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Taking aim at the growing connected drone market, MMC has recently announced its “Feitian (meaning Flying Apsaras) Cloud” series of products and services to all UAV manufacturers. “Feitian” is specially designed and developed for not only government entities, enterprises but also individual UAV users. MMC will keep bringing the latest UAV-based cloud computing, big data and AI technologies to all customers in the world.

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Empowered by continuously scientific and technological innovations, “Feitian Cloud” UAV-Based Data Computing System offers more sufficient UAV industry solutions, which makes contributions to build an opening Cloud-based ecosystem, promoting industrial network construction and facilitating the accomplishment to digital transition for entire industries.

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As of now, “Feitian Cloud” UAV-Based Data Computing System has linked Public Security Cloud, Huawei Cloud, and etc., boosting profound development to UAV-based services and applications among MMC, law enforcement in Ministry of Public Security and large enterprises.

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MMC Enterprise Drones for Oil and Gas Inspection

Nowdays oil and gas are important components of the global energy field, and the “talent” of drones in inspections is gaining increasing recognition. In addition to power inspections, oil and gas pipeline inspections are the main operating scenarios for drone inspections. Due to the length of oil pipeline routes, and most of the access areas are relatively remote and the topography is complex, traditional manual inspections are no longer sufficient.

MMC UAV solutions to oil and gas inspection, is low cost, high efficiency, high safety factor and other characteristics, greatly reducing the inconvenience and errors caused by manual inspection, which is an effective way to operate safely for oil transmission pipeline, natural gas, etc.

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Today, drones are becoming more widely used in the petroleum industry. There are more and more application scenarios, such as exploration, site selection, construction progress inspection, operation safety inspection, production and storage facility inspection, marine accident monitoring, geological disasters, and emergency management of fires during flood seasons.

With the continuous progress in technology and standards, the integration and development of drones and the petroleum industry will create more value.

Welcome to visit our website: https://www.mmcuav.com/

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A quick update on the recent expedition by The Ocean Clean Up and Oceans Unmanned using amphibious drones in an espectacular and remarkable clean up operation

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https://twitter.com/TheOceanCleanup/status/1438156325184229379?s=20https://twitter.com/TheOceanCleanup/status/1438156325184229379?s=20https://twitter.com/TheOceanCleanup/status/1438156325184229379https://twitter.com/TheOceanCleanup/status/1438156325184229379?s=20https://twitter.com/TheOceanCleanup/status/1438156325184229379?s=https://twitter.com/Thhttps://twitter.com/TheOceanCleanup/status/1438156325184229379?s=20eOceanCleanup/status/1438156325184229379?s=2

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New! Drones for Good Picture Book Series for Kids!

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Hi there! We've just launched our new and inclusive Picture Book Series on Drones for Good!

The series focuses on local expertise and drones for good. The books are written by and with local drone experts, editors and illustrators from Africa, Asia and Latin America. The first book in the series focuses on mangrove protection in Panama. This project is a partnership between Flying Labs and WeRobotics. Each book in the series is based on a real-world drones-for-good project led by Flying Labs and their local partners. We'd be so grateful for your kind help in spreading the word. Feel free to retweet us!

Check out the trailer for our first book on The Magic of Mangroves and get your copy from our Kickstarter page!

 

 

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The COVID-19 pandemic revealed several operational challenges in performing manual drone flights for numerous use cases such as inspections and progress monitoring. Consequently, employing automation technology has become more of a necessity than a nice-to-have. However, the monolithic nature and prohibitive cost of incumbent drone-in-a-box (DiaB) systems for autonomous UAV operations have lowered the adoption of such solutions. Hence, several companies are working towards modularizing the DiaB stack to reduce cost and increase adoption.

These companies are building automated docking stations that support charging, cooling, and landing for popular, off-the-shelf drones such as the DJI Mavic, Matrice, and Phantom series.

Such systems can enable users to easily deploy fully automated drones (of their choice) for a wide range of applications, such as automated aerial security, asset monitoring, and public safety, at a fraction of the cost of current DiaB systems.

In this article, we highlight the salient features of some of the best turnkey DJI-compatible docking stations in the market that you can leverage based on your geography, business model, and use case. Apart from common features such as cloud connectivity, remote control & telemetry, auto-charging, and interactive GUI, each dock brings a unique set of capabilities to the market, which we have attempted to highlight. It is worth noting that most of these drone nests can be further customized on request or by installing addons.

Hextronics Global Advanced (USA)


The Hextronics Global Advanced supports a rugged, waterproof design that is ideal for a wide range of indoor/outdoor environments and can operate in a temperature range of -20 to +50 °C (-4 to +122 °F). Although the most recent model weighs up to 45 kg (~100 lbs), a clear differentiator of this docking station is its IP66-level enclosure and highly efficient in-house charging feature, where a robotic gantry autonomous performs battery swapping for the drone. Further, the base unit can hold up to 6 additional batteries and keeps them fully charged while the drone is away on routine missions. And despite its small and lightweight design, The Global Advanced does not compromise on any key feature, offering a groundbreaking downtime of just 1.5 min. It is compatible with the DJI Mavic 2 series of drones and its landing pad is installed with LED lights to enable night landing.

IDIPLOYER MP2.1 (UK)


Coming in at only ~30 kg (~66 lbs), the super-light IDIPLOYER MP2.1 is built with a rigid aluminium frame and contains no moving parts such as centering bars or robotic arms for landing or charging the drone. Engineered with insulations that conform to IP65 standards, the station is installed with thermostatic heating and peltic cooling systems for extreme temperature regulation. A contact-charging-based docking station centered around a simple and durable design, the MP2.1 is the ideal choice for large-scale deployments of DJI Mavic 2 fleets. The chassis is fitted with long-range antennas and LED lights for better connectivity and real-time visual alerts, respectively. The station can be secured to any surface such as rooftops or vehicles and contains electromagnetic locks to prevent theft. Furthermore, the rear access panel comes with cam locks, although users have the freedom to add security/locking systems of their choice, including a custom installation of external CCTV cameras.

Heisha D80 (PRoC)


Heisha Tech offers enhanced security and durability with its sturdy designs. Their models are heat-resistant, corrosion-proof, and rainproof monsters with an International Protection (IP) rating greater than 54. Owing to its high reliability and cost-efficiency, Heisha’s docks feature a contact-based charging system; other useful add-ons such as solar panels, weather stations with digital sensors, surveillance cameras, extended range antennas, and loudspeakers are also provided with the dock bundle.

The D80 Drone Dock is highly customizable owing to its modular design: the unit consists of 3 main modules, viz. control, charging, and cooling, and an all-aluminum alloy canopy that has been tested for rigidity. So if you’re a custom drone developer and your hangars have docking and battery-swapping capabilities, you only need a control unit, which is a component that Heisha provides separately. What’s more: the D80 redefines drone agnosticism in the DiaB space, as it is compatible with almost every commercial drone available today, including the DJI Mavic 2 and Mavic Mini series, Phantom 4 RTK, Autel EVO II, Yuneec Typhoon, and Parrot ANAFI. It weighs a decent 45 kg and can withstand temperatures between -20 and +50 °C (-4 and +122 °F). To learn more about the D80 and other drone charging pads designed by Heisha, visit https://www.heishatech.com/d80-drone-charging-dock/

Skycharge Skyport DP5 (Germany)


The Skyport drone hangar is built exclusively for the outdoors, featuring a solid stainless-steel body and anti-crushing design to tolerate physical extremities. It is a heavy-duty dock that primarily supports the DJI Mavic 2 series and Parrot ANAFI drones but can charge any commercial drone with an 11-50V battery using its proprietary conductive-charging pad, the Bolognini S1. The Bolognini S1 is a fast and lossless contact-charging platform that does not require major drone modifications. With an IP65 and CE-certified system, the Skyport DP5 is a reliable and heavy-duty docking station. It offers a 500W zero-loss contact-charging platform with no mechanical moving parts - reducing the required frequency of maintenance and servicing. It also houses an HVAC system to regulate internal temperatures and an electromechanical anti-theft system. To learn more about Skycharge Skyport DP5, visit https://skycharge.de/skyport-drone-hangar

FoxIT Response (South Africa)


The FoxIT Response is a hefty, weatherproof docking station engineered for harsh climates. With its heating, ventilation, and conditioning (HVAC) unit and anti-theft system, it proves to be one of the most environmentally versatile DiaB solutions. It supports the DJI Mavic series and can house any custom drone with similar dimensions. To support a variety of drone models, it offers a retrofit conductive-charging system with a water-resistant pogo pad and bars for drone centering. This charging technology does not necessitate complex drone modifications; a typical charge cycle lasts for about 45 minutes. The Response allows for advanced security with encryption and Airband radio connectivity for remote locations. Opting for additional security enhancements can better its object-detection capabilities to prevent loss and theft. To learn more about Foxit Drone in a Box system, visit https://foxit.co.za/

HIVE Droneport (Russia)


Partners with Volatus Aerospace and Airscope, Droneport LLC is one of the only companies that offers a DJI M300-compatible drone dock with a battery-swapping feature. With a low downtime of just 3 min and a transmission range of over 100 km², the HIVE is a highly robust and reliable docking station suitable for a wide variety of round-the-clock applications. Its battery-swapping module features DJI’s original charging station and can hold 6 and charge 2 batteries simultaneously. This tried and tested hangar houses dedicated security and climate control modules and is certified for distribution in North America. It offers high interoperability with a variety of payloads, add-ons, and software (for image-processing, AI-based analytics, etc.). Visit https://hive.aero/en to learn more.

Airscort ST-1200 (Israel)


This customizable and cost-effective drone docking solution is compatible with the DJI Mavic 2 series. Additionally, it can house custom drones based on the Pixhawk build. The base unit weighs 40 kg and can provide both contact-charging and battery-swapping technologies (based on user requirement), with the latter boasting a downtime of under 4 min. An optional installation of StoreDot batteries is also provided with the kit. The ST-1200 is able to regulate internal temperatures through its insulations and wide array of sensors that can trigger a cooling/heating action based on ambient weather conditions. It also comes with elevated capabilities (optional) for larger, military-grade drones. To learn more about Airscrot drone docking station, visit https://www.airscort.me/

Aerobox (Israel)


The Aerobox drone dock is most suitable for small and lightweight drones and can be used for several security and inspection applications. With an inbuilt smart power generator, the Aerobox is highly energy-efficient and easy to set up. It is also resistant to dust, light, and rain; as a result, it can function in numerous environments, within a temperature range of -25 to +60 °C (-13 to +140 °F). Compatible with DJI Phantom, Mavic 2, Mavic Mini, and Mavic Air drones, this rugged docking station supports a contact-charging platform and smart air-cooling system for increased temperature control. It also contains a wide variety of sensors to relay critical information to the user. Further, several other communication options apart from 4G/5G are available as add-ons.

Software Integration for Drone Charging Stations


Docking stations with self-charging and internal climate-control systems help drone service providers with efficient fleet management and increased accessibility in a wide variety of environments. These state-of-the-art machines form the strong foundation for complete drone automation. Following are a few key features of the dock-integration software offered by the FlytBase team for a fully automated workflow between each of the docking stations featured above and the drone.

Cloud Connectivity


With autonomous docking stations connected to the cloud over 4G/5G/LTE networks using the FlytNow Edge kit, users can rest assured that sending and receiving data would be seamless across the globe. This implies that both the users and the stations are constantly “in the know” of your drones’ flights and landings, and can keep track of their missions, telemetry data, and battery levels at all times. They will also be able to pre-plan failsafe actions that are automatically triggered during emergencies or incidents.

Precision Landing


Almost no modern software solution today is complete without leveraging the advanced computer vision and AI modules. FlytNow leverages this powerful technology to land drones onto a docking station with centimetre-level accuracy. The module can be trained to land on both moving and stationary surfaces as it is built with highly accurate algorithms.

Mission Planner & Scheduler


With this feature, you’ll be able to plan and schedule complex repeatable missions for your drones with a few clicks. These waypoint-based missions execute automatically at the set date and time after sending toaster messages a few minutes before take-off.

Payload & Third-Party Software Integration


For payloads such as loudspeakers, thermal cameras, or spotlights, FlytNow offers a plethora of remote on-screen controls and visualization tools. Upon request, users can also integrate their own custom payloads with the software. Additionally, you can also connect various third-party software such as VMS, UTM, and ERP applications as per your requirements.

To learn more about how FlytNow can help you automate your drone operations or how you can get started with any of the above docking stations, contact us

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We are building an open protocol smart charger for lithium batteries. BatCha can charge BATMON enabled batteries without have to set the parameters for each battery. BatCha is WiFi enabled and monitors the charge against over-temperature, over-voltage etc. Charging using BatCha is extremely simple and dumb proof.

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BATMON is a lightweight BMS for drone batteries. 9476989069?profile=RESIZE_710x

We launched a Kickstarter Campaign to build the charger https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/batmon/batcha-and-batmon-smart-charger-and-battery. Please donate and support our campaign.

 

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3D Robotics

From Hackaday. You can 3D-print this quad or buy the parts. It uses modified Betaflight firmware:

Quadcopters are great for maneuverability and slow, stable flight, but it comes at the cost of efficiency. [Peter Ryseck]’s Mini QBIT quadrotor biplane brings in some of the efficiency of fixed-wing flight, without all the complexity usually associated with VTOL aircraft.

The Mini QBIT is just a 3″ mini quadcopter with a pair of wings mounted below the motors, turning it into a “tailsitter” VTOL aircraft. The wings and nosecone attach to the 3D printed frame using magnets, which allows them to pop off in a crash. There is no need for control surfaces on the wings since all the required control is done by the motors. The QBIT is based on a research project [Peter] was involved in at the University of Maryland. The 2017 paper states that the test aircraft used 68% less power in forward flight than hovering.

Getting the flight controller to do smooth transitions from hover to forward flight can be quite tricky, but the QBIT does this using a normal quadcopter flight controller running Betaflight. The quadcopter hovers in self-leveling mode (angle mode) and switches to acro mode for forward flight. However, as the drone pitches over for forward flight, the roll axis becomes the yaw axis and the yaw axis becomes the reversed roll axis. To compensate for this, the controller set up to swap these two channels at the flip of a switch. For FPV flying, the QBIT uses two cameras for the two different modes, each with its own on-screen display (OSD). The flight controller is configured to use the same mode switch to change the camera feed and OSD.

[Peter] is selling the parts and STL files for V2 on his website, but you can download the V1 files for free. However, the control setup is really the defining feature of this project, and can be implemented by anyone on their own builds.

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[note that this was done in a "capture room", which had external cameras that gave the drone precise position information. So it isn't quite the same thing as doing it in the real world.]

From RoboHub:

The best human drone pilots are very good at doing this and have so far always outperformed autonomous systems in drone racing. Now, a research group at the University of Zurich (UZH) has created an algorithm that can find the quickest trajectory to guide a quadrotor – a drone with four propellers – through a series of waypoints on a circuit. “Our drone beat the fastest lap of two world-class human pilots on an experimental race track”, says Davide Scaramuzza, who heads the Robotics and Perception Group at UZH and the Rescue Robotics Grand Challenge of the NCCR Robotics, which funded the research.

“The novelty of the algorithm is that it is the first to generate time-optimal trajectories that fully consider the drones’ limitations”, says Scaramuzza. Previous works relied on simplifications of either the quadrotor system or the description of the flight path, and thus they were sub-optimal. “The key idea is, rather than assigning sections of the flight path to specific waypoints, that our algorithm just tells the drone to pass through all waypoints, but not how or when to do that”, adds Philipp Foehn, PhD student and first author of the paper in Science Robotics.

External cameras provide position information in real-time

The researchers had the algorithm and two human pilots fly the same quadrotor through a race circuit. They employed external cameras to precisely capture the motion of the drones and – in the case of the autonomous drone – to give real-time information to the algorithm on where the drone was at any moment. To ensure a fair comparison, the human pilots were given the opportunity to train on the circuit before the race. But the algorithm won: all its laps were faster than the human ones, and the performance was more consistent. This is not surprising, because once the algorithm has found the best trajectory it can reproduce it faithfully many times, unlike human pilots.

Before commercial applications, the algorithm will need to become less computationally demanding, as it now takes up to an hour for the computer to calculate the time-optimal trajectory for the drone. Also, at the moment, the drone relies on external cameras to compute where it was at any moment. In future work, the scientists want to use onboard cameras. But the demonstration that an autonomous drone can in principle fly faster than human pilots is promising. “This algorithm can have huge applications in package delivery with drones, inspection, search and rescue, and more”, says Scaramuzza.

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DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @a1k0n: Sync'd @joshu's GoPro w/ my datalogging; video is 2.5X speed, Google imagery upper-right. Found out my track boundaries are WAY…
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DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @a1k0n: Also, at 45mph, the front tires literally blow up like a balloon and it doesn't have much front traction, so the car becomes fai…
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DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @a1k0n: Okay, some datalogs! Green dots are precalculated racing line (from my crummy optimizer -- it veers to the middle after 2 for Re…
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DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @a1k0n: Welp my @selfracingcars entry, hastily conceived heading filter and all, actually worked! Heading home, datalogs and videos to f…
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Eric Matyas replied to Eric Matyas's discussion Free Music / SFX Resource for Drone Videos - Over 1800 Tracks
"Greetings Everyone,

I released 2 new music tracks this week:

“GALACTIC POLE POSITION”

“RUINS ON RIGEL 3”

They’re 100% free to use with attribution, like my 2000+ other tracks.

You’ll find them here:
https://soundimage.org/sci-fi-10/

Enjoy and…"
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Alb Loomis replied to Anna Jackman's discussion Creative payloads / Building a drone / Survey
"Hello,
You might want to read these articles by Carol Johnk (Lichtenberger Engineering Library): "DIY Drone! What You Need to Know" and "Quantum Drones Academy".
I'm doing some analysis of custom drone-based quantum networks for my physics research…"
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Ahmed Rehan posted a discussion
Hi I am facing problem in position hold mode for X7 flight controller,  stabilized and altitude hold mode works fine as soon as I switch to position hold the quad is unstable any suggestions I have autotune roll axis and same parameter for pitch…
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Ben Akhtar replied to Zach LaVone's discussion Looking for advice on a university project
"It's been more than 5 years and I want to know how your project ended. How did you manage to solve the stated problems and is your team working on your new project now?
Thanks in advance for the answer!"
Wednesday
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X7 Position hold mode

Hi I am facing problem in position hold mode for X7 flight controller,  stabilized and altitude hold mode works fine as soon as I switch to position hold the quad is unstable any suggestions I have autotune roll axis and same parameter for pitch…

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