Drone News: Kroger Drone Deliveries, Fully-Autonomous Drone, DJI Mavic 3, Skydio X2 Now Shipping
This is the week of may 3rd 2021. This week we got four really cool topics and the first one is a drone delivery. There’S, a kroger somewhere in the us we’ll talk about this that’s doing drone deliveries, not really a new thing, but we’ll talk about why this is cool. We have a fully autonomous level 4 drone. If you don’t know what level 4 is well, you can find out very soon. We got some new mavic, 3 leaks, and finally, we have the scadio x2, which is finally available for purchase. We’Ll talk about the drone a little bit more, so let’s get to it. Music, the first thing this week is kroger in ohio, that is offering drone delivery for smaller items. They’Re, basically saying that they’re going to deliver within 15 minutes or less for qualifying items now here’s the list of qualifying items. At the moment we have uh baby care, bundles with diapers and wipes. Now i have a young one at home and i can tell you this would be pretty awesome and and sometimes when you don’t plan very well, we have a childcare bundle that has counter over the counter medication and fluids. So something that could be pretty useful and then the last one is also extremely useful, which is s’mores with graham crackers marshmallow and chocolate. So they would deliver this to you very quickly. This is a pilot program in the fact that they’re trying to get these drone deliveries and kind of test them.
Now i did a little more digging and i found that they call these autonomous flights now they’re, not really fully autonomous flights. We’Ll talk about what fully autonomous is on the next story, but these are flights are going to be managed by licensed drone pilots, so they have. The companies called drone express that’s who kroger is working with and drone express is going to be using actual drone pilots to monitor the flights, and they have also off site monitoring. Now i did a little bit more digging and because i was interested to find out if this company actually has a part 135 approval from the faa, which is required in order to do drone deliveries and uh beyond visual line of sight. I need to add drone deliveries beyond visual line of sight require part 135 approval, and at the moment i think there’s. Only four, possibly five companies in the country that are approved for drone deliveries and drone express, is not really one of them on their website. They are talking about the fact that there are in the process of getting part 135 approval. So my guess is that they’re doing all these deliveries within visual line of sight – and i may be wrong but that’s – my understanding of the regulation – and by doing this, then they have the ability to test the program using pilots, keeping it within visual line of sight And possibly getting approved by the faa after this to do it so um drone deliveries are not new.
We’Ve talked a lot in this program about drone deliveries. I still not sure that i want to see a drone flying around to deliver. You know smallers. Quite frankly, i don’t know that this is really where we need to be concentrating at the moment, anything that has to do with medical deliveries. I’M, i’m, fully on board. I think this is a great application: saving saving somebody’s life by by providing them a service that would otherwise take a lot of time. So i’ll get off my soapbox. If you want to get s’mores with the drone, then you have the ability to do it now. The next story is this company called exon and they have a drone which is capable of level four autonomy, you’re going to say what that is level 4 autonomy well. Level 4 is when there is no human in the loop for doing automation, and this is kind of really cool. This company designed this drone to be working in areas where there is no gps called gps denied environments, and this company looks like they’re using a lidar technology for the drone to figure out its environment and it’s. Fully autonomous. And when i say fully autonomous does not require a human at all, even as to interact with the drone or oversee the drone, so in this case obviously they’re. Looking at mining operation, it looks like from some of the photos on their website anything that’s, going to be indoor where you don’t have access to the gps.
Then you can use this technology, which is, i think this is really really cool. They’Re talking about autonomous beyond visual line of sight, with no human interaction at all, and i think quite frankly, for some types of inspections. I think this is a great technology, especially really dark environment, like i said where you won’t, have the ability to even have a human there, because you may not even receive the signal, so you can send this thing inside i mean imagine that somebody is stuck in The cave, you know this happened a couple years ago. I think it was in chile, maybe and uh, and you have the ability to dig a little tunnel, send this drone in there go see if the people are still alive, possibly bring them information bring them. Food supplies whatever it is. This is just a great application, so i don’t know if that’s what they had in mind but that’s, where my mind kind of went. The next thing is from our friends at drone excel. We have mavic 3 leaks, now i’m i’m gon na say this is not fresh, fresh information. This happened at the end of april. We had quite a bit of information to talk in the last couple episodes. So we did not talk about the mavic 3, but what happened is that a dji released, not dji. Somebody found patents that were leaked from dji we’re, not sure, if it’s the mavic 3 for sure, but they have a different design of propellers and those are downward facing propellers i’m, not 100, sure of the advantage of doing that.
Quite frankly, to me, it just means that these propellers are going to be more likely in the way of the shot. When you do this, unless you’re doing a drone for inspections, maybe where you need to look up a lot so i’m not 100 on board. Maybe you guys understand more about this than i do or have more information. I could not find a ton of information about this, but this is something that we’re seeing from dji something else that we’re seeing from dji is the mini. 2 batteries have been having issues to discharge, and this is something that dji is aware of. It looks like the the batteries that their lipo batteries. They need to be discharged over time, so you can store them and they’re intelligent batteries, so they have the system inside that allows them to discharge over time. It’S not working correctly. Apparently so this can lead to bloated batteries and batteries that are not in such a good shape and less battery longevity, so dji’s, aware of it, apparently they’re going to put out a firmware update for the mini 2 batteries. So if you have these batteries, keep an eye on battery updates. They’Re usually done when you put the drone, uh turn it on and then they’re done via the drone. So you you have to plug this in. I think you can also plug in the charger. If you have it into your computer and then do the update, i don’t know that the update is out yet so don’t go looking for the update and come back and say it’s, not there i’m, pretty sure it’s, not there, but they’re working on it.
The last thing this week is scadio with their x2 that’s guido. You may be familiar with the skydio 2, which has this amazing ability to avoid objects, there’s a ton of videos online. Well, they announced the x2, which is a maybe a military version. If you want to call it that of the it’s, not a version of the two it’s just its own model, but this thing has 360 degree of obstacle. Avoidance 4k, 60 frames per second with an hdr camera and also has thermal capabilities at 320p. 35 minutes of flight time and then it’s built with some night strobe lights that are used for the ir and then for the visible camera, it’s ndaa compliant, which means that it’s one of the blue uas, if you’re familiar with this we’ve, talked about it before the Um the the fact that the government puts an entity list out there and basically says that only drones that are made in the us with non chinese parts for like a better word um, and so this is. This is one of them right here, x2. The price tag is around 11 000. So not cheap, not your replacement for any of your cheaper drones at the moment. But if you’re in the public safety world, then this is probably something that you want to look into, or if you’re working for government contracts – and you can’t use your chinese based drones, then this is what you’re going to be using.
Skydio has a whole list of they call it end to end data management solution, so they have a whole list of software that can be used. You have a fleet manager, you have uh something to use with your media called media sync, they have a streaming process. That’S coming soon, and they also have what’s called remote ops, which is also coming soon, so they have a kind of they’re building up this entire solution for drones, where you can just buy skydio and then use it for everything else. You got it um. Last thing: a little bit of news from pilot institute, we have been busy with additional content. We put out two more videos. This week we have a video on how to unlock your dji drone and the difference between the dji approval and the faa approval. This is something that was long overdue. I’Ve been wanting to do this video for a long time, but i just never took the time to do it, so we had a little bit of time in our schedule, so we shot this so you’ll see a link, make sure you click on there. If you have a dji drone and you’ve never unlocked or if you ever had a need to do it and don’t understand it. I explain everything especially the difference between the faa and the dji approval, which is a big difference. You need to make sure that you do both of these and make sure that you do it right.
So we also put out a video to explain how to submit airspace approval in zero grid if you ever have to fly under part 107 in an area where you can’t even take off because it’s a zero grid for lance there’s. A special approval that you have to go through zero doesn’t mean you can’t fly. It means you can’t fly right away. You can get a lance approval immediately, so we put out this video explaining how you’re gon na do this in the drone zone. So you can follow all the steps, but yeah go in the link i’m, probably showing up up here as well, and then you guys can see all that information and get more knowledge. So this is it uh. If you want to check out our news update, we for airplanes, we have we’re talking about four flight, which is a cool software for airplane pilots. We’Re talking about this really cool aircraft called the strider lounge, and this thing is largest aircraft in the world. So if you want to go watch some of that information go over there and we talked about an aircraft that was damaged with hydrogen fuel cells and pictures are not very pretty, and then we have american eagle that looks like they maybe lost a bag in flight. We’Re still not really sure exactly what happened, but so, if you want that information head over there, as always like subscribe, go check out our podcast as well.
We have the uh, the pixel drone show we interviewed vicmos this week talking about regulation and how the the drone service provider alliance is trying to fight these new state regulations that well could really mess up things. We talked about it last week, so we had a longer discussion with vic if you’re interested in that topic and you should be go. Listen to the podcast it’s on our pixel drone show podcast channel. You can have a link down here or you can download it on on podcast providers as well so that’s all i have for you this week.