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Drones


Analysis and insight on the future of drones. Stay updated as Singularity Hub discusses the most important trends related to drones.

In the Future, We’ll Know Everything—Thanks to This Tech

We’re rapidly approaching the era of abundant knowledge—a time when you can know anything you want, anywhere you want, anytime you want. An era of radical transparency. By 2020, it’s estimated we’ll have 50 billion...

Flexible ‘Dragon’ Drone Autonomously Shapeshifts to Fly Through Tight Spaces

A group of roboticists at the University of Tokyo have created a flexible, flying "drone-robot" that could see a multitude of uses. The Dual-rotor embedded multilink Robot with the Ability of multi-deGree-of-freedom aerial transformatiON, is...

Laws of Flight: As Drones Take Off, Regulation Lags

In 2014, a drone got tangled in the power lines outside a South Carolina prison carrying a small payload of marijuana and a cellphone. Police arrested a man in a nearby campsite who’d been...

MIT’s Leading the Pack With This Cool New Autonomous Drone Tech

Any Star Wars fan knows that the chances of successfully navigating an asteroid field are approximately 3,720 to 1. The odds are probably significantly higher against today’s autonomous drones, which fly quite a bit...

Your Next Pilot Could Be Drone Software

Would you get on a plane that didn’t have a human pilot in the cockpit? Half of air travelers surveyed in 2017 said they would not, even if the ticket was cheaper. Modern pilots...

Hyperloop and Flying Cars Are Battling It Out for the Future of Transportation

Tech titans are eager to reimagine how we will travel in the coming decades, but whose vision will win out? Last week Elon Musk and Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi got in a back-and-forth on Twitter...

These Autonomous Delivery Drones Will Soon Dot the Swiss Skies

As much as commodities and data have been digitized over the last few years, we still need to send an awful lot of physical items hither and thither. The logistics of doing so have...

This Inspiring Teenager Wants to Save Lives With His Flying Robots

It’s not every day you meet a high school student who’s been building functional robots since age 10. Then again, Mihir Garimella is definitely not your average teenager. When I sat down to interview him...

To Design the Perfect Drone, Follow Nature’s Lead

Nature has found some elegant solutions to complicated problems and engineers have long been inspired by its designs. But Adrian Thomas thinks translating the best of nature’s discoveries into man-made devices requires the ability...

Forget Flying Cars, the Future Is Driving Drones

Flying car concepts have been around nearly as long as their earthbound cousins, but no one has yet made them a commercial success. MIT engineers think we've been coming at the problem from the...

The Future of Flying Cars: Science Fact or Science Fiction?

Uber has shaken up the taxi industry and is trying to put driverless cars on our roads. Now the company aims to have flying ride-sharing vehicles in our skies by 2020. Uber is not alone...

Why the Fast-Paced World of Drone Sports Is Getting So Popular

Piloting your drone aircraft through an intricate, Star Wars-like obstacle course or ramming an enemy to the ground in a dogfight—sounds slightly like science fiction, doesn’t it? It’s not. In fact, both sports already...

This Drone Is on a Mission to Rid Your City of Dog Poop

Nothing ruins a pleasant afternoon stroll down your neighborhood sidewalk or favorite city street like stepping in dog poop. Even if you don’t step in it, having to look down to make sure you’re...
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What You Need to See From CES 2017 in 6 Minutes [Video]

I just returned from Las Vegas, after walking 20,000 steps on the floor of the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES). It’s huge. For reference, CES showcases 2.47 million square feet of exhibit space, hosts 180,000...

10 Tech Trends That Made the World Better in 2016

2016 was an incredible year for technology, and for humanity. Despite all the negative political-related news, there were 10 tech trends this year that positively transformed humanity. For this “2017 Kick-Off” post, I reviewed 52 weeks...

8 Ways AI Will Profoundly Change City Life by 2030

How will AI shape the average North American city by 2030? A panel of experts assembled as part of a century-long study into the impact of AI thinks its effects will be profound. The One...

5 Billion People Need Better Healthcare — Technology Will Help Deliver It

If you’ve ever had to go into the hospital for a major medical procedure, your memory of the experience is probably pretty unpleasant. Even when all goes well, the hospital is a nerve-racking place...

Now Is the Time to Ban Terminator-Like Robots

The United States has on its Aegis-class cruisers a defense system that can track and destroy anti-ship missiles and aircraft. Israel has developed a drone, the Harpy, that can detect and automatically destroy radar...

Why Drones Are Finding a Home on the Farm

When I hear the word 'drone', the first thing I think of is a top-secret mission: spying, rescues, clandestine deliveries, and other James Bond-worthy uses of a seemingly mysterious technology. Maybe I've just seen...

Forget Flying Cars—Last Century’s Artists Wanted Whale Buses (and More)

We are seldom more creative than when imagining the future. We like to dream, we like to dream big—and sometimes engineering and science makes those dreams come true. Take Leonardo da Vinci for example. Often...
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These New Technologies Will Be Both Powerful and Planet Friendly

Did you know there is a 25% chance your cause of death will be due to environmental pollution? According the World Health Organization, some 12.6 million people—or nearly 1 in 4 worldwide—died in 2012 due...

Robot Revolution: These Are the Breakthroughs You Should Watch

Unexpected convergent consequences…this is what happens when eight different exponential technologies all explode onto the scene at once. This post (sixth in a series of seven) is a look at robotics. Be sure to read the first five posts if...

Drones Have Reached a Tipping Point—Here’s What Happens Next

Unexpected convergent consequences...this is what happens when eight different exponential technologies all explode onto the scene at once. This post (four of seven) is a look at drones. Future posts will look at other tech areas, and...

Japanese Robotic Farm’s First Harvest Next Year—Half a Million Lettuces a Day in Five Years

In modern times, farming's gone from humanity's top job to a sliver of the economy—a trend that continues today as fewer young people choose to farm. For every farmer under 35 there are 6 over 65, and a quarter of...

Six Technologies That Hit Their Tipping Points in 2015

To the average person, it may seem that the biggest technology advances of 2015 were the larger smartphone screens and small app updates. But a lot more happened than that. A broad range of...

Why We Need Government to Evolve as Fast as Technology

From deep learning to gene editing, the world of technology is moving fast. But at Singularity University, we believe amazing tech is only half the equation. Equally important is how we use technology. The...

Exponential Medicine: From Drones to Heartbeat Detecting Devices—Tech Can Aid Disaster Response

“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” –Martin Luther King Jr. In 2013, 51.2 million refugees were forced to flee their homes due to persecution, conflict, generalized violence, or human rights...

The Technologies ‘Back to the Future’ Got Right, Wrong, and Left Out Entirely

26 years ago, Marty McFly and Doc Brown climbed into their time-traveling flying DeLorean and set the controls to the distant future — October 21, 2015 — which happens to be this week. This is a fun...

Watch These Drones Build a Rope Bridge—and Intrepid Researchers Walk Over It

Earlier this year, we wrote about a project to 3D print a bridge in Amsterdam. Said printer will move along a set of (self-printed) tracks, leaving a fully formed bridge in its wake. Now, machine...

How Robots and Sensors Will Transform Transportation, Agriculture, and Elder Care

Sensors and robotics are two exponential technologies that will disrupt a multitude of billion-dollar industries. This post (part 3 of 4) is a quick look at how three industries — transportation, agriculture, and healthcare/elder care — will...

The 3 Major Industries AI and Big Data Will Reshape This Decade

We live in an age of disruption — and that's a good thing. Industries will be transformed. Major companies will fall. Old systems will collapse as entrepreneurs figure out how to optimize and reinvent inefficient businesses, products,...

Disrupting Regulation: Robot Cars, Blockchain and Robotic Pharmacies

In recent years, regulators and lawmakers have been caught off guard by quick-moving new technologies—3D printed guns, genetically modified glowing plants, new business models for sharing economy companies and drones. As the pace of technological innovation...

A Peek at Some of the Coolest Companies in the SU Universe

"Want to become a billionaire? Then help a billion people." "The world's biggest problems are the world's biggest business opportunities." Both of these statements are the way I describe the premise of Singularity University's Graduate Studies...
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Is the Future of Drones Dastardly or Daring? This Week’s Ask an Expert Is Now Airborne [VIDEO]

Perusing the news, one might think the world of drones has quieted down. But hovering in the minds of those concerned about the impact of drones on society for better or worse are questions that that continue to arise. In this...

GSP 2015 Closing Ceremony: Meet 20+ Startups With Revolution on the Brain

Join Singularity University August 20 at San Jose’s California Theatre for the 2015 Graduate Studies Program Closing Ceremony—a night of inspiration, impact, and exciting pitches for 20+ new startups aiming to tackle the world’s biggest challenges....

Welcome to the Dawn of the Age of Robots

Growing up, I believed that very soon we would all have robots like Rosie, from “The Jetsons,” cleaning up after us. For those out there who are too young to remember “The Jetsons,” Rosie...

Then and Now: 8 Fun Examples of Exponential Change From the Last Decade

It's hard to believe, but… Ten years ago... The first video was uploaded to YouTube. Facebook, then just a year old, dropped "the" from its old URL "thefacebook.com" after acquiring "facebook.com" for $200K. An early...

2015’s Most Electrifying Emerging Tech? World Economic Forum Releases Annual List

Writing lists forecasting technology is a bit like writing science fiction. Prerequisites include intimate knowledge of the bleeding edge of technology, the ability to separate signal from noise, and more than a little audacity. Looking back,...

Pilots Need Not Apply: Matternet Launches Autonomous Drone Delivery System

We’ve covered drone delivery startup, Matternet, for a few years now. Before Amazon’s Jeff Bezos talked drone delivery on “60 Minutes,” Matternet was already working the problem. But their vision didn’t begin with retail and e-commerce—it began with...

Summit Spain: What Is The Greatest Challenge Humanity Faces Today?

“What is the greatest challenge humanity faces today?” This question was posed by Nick Haan, Director of Global Grand Challenges at Singularity University, to the audience gathered at this year’s Summit Spain in Seville. “It depends...

In Our Hyperconnected Future, Regulation Will Be Instant and Irresistible

Last week, a man crash landed his drone on the White House lawn. Evidently, the individual, a member of a US intelligence agency, had been drinking and was showing off his drone to a...
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Google Pledges $3 Million to Singularity University to Make Graduate Studies Program Free of Charge

Google, a long-time supporter of Singularity University (SU), has agreed to a two-year, $3 million contribution to SU's flagship Graduate Studies Program (GSP). Google will become the program's title sponsor and ensure all successful direct applicants get...

Drones Will Be Everywhere Watching, Listening, and…Planting Millions of Trees?

More and more people are getting to know drones, and not just the military kind. Drones were one of the hottest gifts over the holidays because they’re not only getting easier to fly (though not...
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If We Made ‘Back to the Future II’ Today: What Would 2045 Look Like?

It’s officially 2015, the year Marty McFly and Doc Brown visited in their souped up DeLorean time machine in Back to the Future Part II. There’s been a flurry of press comparing the iconic...

Coming Data Deluge Means You’ll Know Anything You Want, Anytime, Anywhere

We're heading towards a world of perfect knowledge. Soon you'll be able to know anything you want, anytime, anywhere, and query that data for answers and insights. Why is this happening? And what are the implications?...

How Technology Brought Us Closer to the Future in 2014

As the year draws to a close, it’s worth glancing over our shoulder. What technologies and themes were brightest in 2014? Read on. (And keep in mind, attempting such a summation is ambitious to the extreme—let us...

The Day You’ll Prefer Robots to Humans

Finally, the robot revolution is arriving. There's a Cambrian explosion in robotics, with species of all sizes, shapes and modes of mobility crawling out of the muck of the lab and onto the terra firma...

Aeromobil’s Flying Car Is a Sci-fi Dream Getting Closer to Reality

Since the invention of the automobile and powered flight in the early 1900s, the idea of a flying car has inspired dreams in tech enthusiasts, gear heads, and those who just wish to beat...
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Embrace Tomorrow, Launch Today: Summit Europe Amsterdam (November 19-20)

Singularity University presents Summit Europe, a two-day conference in Amsterdam to explore upcoming, game-changing technologies and their imminent implications for businesses and entrepreneurs. Embrace tomorrow, launch today—apply now! There’s an ancient Indian tale about a ruler...

Navy’s Boat Drones Pack Hunt Like Wolves on Water

The US military is building a droid (er, drone) army. You’ve likely heard of flying drones—but the robot arms race won’t end there. The Navy recently demonstrated a pack of autonomous boats performing defensive...

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