From a distance, the Hydra looks like a jet ski that's lost its rider. The result of a partnership between Al Seer Marine and 5G International, the Hydra is an unmanned surface vessel (USV) or, in common parlance, a sea drone. The vehicle debuted at the International Defense Exposition in Abu Dhabi and completed its first sea trials.
Volcanoes are cool, but it's hard to get close to them sometimes because they are literally made out of hot lava. Drones, with their ability to carry a camera, fly into places humans shouldn't go, and not feel pain, are a great alternative for exploring the molten floor of a crater. Humans have flown drones into volcano smoke plumes, sent a rolling robot into volcanic fissures, and casually piloted quadcopters over lava flows and around craters.
Sony made the Aibo virtual home companion for seven years. For a piece of consumer technology, that's an eternity, but even by the truncated standards of a dog's lifespan it is far too brief. Now, their robotic pets discontinued but beloved, Aibo owners are greeting the end of the technology's lifecycle in a powerfully human way: funerals. For robot dogs.
Covering over three and a half square miles, Bruce nuclear generation facility on the Eastern shore of Lake Huron houses eight nuclear reactors. It's also home to a Canadian temporary nuclear waste storage facility containing over 50,000 tons of waste. Filmed from overhead by drone, it's a sprawling expanse of snow, ice, and nondescript buildings. A serene mundanity, almost.
Acting as cheap flying cameras, drones already raise a lot of questions about privacy. But it's not just aerial photography people should worry about with drones. Earlier this month, AdNear, a Singaporean marketing company, flew drones with sensors that could detect cell phone signal strength and WiFi over part of Los Angeles. The drones identified and located people by the devices in their pockets, so that businesses could send highly-specific ads to their smartphones. The company praised this cyberpunk dystopian idea in a blog post, saying:
The laws of aerodynamics require a certain smoothness of form, a kind of mandatory design elegance. The Piaggio Aerospace Hammerhead stands in contrast to this romantic notion of flight, with canards and pusher propellers combining into an airplane uglier than the sum of its parts. And yet, as Piaggio announced at the International Defence Exposition held in Abu Dhabi, the Hammerhead flies!
Even though humans have been farming for thousands of years, there's always a new trick to learn or a new technology to try. In modern times, these tricks often come attached to small flying aircraft, a fact evidenced by the continued and growing presence of drones at agricultural expositions. Successful drone use might lead to better yields in the future, with an emphasis on the future: while the FAA just proposed new drone rules, it'll likely be 18 months to two years before they come into effect. That's 18 months until farmers can fly drones in a legally unambiguous way.