Weekend Roundup

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This Week in the Unmanned Systems and Robotics World

Intel’s Shooting Star UAS were recently used to create their first magazine cover as part of TIME magazine’s drone special issue. This is the first time that a TIME cover photo was shot by a UAS. (Intel)

The U.S. Army plans to purchase 61 Black Hornet III UAS. 57 of those UAS will be fielded to a yet-unidentified infantry brigade combat team by the third quarter of 2019. (Army)

In White County, Indiana, the Purdue Extension of White County’s new UAS will provide farmers with an aerial view of their fields. Among many uses, UAS can help farmers scout a large amount of land in a much quicker and more convenient way than the conventional method of walking that land. (Herald Journal)

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has authorized transportation companies using autonomous vehicles that are permitted to operate by the California DMV and under the CPUC’s jurisdiction to conduct two pilot programs to provide rides to members of the public. The rides are free for passengers. (California Public Utilities Commission)

Alibaba recently showcased its driverless delivery robot called G Plus. G Plus, which is currently being road-tested at Alibaba’s headquarters in Hangzhou, China, is designed to help ship goods purchased online to customers “more conveniently.” (The Verge)

Kraken Robotics’s German subsidiary, Kraken Robotik GmbH, has secured more than $900,000 in contracts for “two development initiatives for evaluation of SeaVision sensors and AI control software” for AUVs. Known as ARIM and RoboVaaS, the two projects are “collaborative research activities” funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, as part of the MarTERA Horizon 2020 initiative of the European Commission. (Kraken Robotics)

Global technology group Hexagon AB has acquired AutonomouStuff, a supplier of integrated autonomous vehicle technologies. AutonomouStuff represents more than 2,500 customers in the automotive and technology sectors across the United States, Europe, and Asia. (Hexagon)

NVIDIA has announced the availability of NVIDIA Isaac, which the company describes as a “new platform to power the next generation of autonomous machines.” This platform is built to bring artificial intelligence capabilities to robots for various industries including manufacturing, agriculture and construction. (NVIDIA)

South Africa’s Passerine Aircraft Corporation is developing a UAS capable of jumping into the air, thus eliminating the need for a runway, launch rail or any other takeoff assistance device. Passerine Aircraft Corporation’s founder Matthew Whalley says that this type of UAS would be “a first in the world.” (defenceWeb)

CanardDrones, ANS Finland and Unifly recently collaborated to show the ability to perform “natural drone operations” inside the normal manned operations at an airport. At the Pori airport in Finland, the companies performed six 40 minute inspection batches in “full coordination and with full reliability of all systems.” (CanardDrones)

AAA Nevada is planning to throw what is believed to be the first wedding held inside a driverless vehicle. The recipients of this innovative wedding will be the winners of an essay contest, with the wedding expected to take place on June 30 in AAA’s autonomous shuttle circling downtown Las Vegas. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

MicroPilot has received a $2 million contribution towards its $5 million project to “develop systems and processes” that will allow software certification to DO-178C airworthiness standards. The goal is to “demonstrate a level of software reliability” that allows regulators to permit UAS to operate over cities and towns, and MicroPilot says that this latest project brings the company one step closer to helping UAS realize their full potential. (MicroPilot)