here are the items that have won CES Innovation Awards this year as well as the honorees in the Robotics and Drones category. I was planning on doing sort of a follow-up to the sexual aid device getting yanked article, but it’s not worth it.
Best of Innovation
- A Bluetooth water bottle/speaker (actually kind of cool)
- An atmospheric water generator (so you can pay even more for water)
- An Alexa enabled bluetooth FM transmitter
- A beehive warmer/cooler
- Harry Potter coding kit
- Lidar/computer vision thing
- An 8K 260 degree VR ball ($5000)
- A KitchenAid thing that looks like it should be out of the running with smart assistants
- A kitchen faucet
- A tablet
- LG Sound Bar
- LG V40 ThinQ
- Skin track wearable sensor
- NVIDIA video chips
- Personal AI assistant for hearing
- Owlet bell baby monitor
- PLOTT Extended reality platform
- Qoobo One (wireless tube amp)
- An embedded voice AI
- Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones
- A countertop dishwasher
- App the does in-picture 3d measurement
- The Window by Samsung (MicroLED display)
- TrustBox (IoT gateway)
- A universal wireless charger for laptops
- A powered wheelchair
- Battery free hearing aid
- ZOMEKit for Apartment buildings (looks like the Sense monitor with the word “blockchain” attached for marketing)
- Zumi RoboCar (AI self driving vehicle)
The device I was going to make this article was in the Robotics and Drones category, so let’s look through there…
Drone with arms, vacuum robot, multisensor thingie, better drone remote, hybrid power flying drone, Intel’s Shooting Star Drone, Roomba i7+, RC drone arm, another drone, build your own drone, computer vision enhancement, water done, a robot that follows you in stores while you shop, an electric skateboard, and a $250 robot who hangs out and helps you. OK, that last one (Vector) is pretty darn cool and you cat watch a video of it in action.
Notably absent in any category I can locate are sexual aids. Some interesting stuff though.
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- Quantum Computing Zines — from EPiQC, the University of Chicago-led quantum research collaboration. Topics: history, hype, measurement, operations, notation, reversibility, superposition, and entanglement.
- Surprising People Have Access to Your Phone’s Location (VICE) — T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T are selling access to their customers’ location data, and that data is ending up in the hands of bounty hunters and others not authorized to possess it, letting them track most phones in the country.
- Underclocking the ESP8266 Leads to Wi-Fi Weirdness (Hackaday) — underclock an 8266 and the channel width decreases proportionally. Underclock two by the same amount and you can create a channel so narrow that non-underclocked devices can’t understand it. Clever!
- Gödel Was Incompleteness Ex Machina — In this essay we’ll prove Gödel’s incompleteness theorems twice. First, we’ll prove them the good old-fashioned way. Then we’ll repeat the feat in the setting of computation. In the process, we’ll discover that Gödel’s work, rightly viewed, needs to be split into two parts: the transport of computation into the arena of arithmetic on the one hand and the actual incompleteness theorems on the other. After we’re done, there will be cake. (via Daniel Bilar)
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With their latest talking points, the Democrats are proving once again that they know nothing about how immigration enforcement works on our southern border.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and other House Democrats turned to the airwaves last week to argue that instead of a border wall, we could simply use more drones to fix our broken immigration system. Supposedly, modern technology can get the job done.
That only shows that they know as little about drones as they do about border security.
As someone who’s hunted terrorists in the Middle East using drones, I know what they can and can’t do.
For starters, my teammates and I would use at least two or three drones to track just one terrorist. Drones are meant to be surgical – they’re completely unsuited for the task of watching all of the nearly 2,000 illegal immigrants who try to penetrate our borders every day.
The truth is that you could deploy every drone in the U.S. government’s arsenal along the border, and it still wouldn’t be enough to solve the problem.
Unless Democrats want to put Hellfire missiles on the drones to prevent people from breaching our borders – and no one wants that – drones are nothing more than multi-million dollar “eyes in the sky.”
Yes, drones can provide more intelligence to our agents on the ground, but that’s not particularly useful if there isn’t enough manpower on the ground to stop illegal immigrants once they’ve been identified. Drones are not substitutes for more agents and an actual barrier at the border.
In fact, immigration enforcement agencies such as U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) have been using drones on the southern border for years, but their limited utility has not come close to justifying the massive operating cost.
Border agents simply can’t use drones along the border in the same way that my fellow soldiers and I did when hunting terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan. Whereas we were able to use drones to eliminate threats, border patrol agents can only use them to determine where to allocate their already-overextended resources.
We need a physical barrier on the southern border, not a virtual one. While House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her fellow Democrats continue to fantasize about technology that doesn’t yet exist, thousands of illegal aliens are pouring across our border every day. Drones can monitor those people, but they can’t stop them from entering our country.
To achieve true border security, what we really need are more boots on the ground, backed up by a wall to slow down the illegal immigrants and give our agents a chance to respond.
The Democrats either can’t understand or won’t accept that basic reality, and they’re compounding that error by placing their faith in a solution that the experts already know to be completely ineffective.
Brett Velicovich is a U.S. Army veteran and author of “Drone Warrior: An Elite Soldier’s Inside Account of the Hunt for America’s Most Dangerous Enemies”
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This remote control builds on OcuSync 2.0, the system DJI’s newest drones use to transmit video in HD. As long as the drone you’re using, whether it’s the Pro, the Zoom, or the Enterprise, uses OcuSync 2.0, the DJI Smart Controller is compatible.
The controller comes with a 5.5-inch 1080p screen with 1000 nits of brightness, which means it’ll be usable even in direct sunlight. You’ll also be able to automatically switch between 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz Wi-Fi channels so you can always stay connected even as the signal changes. The environment won’t have nearly as big of an impact on image quality this way, and you’ll be able to transmit up to eight kilometers away. Another reason the environment won’t have such an impact is the controller’s ability to withstand both hot and cold temperatures with an operating range of -20 degrees Celsius to +40 degrees.
Connect to your drone within seconds of turning it on so you won’t have to wait to take off. When something is unfolding in front of you, there’s nothing more frustrating than waiting for your devices to load and prepare before recording. Also, the control sticks are integrated into the design and removable, so you can pack this thing up tightly in a backpack without damaging the gear. The 5000mAh battery has support for Quick Charge 2.0 and will work for up to 2.5 hours. You’ll definitely want a Quick Charge wall adapter to give the battery a boost as fast as possible.
Android is powering the system behind the controller, so you’ll have access to a variety of third party apps for sharing and editing your videos. You’ll also be able to use the DJI GO 4 app, which gives you easy ways to share your media or transfer to a different mobile device. One neat option is the ability to live stream. Since the controller has a built-in mic and speaker, you can use SkyTalk to share your drone’s view directly on a platform like Instagram and talk over it from your position.
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In many ways, 2019 will be another big year for the commercial drone industry. Last year saw a wider roll-out of the FAA’s LAANC program (the Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability that provides access to controlled airspace near airports), the launch of the UAS Integration Pilot Program from the FAA, and some significant developments for new regulatory frameworks for drones in Europe and in India. This year, expect more of the same—but with a few twists.
Trend 1 – Expanded business use
Adoption of aerial drones and drone technology will not be as widespread as some might expect. Instead, it will grow in select industries like agriculture, construction, insurance, mining and aggregates, public safety and first responders, oil & gas, survey engineering, telecommunications, and utilities.
Last year, companies began to move beyond the provisional use of drones—where they were outsourcing to determine a drone program’s feasibility—to standing up or expanding internal teams to manage workflows and data. This year, expect to see reports about companies expanding their teams and adding use cases that take advantage of the waivers allowing limited beyond visual line of sight operations.
Trend 2 – Slower, more steady growth
The number of certified remote pilots is the benchmark for commercial drone industry growth. That’s because, almost uniformly around the world, regulations demand each drone operation have one pilot. Last year, the number of FAA-certified remote pilots grew about 50% over the previous year, to approximately 115,000. That increase was mostly made up of pilots who work for companies, enterprises, or public agencies with internal drone programs as opposed to pilots who operate for drone-based service providers. It’s clear that commercial industries are now driving growth vs. individual interest as in years past.
One thing to keep in mind when looking at FAA numbers is that the month-over-month growth rate is beginning to slow. That may worsen given the current partial U.S. Government shutdown, which will delay the grant of new certificates. It may also slow further because some drone-based service providers who are not making money (most aren’t) will choose not to re-certify as a remote pilot.
Trend 3 – Further vendor consolidation
Much of the industry’s growth so far has come from the early hype about how drones were going to “transform” industries as well as huge forecasts that fueled investment. Over the years, we’ve seen those dreams turn to smoke as vendors like 3D Robotics and GoPro fell out of the sky. Last year was no exception. The $118M collapse of Airware and the release of Parrot’s disappointing financial results give us a glimpse into what will come.
Still, there is good news, and you can expect more moves like PrecisionHawk’s acquisitions as vendors seek leadership positions in key industries and secure new revenue streams.
Trend 4 – Public distrust and civil liability
Despite the benefits of commercial drone use, the general public still has concerns about drones with regards to safety, security, privacy, and public nuisance. After the Gatwick debacle, expect more headlines in 2019 of unauthorized drone sightings and the coming drone apocalypse. In many ways these stories hurt legitimate commercial operators who often need to gain permission from reluctant land owners so they can perform inspections and survey maps for infrastructure unreachable by other means.
Here in the U.S., there is another tea kettle about to boil over. A little-known but highly influential group known as the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) will continue to work on a proposed “Tort Law Relating to Drones Act,” which concerns drones and privacy. If their proposal is adopted by states, we could see an arbitrary line drawn 200 feet in the sky that would establish a new aerial trespass zone giving property owners the right to establish no-fly zones. Right now, their draft goes much further than any existing state or federal law and if enacted would create a complicated patchwork of differing state laws that inhibit commercial operations. Until then, expect to see more local and state laws like this one in Pennsylvania aiming to protect people’s privacy from drones.
Trend 5 – More regulation – maybe
Some predict 2019 will be the year the FAA finally implements a requirement for remote identification for all drones, recreational and commercial, flying in the U.S. It’s expected this will be combined with a new rule for flights over people for small drones. But there is a big difference between the FAA proposing a rule (called the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking or NPRM) and that rule becoming law. The difference can be anywhere from six to nine months. So it’s likely we’ll see a proposed rule, but implementation will be like “Waiting for Godot.”
To be clear, Drone ID is not a slam dunk, and the specifics of the ID signature are still being debated within the FAA. Even so, Drone ID needs to exist for Unmanned Traffic Management (aka UTM) to become a reality. UTM should help enable some of the most talked-about use cases for drones, from package delivery to aerial taxi services, but don’t expect this first iteration of remote ID will live up to the headlines or vendor expectations of a global autonomous drone network – as that would ignore the arduous political processes in each country or region to make UTM even possible.
Trend 6 – DJI’s continued dominance
SZ DJI Technology Co., Ltd., China (aka DJI) continues to dominate the market and has made gains this year in every product category, from drone aircraft at all price ranges, to add-on payloads, to software. Recent survey data shows DJI is still the dominant brand for drone aircraft purchases, with a 74% global market share. Much of DJI’s dominance can be attributed to its aggressive product development, technological advancements, and partner development in the enterprise channel. Last year, the company released two new series of enterprise products (Phantom 4 RTK and Mavic 2 Enterprise) that target industrial users. It’s safe to predict their leadership will continue given their strategic investment with Hasselblad, their recent investment in an R&D facility in Palo Alto, California, and their partners in the enterprise space such as Microsoft.
Trend 7 – Sensors, software, and AI advancements
Along with the new imaging sensor integration announcements in 2019 (such as smaller, more lightweight LiDAR), expect to see imaging software advancements as companies seek to combine RGB, thermal imaging, orthomosaic, and data from IoT sensors. More aerial imaging and mapping software firms will likely announce artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities. Right now, most of this is cloud-based machine learning (aka deep learning and predictive analytics), where datasets are trained by specialized teams. Already, there are some drone-based AI solutions for image recognition/machine vision, but it’s still early in the technology development cycle and AI is at peak hype.
Some big news for 2019 could be workflow integration of drone data and workflow into predictive maintenance and service solutions, as well as enterprise asset management systems such as those from IBM, INFOR, Oracle, and SAP. Capabilities could include documentation, tracking, and GIS data integration. That may bring a yawn to some, but when you can connect the dots and show the effect of drone data on the balance sheet, CFOs and CEOs will take notice and drive further enterprise adoption.
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