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Posts Tagged: "unmanned aerial vehicles"

Flying Cars, Drone Taxis and Other Futuristic Personal Transportation

While many of us long for the days to come in which our sedans or SUVs can suddenly sprout wings, taking us far away from congestive traffic blocking up interstate highways, there have been some developments in recent years bringing us closer to the reality of drone taxis or personal unmanned aerial systems (UAS) as a replacement for cars. Such technologies were the focus of discussion at the recent House Aviation Subcommittee hearing on new aircraft technologies. Flying cars and their development is not limited to the United States as recent reports indicate that several Japanese companies are working on a project roadmap for flying car development that will be released by the end of this year. In late August, Uber announced that it was looking into the potential of developing test sites for flying cars in five countries outside of the U.S. With the future of flying vehicles for personal transportation coming into more focus, we wanted to explore filings at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to see the current state of flying car technologies, both in the patent grants being issued by the UPSTO as well as in the patent applications being filed at the agency.

House Aviation Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), Flying Cars and Passenger Drones

The development of UAS vehicles for delivering packages or passengers could go a long way in alleviating issues of congestion occurring along the nation’s roadways. Aviation subcommittee ranking member Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA) spoke to these possibilities, citing a recent industry scorecard which found that U.S. drivers spent 40 hours each year stuck in traffic during peak hours, leading to an economic loss of $300 billion in lost productivity. Larsen noted that there were currently more than 50 passenger drone concepts in development and was the first of a series of Representatives attending the hearing to note that such technologies would make the science fiction world of The Jetsons a distinct reality.

NASA Announces First Flight of Ikhana Unmanned Aircraft in Commercial Airspace Without Safety Chase Aircraft

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recently announced the agency’s remotely-piloted Ikhana unmanned aircraft successfully completed its first flight within the National Airspace System (NAS) without the use of safety chase aircraft. This accomplishment is an important step towards the incorporation of unmanned aircraft within the NAS for various applications including the monitoring of forest fires, search and rescue operations and even general aviation.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Patents: A Survey

Given the broad range of countries deploying UAVs and the large number of applications for UAVs, we took a look at patent data from the last 20 years (1997 to 2016) to determine whether any trends in UAV development could be identified. Our findings show some surprising results with regard to development and patenting of drone technology. In this analysis we focuses on the top-5 patent offices for obtaining UAV related patents, the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) in China, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the European Patent Office (EPO), the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) in South Korea, and the Japan Patent Office (JPO).

FAA’s new rule allows somewhat larger degree of commercial drone use

The latest regulatory development at the FAA concerning UAVs is the issue of a new rule regarding small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) which went into effect August 29th. The new rule, known as Part 107, allow for the transportation of property for compensation or hire provided that the total weight of the drone and its cargo do not exceed 55 pounds, the flight is conducted within the visual line of sight of an operator and the flight occurs wholly within the boundary of a single state… One impact of the new small UAS rules issued by the FAA is that commercial drone operations can take place without obtaining a special exemption from the federal regulatory agency. Previously, UAV operators who were looking to use drones for purposes beyond hobby or recreational activities had to obtain a Section 333 exemption from the FAA to do so. As of August 26th, the FAA had granted 5,552 Section 333 exemptions for commercial UAS operators.

Heritage Foundation panel focuses on FAA missteps in drone regulations

There is a legitimate question to be raised, however, over whether the FAA’s registry regulations and the harsh penalties for offenders actually makes our skies any safer for American citizens. That was a question tackled by a panel at The Heritage Foundation at a moderated discussion on better approaches to U.S. drone policy… Some panelists questioned why there was a need to single out UAVs as a particularly dangerous threat to manned aircraft when it was clear that there were far greater environmental risks to aircraft. Sargent chastised the media, saying that they have “not been much of a help on this” by overstating drone risks, further noting that damage risks from large birds were far greater than drones… Taylor expanded the scope of this idea, mentioning that while a few dozen people died in recreational watercraft accidents each year, and hundreds are put into hospitals from injuries related to all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), he was not aware of any story where an American was injured by a drone.

How Drone Disabling Patents Change Everything

The proliferation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), more commonly referred to as drones, has cluttered airspaces all over the world in a precarious way. Security and privacy issues related to drones have prompted some organizations to ban the use of drones entirely… With so much interest in developing systems for drone disabling and capturing unauthorized drones, it’s not surprising to see patents being issued for related technologies over the past year by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. One such patent, U.S. Patent No. 9085362, titled Counter-Unmanned Aerial Vehicle System and Method, generally relates to a UAV for providing counter-UAV measures… Although American aerospace and defense giant Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) appears to maintain a leading position in this field, smaller inventors are also active in this field…

Looking back on 2015, autonomous and electric vehicles dominate car tech headlines

In many ways, 2015 has been the year of the automobile, especially in the tech world. Throughout the course of the year we’ve noted a great deal of business and technological developments that have been reshaping the entire vehicle manufacturing sector. Gone are the days that the market is completely dominated by names such as General Motors Company, Ford Motor Company or Toyota Motor Corp. As 2015 draws to a close, these traditional automaker behemoths are seeing encroachment on their position from some unusual names, especially those residing in Silicon Valley.

Airbus patents removable aircraft cabins, patent applications include wireless energy transmission

Airbus Group SE (EPA:AIR), based in Leiden, Netherlands, is a multinational corporation focused on the development of aerospace and defence technologies. Sales figures indicate that Airbus will outsell top rival Boeing Company (NYSE:BA) for 2015, although lagging production may result in Boeing being able to fulfill more orders by the end of the year. Airbus has shown some interest in…

FAA clears up regulatory questions concerning drones, keeps Amazon grounded for now

With an eye toward taking a step forward on the regulatory front, on Sunday, February 15th, the U.S. Federal Aviation Industry released a proposed framework of regulations for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), or drones, that the agency and many drone operators are hopeful will lead to the greater incorporation of drones into American airspace. However, some of the proposed regulations would effectively squash certain commercial applications of drone aircraft being developed by Amazon and others, or at least postpone them for the time being.

IBM continues pursuit of cognitive question answering systems

Piggybacking on the success of IBM’s Watson system, we feature a trio of technologies in the field of question answering systems. The provisioning of computing resources for creating more efficient technologies is also explored. Other patent applications that we discuss in more detail include methods of measuring audience attention, developing panoramic images from multiple images captured by drones as well as a technology for interrupting presentations in order to deliver important messages.