Drone News Roundup: DJI Inspire 3 Seen in the Wild, Drone Saves Drowning Boy, and More!

BY Zacc Dukowitz
4 August 2022

This week we’re covering recently leaked pictures of the Inspire 3 being flown out in the wild.

We’re also covering news about a drone saving a drowning boy’s life in Spain, the Ocean Alliance’s Snotbot drone being used to tag whales, Flytrex’s FAA approval to expand drone delivery to 100,000 new customers, and a recent survey that finds a majority of Americans are open to drone delivery.

Now let’s get to those links!

Leaked Photos Show DJI Inspire 3 in the Wild

By now it seems pretty clear that DJI is working on an Inspire 3. Back in April we covered leaked photos of a crashed Inspire 3 along with some educated guesses about what its specs might be. In late June we reported on more leaked pictures that seemed to show two versions of the same drone—a regular and a pro version of the forthcoming Inspire 3. All the leaked Inspire 3 photos we’ve shared in the past have come from DJI insider @OsitaLV, and that same insider has now shared a few different images of the Inspire 3 being flown out in the open. One of them is in the tweet shown above, and another can be seen here. The good news? All these leaks make it seem pretty likely the Inspire 3 will be launched before the end of the year.


Lifeguard Drone Saves Boy from Drowning in Spain

Lifeguard drone helps save boy from drowning


Drones can get to struggling swimmers faster than people, carrying them life preservers that can help save their lives. In the video above, a 14 year-old boy receives a life jacket that’s dropped down to him from a drone in Valencia, Spain. The drone was designed to do exactly this kind of work, helping those in danger of drowning stay afloat until a human lifeguard can get there. Drones are being used this way at 22 beaches in Spain, and also at beaches in the U.S.—read the article linked below to learn about a similar program in San Mateo, California.


Ocean Alliance SnotBot Drone Now Being Used to Tag Whales

SnotBot Goes Tagging - Ocean Alliance 2022 Gulf of California Expedition 16

A few years back, the Ocean Alliance developed the SnotBot drone to fly through the blow of a whale so it can collect samples of its “snot” for research. The SnotBot is a modified DJI drone outfitted with a collection device. Using it makes collecting samples for research much less stressful for the whale, because the drone can fly over the whale without bothering it. Now Ocean Alliance is using the SnotBot to tag whales for research, too. Similar to snot collection, tagging whales with a drone is much less invasive than chasing it down with a boat to put a tag on it. Watch the video above to see how much of an improvement a SnotBot is over alternative methods for tagging whales.


Flytrex Gets FAA Approval to Expand Drone Delivery to 100,000 Customers

Credit: Flytrex

Drone delivery company Flytrex recently secured approval from the FAA to expand its delivery operations in both Texas and North Carolina. The approval allows it to grow its reach from delivering within one nautical mile to within two nautical miles from its delivery headquarters in these areas. According to Flytrex, this doubled range will bring the potential customers it can reach with drone delivery from 40,000 up to 100,000.


Majority of Americans Are Open to Drone Delivery, New Survey  Finds


According to a new report from Auterion, a majority of Americans—58% of survey respondents, to be exact—are in favor of drone delivery and 64% think drones will become a real option for deliveries within the next 10 years. The survey was taken by over 1,000 people located throughout the U.S. and has several questions created to gauge public appetite for drone delivery. These include a question that asks whether respondents would buy something from a retailer that used drone delivery (47% said yes) and a question that asks whether respondents are open to thinking of drones as the new corner store (54% said yes). The overall takeaway is that many Americans are just fine with receiving their deliveries by drone.


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