Category: Software

Ditch the Remote: LG’s Drone is Controlled with Glasses

Your DJI is up in the air, sending your iPad amazing shots, but what exactly are YOU doing? You’re likely staring down at your iPad, not taking in the whole picture. You probably have a friend watching your drone to make sure you don’t hit anything. What if you could just capture the photo by looking at it and framing it with your hands? The folks at LG believe this is the future: deep-6 the […]

Drone Helps Truck Drivers Reverse, Inspect Rigs

Truck drivers have a tough job. Slow traffic, looming deadlines, mechanical failures and backing up to the loading dock. Drones to the rescue, at least for the last two tasks. This patent application discloses a method to assist truck drivers in backing up and inspecting the truck components prior to departure. It gives a driver an ‘eye in the sky’ view of the surroundings, elements the driver cannot normally see. As the application puts it, […]

Virtual Fences for Drones, Among Other Advantages

On a quest to find drone geofencing, this interesting invention appeared. Essentially, the application describes a database of property lines. The database would make it possible to assign certain permissions to users for various uses (mineral rights, etc.) of real estate. The virtual fencing would come with the real estate’s title, and would give the rights-owner legal permission to tell someone to get off their lawn. What does this have to do with drones, you […]

IBM’s Sherpa Drone: “Fly, my pretties, fly!”

There is a WW2 story about a boy who guided a munitions truck up a treacherous road to get to the front lines in the middle of a rainy night. The driver, unable to use headlights for fear of a sniper, followed the only thing visible to him: the boy’s white towel. This patent application is kind of like that, but instead of a boy it’s a drone, and the towel is the drone’s array […]

Smart Drone Tracks, Anticipates Target’s Movement

The scenario is nothing new: a drone to follows its dongle or transmitter, capturing video or photos of its user. Lily, or most higher-end quads offer this feature. However, as the present patent application illustrates, drones do not anticipate their target’s movement. For example, suppose you want a video of you surfing. Here is the relevant paragraph from the application: “After powering on the autonomous vehicle, a user may paddle out and begin to surf. […]

Survey Drones Collect Seismic Data, Save Environment

In the surveying world, seismic data can reveal a plethora of valuable information. For example, the oil and gas industry heavily relies on seismic data to determine where the good stuff is buried. Seismic data in remote areas is sometimes difficult to collect. As this patent application observes, “if seismic equipment has to be deployed via a land vehicle, roads may be employed. If there are no roads, creating them can be time consuming and […]

Amazon’s Narrow Patent Application for Drone Delivery

It’s been the talk of the town since Amazon ‘leaked’ its drone-delivery service, but in reading the patent application for this invention, there is plenty of room to maneuver around Amazon. The application is well-written as far as understanding the concept of drone delivery: “The final, or last mile delivery of physical items to a user specified location is traditionally accomplished using a human controlled truck, bicycle, cart, etc. For example, a user may order […]

In-Flight Sandbox for Foreign Software

It should come as no surprise that there will be an app store for drones soon. Third-party software may bring new and unexpected uses for the Inspire1 or the Solo. An unforeseen software glitch can be an issue. “An example issue is that a UAV can receive data or instructions from an unreliable program executing on the UAV. The unreliable program can provide erroneous data that can cause the UAV to be lost, damaged, or […]

Intelligent Drone Communication, by Raytheon

Raytheon is no slouch when it comes to technology, and this is no exception: communicating with a drone for military applications is of prime importance. After all, that’s why you launched the UAV in the first place. The need for improved communication are ever-present: “Satellite transponders for military and/or commercial use are oversubscribed and expensive to put in place and maintain. Current RF transponders lack intelligence. Users of low power transmitters must therefore communicate with non-intelligent transponders […]

Drones Navigate RFID Highway

As more and more UAVs clutter the sky, navigation becomes a real issue. Delivery by drone sparks some of these questions: how do you prevent collisions? Optimize efficiency? Keep track of inventory? Certainly, GPS-borne navigation is the flavor du jour, but it’s not the only nav protocol. Along comes Azure Sky Group LLC, and their patent application for radio frequency identification (RFID) method. RFID is nothing new, and most new credit cards have a chip that works on RFID. […]

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