About the Author

Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Main Writer at DroneDJ, where he covers all drone-related news and writes product reviews. He also contributes to the other sites in the 9to5Mac group such as; 9to5Mac, 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, and Electrek.

Haye can be reached at haye@dronedj.com or @hayekesteloo


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Justin Brannan, who represents Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, and Bath Beach in the City Council, argues in the New York Daily News that “it’s time for New York to craft common-sense regulations for drones.” I couldn’t agree with him more. However, Brannan also mentions new legislation that he has drafted to allow drones to be flown in the city. He mentions registration and insurance requirements as well as a form of Remote ID. It is unclear whether his drafted legislation is in line with what the FAA is doing, or whether Brannan is proposing legislation purely for drone flying in New York City. I would argue against the latter, as it will contribute to an impossibly hard-to-navigate patchwork of drone laws around the country, similar to what Mike Lee is suggesting with the Drone Integration and Zoning Act.

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On their website today, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announces new drone and model aircraft registration and education service that will come into effect and law on November 30, 2019, in the UK. Any drone pilot or operator flying a drone between 250 grams (0.55 lbs) and 20 kilograms (88 lbs) will need to register as an operator. The registration will need to be renewed every year for a cost of £9 or almost $12 USD.

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October 18

Instead of chasing sheep with a drone or using an unmanned aircraft to bark at them, farmers are now trying to teach the woolly animals to follow the drone as positive reinforcement seems to work best.

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NPR: “It is increasingly likely that drone deliveries will soon take off”

Today, the NPR published a great article about drone deliveries that will soon take off. It talks about the drone deliveries that are taking place at the WakeMed Hospital Campus in partnership with UPS Flight Forward, using Matternet drones in Raleigh, NC. UPS recently was awarded a Part 135 certification from the FAA and the testing takes place as part of the UAS Integration Pilot Program. More testing with drone deliveries is taking place in Christiansburg, VA where Walgreens partners with FedEx and Wing Aviation.

October 17

Johannes Fischbach’s attempt to set a world record for the longest jump on a mountain bike resulted in a ‘super crash’ from which he luckily walked away in one piece. The incredible jump was recorded from a number of different angles, the most spectacular one, in my opinion, is the FPV drone footage. Check out the video below.

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DJI welcomes FAA and industry reports on improving drone safety

DJI welcomes FAA and industry reports on improving drone safety. Key recommendations from drone experts mirror DJI’s safety and security initiatives.

LIDAR equipped drones and airplanes help discover and map Maya ruins

In recent years LIDAR equipped drones and airplanes have helped to make a number of discoveries as it allows archaeologists to ‘see’ through dense vegetation and find ruins of old civilizations such as the Maya’s in Mexico

October 16

The Drone Integration and Zoning Act, introduced by Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) on Wednesday, aims to transfer authority over low-flying drones to local governments such as states, cities, and Native American tribes instead of the federal government.

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Could Little Ripper drone warn Cape Cod tourists about great white sharks?

Earlier today, I came across a story [paywall] in the Wall Street Journal that tells how a recent study from Woods Hole Group Inc. shows that there are no good methods to keep swimmers safe from great white sharks in the waters off Cape Cod. In recent years, several people have been injured by sharks, and at least one person died in 2018. It made me wonder whether the Little Ripper drone with SharkSpotter technology from the Australia-based Ripper Group might be able to help warn Cape Cod tourists about great white sharks.

Skydio enters the commercial drone market with the Skydio 2 Dock, “a self-contained, weatherproof, charging base station for the Skydio 2 drone that enables truly persistent operations for enterprise applications.” Meaning, you can have this box sit outside at your construction lot, mining operation, or landfill and have the Skydio 2 fly autonomous missions regularly to map the location and update you on the progress of your building, your mining stockpiles, or the speed at which you’re filling up the landfill. Or at least in theory that would be possible. In reality, there are some regulatory hurdles that will need to be overcome first. Skydio’s announcement was made during the DroneDeploy Conference 2019 in San Francisco.

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A DJI M210 with a thermal camera helped find a missing 6-year-old boy in dark cornfield near Becker, Minnesota. The boy, named Ethan, was found safe early Wednesday morning after more than 600 volunteers had participated in the search. It was, however, a volunteer with the DJI Matrice 210 with a thermal camera who spotted the missing boy.

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South Korea plans to use thermal imaging drones and swine assassins to hunt down and kill disease-ridden North Korean pigs that venture over the border. According to a report from the South China Morning Post, the South Korean Ministry of Agriculture announced on Sunday that the government plans to stop the influx of North Korean pigs that carry African swine fever from entering the country.

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October 15

Ford has patented a drone that can fly directly from the vehicle to perform security and emergency aid functions. The drone is a quadcopter design and can be programmed and customized.

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A new drone video shows the aftermath of the Hard Rock Hotel collapse in New Orleans. Rescue workers and search dogs are carefully working their way through the dangerously unstable hotel looking for the last missing person.

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October 14

eHang, Verity Studios, and Intel are three well-known companies that have used unmanned aircraft to create stunning drone light shows, but they are not the only players in this market. Check out the company Firefly from Detroit that creates the most stunning drone light shows. The shows are highly choreographed, are 100% customizable, and are totally worth watching.

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As a kiteboarder and drone enthusiast, I loved watching this video as it combines two of my biggest passions. However, halfway through the short clip, my heart skipped a beat or two when the kiteboarder almost lost his new Skydio 2 drone in the ocean. You’ll have to watch this one.

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October 13

Zhiyun announces the WEEBILL-S gimbal

Zhiyun has announced the WEEBILL-S gimbal. The new WEEBILL generation is more powerful and compatible with real-time syncing. This new gimbal offers ultra-low latency image transmission in 1080p with an all-new TransMount Image Transmission Module.

October 11

While many drone enthusiasts are getting very excited for October 30th, there likely is another new DJI drone just around the corner. That’s right, the latest rumors indicate that a new DJI Mavic 3 is expected to be released by the end of January 2020.

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October 10

The new DJI Mavic Mini was recently confirmed in these FCC filings. We now have information that this sub-250-grams mini drone will very likely be introduced on October 30. It is unclear at this point whether the launch of the new DJI drone will be accompanied with a special launch event.

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FreeFly is throwing a party to celebrate launch Alta X drone

FreeFly Systems is throwing a party to celebrate their recent launch of the Alta X drone, which is said to be the “world’s toughest drone”. The event will take place on Friday, October 11th and Saturday, October 12th at the company’s headquarters in Woodinville, Washington. For more details see below.

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