Amazon’s drone ambitions took another step forward today as the tech giant revealed its latest delivery drone design. At Amazon’s re:MARS conference, Amazon’s Worldwide Consumer CEO, Jeff Wilke, showed off a fully-electric drone that can fly up to 15 miles and deliver packages under 5 pounds in less than 30 minutes.
The Navy is planning to launch a massive, 50-ton undersea drone to expand mission scope, increase attack options, integrate large high-tech sensors, further safeguard manned combat crews and possibly fire torpedoes -- all while waging war under the ocean surface.
Drone aircraft used to be prohibitively expensive, but now you can buy a camera-equipped drone that talks to your smartphone for under $100. The US Department of Homeland Security has issued an alert that drones manufactured by Chinese firms might have become a little too accessible. The DHS says much of the data collected by these drones ends up on servers in mainland China where the Chinese government can access it.
It’s not hard to imagine how a small drone, like a quadcopter with a camera on it, could be useful for a soldier in the Army. After all, it’s a way to see something that’s over a hill, or around a corner, without sticking your neck out. But while the Army has fixed-wing drones such as the Raven and Puma (picture a big model airplane to get a sense of what they look like) that a soldier would launch by hand, it doesn’t have an official Army drone that’s a four-prop flying machine like any civilian might buy from a company like DJI.
Top U.S. officials, including FBI director Christopher Wray, have warned that America is vulnerable. Washington, D.C., for example, has what Department of Homeland Security officials have called “the most tightly controlled airspace in the country;” it’s illegal to fly drones anywhere in the District. And yet: In 2015, an off-duty government employee managed to crash a drone onto the White House lawn.
This presentation addresses the often-asked question, “Where are the women?” Susan Bickford is the owner of New England UAV, a drone consulting company based out Rochester, NH and works as the Stewardship Coordinator and GIS Specialist at the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve in Wells, Maine.
The rapid proliferation of military drone technology is reaching the point that other nations -- and even non-state actors such as Mexican drug cartels -- could engage in the kinds of deadly strikes that the U.S. pioneered more than a decade ago and has increased under presidents of both political parties.
Affordable consumer technology has made surveillance cheap and commoditized AI software has made it automatic. Those two trends merged this week, when drone manufacturer DJI partnered June 5 with Axon, the company that makes Taser weapons and police body cameras, to sell drones to local police departments around the United States. Now, not only do local police have access to drones, but footage from those flying cameras will be automatically analyzed by AI systems not disclosed to the public.
Drones are changing our world, from lifesaving innovations in healthcare, creating new works of art, to the race behind new efforts to secure our skies. And they're everywhere. According to Time magazine, drones are going from sub-culture to mainstream.
The hackers known as Fancy Bear, who also intruded in the U.S. election, went after at least 87 people working on militarized drones, missiles, rockets, stealth fighter jets, cloud-computing platforms or other sensitive activities, the AP found. Employees at both small companies and defense giants like Lockheed Martin Corp., Raytheon Co., Boeing Co., Airbus Group and General Atomics were targeted by the hackers.