Thursday, 23 January 2014

The Hidden World of Undersea Drones

While aerial drones have become well known over the last few years, the developing potential of undersea drones has scarcely been reported. In this introduction to the world of undersea drones we take a glimpse into their technology and exciting applications.

  
   

Detailed 3D vision into the depths of the oceans for monitoring and research purposes are possible with undersea drones. Not only are the drones smaller and more versatile than traditional manned undersea crafts, but they are also significantly cheaper. This allows scientists to have a much wider scope for research and study of undersea life.




However, the massive depths of the oceans have presented numerous technical issues to scientists working with undersea drones. One example is communication between control base and drones. This has proved to be very difficult with one scientist even claiming that it was easier to communicate with the moon than the ocean floor! Radio Waves do not travel well underwater, but a solution was finally found by adopting the method that dolphins and whales use - Sound Waves.

  


As the ability to communicate with undersea drones has improved, so has their applications. The below list certainly does not cover all applications but at least should give you an idea of just how useful these drones are becoming:


Detailed Mapping of the Ocean Floor
Inspecting Oil Rigs and Pipe Lines
Scientific Studying of Deep Sea Animals and Plants
Undersea Video for Films and Documentaries
Assessing Hurricane Damage
Environmental Analysis of Oil and Chemical Spills
Early Warning for Divers of Dangerous Sea Creatures
Locating Historic Shipwrecks




 As undersea drones evolve to have greater battery range, improved depth performance and lower cost, the expanding future usage of these craft is guaranteed. One day you may even have your own mini undersea drone that can swim with you on diving expeditions and take video footage of you surrounded by the amazing myriad of sea life creatures.

Imagine also a future undersea drone with the ability to track and pinpoint people lost overboard, or those who have gotten into difficulties while swimming off the coast. These drones could be invaluable to coast guards and would be able to directly assist in saving many lives.

When you next hear the word drone, don't automatically assume an aerial vehicle. As you now know drones can be found working on our behalf in the hidden world of the oceans.



FlightBots.com - for the latest global news on friendly drones.


© Copyright 2014 Friendly Drones Limited


   

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Could a Drone Save Your Life?

Reports of drones been used to take enemy lives are widely published, but have you ever considered that drones could soon be saving lives - including your own? How so? The answer is through drones that help in search and rescue, and drones that help deliver emergency medical supplies.

 Let's take a brief look at these two life-saving drone applications:


Search and Rescue Drones


In a pioneering trial by the University of Central Lancashire (UK) field tests showed hour-long mountain rescue searches could be reduced to just minutes. In many cases this could be the critical difference between life and death for someone lost or stuck in often minus temperatures.




In another recent example in Vancouver (Canada), testing of search and rescue drones showed massive savings in time to locate missing persons, and also significant cost savings over traditional search and rescue missions. The drones used in this testing were able to send a live video feed back to a command centre and were able to cover an area of around 20 kilometres within just a few minutes!




While no doubt there is still lots more testing needed, the potential for drones to assist in search and rescue missions is obvious. Not only could drones be helpful in mountain rescues, but other emergency situations could also benefit, such as locating missing children, and locating survivors of natural disasters.


Medical Aid Drones


Imagine living in a rural area in the world where roads can become impassable during rainy seasons or heavy snow, or where in some cases no road network exists at all. Drones that could deliver emergency medical supplies direct to those in need would be of immense benefit. In fact it is very likely that the lives of countless people could be saved by the swift delivery of emergency medical supplies.




The Dominican Republic is already financing a pilot project to test out the life-saving potential of medical aid drones. If this project is successful, then expect to see medical aid drones being adopted throughout the world in the next few years.




It is important to remember however, that it is not just remote areas that could benefit from medical aid drones. The problem of congested city roads that delay emergency vehicles could be helped by drones delivering vital medicines and equipment for first-assistance. One example is the delivery of defibrillators for heart attack victims. This piece of equipment would give a first-responder a chance to revive the patient.
Drones that save lives are coming, and although early adoption of this technology may prove slow, once the benefits are clearly demonstrated then wide-scale implementation is inevitable.


FlightBots.com - for the latest global news on friendly drones.


© Copyright 2014 Friendly Drones Limited

Thursday, 9 January 2014

What Makes a Drone?


You may already be familiar with how drones fly and what their myriad applications are, but have you thought about the parts that make up a drone? It is very interesting to see what the major components are.

 In the example below we show the necessary parts for a basic Quadcopter drone:


Required Parts


Multi Rotor Frame
Propellers
Motors/Speed Controller
Flight Controller
Radio Control Transmitter
Battery and Charger




Add-ons


Wireless Camera
Wireless Video
Telemetry
Gyroscope
Battery Alarm




Obviously drones come in all shapes and sizes, and you will see different components dependant on the required application of the drone. However, we hope that our list does at least allow you to picture what makes up a standard drone.


FlightBots.com - for the latest global news on friendly drones.


© Copyright 2014 Friendly Drones Limited
  

Thursday, 2 January 2014

The Language of Drones

Has the recent publicity surrounding commercial drones left you wondering what some of the terminology used to describe their features and applications actually means? Well look no further than our handy drones glossary below:


AP:  Aerial Photography

Autonomous:  Ability to make decisions without human intervention

COA:  Certificate of Authorization, issued by the FAA to fly drones

Collision Avoidance:  Also known as 'Sense and Avoid'

FAA:  Federal Aviation Administration

Fixed-wing:  Aircraft that is capable of flight using wings that generate lift

FPV:  First Person View. A method using to control a drone from the pilot's view point

GCS:  Ground Control Station

GPS:  Global Positioning System

Gyroscope:  A device that measures angular velocity and helps maintain orientation

LOS:  Line of Sight, FAA requirement that drones stay within a pilot's direct visual control

Multicopter:  Rotorcraft with more than two rotors

Nano-drone:  Micro UAV, typically small enough to fit in one hand

Payload:  Carrying capacity of an aircraft measured in terms of weight

Pilot-in-Command:  The pilot responsible for the operation of an aircraft during flight time

Quadcopter:  Multicopter that is lifted and propelled by four rotors

Range:  Distance an aircraft can fly between takeoff and landing as limited by fuel capacity

RC:  Radio Control

RTF:  Ready to Fly

UAS:  Unmanned Aircraft System

UAV:  Unmanned Aerial Vehicle


We hope you find this glossary useful, and we welcome contributions from you to build on this starter list.


FlightBots.com - for the latest global news on friendly drones.


© Copyright 2014 Friendly Drones Limited