Neil Jacobsohn Meet the farming drones

Using drones in agriculture? Yes indeed, as this fascinating post from MIT Technology Review discusses. This is one of the 10 breakthrough technologies identified for 2014. Read on - and see the next post for the full list of the 10. And see one of our "drone" MindBullets alongside.
A FuturesForum post (titled: "Meet the farming drones") refers to this MindBullet. The full FuturesForum post can be read here: http://www.futureworld.org/PublicZone/FuturesForum/BlogDetails.aspx?PostID=06d2c1df-68cb-4347-94ee-e416f691180a
Posted: 25 April 2014 at 15:12

Doug Vining Droning on

Wouldn't you like one of those fantastic mini drones that the whizz kids at MIT program to fly along a predetermined path? Well, Parrot is bringing one to the consumer market soon:

"The Bebop Drone integrates a GNSS chipset that associates the GPS, GLONASS and GALILEO data. Plan your flights on your smartphone/tablet by touching waypoints on your screen and let the drone do the hard part. In addition to increasing the stability in high altitude, it allows autonomous flights and automatics return to the take-off position."

Let's hope the flying is more accurate than the grammar!
A FuturesForum post (titled: "Droning on") refers to this MindBullet. The full FuturesForum post can be read here: http://www.futureworld.org/PublicZone/FuturesForum/BlogDetails.aspx?PostID=b5aeb043-e299-4a09-8a4e-a80423ace1db
Posted: 14 May 2014 at 14:03

Neil Jacobsohn Pizza delivered by drone

Lots of people laughed when Amazon said it was exploring the idea of doing deliveries by drone. But be careful what you scoff at - the future is stranger than we think! And, as you can see from this article, new ideas also raise new problems! Also read the MindBullet we wrote on the idea.
A FuturesForum post (titled: "Pizza delivered by drone") refers to this MindBullet. The full FuturesForum post can be read here: http://www.futureworld.org/PublicZone/FuturesForum/BlogDetails.aspx?PostID=26dbf6c6-4c3b-43a1-83d8-be514b104041
Posted: 26 May 2014 at 10:15

Doug Vining Flying robot farmers

There's a new role for drones: Collecting big data for farmers to help them move to the next big step in farming, precision agriculture.
A FuturesForum post (titled: "Flying robot farmers") refers to this MindBullet. The full FuturesForum post can be read here: http://www.futureworld.org/PublicZone/FuturesForum/BlogDetails.aspx?PostID=c7d5b330-5eec-4935-b551-2ce64f72c487
Posted: 14 July 2014 at 16:21

Doug Vining More wireless power

Here's a low power tag that can harvest energy from existing WiFi signals and use that power to send its own messages. Quite an innovation for sensors and devices to operate without batteries.
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Posted: 5 August 2014 at 09:58

Doug Vining Drone drug delivery

You'd be forgiven for thinking that making regular deliveries by autonomous drone - which Amazon has said it wants to do - may be a little futuristic for the here and now. But why not do that, in the Himalayas of all places! When getting medicines to far-flung communities is critical, let's call in air support.

How long before we see DHL and others making drone deliveries as a matter of course? Well, maybe not with wireless power just yet, but in the future? Who knows, it might not be as crazy as it sounds!
A FuturesForum post (titled: "Drone drug delivery") refers to this MindBullet. The full FuturesForum post can be read here: http://www.futureworld.org/PublicZone/FuturesForum/BlogDetails.aspx?PostID=7844609a-d5de-4bbd-ba07-bbd25f36bff4
Posted: 12 August 2014 at 16:56

Anton Musgrave Will Amazon be Ubered?

A fascinating play has emerged...once again from unlikely sources...Uber taking on Amazon! The question is 'why not collaborate?'
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Posted: 20 August 2014 at 21:40

Doug Vining Winging it

It seems that Google might beat Amazon and DHL to the punch when it comes to delivery drones. Look at this concept just made public!
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Posted: 29 August 2014 at 18:06

Doug Vining Mind the drone

With drones becoming an ever increasing part of modern urban life, whether it's geeks having fun, or the more serious side of communications, aerial surveys or surveillance, the chances of light aircraft and jet airliners coming within striking distance of a drone increase significantly.

A recent near miss approaching Heathrow was not an isolated incident. Perhaps it's time to insist that all aircraft, including drones, carry a small transponder to locate them on air traffic radar, and also to help find them when they go missing!
A FuturesForum post (titled: "Mind the drone") refers to this MindBullet. The full FuturesForum post can be read here: http://www.futureworld.org/PublicZone/FuturesForum/BlogDetails.aspx?PostID=497cae4f-8f69-4446-98dc-e2e7bed60512
Posted: 9 December 2014 at 10:39

Doug Vining It's the year of the drones

Drones are crash landing everywhere, from the White House lawn to northern Nigeria. I'm sure we will see more and more drone stories as the year goes on.

Here's a great use for swarms of drones - planting millions of trees, with a 'seed cannon' no less!
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Posted: 29 January 2015 at 10:18

Anton Musgrave Wireless electricity? Yes...its coming!

Finally we have the early signs of a truly wireless world where power can be transmitted via magnetic fields rather than the irritating cables we lug around. what this will do to your brains is an entirely different matter!
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Posted: 20 February 2015 at 05:00

Wolfgang Grulke Wireless electricity? Yes...its coming!

We first wriote about this in 2007 - see MindBullet 'Power out of thin air'. Sometimes there is a massive lag for tech to be practical or accepted.
Posted: 24 February 2015 at 20:09

Doug Vining Drone with a difference

I used to scoff at the idea of electric aircraft. I mean real aircraft that can carry passengers and lots of cargo. But battery powered drones are getting so sophisticated, it makes one rethink the entire concept of aircraft.

This latest test flight by NASA looks impressive, but they'll need wireless power for all those engines!


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Posted: 5 May 2015 at 17:02

Doug Vining Powerful signals

One of the key ideas for the internet of things is a myriad of sensors and monitoring devices that can communicate real-time information. But there's a challenge to keep them powered up. Unless you power them with the very WiFi signals they use to communicate!

I don't think we will see the scenario of drones being powered wirelessly, while they fly, anytime soon; but engineers in Seattle have already demonstrated a camera that can operate on WiFi power.
A FuturesForum post (titled: "Powerful signals") refers to this MindBullet. The full FuturesForum post can be read here: http://www.futureworld.org/PublicZone/FuturesForum/BlogDetails.aspx?PostID=3039e1da-18e1-4903-91cb-b1785ceae25a
Posted: 4 June 2015 at 10:45

Doug Vining A sky full of drones

That's what Amazon is planning; but there are still plenty of challenges. A recent example was fire-fighting helicopters grounded by hobbyist drones taking pictures of the California wild fires.

I think it's inevitable that we will have thousands of drones thronging the skies at some point in the future. Just like the first motor cars had to be preceded by someone on foot waving a red flag, at first there will be safety concerns and problems to be sorted out; but eventually it will become a 'normal' part of life with acceptable risks for ordinary people, and a common system for managing traffic.
A FuturesForum post (titled: "A sky full of drones") refers to this MindBullet. The full FuturesForum post can be read here: http://www.futureworld.org/PublicZone/FuturesForum/BlogDetails.aspx?PostID=ed5316ff-495b-4ee8-a5a0-53afd451e4a4
Posted: 29 July 2015 at 11:13

Neil Jacobsohn Amazon's drone delivery dream

Amazon;s idea of delivering orders via drones is not a joke! See how they are developing these plans, including tackling new legislation around flying drones. Most companies would abandon this as a crazy idea with insurmountable problems. Amazon's approach is to say: how can we make it happen?
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Posted: 30 July 2015 at 18:14

Neil Jacobsohn Disaster relief drones to the fore

The potential uses of drones seem limitless. These tests by the UN and Red Cross point to great opportunities in disaster relief, using drones.
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Posted: 24 June 2016 at 12:51

Neil Jacobsohn Drone delivery coming to your home soon - in the UK anyway

Lots of people laughed when the idea of doing household deliveries by drone emerged. Well, Amazon is about to start testing exactly this in the UK, with the support of the British Government.
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Posted: 27 July 2016 at 10:47

Doug Vining Flying while charging

The biggest problem with electric drones is limited flying time on battery power, and batteries are heavy, so it's a catch 22 situation if you want to extend the range - you have to limit the payload. For surveillance drones, there is the option of a tethered power link, if the area to be covered is fairly static or narrowly defined, but for delivery drones or similar, it's a real headache.

Here's a new wireless mid-air recharging system, which could act as a halfway station, but the scenario in our MindBullet of four years ago is way better!
A FuturesForum post (titled: "Flying while charging") refers to this MindBullet. The full FuturesForum post can be read here: http://www.futureworld.org/PublicZone/FuturesForum/BlogDetails.aspx?PostID=4e9975a6-07cf-4709-90c1-7872b290e0bf
Posted: 18 September 2018 at 11:38

Doug Vining Flying while charging

Or shoot your drone with a laser to keep it flying:
https://futurism.com/military-drone-laser-power/
Posted: 18 September 2018 at 11:49
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