Weekend Roundup



This Week in the Unmanned Systems and Robotics World

Tesla has unveiled its fully electric semitruck, which is expected to go into production in 2019. The semitruck is equipped with Enhanced Autopilot, the second generation of Tesla's semiautonomous technology, giving it several autonomous capabilities, including automatic braking, lane keeping, and lane departure warnings. (Wired)

With support from the Victorian government, the first driverless shuttle bus in Victoria, Australia will be used to transport students around La Trobe University in Bundoora, which is an Australian Suburb. The trial, known as the La Trobe AutonobusTrial, is expected to run until July 2018. (Victorian Government)

ComQuest Ventures LLC has developed Typhon UDX, which the company calls the “first integrated Unmanned Aerial Vehicle design, analysis, optimization and simulation software on the market.” ComQuest Ventures says that the software is designed to lower development time and costs of different types of UAVs, including advanced fixed-wing and multicopter UAVs. (ComQuest Ventures)

MicaSense is releasing its RedEdge-M, which is the evolution of the company’s “rugged, built-to last, professional multispectral sensor” that can be easily integrated into various types of UAS. Agricultural enterprises, growers, and researchers can utilize RedEdge-M for a variety of purposes, including optimizing management practices, detecting stress and disease early, and capturing accurate data for scientific analysis. (MicaSense)

Thanks to the development of UAS that will be used to perform industrial inspections that require contact, Spain’s Center for Advanced Aerospace Technologies (CATEC) won the 2017 Innovation Radar Prize, which is an initiative aimed at promoting innovations from across Europe that have a good chance of being used later in the market. By winning this award, CATECT is “consolidated as a European technological leader in the development of technologies and applications with drones to be used in different industrial sectors.”

Considered a “world-first in the US,” British soldiers have been controlling an all-terrain 4x4 vehicle using an Xbox-style controller during a week-long exercise in Michigan. During the exercise, the UK MOD’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), along with organizations from the US Army’s Research, Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM), have also been testing driverless trucks, and Hoverbike UAS, which could be used for delivering supplies in the most dangerous “last mile” up to the battlefield. (GOV.UK)

Viper Drones has announced a partnership with a company that develops commercial UAS technology called My Drone Services (MDS). Through the partnership, the aerial inspection focus of MDS will be combined with Viper’s expertise in the integration of thermal imaging technology with UAS, to ultimately provide unique technologies to different industries, as well as the public sector. (Viper Drones)

A marketing agency in Columbus, Ohio called CivitasNow has been granted a waiver from the FAA’s small UAS rules, which will allow CivitasNow to fly a helium-filled Aerotain Skye tethered aircraft over people on the ground. There is no location limitation in the waiver, so CivitasNow is free to operate anywhere in uncontrolled airspace. (FAA)

Measure, which provides UAS services for enterprise customers, has announced a new location in Ohio, which will be the company's first location in the state. The location, which will be headquartered in Loveland, Ohio, will serve the Cincinnati, Dayton and Columbus markets, providing UAS-based infrastructure inspections to businesses in the construction, real estate, telecommunications and energy industries. (Measure)

PropelUAS, which is a new consulting service, and a division of the “human-centered” consulting firm Evans Incorporated, is looking to help law enforcement and other clients launch their UAS programs “efficiently and in full compliance with all applicable regulations.” PropelUAS hopes to help its clients navigate the legal and operational complexities associated with launching a UAS program. (Vertical Magazine)

In October, Embark Technology began delivering refrigerators along a 650-mile stretch of Interstate 10 from El Paso, Texas, to Ontario, California, using a tractor equipped with self-driving trucking technology. Embark, which is a startup that is developing self-driving trucks, says that this is the “longest commercial use of self-driving trucking technology to date.” (Trucks.com)

A new hangar at the Springfield Beckley-Municipal Airport in Clark County, Ohio will be used for unmanned aircraft and precision agriculture. Known as the Clark State-Ohio Center for Precision Agriculture, the hangar will be used for precision agriculture, which utilizes different types of technologies including UAS, GPS, and other sensors to improve farming efficiency. (The Springfield News-Sun)

The Drone Racing League (DRL) has launched a drone flight and racing simulator called the DRL Simulator. The DRL Simulator offers a variety of functions, as players can learn how to fly a racing drone, and they can also select digitized versions of DRL drone models. (Unmanned Aerial Online)