Even if we don’t consider the military applications of drones, the UAV industry has been able to attract a lot of investors and their dollars in the recent years. Whether it is a certain online marketplace which plans on using UAVs for delivering packages directly to its consumers, or a certain company which is working to provide medicine and other supplies to remote places using UAVs compensating for the lack of developed roads in that country, UAVs are increasingly becoming mainstream, and wide adaptability and publicity they receive is also ‘helping the cause’. Although a number of those UAVs are open source, they are maintained by different organizations making them nonviable for projects requiring collaboration between different developers.
Enters Dronecode, a collaboration between 3D Robotics, Linux Foundation and a few others to provide a nonprofit structure for bringing together existing open source drone projects and assets.
Autonomous drones have been here since 2009 at the least, and are actively used for a number of purposes by different users. We like autonomous drones for they apparently are the future of warfare, reconnaissance, surveillance, package delivery and all the other things futurists describe in their posts. So, all in all autonomous drones could someday be called a man’s best friend for all the services they would provide in the future, but then there’s the question of security which makes me wonder if our creations can be used against us by the other members of our race. I’ve been pondering about the same question ever since the US Navy announced today about its plans related to autonomous patrol boats, which they are calling Swarmboats.
The Swarmboats will be capable of protecting Navy ships, and, autonomously “swarm” offensively on hostile vessels, according to Office of Naval Research.
Bhutan is a landlocked South Asian country with a population that barely stands north of 700,000 mark. This Himalayan country does not have well developed transportation system with people often finding it difficult to receive medical aid when required. To counter this problem, Bhutanese government and an American UAV builder have joined hands to test a transportation network based on the company’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. If tests are successful, the Palo Alto based company will receive a huge boost both in publicity and contracts.
Matternet is a company specializing in transportation systems and is creating an automated delivery network for goods, built on a network of UAVs operating autonomously (without human intervention) coordinated with a proprietary software platform. Their ‘initial vertical’ is the $1 Billion pharmaceutical delivery market in areas inaccessible by traditional infrastructure.
You are supposed to trust the police department of your city, after all they are responsible for protecting you and your property. But what happens when the police who are supposed to put criminals off the streets and who are seen as role models by little people start lying to the citizens whom they are sworn to protect? Having been lied to by their own police department, the people of San Jose might answer that question appropriately. The SJPD (San Jose Police Department) twice denied (lied) having a drone program and it took them a whole year to acknowledge its existence.
In an official ‘apology‘ issued by the department, they talked about introducing transparency in their operations and launching a community outreach program. They also talked about how they will develop an open policy that would highlight their use of the drone they are calling UAS (Unmanned Aerial System).