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News Article | August 26, 2016
Site: techcrunch.com

Domino’s Pizza Enterprises has demonstrated delivery of hot pizzas by drone in Auckland, New Zealand. The company has a long history of embracing high-tech concepts. Last year, they tested out a four-wheeled, driverless pizza delivery vehicle. And in 2012, Domino’s launched a casual build-a-pizza game that also let players order the pizza they built digitally for real life delivery. The company also uses e-bikes and electric scooters for delivery. In a press statement, Domino’s Group CEO and Managing Director Don Meij said: “We’ve always said that it doesn’t make sense to have a 2-tonne machine delivering a 2-kilogram order…drones allow us to extend [our] delivery area by removing barriers such as traffic and access [and] deliver further afield than we currently do to our rural customers while reaching our urban customers in a much more efficient time.” The provider of Domino’s aerial logistics service was Flirtey, a startup headquartered in Reno, Nevada, that makes delivery drones and packaging to keep contents safe and hot as they travel through the sky. Flirtey’s drones were also used to fly medicine ship-to-shore in New Jersey and to deliver Slurpees and snacks to customers in Reno, Nevada for 7-Eleven, recently. In 2015, New Zealand’s government made commercial drone delivery legal in their lower airspace. The U.S. Government has not yet figured out the exact rules to enable mainstream adoption of commercial drone deliveries. But a new rule, Part 107, is going into effect on Monday in the U.S. that allows for commercial use of unmanned aircraft that weigh under 55 pounds by people and companies who have registered as operators and registered their drones with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The Department of Transportation and the FAA’s “Small UAS” rule requires drone users, among other things, to always fly within the line of the operator’s sight and not to fly over people until further best practices and safety standards are researched and developed. Domino’s has said that it wants to become the first corporation– ahead of Google, Amazon and others who have invested heavily in drone delivery– to offer drone delivery to customers in a mainstream way. The Flirtey and Domino’s flight in Auckland was just an initial demonstration of what Domino’s calls its DRU Drone, or Domino’s Robotics Unit drone.

Cruz N.A.,Robotics Unit | Cruz N.A.,University of Porto | Ferreira B.M.,Robotics Unit | Ferreira B.M.,University of Porto | And 2 more authors.
Sea Technology | Year: 2013

The MARES is a small, torpedo-shaped AUV 1.5 meters long and 32 kilograms in weight in the basic version. In a typical configuration, a PC/104 computational system manages the entire mission, including communications with other devices and a control station. Navigation is provided by the fusion of data from an inertial measurement unit (IMU) and an acoustic system for long baseline localization (LBL), complemented by a small GPS receiver, when the vehicle is at the surface. Four thrusters provide the capability to move as fast as 5 knots and to hover in the water column, with a set of lithium-ion batteries ensuring 10 hours of operation. MARES is a highly modular vehicle, with the ability to integrate a great variety of payload sensors, and it has been operating since 2007, mainly in environmental- monitoring missions. The capability of vehicles to follow a given trajectory and maintain reliable data exchange is among the most relevant topics when it comes to coordination of marine robots.

Alves J.C.,Robotics Unit | Alves J.C.,University of Porto | Cruz N.A.,Robotics Unit | Cruz N.A.,University of Porto
Sea Technology | Year: 2014

The demand for accurate ocean sampling is continuously growing to provide a better understanding of the complex sea environment. Current economic and social activity is strongly dictated by knowledge built on data collected from thousands of sensors around the world, ranging from space-borne remote sensors to underwater devices transported by profilers. Autonomous sailboats have great potential to gather long-term data to understand multiple aspects of the ocean environment. In terms of oceanography, they can be used to study many processes occurring at the surface, like the energy exchange between the ocean and the atmosphere and how it affects the climate. They can also be a valuable tool to understand the dynamics of episodic events that evolve on a timescale of weeks or months, like harmful algae blooms or the evolution of pollution plumes. Even though these incidents can already be tracked by satellite, the ability to capture in-situ data for the full cycle can provide valuable data about the phenomena.

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