If you’re looking to create your own drone design, MIT’s new system could be your first stop. The institute’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL)’s latest project is what it says is the first platform that lets you design, simulate and build your own drone.
Through the interface, you can pick your own propellers, rotors and rods from MIT’s database, as well as determine the size, shape and structure of your device. Then, you specify your need for payload, material cost and battery usage. The system will calculate the necessary rod lengths and motor angles, as well as metrics such as torque and thrust to ensure that the overall product is able to take off, hover and land.
“This system opens up new possibilities for how drones look and function,” says MIT Professor Wojciech Matusik, who oversaw the project. Indeed, although it isn’t publicly available yet (its code is available on GitHub), the new system could enable all kinds of variety in drones that could push the market to innovate and experiment further. That could lead to improvements in areas where drones are lacking, such as longer lasting batteries for better flight times, enhanced camera quality and positioning, as well as sturdier constructions. We’ve reached out to MIT to see how the public can access the platform. Meanwhile, if you’ve already got a brilliant (or simply wacky) idea for a drone and want to see if it will work, keep your eyes peeled for instructions on how to use the CSAIL system.
With incoming changes from Transport Canada coming in 2017 that will make insurance on most (if not all) drones mandatory, Toronto Startup DronTec Solutions has started collecting interest and emails from the public for early access to its hourly drone insurance.
Unlike annual plans, users can turn insurance on/off as needed and only pay for what they use. The goal is to make drone insurance a lot more affordable for recreational users, while adding flexibility to commercial users.
Launch of the hourly insurance product is slated for early 2017.
A look at the value of drone data, real-time processing, and where the drone industry is going.
According to the UAV Drones Market report by Type, the UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) drones market will be worth $5.59 billion by 2020. Once upon a time, the military was the sole beneficiary of the UAVs that took the place of officers when flight was considered too dangerous. Now fields including disaster relief, air quality, agriculture, film and television, real estate and industrial inspection are taking advantage of the aircrafts.
Cisco is running initiatives in the drone space, leveraging huge amounts of data produced by sensors carried on drones. Real-time processing is vital in making the most of this data.
Angelo Fienga of Cisco Italy says real-time analytics can benefit a number of verticals in the following ways:
- Cost savings (e.g. Quick info about smart watering of crops)
Reducing risk for people (e.g. Instantaneous info about deadly substances in the air)
Optimizing resources (e.g. Water saving)
For the aerial drone services company FlyWorx, reducing risk for people means inspecting high towers so they don’t have to make the climb.
As it stands right now, operators of drones in the city of Orlando need the same permit they would need to fly a helicopter.
Under the proposed ordinance, operators would need to apply for a drone permit in order to fly over specific public areas within the city of Orlando, such as Lake Eola or City Hall.
As more and more people start flying drones, Orlando Police Department says they just want to make sure residents feel safe in public places. The ordinance will have its first reading on Monday, and its second reading on December 12, where commissioners will make a final decision.