Robotics

An expert on search and rescue robots explains the technologies used in disasters like the Florida condo collapse

Ground robots are typically used to go into places that searchers can’t fit into and go farther than search cameras can.

GSA drops most drones from multiple award schedules

To crack down on security risks from unmanned aerial systems, the General Services Administration said its multiple awards schedules will only offer small drones approved by the Defense Innovation Unit’s Blue sUAS Program.

Robotic dogs patrol Tyndall AFB

The unmanned ground vehicles, which resemble headless robot dogs, use on-board computers, cameras and other detection devices as they patrol a set path scouting for threats.

Firefighting robot joins LA force

The Los Angeles City Fire Department’s new robotic firefighter, the Thermite RS3, was on the job just a day after it arrived.

NC gets waiver to fly bridge-inspection drones beyond line of sight

Inspectors with the North Carolina Department of Transportation can now use unmanned aerial systems to examine the underside of bridges to better analyze the bridge’s integrity and identify possible problems.

US-made small drones added to GSA schedule

Through the Defense Innovation Unit’s Blue sUAS initiative, five U.S.-manufactured drone configurations are providing secure options for military and civilian agencies.

Hearing gives robot perception a big boost

Robot perception could improve markedly by giving robots the ability to hear sounds, researchers report.

Anti-drone tech tests lined up for local airports

The Federal Aviation Administration plans to test anti-drone technologies to see how they perform in real-world environments.

State and local governments warned to keep federal drone laws in mind

State, local and private sector could run afoul of federal laws if they deploy drone detection and mitigation systems without careful thought, federal agencies say.

DHS tests counter-drone tech

The Department of Homeland Security is testing counter-drone systems near agency facilities and ports, according to a recently released privacy impact assessment.

Teaching autonomous vehicles to learn by doing

Ground robots that can apply learned behaviors to new tasks, rather than responding to verbal commands, will improve how they move through rugged and unfamiliar terrain.

DIU issues drone contracts to support domestic suppliers

The Defense Department’s innovation arm has issued $13.4 million in small-drone support contracts under the Defense Production Act.

Did that drone just tell us to stay 6 feet apart?

Drones that monitor social distance, scan crowds and test temperatures worry the public, civil liberties advocates and some in the drone industry.

How digital twins keep Navy ahead on ship maintenance

With a digital twin of a ship, the Navy can conduct shipboard repairs and maintenance while at sea, ensuring the readiness of combat systems without the need to dock.

Linking self-driving cars to traffic signals might help pedestrians give them the green light

Because pedestrians at an intersection tend to trust traffic lights more than self-driving cars, cities might be safer if cars communicated their intentions to traffic lights rather.

NOAA expands use of unmanned systems

The new Unmanned Systems Operations Program will provide training, cybersecurity, acquisition and other centralized support services as the number of autonomous missions increase.

Pandemic drones: Useful for enforcing social distancing or for creating a police state?

We might be fine with disaster drones ferrying urgent medical supplies, but how would we feel if they were indistinguishable from drones piloted by police, the military or private security companies? Now is the best time for policymakers to set limits on how drones can be used in public space.