About the Author

Ishveena Singh

Ishveena Singh is a versatile journalist and writer with a passion for drones and location technologies. She has been named as one of the 50 Rising Stars of the geospatial industry for the year 2021 by Geospatial World magazine.

Today

As India prepares to celebrate its 75th Independence Day on August 15, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has instructed all security agencies to be extra vigilant about a possible drone attack. Meanwhile, Delhi’s Red Fort, from where the prime minister of India hoists the national flag and addresses the public, will receive “360-degree” anti-drone coverage in the form of rooftop watchers and skilled marksmen authorized to shoot down any drone approaching the restricted airspace.

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Australia’s drama-charged National Rugby League (NRL) cannot seem to catch a break. With Sydney’s latest COVID-19 outbreak spiraling, hundreds of NRL players and their families have been forced to relocate to Queensland mid-season. But since then, there have been multiple reports of COVID-19 bubble breaches, which have put the game’s future at risk. The latest scandalous development comes in the form of drones being deployed as creepy, electronic Peeping Toms to keep the players and their families in check.

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July 25

You have seen the awe-inspiring revolving globe drone show at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Now, watch hundreds of drones take off and ascend toward the night sky like stunning shooting stars in this new behind-the-scenes video.

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July 23

It’s on. After a year-long delay, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics have finally begun, albeit in the shadow of COVID-19. The opening ceremony today at the $1.5 billion Olympic Stadium was an extravaganza that was both celebratory and subdued. But our favorite part came right toward the end when more than 1,800 drones took to the skies to form a globe over the stadium as artists from five continents sang Imagine.

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The ultra-lightweight Hubsan Zino Mini Pro, a 249-gram drone that looks like a solid DJI Mini 2 competitor on paper, has been available for pre-order in the United States since May 2021. However, its estimated shipping date has remained a mystery. But now, it appears a launch could be imminent. And that’s because the Zino Mini Pro has just turned up on the database of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) – which is usually the final step before a product is released commercially.

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DJI is slowly and steadily expanding the geographies where its cheapest drone yet, the Mini SE, is available. After hitting the shelves in Southeast Asia and South America some three weeks ago, the Mini SE is making a debut in its home market, China. There, the 249-gram drone is shipping with a price tag of 1,999 yuan, which roughly converts to $309.

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July 22

An estimated 10 million HIV patients around the world are unable to access life-saving medications. Often, it’s because they are located in areas so remote that ferrying the drugs becomes an extremely slow and time-consuming process. Johnson & Johnson wants to change that. That’s why the company is funding a drone program in Uganda, East Africa, to deliver HIV treatments.

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There are many reasons for drones to be quick. The professional drone racing circuit aside, speed bodes well when you are searching for survivors on a disaster site, or delivering cargo, or even inspecting critical infrastructure. But how do you get something done in the shortest possible time with limited battery life when you have to navigate through obstacles, changing speeds, and altitude? You use an algorithm.

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After deadly floods upended life in Western Europe last week, now it’s China that is enduring the wrath of extreme weather. At least 33 people have died in what is being described as the “heaviest rainfall in a millennium” in central China’s Henan province. Drone videos show the extent of the devastation…

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July 21

Drones have become an essential storytelling tool for news organizations, freelance reporters, and citizen journalists across the globe. Many people make money by selling drone footage to local news channels and stock content aggregators. But which drone can you buy for less than $1,000 to get the best newsworthy photos and videos?

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A couple of days ago, we wrote about a leaked US government memo that exposed the Department of Interior’s stance on Pentagon-approved Blue sUAS drones. The internal memo verified by the Financial Times revealed that following a ban on China-manufactured drones, the DoI is being forced to spend eight to 14 times more for machines that were only 20% as effective. It was a scathing memo, alright. So now, a lobby group consisting of US-based drone manufacturers and a Europe-headquartered open-source software developer is hitting back.

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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) receives dozens of uncrewed aircraft sighting reports every month. With incident reports coming in from pilots, citizens, and law enforcement officials alike, the FAA’s database of drone and unidentified aircraft sightings runs into thousands of Mandatory Occurrence Reports (MORs) today. So, now, an enterprising online publication is featuring these reports in an interactive map of the United States – thus making it easier for people to zoom into their neighborhood for details or explore hotspots of sightings more intimately.

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July 20

Friends don’t let friends fly a drone while drunk. You know it, we know it. But it appears this 56-year-old man in Japan’s Aichi Prefecture doesn’t know it. For he thought it would be OK to take a long-forgotten drone out for a spin after guzzling eight 350 ml cans of beer.

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There’s never a dull moment with Phil Mickelson around. With nearly three decades of professional golf experience behind him, the guy has given fans some pretty wonderful and whacky “Phil being Phil’” anecdotes. But not many come close to what happened ahead of his victory at the 2021 PGA Championship in May 2021. And it involves a drone.

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July 19

In 2022, Japan’s government agencies will stop purchasing drones from China to curb potential security risks. Private organizations plan to follow suit. But affordable homegrown options are nonexistent. This is why the leading infrastructure companies are now exploring open-source drone technologies to decrease the cost and complexity of developing new aircraft.

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Drone company PrecisionHawk is joining forces with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) to upskill the latter’s Part 107 drone pilot members. PrecisionHawk wants to teach NRECA drone operators how to inspect electricity transmission and distribution assets more safely and efficiently across the United States.  

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A mother and her son were saved from certain death when a college sophomore spotted the duo struggling in a rip current at Topsail Beach on the North Carolina coast. The incident happened over the July 4th holiday weekend, and a drone operated by the rescuer’s friend caught everything on camera.

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The Pentagon has spent roughly $18 million to test and identify drones that government agencies can use instead of those made or assembled in China. But how do these drones stack up against the competition? Not too well, according to an internal US government memo. The Pentagon-approved Blue sUAS drones are 8 to 14 times more expensive and only 20% as effective when it comes to vital conservation work, according to the Department of Interior (DoI).

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July 16

COVID air travel bans may continue to frustrate holidaymakers, but in India, the skies are finally opening up for business. Only four months after it was introduced, India has junked a contentious drone policy that made industry compliance virtually impossible. Taking its place is the new Draft Drone Rules 2021.

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At least 1,000 baby flamingo carcasses – some partially buried in the mud – have been discovered at Turkey’s Lake Tuz. Horrifying drone footage captured above the dried-out lake bed has alarmed environmentalists who say climate change, drought, and unsustainable farming practices are to blame.

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