Weekend Roundup

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This Week in the Unmanned Systems and Robotics World

Elistair has announced the launch of its ORION UAS, which is the “next generation of persistent tethered drone systems,” according to the company. Elistair says that the UAS is designed for semi-persistent aerial surveillance and telecommunications needs, allowing it to handle the most difficult missions across a variety of sectors, including law enforcement, private and public safety, and national security, just to name a few. (Elistair)

Scientists in Antarctica recently tested the accuracy of determining marine mammal size by analyzing aerial photography taken from a small UAS. Scientists found that this method produced results comparable to standard manual methods. (Mongabay.com)

A roofing company in the Midwest called Roofing Annex will begin using the Kespry UAS platform to “enhance preventative building maintenance and property protection.” Kespry's technology will be used to assess and protect building envelopes, which refers to important structural elements such as roofs, skylights, ventilation and rooftop drainage. (Unmanned Aerial)

Scientists have told Xinhua News Agency that China's unmanned submersible, Qianlong No. 2, has “applied its new capabilities in the latest exploration in the southwest Indian Ocean.” The AUV has reportedly conducted five dives during its journey on the second section of the country's 49th ocean expedition, according to Tao Chunhui, chief scientist on the project. (Xinhua News Agency)

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has graduated the first set of in-house trained pilots for its Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA). This announcement comes just a few weeks after NAF inducted its first indigenous operational UAV, which is known as Tsaigumi. (Nigerian Air Force)

During a training course at the Marine Corps’ desert warfare training center, the first squads of infantry Marines fielding the latest in small, lightweight UAS flew their drones. The InstantEye quadcopters are expected to provide organic “eyes in the sky” – and “over the hill” – to small units. (USNI News)

Southeast Missouri State University and Sinclair Community College have announced that they are working together on aerospace and related technologies, which will include UAS initiatives in the areas of education, workforce training and development, and applied research. The school’s say that their collaboration will pave the way for them to lead research and development, as they leverage their respective expertise and resources in UAS applications. (Southeast Missouri State University)

Autonomous trucking company Starsky Robotics has announced that it has closed a $16.5 million Series A, which was led by Shasta Ventures. The San Francisco-based company has also announced that it recently completed a seven-minute drive on a closed course without a human in the truck. (TechCrunch)

For the first time, scientists from the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa (UH Mānoa) and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) will deploy a small fleet of LRAUVs— long-range autonomous underwater vehicles—that are capable of collecting and archiving seawater samples automatically. The LRAUVs will reportedly allow researchers to track and study ocean microbes in “unprecedented detail.” (Phys.org)