a structure, so that it can be used for personal monitoring, is allowed.

Optris - GoPro payload

If such a camera can be remotely directed at a place to which the public has access, it must be the provincial government to give its consent.

A camera on the drone may be used to take photos of buildings and environments from the air . The camera in the car, and the bicycle will be used to take images during travel, possibly interacting with social media, but from a ground view perspective..

The cameras will not only momentarily, but recurringly, be placed in a car, on a bike or a drone. The Court therefore found that they are set to be regulated in the legal sense.


The camera in the car and the bike will likely be attached to the inside of the windshield or on the bike mount. It is therefore senior in the driver’s immediate vicinity and  can be operated by him on the spot.  It is therefore not a surveillance camera.

However, when it comes to the camera on the drone, the photographs are taken from the air, but managed from the ground. The Court held that in this scenario, it can not be controlled locally.

goprodroneThe Court further found that the camera drone could be used for personal monitoring, although it may not be the intended purpose. The camera is therefore to be regarded as a surveillance camera.  Since the camera is additionally directed to a place to which the public has access, there need to be permits.

The goal of the prevailing case for the camera drone regulation was sent back to the Administrative Court for consideration on whether the issue would warrant that permits be granted. This second objective was completely approved, and the legislation was completed.

Translated & Adapted from the  Source:


EPIC sues the FAA over failure to study Privacy before implementing new rules


EPIC sued the Federal Aviation Administration for failing to establish privacy rules for commercial drones as mandated by Congress. Congress required the FAA to develop a “comprehensive plan” to “safely” integrate drones into the national airspace. In 2012, over 100 organizations, experts, and advocates joined EPIC in petitioning the FAA to establish privacy protections prior to the deployment of commercial drones in the United States. In 2014, the FAA responded to EPIC’s petition, claiming that drone privacy implications “did not raise an immediate safety concern.” The FAA further stated, “the FAA has begun a rulemaking addressing civil operation of small unmanned aircraft systems in the national airspace system. We will consider your comments and arguments as part of that project.” But in 2015 when the FAA announced a rulemaking on commercial drones, the agency purposefully ignored privacy concerns, stating that privacy “issues are beyond the scope of this rulemaking.”

Visit  to learn more.


FAA Advises Drone Users to Avoid Hurricane Affected Areas



As a result of Hurricane Matthew, there will likely be significant recovery efforts and the FAA may issue flight restrictions in the vicinity of disaster areas. During response operations to Hurricane Matthew, authorized aircraft may be flying at very low altitudes over affected areas.

Unauthorized UAS or drone operations may prevent other aircraft from performing life-saving missions and increase the risk of mid-air collision. Anyone, including hobbyist or recreational fliers, who interferes with disaster response efforts is subject to civil penalties of up to $32,140 per violation and possible criminal prosecution.

Unmanned aircraft system (UAS) or drone operators are responsible for checking applicable flight restrictions before operating and must not interfere with any aircraft assisting in hurricane disaster response operations, regardless if there is a flight restriction in place or not.

Drone operators may obtain information about posted flight restrictions by using the FAA’s B4UFLY mobile app or by checking the FAA’s website:

UAS or drone operators supporting disaster response operations must be approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) prior to operating. Operators may seek approval by following these steps:

  1. The operator must secure support from a governmental entity, and the operation must directly contribute to the response, relief, or recovery effort.
  2. After completing step 1, the operator must contact the FAA’s Systems Operations Support Center (SOSC) at 202-267-8276for assistance.
  3. After calling the SOSC, the operator must also send the request via email to

Amsterdam Studying use of Robotic Boats



In a collaboration with researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS Institute) has started the world’s first major research program on autonomous floating vessels in metropolitan areas. Roboat will be conducted by researchers from MIT, Delft University of Technology (TUD) and Wageningen University and Research (WUR). The five-year program has a budget of €25 million and is set in Amsterdam.


While the first prototypes of self-driving cars are taking to the road, Amsterdam ushers in a new chapter in the international push for autonomous vehicles. Roboat is the world’s first large-scale research that explores and tests the rich set of possibilities for autonomous systems on water. “Imagine a fleet of autonomous boats for the transportation of goods and people,” says Carlo Ratti, Professor at MIT and principal investigator in the Roboat-program, “but also think of dynamic and temporary floating infrastructure like on-demand bridges and stages, that can be assembled or disassembled in a matter of hours.”


“Roboat offers enormous possibilities,” says Professor Arjan van Timmeren, AMS Institute’s Scientific Director, “as we’ll also be exploring environmental sensing. We could for instance do further research on underwater robots that can detect diseases at an early stage or use Roboats to rid the canals from floating waste and find a more efficient way to handle the 12,000 bicycles that end up in the city’s canals each year.”

The research, with a €20 million MIT contribution, is set in Amsterdam but aims to become a reference study for many urban areas around the globe. “It is a fantastic opportunity for Amsterdam,” says the city’s alderman and vice mayor Kajsa Ollongren. “To have the world’s most prominent scientists work on solutions with autonomous boats in this way is unprecedented, and most fitting for a city where water and technology have been linked for ages.”

The first prototypes of Roboat will be visible in the waters of Amsterdam in 2017.

Roboat is a research program by AMS Institute. Working on the project is a consortium of researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Delft University of Technology and Wageningen University and Research. Waternet, City of Amsterdam and City of Boston are supportive of the program.

Roboat: research on world’s first autonomous fleet for moving people, moving goods, dynamic infrastructure and environmental sensing.

More information:


Robotic Arms added to Drone by Prodrone

Prodrone Co., Ltd., headquartered in Nagoya, Japan, is pleased to announce it has developed the PD6B-AW-ARM, a large-format drone equipped with two internally-developed robotic arms, enabling it to directly accomplish a variety of tasks.

PRODRONE  showcased the new model at its booth at InterDrone 2016,

Up to now the industrial and commercial drone market has focused on using drones for photography and filming, mapping, surveying, spraying pesticides, etc., but there is increasingly strong demand for drones to be able to directly perform specific “hands-on” operations.

Examples of these operations include the abilities to grasp and carry differently shaped cargo using its arms; to attach or join things; to cut cables; to turn dials; to flick switches; to drop lifesaving buoys; to retrieve hazardous materials, etc. Drones must be able to perform a variety of operations at high altitudes, over long distances, and in places where it would be too dangerous for humans.

The PD6B-AW-ARM is based on PRODRONE’s large capacity PD6B-AW airframe, which has a maximum payload of 20kg (44 lbs.). For the new model the company’s development team designed, produced and attached two high-performance, completely original 5-axis robotic arms. They give the drone versatility to perform across a wide range of situations. The robot arms can carry a maximum payload of approximately 10 kg (22 lbs.), and with flight time of up to 30 minutes, this drone can also excel at longer tasks.

Actual Photo


PD6B-AW-ARM Specifications (Provisional)

Motor-to-Motor Length : 1450 mm (57 in.)
Maximum Arm Payload : 10 kg (22 lbs.)
Airframe Weight : 20 kg (44 lbs.)
Maximum Speed : 60 km/h (37 mph)
Total Height : 1300 mm (51 in.)
Maximum Operating Wind Speed : 10 m/s (22 mph)
Propeller Diameter : 27 inches
Maximum Flight Time : 30 minutes
Battery : 22.2v/16000mAh x2
Maximum Operating Altitude(Pressure Altitude) : 5,000m
Water Resistance : All-Weather Capable

About Prodrone Co., Ltd.

With its unrivaled engineering and technological skills, Prodrone Co., Ltd. aims to be the world’s number one developer of commercial and industrial drones.

PRODRONE is a B2B industrial drone system manufacturer established in Nagoya, Japan, in January 2015 by experts with over 20 years of experience in a variety of specialized fields. Since its founding, PRODRONE has developed an assortment of customized industrial drones on consignment for numerous drone service providers and manufacturers in the industrial drone market. The company’s successes include large drones that can carry 30kg (66lbs) of payload, drones specifically designed for laser surveying, drones capable of surveying at high-altitudes over 5,500m (18,000ft), drones able to land on water, drones capable of reading RFID at high speeds, drones designed to inspect bridges and other infrastructure, all-weather large-format platforms, drones for pesticide spraying, numerous drones for academic research, and many more.

See more at:


Driverless Cars at Babcock Ranch in Florida


Babcock Ranch is a man-made community that is nature inspired, energy conscious, technologically advanced, and motivated by health and wellness. It’s the first community of its type to unveil a plan to offer automated share mobility vehicles.

The folks at Babcock Ranch believe the best way to develop smart cities is to start with smart communities where developers and early adopters can test new technology and provide valuable customer feedback to guide future development and expansion. They want to be a living-learning laboratory for new technology, including the new driverless car technology.

As an early adopter of environmentally conscious technology, They plan to introduce automated vehicles for use by thefirst-phase residents and business in 2017.  The grand plan is to have 40 vehicles operating in 2017 and ramping up to 400 vehicles by 2021.

To accomplish this, they’re asking for help from qualified third parties to be Strategic Partners for K&P that are interested in developing automated mobility solutions for future residents and businesses.

Babcock Ranch is working with a little help from the Google Self Driving Car Project as shown below.

In a webinar hosted by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, Larry Burns, a consultant to Babcock Ranch in southwest Florida, will present the community’s plan to offer automated vehicles for use by residents and businesses. The webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016, at 3 p.m. EDT.

The webinar, “Testing and Operating Automated Vehicles at Babcock Ranch, Florida,” will review plans for automated vehicle technical/service areas in the community, which include:

— Shared Mobility Vehicles
— Autonomous Driving Systems Technology
— System Integrator
— Electronic Vehicle Charging Infrastructure
— Maintenance and System Operations Providers
— Mobile Device and Communications Network
— Transportation Network Companies

Registration for the webinar is complimentary for AUVSI members and qualified media, and $49 for non-members. Registration will close at 10:00 a.m. EDT the day of the webinar. For more information or to register, contact Tom McMahon at or (571) 255-7786.

To learn more or get involved, contact Babcock Ranch today and in the message, mention that you’d like to connect with Natalee Burns.

Read more about the Babcock Ranch project here:

Learn more about the Google Driverless Car Project Here: