Multiple drones took to the air at the same time above downtown Reno this week in a series of simulations testing emerging technology that someday will be used to manage hundreds of thousands of small unmanned commercial aircraft delivering packages, pizzas and medical supplies.
A Nevada firm has become the first company in the nation approved to fly drones over the Las Vegas Strip. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports Wednesday that aerospace company AviSight will be able to fly above the resort corridor including the strip.
A Chinese firm plans to test driverless flying vehicles in Nevada, in the hopes that autonomous aerial taxis are the future. The EHang 184, which was unveiled at this year’s Consumer Electronic show in Las Vegas, will conduct some testing in Nevada, according to Las Vegas Review-Journal. And while the taxis aren’t carrying passengers anytime soon, that’s the plan.
If there’s ever a radiological catastrophe in the U.S. like the 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan, the stewards of the former national nuclear weapons proving ground in Nevada expect to be ready to deploy remote-controlled drones to check for contamination. Nevada National Security Site officials have purchased two unmanned aerial vehicles to sniff the sky and provide an eye from above in the event of an emergency.
Four autonomous unmanned aircraft flew simultaneously on pre-determined flight paths at the Reno-Stead Airport using software developed at the University of Nevada, Reno, in collaboration with the NASA Ames Research Center, in a milestone event that included 24 unmanned aircraft at six sites across the country last month.
A long percolating joint venture between the University of Nevada, Reno and NASA officially took off on Wednesday with the unveiling of a new drone and virtual reality laboratory at Reno-Stead Airport. The Nevada Unmanned Aircraft and NextGen Collaborative Environment Laboratory or NUANCE Lab houses UNR research on airspace management as well as a link to NASA’s airspace simulation system. The facility, which is located at the Reno-Stead Airport Freedom Flight Terminal, also features an adjacent workshop for building unmanned aerial systems — more commonly known as drones.
Drone deliveries may be having some trouble taking off in the United States, but that doesn’t mean that they’ve been totally grounded. Drone startup Flirtey said on Friday that it completed the first federally-sanctioned drone delivery in a U.S. urban area without the help of a human to manually steer it.
At this year’s CES, expect to see lots of drones, self-driving cars, virtual reality headsets, Internet-connected homes and appliances and those dazzling ultra-HD TVs. An estimated 1 million drones were sold in 2015, when the Federal Aviation Administration set forth new rules requiring registration by consumers.
“Shooting down drones” is all over the news lately. A Kentucky man used “Number 8 birdshot” to shoot down a multi-rotor over his backyard. A Modesto marksman shot down a drone over his neighbor’s farm. A New Jersey Man hit the news for doing the same thing. The idea that you can “shoot down” drones is so pervasive that Deer Trail, Colorado announced drone hunting licenses in 2014, at least until the FAA weighed in. Though Yosemite Sam would be proud of all this, let’s be clear: shooting down a drone is a federal crime.