Drone News Roundup: Incredibly Fast Autonomous Drones Blast through Tricky Wooded Terrain, Drone Tour of Squid Game’s Jeju Island, and More!

BY Zacc Dukowitz
22 October 2021

This week we’re covering a video of an autonomous drone flying at high speeds through tricky wooded terrain.

We’re also covering a drone video tour of Jeju Island in South Korea made by DJI, a story about drones helping animals caught in the path of lava erupting from the La Palma Volcano, AirMap’s removal from the FAA’s list of LAANC providers, and Brinc’s $25 million Series A fundraising round.

Now on to the links!

Video Shows Autonomous Drones Flying Incredibly Fast through Woods, Other Tricky Terrain

Learning High-Speed Flight in the Wild (Science Robotics, 2021)

A few months ago we wrote about an autonomous drone that beat two world-class drone racing pilots in a race for the first time ever. The algorithm that flew that drone was created by researchers at the University of Zurich (UZH), and they’re back again with this video of autonomous drones flying incredibly fast through dense forests, snow-covered terrain, derailed trains, and collapsed buildings. According to the researchers, this kind of high-speed flying through tricky areas has only been possible for human pilots—until now. The autonomous drones fly using an AI algorithm, proving that the future of drone autonomy is promising, and may be here sooner than you think.


DJI’s Drone Tour of Jeju Island from Netflix’s “Squid Game”

DJI S800 flying over the Jeju Island

This video features footage from DJI’s S800 Spreading Wings drone, a professional platform made for high-end aerial cinematography and photography that was outfitted with the Zenmuse z15g camera. The footage was shot on Jeju Island in South Korea, a dream destination of one of the character’s in Netflix’s new hit show Squid Game, but it was made long before that show was launched. Created by drone videographer Tae-woong and featuring misty green mountains and rocky outcroppings by the sea, the video was selected as the Grand Prize Winner of an aerial video competition DJI put on back in 2013. Despite its age, the video is well worth watching, especially if you want to get a sense for why Player 067 dreams of going to the island in Squid Game.


Drones Help Animals in the Path of Lava Erupting from the La Palma Volcano

Drones are being used to help animals trapped in the path of lava flowing from the erupting La Palma Volcano. Stranded animals, including dogs and at least one cat hiding out in an empty pool, were first spotted on parts of the island impacted by the eruptions in drone footage about two weeks ago. Since then, a search and rescue nonprofit called Volcano Life has partnered with a communications company called Ticom Soluciones to bring food and water to the animals to help them survive until they can be extracted. In addition to these efforts, a Spanish drone company called Aerocámaras has announced plans to try and airlift abandoned dogs out using heavy-lift drones that weigh around 220 pounds each. Eruptions from the La Palma Volcano have devastated the island of La Palma in the Canaries, destroying an estimated 1,835 buildings and forcing hundreds to evacuate.


AirMap No Longer on FAA’s List of LAANC Providers


AirMap is no longer listed as a LAANC service provider on the FAA’s website. We first heard about AirMap being removed from the list in mid-September. At the time, we received reports that the removal was temporary, and AirMap would resume offering LAANC services by the end of the month. But now we’re nearing the end of October, and AirMap still isn’t offering LAANC services—so it looks like the removal could be permanent. Follow the link below to visit the FAA’s official page devoted to LAANC, where you can find a full list of all the active LAANC service providers.


Brinc’s 21 Year-Old CEO Leads $25 Million Fundraising Round

Photo credit: Brinc

Brinc recently announced that it has raised $25 million in its first round of fundraising. Leading the fundraising efforts was Blake Resnick, the 21 year-old founder and CEO of the company. Brinc is known for its Lemur drone (shown above), which was created specifically for public safety applications. Resnick decided to found Brinc after the mass shooting at The Mandalay Bay resort in 2017, so that law enforcement could have tools to help them protect lives during active shooter scenarios, and in other scenarios they face in their work. To create the Lemur, Resnick has spent the last three years going on calls with the Las Vegas Metro Police Department SWAT. Brinc has seen a fast ascension since its launch—in DroneAnalyst’s 2021 Drone Market Sector Report, Brinc was listed among the top ten commercial drone companies in the U.S.


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