Tag Archives: flying

Dubai Firefighters Adding Water Jet Packs to Arsenal

Dubai firefighters have started using a firefighting system that includes a jet ski and a water-powered jetpack. The above footage shows a firefighter gliding over a bridge before dousing a pick-up which is made to look like it is on fire.  The system is meant to be used in hard-to-access areas, such as when heavy traffic prevents an obstacle to accessing the target and would allow firefighters to spray water from angles/perspectives previously not possible.

Dubai firefighters aided by water jetpacks – video [via The Guardian]

Drones Being Used to Smuggle Drugs and Phones to UK Prisons

As yet another creative use of the remote-controlled flying devices, drones have been discovered apparently being used to smuggle drugs and cell phones to inmates in the United Kingdom.  The operators apparently attempt to fly the drones up to the cell window of inmates where their payload can be removed by the prisoner.

Cops seize 2 drones stashed with drugs and phones near prison [via The Daily Star] and ‘Like ordering a pizza’ Drones delivering legal highs to lags behind bars [via The Daily Star]

Dutch Police Train Eagle to Take Down Drones

Last week we posted about Tokyo police using a drone outfitted with a net which was being used to capture other drones that ventured too close to government buildings or other sensitive locations.

Well, the Dutch are the first to come up with a far simpler, low-tech solution to knocking out unwanted drones – using a trained eagle.

These eagles are trained to see the drones as prey. Using their hunting instinct, they intercept the device mid-air and carry it to a safe landing place. They’re rewarded with a piece of meat after each successful capture. The Dutch police began testing the use of the birds last year, and this week announced the results from the trial period. The eagles successfully brought down the drones 80 percent of the time.

Hit the jump for the video. Continue reading Dutch Police Train Eagle to Take Down Drones

Tokyo Police Use Drones with Nets to Capture Other Drones

Tokyo riot police have developed specialized drones complete with nets to capture suspicious drones that fly or hover too close to sensitive locations, such as Government buildings.

Riot police will control the camera-equipped interceptor drones to chase after private drones they feel may be spying on buildings, including the Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe‘s office, and ensnare them in large nets before returning to the ground. Those controlling the force drone will first warn the suspicious drone’s operator to cease the flight, before pursuing them.

Hit the jump for video of one of them in action.

Continue reading Tokyo Police Use Drones with Nets to Capture Other Drones

Police Are Testing a Live “Google Earth” to Watch Crime as it Happens

Police in Compton, CA last year quietly began testing a real-time surveillance system which allowed them to record all happenings in the city – meaning all crimes – in real-time. Unlike CCTV-type stationary cameras that are widely used in the United Kingdom and have gained some traction in cities like New York, the new system is aerial based, in which a plane is outfitted with a special high resolution camera that can surveil a 25 sq. mile area at a time. Specifically, cities like Compton, Baltimore, and Dayton have tested a wide area surveillance system developed by Persistent Surveillance Systems, which is owned by retired Air Force veteran Ross McNutt. This system can record and zoom in on street crimes as local and targeted as a purse snatching from a pedestrian on a sidewalk, and then follow the getaway vehicle as it drives around town. Though the system is not yet good enough to identify individual faces, it represents a promising advance for law enforcement to observe and track criminal activity.
Hollywood-style surveillance technology inches closer to reality [via The Center for Investigative Reporting]

Remote Controlled Drone Flies and Drives (with no Driver)


Private company Advanced Tactics has been commissioned by he U.S. military to look into developing a remote-controlled vehicle that can take off like a helicopter, land, and then immediately drive off without a driver. The prototype, currently in testing, has eight rotors that fold into the body of the vehicle on land to make it more easy to drive. It has been developed to allow for delivering cargo into areas where traditional aircraft cannot go, plus has the advantage of not needing to send pilots into hazardous situations.

U.S. military look into remote controlled ‘helicopter truck transformers’ that can be sent on rescue missions WITHOUT a driver [via Daily Mail]

Can Robots Better Spot Terrorists at Airports?


This is an interesting Wall Street Journal article that shows how there is an ever-increasing degree of automation in airport security. For example, many airports in Europe, Australia and the U.S. are using biometrics analyzing machines instead of people to identify fliers via their faces, irises, or fingerprints. (About 28 percent of the airports worldwide now use biometric technology, which is up from 18 percent in 2008). Several major European airports have also started using these automated ID checks at security checkpoints and boarding gates, and eventually, they could render the printed boarding pass a relic of the past.

Ultimately, the technology could “get rid of the boarding pass completely,” with fliers’ faces serving as their tickets, said Michael Ibbitson, chief information officer of London Gatwick Airport. Gatwick performed a trial this year in which it processed 3,000 British Airways IAG.MC +1.15% fliers without boarding passes. The fliers scanned their irises when checking in, enabling cameras at security checkpoints and boarding gates to automatically recognize them. “We’re only just starting to see what biometrics can do,” he said.

The biometric technology is also being used with other non-security related purposes in mind. For example, London Gatwick Airport is also using facial-recognition software to calculate line wait times in real time at its checkpoints. The airport takes images of almost all fliers’ faces as they pass through the checkpoints and then cross-references those images to note when each flier leaves the checkpoints. The data provides an accurate estimate of wait-time.

Can Robots Better Spot Terrorists at Airports? [via The Wall Street Journal]

WhatsBusy Shows Security Wait Times Before You Get to the Airport

Whats-Busy-Screenshot1Website WhatsBusy can show you how long you can expect to stand in line at any major airport depending on when you plan to arrive. Plug in what airport you’re flying out of, on what day and when you plan to arrive at the airport, and WhatsBusy will use historical data from the TSA and the airlines to give you an estimate of how long security wait times will be to help plan for the best time to arrive. In addition to the website, there is a free WhatsBusy iPhone app for download.

What’s Busy