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Sometimes, natural disasters can seem very far away.

In news coverage, Mexico’s 8.1 magnitude earthquake was largely overshadowed by all the headlines about Irma.

This video, shot in the Yuchitan, really brings it home.

AERIAL DRONES TO COLLECT ALGAE AT LOWER COST

Toxic algae is notoriously difficult to sample. It can appear and disappear in a matter of hours, depending on sea conditions.

Fortunately, researchers at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science are now using drones to identify where these toxic algae patches exist with higher efficiency and lower cost than other methods.

Drones are being used by researchers to sample algae blooms. Image via Virginia Institute of Marine Science

This has made sampling far easier and is set to have some major positive environmental benefits as toxic algae growths can be dangerous to both humans and marine life.

Drones provide an ideal vantage point to spot algae formations, being high enough to cover sizeable ocean ground but also low enough to be able to discern details of the algae regions found.

The Virginia Institute of Marine Science team primarily use a DJI Phantom 4 Pro Quadcopter to do its work, flying out at 45 mph and for thirty minutes before needing a recharge.

An algae bloom, as seen from above. Image via Virginia Institute of Marine Science
SCOTLAND TO HOST WORLD’S FIRST DRONE HIGHWAY

The world’s first ‘droneway’ is being planned for Scotland, set to be opened later this month.

The flightpath has been designated for a body of water between the Isle of Lewis and the mainland.

This 40-kilometre (25-mile) route is a means of creating a safe space wherein drones can be flown. Should the “droneway” prove popular among users, it’s the ultimate aim to have it included in aviation charts, giving drone operators permission to fly in an area traditionally controlled by civil or military traffic, according to the droneway’s organizer, telecoms expert Rod MacFarlane.

This testing project has received the approval of Scotland’s federal government and others seeking to promote the benefits of drone use.

LOST HIKERS AND WILDLIFE STUDIES

An advanced drone swarming technology has been developed by an engineering team at the University of Colorado. This unique tech system allows a single operator to control multiple drones simultaneously.

The CU team are intent on using these drones to hunt out beacon signals from the grasslands below, deploying up to three drones at a time. The testing of this drone swarm tech system, which happened in August, comes on the heels of more than two and a half years of work towards finding the right algorithm and software.

Image via University of Colorado, Boulder

Though the research team has focused on using this tech to track hikers and study wildlife across Colorado, should it prove to be successful in accomplishing these tasks, its uses could expand to wildly different areas.

The CU team’s drone swam technology system was developed in collaboration with the Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, and was recently granted approval by the FAA.

NO, YOU CAN’T DELIVER POT WITH DRONES

According to a ruling by the California Bureau of Cannabis Control, drones are not permitted for use in pot delivery services.

As marijuana has been legalized in California, legislator and regulators have been in a rush to outline rules of distribution and sale prior to the January, 2018 deadline. Despite the fact that a California resident can receive a pharmaceutical prescription via mail, marijuana has not been given the same privilege.

This ruling complicates things for a handful of California companies who have already committed to autonomous marijuana drone delivery.

Wikimedia Creative Commons 3.0 image by Jennifer Martin

According to a report published in September, the BCC states, “Deliveries may be made only in person by enclosed motor vehicle. Cannabis goods may not be visible to the public during deliveries. Cannabis goods may not be left in an unattended motor vehicle unless the vehicle has an active alarm system. Vehicles used for delivery must have a dedicated, active GPS device that enables the dispensary to identify the geographic location of the vehicle during delivery.”

A QUICK TRIP TO THE ALPS

Where the heights of the Alps converge with the clouds, disappear into nature through the eyes of a drone.

And that’s #TheBuzz! Have an awesome day.

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