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Drone Radio Show

The Drone Radio Show is a weekly podcast about drones and the people who use them for business, fun and research. Our guests share how they’re using drones to make a positive impact, build a business, lessons they’ve learned and insights that you can use to take YOUR interest in drones to the next level.
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Now displaying: May, 2022
May 31, 2022

Can An Old Technology Make Industrial Drones Safer and More Effective? 

Zach Adams is Co-Founder and Chief Engineer for Pitch Aeronautics, manufacturer of a unique drone for up-close, touch-based, and robotic tasks. Among the most dangerous jobs in the United States is climbing infrastructure to perform inspections and maintenance as well as performing power line maintenance.  While today’s drones are good at taking video, they are not well suited to get close or actually interact with the surface of an object. Consequently, technicians are sent up on ropes, ladders, scaffolding, cranes, and sometimes even hanging from helicopters to perform this work.  

Pitch Aeronautics’ Astria Drone is specifically optimized for touch based tasks. It has a unique configuration that can hold a 10 pound payload on a long horizontal arm to keep it away from the rotors and allow it to interact with a building, bridge, tower, wind turbine and powerline.  It’s flown to the area using a first-person-view camera and goggles. Astria then overlays key flight and job information on the goggles so the operator can conduct the mission. . 

Astria positions the payload near the target by using a cyclorotor for lateral control. Cyclorotors are unique propellers that can near instantaneously push the drone forward, backward, left, or right. This allows Astria to compensate for wind gusts and fly more precisely. It can create and change thrust 5-10x faster than traditional drones. Cyclorotors have been used on tugboats and ferries for nearly a century for the same reason.  

Zach is recognized as a leading authority on cyclorotor technology. He is the named inventor on multiple cyclorotor patents and has published extensively on the topic. He holds a BS in Aeronautical Engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue. 

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show, Zach talks about Pitch Aeronautics, its innovative Astria drone and how the company’s patented cyclorotor technology is making dangerous jobs safer.  

 

 
May 24, 2022

Can Drones Provide Actional Insight into How Wildfires Spread?

Dr. Mrinal Kumar is an associate professor in the department of mechanical and aerospace engineering, where he founded the Laboratory for Autonomy in Data-Driven and Complex Systems.

Under Mrinal’s direction, Researchers are using autonomous drones to help prevent and mitigate wildfires.  As witnessed by the ongoing blazes across the U.S., wildfires are difficult to predict and fight. Flames can travel up to 14 mph in dry grass and spread in unexpected directions.

The Lab received a $1.4 million dollar grant from the National Science Foundation to develop an aerial robotic system.  The “Integration of Autonomous UAS in Wildland Fire Management” project develops real-time situational awareness using drones to monitor the intensity and spread of wildfires. The results should help firefighting experts understand how topographic, atmospheric and forest fuel factors in temperate hardwood forests influence fire intensity and rate of spread through real-time data activation in fire behavior models.

Mrinal’s team will shadow the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ prescribed burn team into the southern state forests of Ohio, led by Greg Guess at the Division of Forestry. Prescribed burns are typically conducted late in the fall or early spring when the fuel and weather conditions are conducive to a controlled burn. The drones will undergo rigorous testing and validation, leading up to fully autonomous mission design and deployment in these prescribed burns and eventually wildfires.

Mrinal received a Ph.D. in 2009 from Texas A&M University and a Bachelor’s degree in 2004 from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, both in aerospace engineering. During 2010-16, he served as an assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at University of Florida. In 2016, Dr. Kumar's group moved to The Ohio State University.

In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Dr. Kumar talks about National Science Foundation grand and the university’s research into drones and wildfires.

May 10, 2022

Do Drones Have A Place in the Health Industry?

Dr. Manish Kumar directs the Cooperative Distributed Systems Laboratory and co-directs the UAV MASTER Lab at the University of Cincinnati.

His research interests include Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, robotics, decision-making and control in complex systems, multi-sensor data fusion, swarm systems, and multiple robot coordination and control.

Manish and other university Researchers have innovated a way to integrate basic telehealth services into a drone, potentially expanding the bounds of what previous innovators ever envisioned with these two technologies individually.  The research team collaborated to develop a semi-autonomous prototype that can be dispatched right to people’s homes. The drones are big enough to carry medicine or medical supplies but small enough to maneuver the tight confines of a home using navigational algorithms developed by UC engineers.” A novel aspect is that the drone will also integrate “cameras and a display screen so patients can talk to health care professionals from the comfort of their home,” in addition to carrying “a waterproof box the size of a small first-aid kit to deliver medical supplies or collect self-administered lab tests.”

Manish is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). He has served as the Chair of the Robotics Technical Committee of the ASME’s Dynamic Systems and Control Division, and as an Associate Editor of the ASME Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurements and Control.

In this episode of the Drone Radio Show Podcast, Manish talks about the University of Cincinnati’s research into drones and the innovative use of drones for telehealth.

May 3, 2022

Is a perpetual flying drone possible?

Fatema Hamdani is Co-Founder/CEO of Kraus Hamdani Aerospace, a San Francisco based leader in ultra long endurance unmanned aerial systems. Founded in 2016, the company has created its flagship product, the K1000ULE, a zero emissions drone flying longer than any other electric aircraft in its category. 

Having recently broken the world record for an electric drone in its size and weight category, the K1000ULE can travel longer distances, stay in flight longer and at higher altitudes, making them ideal for jobs that are risky for humans, such as disaster relief efforts, search and recovery, military intelligence and reconnaissance, wildlife anti-poaching operations, and even human trafficking prevention.  

Fatema’s experience spans across the aerospace, financial services, life science, telecom, travel, and retail domains. Under her leadership, the company is reinventing ultra-long endurance UAS using artificial intelligence, machine learning, and biomimicry to create drones that can stay aloft almost infinitely. 

In this edition of the Drone Radio Show, Fatema talks about Kraus Hamdani Aerospace, the K1000ULE and the company’s plans for the future. 

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