Weekend Roundup: July 24, 2020

This Week in the Unmanned Systems and Robotics World

Amazon has announced that its Scout delivery robots have made their way down south and are now operating in two new locations. The robots have begun delivering packages to select customers in Atlanta, Georgia and Franklin, Tennessee. (The Amazon Blog: Day One)

Unmanned autonomous vehicles will once again play a key role in predicting more accurate hurricane forecasts during this year’s hurricane season. Known as “hurricane gliders,” the NOAA submarine vessels can swim underneath the ocean for an extended period of time to collect data. (FOX 35 Orlando)

In Pensacola, Florida, a relatively new drone company called Upward Drone Solutions has been operating as a sanitation company for the last two months. After reconfiguring a 55-pound drone from its original use of cleaning the outsides of buildings, such as hotels, to disinfecting surfaces with powerful sanitizer, the company has used the drone to sanitize entire facilities such as stadiums, schools, parks, music venues and airports. (Pensacola News Journal)

On Monday, July 20, the U.S. Navy issued a $13.6 million contract modification to General Dynamics for continued engineering support for the Knifefish UUV. As a result of the modification, General Dynamics will continue providing engineering support for the U.S. Navy’s Knifefish as the service looks to increase testing and evaluation before entering full-rate production. (Defense News)

Through its agreement with Collins Aerospace, the Pendleton UAS Range has announced what it is calling the first ever publicly-accessible Commercial Operator Training Program for the Piccolo Autopilot System. The first course will take place from July 27 to 30, with consecutive courses to follow. (Pendleton UAS Range)

In Florida, a three-month, $140,000 driverless shuttle pilot program was approved by Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority’s finance committee on Wednesday, July 22. The following day, the St. Petersburg City Council supported it unanimously. The county transit authority’s full board will vote next week, and if approved, the program is expected to launch on Nov. 15. (TampaBay.com)

In New South Wales, Australia, drones were used as part of a five-year trial of shark-mitigation technology that recently wrapped up. A recent survey found that the idea of using drones for this task has public support, as it protects humans and helps keeps sharks safe too. (The Conversation)