In this week’s roundup from the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), which highlights some of the latest news and headlines in unmanned vehicles and robotics, learn about the new mini version of the Shooting Star UAS, which Intel introduced during its CES keynote. Additionally, learn about a new smartphone case called the AAE SELFLY, which features an embedded drone, as well as a new UAS business launched by a teen.
Intel reveals Shooting Star Mini UAS during CES keynote
During its CES keynote, Intel introduced a new version of its Shooting Star UAS, called the "Shooting Star Mini," which is designed to conduct UAS-based light shows like Intel’s larger Shooting Star UAS.
The UAS is tiny, safe to fly indoors, and when multiple of them flown are flown at the same time, they can locate themselves in space without the need for GPS.
A routine is pre-programmed into the system, and then a swarm of the UAS is set out into the air instead of controlling each of the UAS directly. The UAS then go out and follow the choreography to perform for their light show.
Intel capped its keynote by using the UAS to conduct a light show, as the UAS "danced" to a song called "Stargazing."
While this UAS might seem like an ideal in-house UAS toy, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich says, "this is not the type of drone you can buy in the store."
AEE and SELFLY Camera develop UAS-smartphone-case called AEE SELFLY
AEE Aviation Technology Inc. and SELFLY Camera LLC have introduced AEE SELFLY, which is a smartphone case with an embedded UAS.
Considered the first device of its kind and the first of its class, AEE SELFLY gives smartphone users the ability to capture photos of themselves—commonly known as "selfies"—at a whole new level of quality and precision, for basically any event, from any location, and from heights and distances that were once considered impossible.
"More photographs are being taken now on smartphones than ever before because the best camera is the one you can always have with you," says Mike Kahn, AEE's Chief Marketing Officer.
"As a case to your smartphone, AEE SELFLY will always be with you to capture amazing selfies."
AEE SELFLY uses high-end stabilization technology, which allows it to snap onto most standard size 4-6-inch smartphones. Using its UAS wings, AEE SELFLY can fly itself at the user's command, and deliver distant, tight angle or higher altitude photo selfies or videos.
As the AEE SELFLY hovers in the air, it waits for commands from a free, easy-to-use, intuitive smartphone app to capture the perfect shot from above. Compatible with both Apple iOS and Android devices, AEE SELFLY has a flight time of four minutes with an approximate recharge time of 30 minutes, and is equipped with 1080P, full high-definition video capability.
During CES 2018 in Las Vegas this week, AEE will exhibit AEE SELFLY. AEE SELFLY is expected to ship during the first calendar quarter of 2018.
Teen launches UAS business
After his mother pitched him the idea of flying UAS for something more than just a hobby, a Naples, New York teen named Luke Didion has not only become a commercial UAS pilot, but he has also launched his own UAS business calledFinger Lakes Drone Services.
Last year, Didion’s mother, Theresa, approached her son after receiving an ad for UAS services. After Theresa expressed confidence that he could perform these types of services, Luke began thinking about the opportunity seriously over the summer while he working as a dishwasher at a local restaurant.
"That’s when I really got going with this drone thing," Didion says via the Daily Messenger.
In August, Didion began taking an online course to learn about UAS, and he went on to pursue a commercial certification and tested at SkyOp, which is a Canandaigua, New York-based company that teaches people how to fly UAS.
According to SkyOp co-founder Brian Petre, Didion, 17, is one of the youngest people to obtain the commercial FAA remote pilot certification. The minimum age you have to be to obtain certification is 16; Didion turned 17 in December.
Since launching his business, Didion has produced several projects for realtors, including his mother. He has also provided photos and videos for marketing condos, and he is tracking construction of a home being built locally.
With college on the horizon for the high school junior, Didion is considering pursuing a degree in business. He doesn’t know if UAS will be a part of his future, but for now, he is enjoying what he is doing with this technology.
"I just like flying it," Didion says.