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A major test of last-mile drone delivery, direct-seeding rice with a drone, a drone-centric kiosk you can build yourself, and a webinar to learn the BVLOS regulatory landscape.

UAV News Last Mile Drone Delivery: Testing the Limits of Commercial Operations

DroneUp partnered with Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) and UPS on a project to quickly evaluate the concept of last-mile drone delivery. They wanted to see how unmanned aerial systems could assist with critical delivery during times of crisis.

On the vacant campus of St. Paul’s College, in Lawrenceville, Virginia, a group of pilots flew over 200 flights under a scripted plan, operating under part 107 rules, with industry-standard drones. The flights simulated the delivery of 1.275-pound payloads of medical and other critical supplies in city-like conditions. Data was collected with respect to operational capacities, airspace deconfliction, operator safety, processes, policies, and training.

Tom Walker, DroneUp’s CEO, said, “DroneUp’s drone delivery exercise was aimed at learning what is possible to do safely and effectively today while gathering data to overcome seemingly impossible obstacles in the near future.” 

For more, see the 56-page report, DroneUp Resources Operation Last-Mile: Critical Drone Delivery Report.

XAG Introduces Rice Seeding Drone

XAG is a Chinese company focused on agricultural technology. In April 2020, they organized a rice direct-seeding demonstration where two workers spread 5kg of rice seeds through a muddy rice paddy. Following that, a XAG drone repeated the same task. The difference in planing time was significant.

Raspberry Pi-based Kiosk Display Shares Weather, FAA Advisories for Drones

A project from Sky Horse Tech uses a Raspberry Pi to power a custom drone-centric kiosk. The kiosk pulls in local weather data and FAA advisories through AirMap and MapBox. The data cycles every 30 seconds and is refreshed every 5 minutes. The kiosk uses a 32” display, a $35 Raspberry Pi 3 Model B or newer, some free software, and weather and FAA advisory APIs.

Navigating the Regulatory Landscape Towards BVLOS Operations

This free AUVSI webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, June 10, 2020, 03:00 PM TO 04:00 PM (EDT). You’ll learn about the regulations affecting Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drone flight and the factors involved in successfully navigating the regulatory environment to achieve a waiver. 

Iris Automation director of airspace integration Trever Linn will explain what operators should expect before applying for a waiver, and the key components such as risk mitigation measures and CONOPS documentation necessary for approvals. Attendees will learn about current regulatory challenges, readily available solutions, and the path forward for BVLOS drone operations.

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