SailDrone makes wind powered + solar powered ocean drones to understand planetary systems affecting humanity. The company designs, manufactures, and operates their global fleet sail-drones — monitoring the state of the planet in real time. Their data sets can be used by commercial enterprise, research institutions, or private groups on specific missions.

 

SailDrone is making world history by offering high resolution, ocean data collection at-scale. Their sail-drone is 20 feet long, 18 feet high above the water, weighs 600 pounds. It can operate indefinitely: the wind is propulsion that pushes it along, a solar power panel charges the batteries that run the on-board computers + communications equipment.

 

 

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.kurzweilai.net

“What’s better than a robot inspired by bees? A robot inspired by bees that can swim.Researchers led by a team at Harvard University have developed a tiny, 175-milligram (about two feathers) device with insect-inspired wings that can both flap and rotate, allowing it to either fly above the ground or swim in shallow waters and easily transition between the two.”

Sourced through Scoop.it from: qz.com

“This robotic bee drone prototype gives bees a hand in pollinating flowers and could be a solution to the dwindling bee population. […] Part-awareness rising project, part-potential solution to a very real problem, Plan Bee is a self sustainable drone that stimulates the growth of plants by cross-pollination. The drone sucks pollen through tiny holes located underneath and then pushes it back out through the vents on top. As the drone flies over the field, the pollen will fall on the flowers nearby. The device is also equipped with a UV camera to locate the flowers.”

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.psfk.com

We saw tons of new stuff at CES this year. But one thing that particularly caught our eye was Kubo, the robot that teaches kids how to code.

Kubo is a pretty simple robot – it’s about the size of a can of soda and has two wheels that allow it to roll around a desk or table. But what it lacks in advanced physical ability it makes up for in brains.

Kubo comes with its own programming language called TagTile. The language consists of puzzle pieces that fit together to give Kubo instructions. For example, you could connect three pieces together – forward, turn, then another forward. Kubo then drives over these pieces oncer to “learn” the command, then can remember and perform it without needing the pieces.

Kubo reads the puzzle pieces using an RFID technology – each piece has an individual embedded RFID tag, and Kubo itself has a reader built in.

While it sounds simple, it’s a pretty good way to teach kids the basics of programming without having them stare at a screen.

 

Learn more / En savoir plus / Mehr erfahren:

 

http://www.scoop.it/t/21st-century-learning-and-teaching/?tag=Ideas+for+makerspaces

 

https://gustmees.wordpress.com/2014/08/24/coding-a-new-trend-in-education-and-a-big-responsibility/

 

Sourced through Scoop.it from: techcrunch.com

Flying robots have proven themselves capable sheep herders, delivery boys, filmmakers and spies. Now, when can we have one?

 

Herding sheep, delivering pizza, guiding lost students around campus — these are just a few things friendly drones can do. Company and DIY drones are on the rise, and not even Hollywood stars will be safe from them. Soon starlets might be acting in front of drone-mounted cameras or being chased by a UAV paparazzi.

 

Though drones have incredible commercial potential, most countries restrict its use. The U.S. is expected to open up drones for commercial use by 2015. 

Proponents are eager to point out the many ways they’re going to make our lives better. “Really, this technology is an extra tool to help an industry be more effective,” says Gretchen West, the executive vice president for the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI).  AUVSI estimates the U.S. loses $10 billion yearly by delaying drone integration. Though drones bring up privacy concerns, some argue it could advance privacy law.

“With precision agriculture, for example, it can take pictures of fields so farmers can identify problems they wouldn’t necessarily see walking through the fields. In law enforcement, you could find a child lost in the woods more easily than walking through a field, particularly if there’s bad weather or treacherous ground.”

While it may seem that drones are set to take over our lives, the reality is a bit more complicated. Drone usage around the world is definitely picking up in the public sector, but when it comes to commercial activity, many countries have strict limitations.

The United States doesn’t allow for commercial drone usage at all, though that’s expected to change in 2015, when the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aims to put a plan in place to integrate drones in U.S. airspace. In the meantime, says West, the U.S. is losing $10 billioons in potential economic impact for every year the FAA delays.

 

“I think the U.S. has been the leader in this technology, and I think there’s a risk of losing that first-mover aspect the longer we wait on regulations,” she says.

Source: edition.cnn.com

New advances in 3D printing are making it not only possible but also viable to manufacture cheap, print-on-demand, disposable drones designed simply to soar off over the horizon and never come back. Some British engineers did just that, and this is only the beginning. The team hails from the Advanced Manufacturing Research Center (AMRC) at the University of Sheffield, where they’re exploring innovative ways to 3D-print complex designs. They built their disposable drone, a five-foot-wide guy made of just nine parts that looks like a tiny stealth bomber, using a technique called fused deposition modeling. This additive manufacturing technique has been around since the 1980s but has recently become faster and cheaper thanks to improved design processes.

The ultimate vision, as sUAS describes it, is for “cheap and potentially disposable UAVs that could be built and deployed in remote situations potentially within as little as 24 hours.” Forward-operating teams equipped with 3D printers could thus generate their own semi-autonomous micro air force squadrons or airborne surveillance swarms, a kind of first-strike desktop printing team hurling disposable drones into the sky.

For now, the AMRC team’s drone works well as a glider, and they’re working on a twin ducted fan propulsion system. It will eventually get an autonomous operation system powered by GPS as well as on-board data logging of flight parameters. Presumably, someone will want to stick a camera on there, too. If they’re successful at building these things cheaply enough, it will be a green flag for the rest of the industry to take a hard look at their designs and see if they can make a disposable drone, too.

Source: www.amrc.co.uk