23 Jun 16. Qatar, Texas A&M University to Develop Drone Technology. Qatar, Texas A&M University to Develop Drone Technology. Qatar is keen on developing its own platform for drone technology to serve a variety of purposes, including conducting research, a top official of the Ministry of Defense’s Reconnaissance and Surveillance Centre (RSC) has said.
Talking to the media on the sidelines of the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) last week between RSC and Texas A&M University in Qatar (Tamuq) for developing drone technology, General Khalid bin Ahmad al Kuwari, Director of the RSC, said it is high time that Qatar develops its own expertise in drone technology.
“Drones are used almost every day in most of the countries. The technology is very important, easy to handle and very cheap. Drones are not risky to human lives and helpful in terms of shortening the time spent in working on some missions, including taking snaps of geography of countries. Unfortunately in Qatar we have to outsource such kind of system since we have yet to develop our own platform. That’s why Qatar is keen to develop this kind of program,” Kuwari said.
Commenting on the recent incident at the Dubai airport in which recreational drones brought the air traffic in the area to a standstill for almost an hour, the official said they are also in the process of planning a space management concept to avoid such incidents.
“Doha’s air space is very small but very active and so we have already a plan on how we are going to control our space management. It is not a big issue but we have to take care of it to avoid such disturbances,” he added.
Talking about its new partnership with Tamuq, Kuwari said this is the first of such kind of association between their center and a university and they intend to tap other educational institutions in the country. He said they have received instructions from the top authorities to develop relationships with the universities in the country. The MoU signed by Kuwari and Tamuq’s Interim Dean Dr. Ann Kenimer is a five year collaboration that aims to provide scholarships and internships for engineering students at the branch campus. (Source: Al Defaiya)
21 Jun 16. Israeli Startup Develops Autonomous Drone System. Airobotics, an Israeli startup emerging from stealth mode today, is assembling, testing and developing an autonomous drone system.
It has experience at the helm: Ran Krauss, CEO and co-founder of the company, was the first Israeli to get a commercial pilot’s license for drones, the first to receive a commercial operating license for a drone company (which meant he actually wrote the manual for the Civil Aviation Authority), and counts at least a thousand hours of personal experience flying drones. He has operated two previous companies in the space.
Airobotics has raised $28.5m from investors including Noam Bardin, founder of Google’s Waze mapping service, and BlueRun Ventures. It already counts Israel Chemicals (ICL) as a client, one of the 10 biggest companies on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, as well as a global technology company Krauss declined to name.
They’re all interested in Airobotics’ quadcopters — drones weighing about 15 pounds and measuring 179 centimetres end-to-end, with four arms and a propeller attached to each. Completely autonomous, they can be programmed to take off, conduct a surveillance flight and monitor defined areas of land, report back any anomalies, return to base and park themselves. A robotic arm on the landing pad replaces the drone’s batteries and any payload, readying it for another mission. The drones are equipped with mapping and photographic capabilities, and are built to integrate other technologies such as infrared imaging.
Israel Chemical’s manager of the phosphate division, Yakov Kahlon, said the drones have already allowed the company to cut down the measuring time of stockpiles from six days to just one. ICL plans to start testing the drones for surveillance and