Weekend Roundup



This Week in the Unmanned Systems and Robotics World

Uber and NASA will work together to develop software that Uber hopes to use to manage “flying taxi” routes, which could work in a similar fashion as the company’s current ground-based ride-hailing service that is used across the world. Uber says that it was the first formal services contract by NASA covering low-altitude airspace instead of outer space. (Reuters)

Workhorse Group Inc., which is a Loveland, Ohio-based company that provides electric mobility systems to the commercial transportation sector, has started “implementation of agreements” to test and operate its new N-Gen electric van, which features an optional integrated HorseFly UAS Package Delivery System. After launching from the roof of a delivery van, the UAS delivers a package to its destination within the line of sight of the driver. (PR Newswire)

The Unmanned Safety Institute (USI) has launched a new industry Professional Remote Operator (PRO) certification, which is designed to offer an “industry-leading credential” to elite remote pilots who would like to distinguish themselves from other remote pilots who simply hold an FAA Remote Pilot Certificate. The PRO program does this by certifying that remote pilots possess both the knowledge to safely operate UAS, and the skills and abilities to safely and proficiently operate UAS. (Unmanned Safety Institute)

Naval Base Ventura County Point Mugu in California has received its first MQ-4C Triton UAS. After taking off from the Palmdale Airport in Palmdale, California, the UAS was flown remotely from the naval air station in Jacksonville, Florida. Naval officials say that several in-flight checks were made on the UAS during its flight. (Ventura County Star)

Fetchr, which is an international express, mail delivery and logistics services company, has partnered with a Dubai-based startup development firm called Eniverse Technologies and a San Francisco-based UAS delivery firm called Skycart to develop the first autonomous UAS delivery service in the United Arab Emirates. In July, Eniverse Technologies and Skycart announced a partnership to create ‘Space Autonomous Drones’ that will be used to deliver small packages across Dubai. Fetchr will now help take the project 'the last mile,' according to the company's founder and CEO Idriss Al Rifai. (Arabian Business)

Saab and Indian multinational conglomerate company, the Adani group, have formed a joint venture to develop a variety of products, including UAS and helicopters. The products will be used by the Indian armed forces. (Livemint.com)

In Chennai, India, the Tamil Nadu Disaster Rescue Force (TNDRF), with personnel from TN Commando Force (TNCF), has kept four UAS on hand and ready to use to locate people stranded in certain parts of the city that have been greatly impacted by floods. Two UAS have also been used to locate people in the town of Mudichur, the city of Tambaram and the Sembarambakkam Village. (The Times of India)

A company called Ingeteam is a part of a research project that is focused on using UAS to optimize PV plant performance. Specializing in power and control electronics, generators, motors and pumps, electrical engineering and automation projects, Ingeteam is hopeful that the UAS can meet the most pressing challenge faced by solar PV plants today, which is “the need to achieve high returns in order to compete against other sources of energy, both renewable and fossil.” (Ingeteam)

Arbe Robotics, which is a Tel Aviv, Israel-based company that makes an ultra high resolution radar, has announced the completion of a $9 million funding round, which will be used to help bring the company’s high-resolution radar system into full production. Within a year, Arbe plans to begin installing the system commercially into autonomous vehicles. (ZDNet)

India’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) says that UAS can be “effectively used in disaster management.” The NDMA says that UAS can be used during a post-disaster situation to map affected areas in high resolution quickly, which can lead to faster response times by emergency personnel. (The Economic Times)