Drone News Roundup: Drone Rescues up 45% in Last 7 Months, Pix4D Model of Mars Landing, and More!

BY Zacc Dukowitz
5 March 2021

This week we’re covering a big uptick in drone rescues since DJI first started tracking them on its drone rescue map back in July of 2020.

We’re also covering a 3D model made by Pix4D of the Perseverance’s recent landing on Mars, a drone video showing the detonation of an old World War II bomb in the U.K.,  the launch of National Geographic’s second season of its drone-filmed series Europe from Above, and a call from GeniusNY for drone startups to compete for $3 million in cash.

Now let’s get to those links!

Drone Rescues up 45% in the Last 7 Months, 105 New Rescue Incidents and 147 People Rescued

Photo credit: DJI

Since DJI created its Drone Rescue map—an interactive map for tracking incidents where drone technology significantly contributed to saving a life throughout the world—there have been a significant number of new rescues.

The map was launched in July of last year. At that time there had been 413 people saved in 234 different incidents. Now the map shows 560 people saved in 339 incidents. That’s an uptick of 147 people and 105 incidents, for a growth of 36% for people rescued and 45% for incidents, all in just seven months. These numbers seem to confirm the anecdotal evidence we get in the news on a weekly basis—it seems like almost every week there’s a new story about a drone being used to save someone’s life somewhere in the world. And now, looking at DJI’s data, we know that this could actually be the case.


Pix4D Creates 3D Model of NASA’s Mars Landing

Pix4D - Mars landing sequence captured by down looking camera (NASA raw images from Perseverance)

Drone mapping software company Pix4D recently used visual data shared publicly by NASA to create a 3D model of the site where the Perseverance rover landed two weeks ago. The model was made using Pix4Dmapper, and was built with video footage made generally available to the public at the time of the landing. The video above shows an overview of the model, and you can see the actual 3D model of the site by clicking the link below.


Drone Video Shows Old Nazi Bomb Detonated by Military Experts in the U.K.

WWII bomb detonated in Exeter - Homes left with blown-out windows

What would you do if you stumbled across a bomb from 80 years ago? Recently an old-looking device was discovered in Exeter and reported to the authorities. On investigation, it appeared to be an unexploded Hermann bomb, which had been used by the Nazis during World War II. The bomb was huge, weighing over 2,200 pounds (1,000 kg). To detonate the bomb safely (as shown in the video above) the military had people at over 2,600 properties temporarily vacate the area.


Nat Geo’s Europe from Above Starts Second Season

Europe From Above Season 2 | Official Trailer | National Geographic UK

National Geographic’s Europe from Above is an aerial docuseries showcasing beautiful locations throughout Europe, and it’s back for a second season. The show purports to tackle questions like, How can the images we take from an elevated perspective inform the choices we make as terrestrial dwellers, or help us learn about the environment? But it’s also just visual eye candy, featuring incredible drone footage of some of the most beautiful places in the world.


GeniusNY Looking for Drone Startups to Compete for $3 Million in Cash


Have a good drone company idea? Startup accelerator GeniusNY is currently accepting applications from drone startups looking to compete for funding. According to GeniusNY, it is the world’s largest accelerator competition for unmanned technology startups. Since 2017, the accelerator program has invested over $12 million in 22 startups based in locations all around the world. This year five finalists will be accepted to the program. The winner will get a $1 million investment in its company and the other four finalists will split $2 million, for a total of $3 million up for grabs.

To learn more, and to apply, go to www.geniusny.com/apply.


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