Monthly Archives February 2015

United States relaxes rules for commercial drone operators

Last week, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced draft rules which will dump those restrictions.

The FAA has also proposed to increase the UAV flying limit to 500 feet.

In Australia, operators need to fly their UAVs below 400 feet.

Jimmy Underhill, from Agribotix, said opening up the commercial use of UAVs in the US was a big deal.

“We’ve already noticed just since they were released a few days ago that interest has gone up,” he said.

“People feel like they see the road ahead has been cleared.

“I think next year when the rules are finalised, it’s going to be a free-for-all.

“There’s going to be thousands and thousands of companies buying drones and using them.”

Mr Underhill works for a company in Colorado which builds UAVs and processes images taken from the cameras attach...

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ROBOTS, SCHOOL & TEACHING ROBOTICS IN CLASS PLAYING POOL & OTHER STUFF

How robots teach kids to empathize

School Blackboard

Wed, 02/11/2015 – 1:45pm
Megan Crouse, Real-Time Digital Reporter, @abmdigi
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A middle school teacher in Hawaii is filling his classroom with robots.

They play pool, lick stamps, wax surfboards, and pick up food with chopsticks, and Robert Walker has been introducing them to his classes since 2011.

A teacher since 1985, Walker saw the value in teaching robotics in schools, (http://www.pddnet.com/blogs/2015/02/5-smart-careers-future-engineers)but felt it was missing some human element. He described his program, which incorporates both robotics and life lessons, as “unscripted and unpredictable, [with] student determined outcomes.”

In June of 2011 he launched ...

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UNDERWATER ROBOT USING WATER PROPULSION AS AN OCTOPUS DOES SHOWN IN THIS VIDEO

The octopus-inspired device, inflated and ready to go

When you inflate a balloon and then release it without tying the valve shut, it certainly shoots away quickly. Octopi utilize the same basic principle, although they suck in and then rapidly expel water. An international team of scientists have now replicated that system in a soft-bodied miniature underwater vehicle, which could pave the way for very quickly-accelerating full-size submersibles.

The 30-cm (11.8-in)-long model was created by researchers from the University of Southampton, MIT and the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology.

It features a rigid 3D-printed polycarbonate skeleton, which is mostly covered by an outer elastic balloon-type envelope. Water is pumped into that balloon by an external pump, inflating it...

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