Weekend Roundup 7/1

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News Trending Now

China’s push to become a major player in the international drone market has had a good start. Five countries are currently negotiating with China to make orders of the Wing Loong UAV. “[The potential buyers] told us that they are satisfied with the drone’s performance,” reported Ma Zhiping, general manager of the company that produces the Wing Loong. (Associated Press of Pakistan)

The United Nations has announced that peacekeeping forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo will deploy drones to bolster their efforts. “[Drones] will help in deterring hostile action by the armed groups and will trigger the use of quick reaction forces,” said Lieutenant General Carlos Alberto Dos Santos Cruz,the Force Commander for the U.N. mission. (Voice of America)

UAVs were used to help rescuers find stranded survivors of the recent floods in India. “They were not expecting that someone would come looking for them,” an official said of the survivors. (Hindustan Times)

The New Zealand Defense Force has announced plans to develop a military drone program called Network Enabled Army in order to keep pace with similar programs in other Western nations. (Sydney Morning Herald)

City officials in St. Louis, Missouri announced that they are considering drones for fighting crime in the city. Francis Slay, the city’s mayor, tweeted “There will be drones. Let’s start figuring out where and why.” (Riverfront Times)

The Lebanese Army reported that two Israeli drones entered Lebanese airspace. (Press TV)

A drone is being used to monitor illegal housing structures near London set up by an increasingly large flow of immigrants to the United Kingdom. (The Daily Mail)

Police in Australia have announced plans to use drones to get an aerial view during emergency situations such as fires and chases. “UAVs represent a cost effective solution for a range of policing operations, especially in situations when using conventional aircraft is too dangerous or costly,” said Police Minister Michael O’Brien. (Herald Sun)

Police in South Africa arrested a man who was flying a remote-controlled quadcopter over the hospital where Nelson Mandela is being treated for a lung infection in Pretoria. (sUAS News)

Commentary, Analysis, and Art

Pakistani painter Mahwish Chishty makes traditional Pakistani folk art paintings of drones. “ I don’t know if I am glorifying it. I just want people to talk about it. At the same time, it has some kind of beauty to it,” she explained. (Mother Jones)

Writer David Shook’s Poetry Drone will drop original poems from the sky instead of Hellfire missiles. (Huffington Post)

The Pacific Centre for Technology and Culture at the University of Victoria in Canada has made video available online from their recent seminar on drone warfare.

In a blog post at ‘Geographical Imaginations,’ Derek Gregory reflects on a June 7th article by journalist Fred Kaplan, who argued that drones created a worldwide ‘free-fire zone.’

John Procter and Brian Wagner question the wisdom of the frenzied negative response to drones. “Unmanned aircraft need a better and more diverse voice,” they wrote. (Forbes)

In an opinion piece for Slate, Timothy Reuter argues that there are paradoxes and contradictions in the way we respond to new technologies. While there are initiatives to restrict drones in many states, 3D printing remains completely unlegislated.

Know Your Drone

Drones are no longer just airborne; they’re also venturing into aquatic environments. Underwater drones are being used for underwater research, video, and photography. (Wall Street Journal)

The U.S. Military is exploring ways of pairing UAV and thermoelectric technology to create “energy scavenging” drones. (Clean Technica)

DARPA announced the winners of their inaugural Robotics Challenge. Research labs competed to make simulations of humanoid rescue work. The top honor was awarded to Team IHMC from the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition. (Robohub)

A single U.S. military Predator drone has clocked an astounding 20,000 flight hours, beating all records for unmanned aircraft. (sUAS News)

(Photo Credit: Asitimes)

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