Zacc Dukowitz

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  1. DJI has raised its prices by about 13% for sales in the U.S. as a result of U.S. tariffs currently in place for Chinese goods. But don’t worry—if you’re on the market for a DJI drone, Amazon still has them for sale at their original prices. You can shop DJI drones on Amazon for their original lower prices right now. It's also worth noting that DJI isn’t the only drone company that has passed off tariff costs to its customers. Last month both GetFPV and NewBeeDrone announced a price increase of 2.9% on all products to offset the costs imposed by tariffs on Chinese goods. Read today's article to get the full story on DJI's price hike in the U.S., and chime in here to share your thoughts on how they're handling the tariffs.
  2. Drone industry research group Drone Industry Insights (DroneII), recently released two reports, one that ranks global drone service providers and one that ranks global drone manufacturers. Big takeaways? Zipline leads the pack among drone service providers and DJI is still securely at the top when it comes to making drones. Read today's article to learn more the findings in each report, including a list of the Top 20 drone service providers in the world.
  3. News recently broke that Walmart has filed a patent for a blockchain-based drone delivery system, putting the retail giant in the news again for its drone patents. The patent describes technology that would allow delivery drones located near each other to exchange information. Using blockchain-based keys, the drones would exchange authenticating signals to confirm they belong to Walmart and are in the same fleet. Once the drones have identified themselves, they would be able to pass packages between each other for delivery. Read today's article to learn more about what blockchain is and how Walmart plans to use it. One thing to call out is that even though Walmart has been stacking up drone delivery patents like crazy lately we’re not aware of the company holding any FAA approvals for drone delivery or having plans to begin testing drone deliveries any time soon. What do you think—are they holding onto these patents "just in case" or are they serious about using drone delivery for shipping?
  4. Israeli-based drone delivery company Flytrex has received approval from the FAA to begin making food deliveries by drone in Holly Springs, North Carolina next month. Flytrex’s FAA approval is the result of their partnership with North Carolina’s IPP—read today's article to learn more about the proposed delivery route and how North Carolina has been helping to push the drone industry forward. Flytrex has already been making drone deliveries in Iceland for one year and in North Dakota for almost a year without incident. If the Holly Springs delivery program is a success, it will mean one more step forward toward making drone deliveries a reality in the U.S. What do you think—are you excited about this new drone delivery program in North Carolina? Share your thoughts and opinions here on this thread.
  5. Just in time for the 2019 season kickoff, the Drone Racing League (DRL) recently launched their new racing drone, the DRL Racer4. Read today's article to learn more about the Racer4, the Racer4 Street—the first consumer FPV drone that DRL has ever released—and about the 2019 season. With DJI recently entering the FPV racing drone fray, it looks like things are heating up on the drone racing front this year. Are you excited for DRL's new season? Chime in here to share your thoughts.
  6. After a recent crash of one of its delivery drones near children the Swiss Post has suspended its drone delivery program indefinitely. The drones used in the delivery program were created and operated by Matternet. Since 2017 the Swiss Post and Matternet have been working in partnership in three different Swiss cities to test drone deliveries of lab samples such as blood tests between hospitals, and have made over 3,000 successful deliveries to date. But two crashes this year—the most recent only fifty yards from a group of children—have led to the program being shuttered until safety concerns can be fully addressed. Read today's article to learn more about what the Swiss Post is asking of Matternet before resuming deliveries, and to see how Matternet responded. What do you think—do these crashes mean that drone deliveries just aren't ready for prime time? Chime in here to share your thoughts.
  7. UPS recently launched a company focused on drone deliveries called UPS Flight Forward, Inc., saying that they are “laying the foundation” for a sustainable drone delivery business. Read today's article to learn more about Flight Forward and how UPS' involvement in the UAS IPP helped lead them to starting this new venture. UPS is one of several companies entering the drone delivery fray that still doesn't have FAA approval for its proposed delivery operations. Do you think they'll get it, and who do you think might end up on top when it comes to getting drone deliveries up and running first?
  8. This is the second year we have awarded the Drone Technology College Scholarship, which was created to provide financial support for college students who demonstrate an interest in pushing the drone industry forward. Just like last year, each of the two scholarship recipients for 2019 will receive $1,000 to support their college studies. Check out today's article to meet our two winners and to read their winning essays.
  9. We recently interviewed Tyler Dobbs, Government Affairs Director at the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), to learn more about what the AMA does for hobbyist drone pilots, when hobbyists might get access to LAANC for instant airspace authorizations to fly in controlled airspace, and to hear his opinion on how hobbyists are represented in policy-making. The AMA is one of the largest model aviation associations in the world—it's a self-supporting non-profit, whose primary aim is to promote the development of model aviation as a recognized sport and worthwhile recreation activity. They currently boast a membership of over 195,000. Read the interview with Tyler here, and chime in on this thread to share your thoughts on the AMA, LAANC access for hobbyists, or anything related to the hobbyist conversation.
  10. Earlier this week the Los Angeles Police Department sent a letter to the city’s Board of Police Commissioners asking to make their drone program permanent, and the request was quickly and unanimously given preliminary approval. Read today's article to learn more about the development of the LAPD's drone program and what they plan to do if they get final approval.
  11. A new invention called the Podder can turn a drone into an ultra-efficient Johnny Appleseed, allowing the drone to fire seeds rapidly into the earth. The Podder can be attached to many popular drone models, and shoots seeds using a pneumatic firing module. Read today's article to learn more about how the Podder works, and about some other approaches to planting seeds by drone being used in the field today.
  12. In the last three months AirMap has been on a partnership streak—in March alone the company announced five new partnerships, with another one following this month. Check out today's article to learn more about each of the companies AirMap has partnered with, and how these partnerships are helping drive adoption of its UTM platform all over the world. What do you think—is working toward a global UTM framework a good thing? Is it even possible? Chime in here to share your thoughts.
  13. Amid ongoing concerns about unauthorized data sharing, DJI recently announced the release of their Government Edition, a comprehensive drone solution made specifically for use in high-security situations by government agencies around the world. Read our recent article to learn more about Government Edition, and about the different proactive steps DJI has taken in the last week to try and combat privacy concerns. What do you think—is DJI sharing data with the Chinese government? Are you excited about Government Edition and the possibilities it might present for ensuring privacy of data? Chime in here to share your thoughts.
  14. Walmart is currently on track to file more drone-related patents than Amazon for the second year in a row—since June of 2018, Walmart has filed 97 new drone patents with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), while Amazon has filed only 54. Read today's article to learn more about all the ways Walmart is looking into using drones, including having them provide customer service in its huge Supercenters. Assuming Walmart and Amazon are in a war over consumer deliveries, does owning more patents mean you're winning, or is that a little too simplistic? Chime in here to share your thoughts.
  15. According to Lume Cube, their new Strobe is the first consumer friendly anti-collision drone light that’s compatible with every drone on the market. Check out today's article to learn more about all the features the Strobe offers, as well as some information on how FAA requirements around night flying might change in the not-too-distance future.