In 2015, the Federal Aviation Administration will admit military, private, and commercial drones into U.S. airspace. The move could dramatically increase the number of unmanned aircraft shooting through the skies, and with it, the value of the domestic drone economy. The Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International estimates that the new regulations will result in "100,000 jobs created and economic impact of $82 billion" by 2025. For several cities and states across the country, that means one thing: ka-ching.
As smartphones and computers become more prevalent in people's daily lives, many in Japan fear that the ancient art of shodo, Japanese brush writing, will die out. In a 2012 survey by Japan's Ministry of Education, more than 60 percent of respondents said they believed they were losing the ability to write kanji characters, one of the three types of script used in modern Japanese writing.
These honeycomb-like drones use advanced networking technology to fly smoothly in large formations. Created as a teaching aid by researchers at ETH Zurich, the Distributed Flight Array consists of at least two modules, linked physically by magnets and electronically by push-pin connections.
Defense Tech has an intriguing story about the next generation of aircraft carriers. One of the bigger innovations in the upcoming Ford-class of carriers: They're designed to carry drones, with a new, electricity-intensive launch system replacing the steam catapults that sent carrier-borne fighters into the sky during the jet age. Designing carriers in this way reaffirms that unmanned drones are a crucial part of naval aviation in coming years.