On Monday, The Linux Foundation announced a new open-sourced software project called Dronecode. The concept behind Dronecode is to create an ecosystem where current and future drone projects can benefit from a large community of UAV developers. Companies all over the world are building hardware, writing code, and conducting field tests – and collecting useful data that deserves to be shared. Current partners include 3D Robotics, jDrones, DroneDeploy,Squadrone System, SkyWard, Walkera, and Yuneec.
Also on Monday, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (India’s FAA) announced the use of drones in India will be illegal until proper regulations are put in place. This could be bad news for Amazon, which announced its intentions to begin testing the Prime Air delivery service in India last month.
On Tuesday, the state of California updated its Invasion of Privacy Law to incorporate a ban on drones with cameras. The amended law says anybody caught using a drone to take pictures of someone “under circumstances in which [they] had a reasonable expectation of privacy,” and where the pictures could not have been taken without trespassing if the drone hadn’t been used, could be subject to a fine of up to $50,000.
In a report published on Tuesday, Lux Research predicted the commercial drone market could reach $1.7 billion by 2025.
And in what was probably the biggest drone-related story of the week, a DJI Phantom flew a flag through a soccer match between Serbia and Albania on Tuesday, causing a brawl to break out on the pitch and the match to be canceled.
On Wednesday, 3D Robotics was at it again- they announced the release of two new UAV platforms, the Aero-M fixed wing and XM-8 multirotor, for use in industrial mapping. Both drones have starting prices of $5,400 and can be equipped with an array of cameras and sensors.
Also on Wednesday, the FAA un-canceled the 33 year old statute that governed the use of unmanned vehicle. The statute, AC 91-57 was canceled last Friday, and the FAA said it would be coming down harder on unregistered pilots. But now it’s back. This epic flip-flop is best summed up in a post by Motherboard’s Jason Koebler in which he suggested all the confusion incited by the FAA may be intentional.
On Thursday, prosecutors dropped charges against the two men who were arrested in July for allegedly flying a drone too close to an NYPD helicopter near the George Washington Bridge.
And finally this week, AtlantaHobby.com released the Vortex drone, an American made, 3D-printed hexacopter. The Vortex has the guts of a DJI Phantom but is intended to be outfitted with a number of different cameras- so its uses go beyond taking pictures into the realm of actionable data acquisition.
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com