‘Droneboarding’ takes off in Latvia

Droneboarders stand on snowboards and grip tow ropes, like those used in water-skiing, and are pulled along by a drone at speeds of up to 60 kph (AFP Photo/Ilmars ZNOTINS)

Droneboarders stand on snowboards and grip tow ropes, like those used in water-skiing, and are pulled along by a drone at speeds of up to 60 kph

Droneboarders stand on snowboards and grip tow ropes, like those used in water-skiing, and are pulled along by a drone at speeds of up to 60 kph (AFP Photo/Ilmars ZNOTINS)

Aerones CEO Janis Putrams (L) says drone technology could be used in firefighting and rescue work (AFP Photo/Ilmars ZNOTINS)

Cēsis (Latvia) (AFP) – Skirted on all sides by snow-clad pine forests, Latvia’s remote Lake Ninieris would be the perfect picture of winter tranquility — were it not for the huge drone buzzing like a swarm of angry bees as it zooms above the solid ice surface.

The powerful three-metre-long (nine-foot) drone, sporting 16 spinning propellers, is fitted with long tow ropes with handles, the kind used in water-skiing.

Two snowboarders gripping them glide across the ice, pulled along by the drone before performing a series of high-speed turns and slides.

As snow sprays up from beneath their snowboards, a small audience of cross-country skiers and ice fishermen look on in amazement at what might be the next extreme sports craze: droneboarding.

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What is Amazon Developing Behind Closed Doors?

wireless communicationsAmazon is getting ready to examine it’s wireless communications technology abilities, including mobile devices and fixed-base stations in rural Washington and Seattle, the company disclosed in government filings recently.

The filings do not specify what the tests would be for, but they hint of a new technological wireless service innovation. According to the British businessinsider.com, the company noted that the project would involve prototypes designed to support “new communications capabilities and functionalities.”

The interesting part is that Amazon listed Neil Woodward as the main contact on the filings. Woodward, a retired NASA astronaut who joined Amazon in 2008, is now a senior manager for Prime Air, the team in charge of Amazon’s drone-delivery effort.

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