Weekend Roundup


This Week in the Unmanned Systems and Robotics World

The city of Palo Alto, California plans to submit two proposals for the UAS Integration Pilot Program, which was announced back in October. Under one of the proposals, UAS would be used to deliver units of blood from Stanford Blood Center to Stanford Hospital. Under the other proposal, the city could UAS for a variety of purposes including airport operations or for law enforcement missions, depending on the city’s interest. (Palo Alto Daily Post)

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) and M1 Limited (M1) successfully completed trials using M1’s 4.5G Heterogeneous Network (HetNet) to provide the necessary command, control and communication capabilities needed for safe and efficient UAS operations. A purpose-built UAS used M1’s 4.5G HetNet to fly around M1’s premises at International Business Park, as well as two fields. (NTU Singapore)

During Art Basel in Miami, Florida, artists Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta premiered their latest work called “FRANCHISE FREEDOM – a flying sculpture by Studio Drift in partnership with BMW,” which featured 300 illuminated UAS moving across the sky above the ocean. The UAS mimicked a flock of birds and created a “performative artwork at the interface between technology, science and art,” according to Gordijn and Nauta. (Unmanned Aerial)

Anheuser-Busch has placed an order for 40 Tesla semi-trucks, which will be equipped with autonomous driving capabilities. This isn't the first time that Anheuser-Busch has shown an interest in autonomous driving technology, as the company is also working with Otto and Uber Freight to test the technology. (Anheuser-Busch)

As a part of its ongoing effort to make an impact in the next-generation vehicle market, LG Electronics has developed an LTE-based autonomous driving technology. Through its LTE V2X (vehicle to everything) technology, LG Electronics says that it would like to “enable vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) and vehicle-to-person (V2P) communications at high speeds using long-term evolution (LTE) networks.” (Yonhap News Agency)

The six finalists chosen for the next round of the Genius NY competition have been announced. Only one of the finalists is from outside of the United States; that being Switzerland’s Fotokite, which develops a tethered UAS that can fly fully autonomously for 24 hours. The state-funded program will invest $3 million in the six companies, with three grand prizes valued at up to $1 million, $600,000 and $400,000. (Syracuse.com)

The first Moroccan-Made UAS was recently tested at the Casablanca airport. The UAS was made by a Moroccan company called Vitol Aero, which is hoping to enter into agreements with public institutions, so that its UAS can be used in different fields such as surveillance. (Morocco World News)

The Royal Air Force’s (RAF) Reaper Force has now been serving on coalition combat operations for 10 years. During that time span, the fleet of remotely piloted aircraft systems flew for 100,000 hours, which equates to more than 11 years airborne, or 550 trips around the world. (General Atomics)

Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. has received $3.3 million in UAS and electronic system contract awards. Work on the contract awards will be conducted at secure Kratos manufacturing facilities. (Kratos Defense)

In the next five years, the U.S. Army would like to start testing remote combat vehicle (RCV) prototypes. The unmanned vehicles are as light and as fast as a Stryker, while providing the same level of firepower as an M-1 Abrams tank, according to Maj. Alan L. Stephens. (U.S. Army)

The Meridian Police Department in Meridian, Idaho will begin using UAS to help with investigations and police work. The technology will be used for a variety of scenarios, including photographing scenes such as a serious traffic crash, and looking for known criminals who fled from police. (Meridian Press)

Aeronyde has received $4.7 million in seed financing to develop its “end-to-end infrastructure” for UAS. The first company to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) into a full-service system for the safe and secure operation of commercial UAS, Aeronyde will use the investment to develop hardware and systems software for autonomous fleet management (AFM). (GlobeNewswire)

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