The San Diego Union-Tribune reports on how police and fire departments are utilizing drone technology. "It provided an aerial view of the blaze, allowing firefighters to determine the most direct route to reach it, Sullivan said. A large TV monitor can broadcast the footage captured by the drones, allowing others to see the vantage point the pilot can see on a smaller monitor attached to the remote. The battalion chief was able to assess the fire and communicate with firefighters to 'put them right where they needed to be to make sure that fire was contained,' the sergeant said. Officials anticipate the drones will be used in other scenarios, such as crime scenes, search-and-rescue missions and SWAT incidents. The drones can be especially helpful when it is less practical or not possible to request the assistance of a sheriff’s helicopter crew, Sullivan said."
PBS News Hour highlights five drone projects that have positive impacts on society. "When we think of drones, we often first think of the military. Last month, Google decided to not renew a Pentagon contract for an artificial intelligence program that aims to categorize drone strike targets, under pressure from employees who found it unethical. But a report released by the Foundation for Responsible Robotics in June, called 'Drones in the Service of Society,' offers a closer look at the potential of drone use in humanitarian aid efforts. 'When we have natural disasters, starving people in conflict, or emergency need for medicines, drones can come to the rescue,' said co-author Noel Sharkey. Drones are being used to deliver blood to hospitals in Rwanda, monitor oil pipelines and fight wildfires in California."
The Times-Tribune highlights a local drone-photography company called Access Aerial. "On average, Deangelis estimates that Access Aerial services between 20 to 30 clients a year, some big and some small. His aerial photography packages start at about $150 and increase in price based on the scope of the project. Certain projects have gone on for years, with some of those larger undertakings creeping into the $15,000-plus price range. 'The barrier to entry has dropped, but I believe the quality of our work speaks for itself,' Deangelis said. 'At the end of the day, business is about client relationships. We’ve worked with a lot of clients over the years now. They come back to us when they need stuff and word of mouth spreads, and business grows.'"
CNBC reports on the growing use of drone technology in construction work. "Drones have taken over the role of cumbersome and expensive planes that previously handled on-site aerial photography. While the devices can be outfitted to handle more advanced jobs like mapping and thermal heat imaging, Moret said the majority of drone work is to take aerial site photographs. 'When trouble arises, something got covered up, or when conditions change and we have to look at where something was, picture is worth a thousand words--and a thousand dollars,' he added."
The Wall Street Journal published an article that highlights Cleveland Indians Pitcher Trevor Bauer's use of drone technology to help his pitching routine. "The idea behind my pitching repertoire is that I want to be able to attack batters on three different levels and I want every one of those pitches to look the exact same coming out of my hand before they all end up scattering to different parts of the strike zone. So I use an Edgertronic SC1 camera, which films up to 22,336 frames per second, to analyze how I release each pitch. I designed my two-seam, slider and change-up with it and I improved my curveball with it."
Ahead of Independence Day, the Federal Aviation Administration has issued a safety reminder for drone operators. "As you celebrate the Independence Day holiday, keep safety in mind. Know the aviation safety rules while flying your drones and celebrating the 4th."
The Tampa Bay Times highlights a new report from the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine that states safety regulators are hindering the spread of commericial drones by being too cautious about the risks. "The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine said in a report Monday that federal safety regulators need to balance the overall benefits of drones instead of treating them the same way that they oversee airliners. Academy experts said in a strongly worded report that the Federal Aviation Administration tilts against proposals for commercial uses of unmanned aircraft without considering their potential to reduce other risks and save lives. For example, they said, when drones are used to inspect cell-phone towers, it reduces the risk of making workers climb up the towers. The study on the FAA's work on integrating drones into the nation's airspace was requested by Congress last year."
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is hosting a summer webinar series to help drone operators submit waiver requests for an operational waiver. "During the webinars, FAA experts will address the waiver application process, when to apply for a waiver, common waiver requests, common waiver application mistakes, as well as risk management, hazard recognition, risk analysis and assessment. Each webinar is live – ask FAA experts your most pressing waiver questions!"
The Local Denmark details how a drone played a "decisive" role in combating a violent fire. "Without the drone, firefighters would have been unable to spot the heat coming from the area until smoke and fire began to escape, Hansen explained. 80 firefighters and 20 fire engines were involved in the response to the fire, Ritzau reports. The drone, which has specialist optical and thermal cameras, is put to use around once every month, according to the fire chief. As well as in firefighting, it is also used in police searches as well as at sea, for example if an oil leak is suspected."
TIME has published a special report on the impact of drone technology. "These consumer drones can fly vertically, like helicopters, and are similar to remote-controlled airplanes but with more sophisticated technology such as GPS, wi-fi and obstacle-avoidance sensors. They’re being used by tech-savvy farmers to monitor and spray crops, by researchers to measure environmental pollution and by Hollywood studios to capture action-packed footage for blockbuster movies. Drones are even saving lives, as first responders in places like Menlo Park, Calif., use them to coordinate operations and search for missing hikers. (Sixty-five people have been rescued by drones, by one estimate.) And of course, drones are being flown by hundreds of thousands of amateurs, who use them for everything from taking vacation photos to buzzing around their local park."