Drone News Roundup: Incredible Drone Video of Surfing in Tahiti, Fun FPV Fly through at a Grocery Store, and More!

BY Zacc Dukowitz
9 June 2022

This week we’re covering a high octane drone video of surfers riding huge waves in Tahiti.

We’re also covering a fun FPV fly through shot at a grocery store, AT&T’s first tests of 5G on its disaster response drones made to provide cell service following catastrophic events, Axon’s proposal to use drones equipped with TASERs to protect students, and a huge round of BVLOS testing planned in North Dakota for this summer.

Now let’s get to the links!

Incredible Drone Video of Surfing in Tahiti

TEAHUPOO epic day 28watch?v=RYVkz0yHWhY

This epic drone video features surfers riding some incredibly big waves off the coast of Teahupo‘o, a village on the southwestern coast of the island of Tahiti. The aerial perspective shows us just how big these waves are. It also provides a view of the scale of the operation involved in getting these surfers into position and helping them ride these waves, revealing a collection of boats and jet skis floating nearby to provide support.

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FPV Fly Through at a Grocery Store

FPV at the Village Green Grocer - The Root Cellar Ultrawide - 4K

We enjoyed this FPV fly through of a grocery store shot as an advertisement by Lumera Productions Aerial, a drone services company based in Victoria, B.C. in Canada. According to Lumera, the video was shot with a Wingsuit S (with naked GP). For more videos like this, check out our list of the top cinewhoops of 2021.

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AT&T Performs First 5G Test Flight with Its COW Drone for Providing Cell Service after Disasters

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Credit: AT&T

AT&T’s COW drones help provide relief following disasters by restoring cell service in damaged areas. COW stands for Cell On Wings, and they’ve been used after hurricanes, earthquakes, and other natural disasters for the last several years. Now AT&T is equipping these drones with 5G technology, making the network support they provide following disasters even more robust. Last week the company conducted the first 5G test of its COW drone in a rural area in Missouri, in a location far from any other mobile networks. It plans to roll out 5G on these drones one month from now.

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Axon Proposes TASER Drones at Schools, Quickly Reverses after Mass Resignations

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Credit: Axon

In a recent article, Axon founder and CEO Rick Smith proposed a novel tool to help combat mass shootings: non-lethal TASER drones. Axon is the maker of the TASER. It also offers a suite of solutions used by public safety agencies to help in their work, which are being integrated with Skydio’s drones through a partnership between the two companies. In the article, Smith described a drone that comes equipped with a TASER that could be deployed in the event of an active shooter on a school campus, and shared that Axon is already working to develop the platform.

After the announcement nine members of Axon’s A.I. ethics board resigned in protest, resulting in Axon putting an indefinite pause on the project. A few weeks prior the board had voted to recommend Axon “not proceed with a pilot of the TASER drone” but the recent mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas had reportedly pushed the company’s CEO to unveil the idea.

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6 BVLOS Use Cases To Be Tested in North Dakota This Summer

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Credit: Phoenix Air Unmanned

When it comes to testing the limits of drone technology, the state of North Dakota is leading the way. The state calls itself “the Silicon Valley of drone innovation,” a nickname it’s earned through all its work to build and test the infrastructure for UAM in the state. This summer, six different use cases for flying drones BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) will be tested in the state, including security/surveillance, pipeline and infrastructure inspections, and small parcel deliveries by drone.

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