International Drone Racing Association (IDRA) Launches First Primary Insurance to Cover Drone Pilots Worldwide

Belleville, MI: On [DATE TBD], the International Drone Racing Association (IDRA) will launch the first primary UAV Aircraft Liability Insurance policy to cover drone pilots worldwide. Included with the rollout of IDRA’s membership service, each IDRA member will be insured, with a

US$1,000,000 UAV Liability coverage limit including operations for Recreational Use, UAS training for competitions, and Racing/Competitions around the world.

“Since 2015, we have wanted to offer memberships to the association; however, it was a necessity to ensure that our memberships carried value and were useful for the member,” said Justin Haggerty, the Founder and CEO of IDRA. “An IDRA member should be able to explain why he or she is a member, even if it is free. It was clear that our first membership service should be a primary liability-insurance to drone pilots around the world. We worked hard to find the right insurance provider and underwriter that supported our goal to offer the lowest possible cost in respect to the designed policy. In short, our goal was achieved. The IDRA team and I are excited to provide UAV Aircraft Liability insurance to protect our members as we continue to grow the drone community.” Continue reading

Drones learn to land on their own using ‘fuzzy logic’

Fuzzy logic helps the drone make good navigational decisions amid a sea of statistical noise.

drone, drone landing, fuzzy logic, automatic drone landing, artificial intelligence, drone fuzzy logic AI, tech news

Scientists, including one of Indian origin, are using artificial intelligence called fuzzy logic to get drones to navigate and land themselves on moving platforms without any help. Researchers from University of Cincinnati in the US applied a concept called fuzzy logic, the kind of reasoning people employ subconsciously every day. Instead of seeing the world in black and white, fuzzy logic allows for nuance or degrees of truth. “It’s the only realistic way that drones will have commercially viable uses such as delivering that roll of toilet paper to customers,” said Manish Kumar, associate professor at the University of Cincinnati in the US.

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When Trump Is in Town, Drones Can’t — and Won’t — Fly. Here’s Why

Larger drone manufacturers build their devices with software to keep them from flying into areas where presidential and other flight restrictions are in place


(TNS) — When President Donald Trump is in town, drone owners might notice their devices acting a little strange.

That’s because the larger drone manufacturers build their devices with software to keep them from flying into areas where presidential and other flight restrictions are in place — as one local hobbyist learned recently.

“I was prevented from even starting the rotors on the drone,” said Tequesta resident Chris Leyden, owner of and captain for Seaport Yachts. That was when he realized that the flight restrictions issued by the Federal Aviation Administration extend out to 30 nautical miles from the central point near Mar-a-Lago.

Leyden, who owns Seaport Yachts, immediately surmised the FAA restrictions might be behind his drones non-response.

The FAA issues flight restrictions for a variety of reasons, including air shows and military exercises. But Palm Beach County residents are becoming increasingly familiar with the range of of flight restrictions associated with a presidential visit, as Trump has spent the past three weekends at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach.

In Leyden’s case, he said he uses his DJI Phantom 4 drone, which costs about $1,200, to take photos and videos of boats. He was out at Jupiter Inlet a couple of weekends ago on clear day — “It was beautiful out,” he noted — when he found that his drone wouldn’t lift off the ground.

“I was a bit surprised because I knew about the 10-mile restriction for aircraft, but I was surprised by the 30-mile radius,” Leyden said.

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NM panel advances bill aimed at regulating drones

SANTA FE – A proposal to ban drones from flying within 500 feet of power plants and refineries in New Mexico has cleared its first hurdle.

With making any recommendation, the Senate Public Affairs Committee advanced the bill sponsored by Republican Sen. Greg Baca of Belen to its next committee.

Under the proposal, drones would be prohibited from flying close to critical-infrastructure facilities and from interfering with firefighters battling wildfires.

In addition to federal regulations, Baca says it’s important for the state to have rules protecting certain facilities. Other critical facilities include airports, government buildings and law enforcement and military facilities.

Opponents questioned whether such rules were outside the bounds of New Mexico’s jurisdiction.

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Microsoft’s bet on drone mapping

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Enterprise Drone Shipments
Enterprise Drone Shipments

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Microsoft is betting that as drones proliferate, demand for mapping services and platforms will grow; this was recently demonstrated by the tech giant’s investment in the real-time drone-mapping startup AirMap, according to The Verge.

The larger $26 million Series B funding round was completed earlier this month and included Qualcomm and Airbus.

AirMap provides software that offers drones information about other aircraft in their immediate airspace, as well as notify individual drones where other members of their fleet are in real time. Notably, AirMap also incorporates FAA No-Fly Zone updates — any company using its services can steer its drone fleets away from prohibited airspace.

Microsoft is likely assuming that its large enterprise clients will soon integrate drones into their operations and therefore need mapping services. Microsoft’s primary revenue stream comes from software contracts with large enterprises in sectors ranging from energy to healthcare and agriculture. If these clients soon integrate drones into their operations, demand for drone-mapping services for their drone fleets will likely grow. For example, if a manufacturing client of Microsoft’s Azure cloud services integrates drones into its operations for inspection purposes, it would also benefit from a solution like the one offered by AirMap.

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Morphing drone takes off like a helicopter, flies like a plane


Looking to ensure a good crop

Bobby Schulz/University of Minnesota

A shape-shifting drone takes off like a helicopter and transforms into a plane in mid-air to fly all day on solar power. The drone is designed to provide affordable aerial surveys for farmers, so they can see where to irrigate and use fertiliser and herbicide only where needed.

Most drones are not appropriate for this because they have short flight times. Nikolaos Papanikolopoulos and his team at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis have therefore taken a new approach.

The Solar Unmanned Air Vehicle: Quad (SUAV:Q) takes off vertically before unfolding with the help of lightweight powered hinges into a flat, winged aircraft. Its design makes it easier to launch than a fixed-wing drone, and means it can also hover during flight to get a stable view of the land below. It morphs back into the quadcopter formation to land vertically.

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