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A fresh frontier for civil UAS

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The growth in civil applications is opening up new frontiers for unmanned aircraft with organisations ranging from the emergency services to supply chain specialists seeking to harness the potential of autonomous flight in novel ways…

An eye in the sky for police

Supporting searches for missing or wanted people, surveying the scene of road accidents and monitoring natural disasters such as widespread flooding:  just three of the ways that Surrey and Sussex Police in the UK plan to use UAS as part of an expanded trial of the technology.

The force successfully deployed an Aeryon SkyRanger drone during a trial at Gatwick Airport in 2014 and says that unmanned aircraft can provide a faster, safer and cheaper alternative to manned patrols in some instances. It is now buying another five UAS to investigate how they can improve policing effectiveness further.

Funding is coming from the Home Office Police Innovation Fund and will be used to trial the drones in different environments and to develop training for officers. If successful, more UK forces could adopt similar technology.

Footage of the UAS trial can be seen at http://youtu.be/S-tOFkCzoo8

Special delivery… by UAS

Could we really see our shopping order delivered to the doorstep by drone in future? Such a scenario is still a long way off but the concept has moved a little closer to reality with what is believed to be the UK’s first commercial business-to-business delivery made by drone.

Supply chain provider FPS teamed up with Yorkshire-based Droneflight to deliver an automotive part from the company’s distribution facility in Sheffield to a local customer. The project involved a modified DJI s1000 drone, while a second DJI Inspire 1 drone filmed the delivery.

The test flight was completed with permission from the CAA for aerial work, with qualified pilots operating the drones and maintaining line of sight at all times. A small step for mankind, but a step all the same!

Watch the proof of concept video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQY9CJUw31U

One man and his drone

Introducing Shep, the sheep-drone! Farmer Paul Brennan from Carlow in the Republic of Ireland became an internet sensation in March when he posted footage of perhaps the most innovative idea yet for a drone – herding sheep.

The minute-long clip has been viewed more than 600,000 times on YouTube and cannot fail to raise a smile as the flock is successfully herded from one field to another, to the accompaniment of the theme tune from The Benny Hill Show!

See Shep in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yD9KUB7QqZI

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