Drone News Roundup: Flying an Inspection Drone in Italy from Florida, Drone Tour of the Faroe Islands, and More!
BY Zacc Dukowitz7 July 2022
This week we’re covering a recent drone inspection flight at a utility plant in Italy that was piloted remotely from Florida.
We’re also covering a drone tour of the Faroe Islands shot entirely on the DJI Mavic 3, DJI’s new SmartFarm app agricultural work with drones, Zipline’s launch of a drone delivery program out of North Carolina, and a letter to congress written by six Blue UAS companies urging the passage of the American Security Drone Act.
Now let’s get to those links!
Drone Flown Remotely from Florida for Inspection at Utility Plant in Italy
A drone pilot located in Orlando, Florida recently flew a drone remotely that was located in Turin, Italy for an inspection at a utility plant. The pilot flying had no advanced knowledge of the plant, and was able to make the flight using a normal internet connection from a smartphone. The drone and remote piloting technology used for the flight are made by Skypersonic, a company owned by Red Cat Holdings, which also owns Teal Drones, makers of the Blue UAS-designated Golden Eagle. Similar remote piloting operations have been done before using the remote streaming platform Unleash live, but Red Cat Holdings says that this was the first one done by a pilot located in the U.S. flying a drone located in Europe.
Aerial Tour of the Faroe Islands Shot on the Mavic 3
Some places are just perfect for shooting aerial footage, and the Faroe Islands is one of them. Though this drone video made by Erik Hedenfalk isn’t the first we’ve ever seen, it’s definitely one of our favorites. The video was shot entirely on the Mavic 3. Here’s what Hedenfalk had to say about the experience: “. . . what I especially liked about this one compared to the previous drones I’ve used is the capability to shoot 4k 120fps and the 7x zoom in 4K. Making it possible to achieve shots I’ve previously never been able to. The 5,1k video, battery life (of 46 minutes), and ability to fly in strong winds—are all phenomenal features as well.” Watch the video to see what he’s talking about.
DJI Releases SmartFarm App for Its Agras Agricultural Drones
DJI recently launched a new app to support its Agras line of drones made specifically for agricultural work. The app allows those using Agras drones to manage their spraying and spreading operations, and includes displays for tracking and storing ag-related data like measurements, tutorials on how to use Agras drones to their full potential, and tools for collaborating with other team members. It can also be used to help those running farming operations with field sharing.
Zipline Launches Drone Deliveries from North Carolina
Zipline has gone from approval to actual drone delivery program in lightning speed. The company just announced that it has received a Part 135 air carrier certificate, allowing it make drone deliveries BVLOS, over people, and over moving cars—and now, less than a week later, it’s already launched a new on-demand medical drone delivery service. The program is being operated out of Zipline’s hub in Kannapolis, NC. From that location the company will conduct deliveries over a 7,800 square mile area in partnership with Novant Health (based in NC), Magellan Rx Management (based in FL), and Cardinal Health (based in Ohio).
6 Blue UAS Drone Companies Send Letter to Congress Urging It to Pass the American Security Drone Act
Six of the drone companies that have been approved for government use—generally referred to as Blue UAS—recently sent a letter to congress urging it to pass the American Security Drone Act (ASDA). The ASDA would essentially ban the use of drones or drone components from China (among other countries) for government use. The letter states that the ASDA will help stop “the expenditure of taxpayer dollars on Chinese-made drones that threaten national security, economic competitiveness, and human rights.” The letter was signed by leadership from Skydio, Parrot, Teal Drones, Freefly Systems, Wingtra, and Auterion. Freefly and Wingtra are recent additions to the Blue UAS list, and Auterion makes the software for Blue UAS. Of the original list of five companies recognized as Blue UAS, only Vantage Robotics didn’t sign the letter. It’s worth noting that these companies stand to gain significantly if the ASDA passes, since it means that even more government contracts may go to them.
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