In this week’s good news about drones, there’s a proposal, examples of drone use in situations where sending a human would be positively dangerous, funding success for a drone startup and a sculpture with a camera-equipped drone on top.
The first article to catch my eye this week was from WCVB in Boston. A man took his girlfriend out for a walk on the beach while flying his drone. Little did she know that the drone carried a package containing a ring. The video shows the drone’s-eye view of his marriage proposal and his girlfriend’s acceptance.
The next article shows drones’ ability to go safely where no human can. A drone overflight of the Brunt Ice Shelf where a British Antarctic Survey base sits shows the enormous crack which forced the organisation to evacuate its staff and move their Halley base. The BBC shares a drone’s eye view of the crevasse, along with links to other articles on the topic. The situation is not good for humans but a great way to showcase drones’ abilities.
In startup news, drone delivery startup Flirtey has managed to raise 16 million dollars for further development. TechCrunch reports on the success for the company known for delivering Slurpees in Nevada and pizzas in New Zealand. Given venture capitalists’ preference for drone companies at the moment, this may not be entirely surprising. Flirtey’s drones are recognisable by the way they lower their payload from around 50 feet over the designated delivery area, and because they have a mechanism to deter thieves trying to steal the drone.
Over in the US state of Oregon, as Kobi5 TV reports, search and rescue teams are making good use of their drone’s capabilities. They deploy it as an extra pair of eyes in the air, but also use it to drop off supplies to stranded victims. Modifications include a whistle to alert victims to its presence and the ability to drop a camera into a river to search underwater. Because a drone can fly where search and rescue teams may find operations difficult, the use of remote techniques like this is expected to develop in the coming years.
And finally, the Irish News is just one of many outlets to report on the shortlist for the fourth plinth in London’s Trafalgar Square. One of the sculptures is a giant ice cream topped with a cherry, a fly and a drone. The work, titled The End, is by Heather Phillipson. The drone will be fixed to the sculpture but mobile phone users will be able to live stream the drone’s eye view of the world.
As always, not everything to do with drones is good or fun, and the next article will round up the negative drone-related news for the week.
- wcvb.com/article/man-proposes-on-beach-with-help-from-a-drone/8615477; Man Proposes on Beach With Help From a Drone; via Storify; 19 January 2017
- bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-38658836; Drone footage shows huge Antarctic ice crack; BBC Environment; 17 January 2017
- techcrunch.com/2017/01/18/drone-delivery-startup-flirtey-raises-16-million-to-become-a-next-gen-ups/; Drone delivery startup Flirtey raises $16 million to become a next-gen ;UPS; Techcrunch.com; Lora Kolodny and Ryan Lawler, 18 January 2017
- kobi5.com/news/search-and-rescue-and-drones-44865/; Search and Rescue… And Drones; Kobi5 TV; Nikki Torres; 18 January 2017
- irishnews.com/magazine/2017/01/19/news/an-ice-cream-topped-with-a-drone-is-on-the-fourth-plinth-shortlist-893695/; An ice cream topped with a drone is on the Fourth Plinth shortlist; The Irish News Magazine, 19 January 2017