Category Archives: Practical Uses

Innovative uses for drones.

Within 10 minutes of launch, Missing collie in Clatsop County, Washington found by drone.

A border collie who went missing during a Christmas Day hike was rescued by a cadre of dog lovers in a dramatic rescue from a cliff north of Indian Beach in Clatsop County.

Felix’s owner, Sarah Stremming, searched for the collie for hours, to no avail before posting a message on her Facebook page, the Daily Astorian reports.

Those messages found their way to volunteer firefighter Matthew Verley, a licensed drone operator, used his drone to look in the area where Felix might be and within 10 minutes found the dog alive and well — but in a precarious position.

Read the full story here.

Drone Spots 2,200-year-old Edomite Temple in Israeli Live-fire Zone.

Archaeologists using drones have found what seems to be a rare Edomite temple dating to 2,200 years ago, smack in the middle of a live-fire zone. The structure seems to have been destroyed by Jewish forces, possibly under Judah Maccabee himself, who then converted the surviving locals.

The structure could be a temple, or a palace, and in any case seems to have been destroyed in one of the incessant upheavals of the region. In this case, the building, evidently a large one, may have been destroyed during the Hasmonean conquest of the region in 112 B.C.E. Following the Hasmonean victory, the locals were forced to convert to Judaism.

Read the full story here.



Drone used to lay cable to provide ultrafast broadband to a remote Welsh village

Cable company Openreach used the drone to avoid having to lay cable across “challenging” terrain that included woods, a river and steep hills.

The drone was flown across a section of forest near Pontfadog, Wrexham, to help sling wires between telegraph poles.

The community’s 20 homes now have access to ultrafast broadband that can run at speeds of up to 1Gbps.

“If we tried running the cable through woods it was also very likely we’d get it caught up in branches and other natural obstructions, so we figured the best option was to fly it in over the top of the tree canopy and then lift it up to make sure it was clear of the tree line.”

Read the full story here.

Deputies use drone to find missing woman in Randolph County, North Carolina.

Difficult terrain and a corn field slowed the search on the ground.

Deputies and a K9 searched the area around the home on Thayer Road but Sheriff Robert Graves says difficult terrain and a corn field slowed the search.

Deputies then launched the department’s drone and were able to find the missing woman within 25 minutes.

She was reunited with her family.

Read the full story here.

Police drone finds lost hunter near Byron, Minnesota.

An 84-year-old man is recovering today in a Rochester hospital — and is lucky to be alive, authorities said — after getting lost while scouting a hunting spot.

Officers set up “an extensive search” in the area and quickly found the man’s vehicle. It was in a field about three-quarters of a mile off the road, stuck in mud.

Authorities contacted the Rochester Police Department, which deployed its drone.  The drone’s infrared camera spotted the man at 9:38 p.m., about 90 minutes after it was launched. He was found about 250 yards from his vehicle “curled up in the fetal position, soaking wet and unresponsive.”

“Considering the area they were searching, it was a great job,”. The man was found in an area described as “marshy” and not visible from the road or field.  “This is why we got the drone,” said RPD Capt. John Sherwin.

The Minnesota State Patrol helicopters were unable to fly because of the weather Saturday night, the report says.

Meet the PackDrone. An origami-like structure allows it to fold flat.

Inspired to create a drone that could be deployed in search and rescue missions to deliver food, water and first aid to those trapped, its collapsible, cage-like structure ensures the ultimate in safety and portability. We caught up with Przemyslaw Mariusz Kornatowski  to discover how he made the leap from paper crane to origami drone, and where the tech may take us.

The key driver for Kornatowski was to build a drone that would be safe flying in proximity to people while delivering parcels. But not just any parcels, he had a distinct purpose in mind.

Read the full story here.

Lifesaver drones will soon be auto-detecting sharks and shouting at swimmers from above.

One application we didn’t see coming is this, the Shark Spotter, a new initiative being tested by the Ripper Group out of New South Wales, Australia. In conjunction with local surf life saving services, the Ripper Group has been using a range of fairly serious-grade UAVs to assist with lifeguard duties.

From the shore, or even when you’re out there floating in the water, sharks are more or less invisible underwater, unless they decide to go the full Jawstreatment and poke their top fins out of the water. The inability to really see what’s happening underneath you is one of the reasons so many people have thalassophobia, or an intense fear of the sea.

But sharks are often very visible from directly above, so the Ripper Group is developing systems and algorithms that will give airborne drones the ability to constantly and automatically scan for sharks around surf beaches.

Read the full story here.

Las Vegas inventor develops drone counter-attack to stop active shooter.

In the wake of the tragedy at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, there has been a lot of talk about coming up with better ways to stop an active shooter.

A Las Vegas inventor and drone enthusiast says he has the answer.   When 8 News NOW was first introduced to John Mendonca two years ago, his drone golf game was beginning to take off.

Mendonca continued to tinker and create other ways to hone in his drone flying skills.

“So the first thing I made was a laser to burst the balloon, and then the other thing, I was making a squirt system, also to squirt a balloon,” Mendonca said.

But as Mendonca worked on his drone attachments, tragedy struck at the Route 91 Harvest Festival.  Out of the horrific shooting that killed 58 people and injured more than 500 others, came a realization, along with some inspiration.

Read the full story here.