Drone News Roundup: Autel Drone Footage from Active Volcano, Drone First Responder Video, and More!

BY Zacc Dukowitz
9 March 2023

This week we’re covering drone footage of a lava flow shot in Iceland on an Autel EVO Nano+.

We’re also covering a video explaining how drone as first responder (DFR) programs work, a new world record for the longest drone taxi flight ever made, a major firmware update for the DJI Mavic 3M, and the upcoming Law-Tech Connect workshop scheduled to take place at EDRC’s annual conference this June.

Now let’s get to those links!

Check Out This Intense Volcano Footage Shot by an Autel Drone

Shot on Autel Robotics EVO Nano+, Volcano in Fagradalsfjall, Iceland

We recently came across this intense drone footage captured at night above a lava flow at the Fagradalsfjall Volcano in Iceland. The footage was shot on an Autel EVO Nano+. Though the video is less than a minute long, it showcases just how powerful it can be to have aerial footage for huge natural events like this. Fagradalsfjall is the same Icelandic volcano that drone pilots flocked to when it was active last August, and before that in the fall of 2021, with drone pilots flying as close as they could to the plumes of lava and intensely hot lava flows, risking their drones—and sometimes losing them—to get the perfect shot.


How Drone First Responder Programs Support Work in Law Enforcement

How to reduce 911 response times by 50% - DFR Explained

Skyfire Consulting recently released this video explaining what Drone First Responder (DFR) programs are and how they’ve helped law enforcement reduce 911 response times by 50%. In a DFR program, a drone is deployed immediately to the site of a 911 call, quickly providing aerial intelligence that can inform how an officer arrives on the scene, helping them avoid ambushes, pursue fleeing suspects, and de-escalate more quickly by informing them about the situation in advance. Skyfire is one of the top consulting groups for public safety organizations in the U.S.—as of last July, of the 10 DFR programs in the U.S., SkyFire helped launch eight of them. The Chula Vista Police Department was the first in the country to pilot a DFR program and it found that out of 4,000 911 calls, 1,000 of them didn’t require an officer to be dispatched to the scene at all. Watch the video to learn more about how DFR programs support law enforcement.


New World Record for Longest eVTOL Drone Taxi Flight

World's Longest eVTOL Flight - 250.3KM - AutoFlight

AutoFlight, makers of large eVTOL aircraft (think taxi drones), recently broke the world record for the longest eVTOL flight ever made with a flight of 155 miles (250 kilometers). The company’s record-breaking flight was made using its Gen4 eVTOL aircraft called the Prosperity 1 on a predetermined flight track, with the craft completing 20 circuits of the track. The Prosperity 1 is run on lithium-ion batteries and the flight was flown remotely. The official record the Prosperity 1 broke was for “the longest fully electric aircraft flight in history, where the aircraft both takes off and lands vertically.” The long flight is a milestone on AutoFlight’s journey toward securing airworthiness certification for the Prosperity 1, a goal it plans to achieve with the EASA by 2025.


Big Firmware Update for the DJI Mavic 3M

Introducing DJI Mavic 3 Multispectral

DJI releases so many drones that some of them can fly under the radar, and the DJI Mavic 3M is one of those. Released in November of last year, the Mavic 3M is an enterprise version of the newest generation of the Mavic series that comes with a multispectral camera to support those working in agriculture (the M in 3M stands for Multispectral). DJI recently released its first firmware update for the 3M since it was launched, which brings several new features to the drone including:

  • Added Terrain Follow
  • Added POI functions
  • Added support for 8x digital zoom
  • Improved customization options for the drone’s camera angle while performing mapping
  • Optimized Real-Time follow

And a lot more—follow the link below to get the update.


Law-Tech Connect: Energy Edition Workshop Coming up This June


We reported recently about the Law-Tech Connect workshop scheduled in conjunction with AUVSI’s annual conference this May, a one-day event focused on the intersection of the law and drone operations. Now P3 Tech Consulting LLC has announced a second Law-Tech Connect event planned in conjunction with the Energy Drone and Robotics Coalition (EDRC) annual conference, with a focus on how the law connects to drones and the energy sector. It’s important to note that neither workshop requires a background in the law, and that both of them are geared toward a general audience—that is, you don’t have to be a lawyer to attend and learn from them. The EDRC Law-Tech Connect workshop will take place on Monday, June 12 in Houston, Texas. P3 Tech Consulting LLC, the organization hosting both workshops, was founded by Dawn Zoldi, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel and the host of the Dawn of Drones podcast.


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