1. Terra Drone Corporation will set up its new offices in Brisbane at Brisbane’s River City Labs innovation precinct. (30 January 2017)
2. PrecisionHawk, an international drone company is opening an office in Sydney. Australia’s agricultural, environmental and energy industries are set to benefit. (25 January 2017)
3. The Association of Certified UAV Operators (ACUO) is calling for the Federal Government to create a plan for unmanned traffic Management. ACUO believe this is the only viable means of achieving the safe integration of remotely piloted aircraft systems into national airspace. (24 January 2017)
4. Mesmer has began selling technology that allows drones to be commandeered mid-flight in Australia. The program works by intercepting the digital radio signal between a drone and its pilot, before using the same communication protocols to take control “by restructuring the communication hierarchy and elevating the priority of one control device over another”. (23 January 2017)
5. Emergency services have reinforced warnings to drone enthusiasts that they can interfere with aerial firefighting and even spark a fire if they crash. (17 January 2017)
6. Telstra joins the likes of Australia Post in seeking the BVLOS relaxation for commercial drone operations. (4 January 2017)
1. Training programs are popping up around the country for a rush of new jobs in unmanned systems. (31 January 2017)
2. The once-small community of drone hobbyists has transformed into a worldwide phenomenon. In 2016 especially, significant technology improvements and regulatory clarity have paved the way for even more dramatic changes in the coming years. (27 January 2017)
3. One company has decided the ideal tiny drone should take its cues from the natural world of insects — specifically the dragonfly.
When Draper, an independent biomedical solutions lab, set out to make its own mini-fliers. It got some of the insects and outfitted them with cutting-edge navigation, synthetic biology and neurotechnology systems to create a swarm of cyborg dragonfly drones. (27 January 2017)
4. Counter-drone warfare will be a high-stakes game in 2017. As manufacturers vie to produce ever more capable drones, their appeal to criminals and terrorists will grow, and the need for counter-drone security will become ever more intense. (25 January 2017)
5. Las Vegas Consumer Electronic Show 2017: a LEGO like-system, where the drone is constructed by snapping magnetic parts together and the rise of selfie drones (10 January 2017)
6. Over the past year, people have registered over 670,000 drones with the federal government.
The number reflects the rapid adoption of drones by hobbyists and a parallel effort by regulators to get them to register those aircraft. The goal is to use the registry as a way to pinpoint bad actors who fly drones in restricted areas like airports and over sports events. (7 January 2017)