sunset Sangre de CristoHi all –

Another big news week.

Props to the team at Ames who ran the UTM test and the test sites that participated. Certainly a nice way to get the ball rolling.

The FAA is also in the news with the first exemption for night operations given to Industrial Skyworks after a 16 month application period. For some excellent insight and analysis be sure to check Mark McKinnon’s piece that really drills into the details. It’s a fascinating look under the hood.

Quote of the week award, as well as the quote I am totally glad isn’t attributed to me is “It may have been a plastic bag.” This from UK Transport Minister Robert Goodwill talking about whatever it was that was seen out of the cockpit on final into Heathrow last week. Having a bit of fun with came this – a drone identification card for airline pilots.

Intel very much in the news this week with the announcement that they will be cutting some 11,000 plus jobs. Sad news for those affected to be sure but I bring it up because some amazing things came out of it.

First CEO Brian Krzanich drew a line in the sand announcing that “Intel is not a PC company anymore.” Instead it is going to be about cloud servers and billions of smart, connected devices (like drones that generate mass quantities of data) working together in a highly complementary fashion to create Intel’s Virtuous Cycle of Growth. It is absolutely breathtaking. Now of course comes execution, but few companies execute as well as Intel once set to a task.

Harvard Business Review ran an article looking at three things Intel should remember. This is a very smart piece of thinking on branding and building markets – well worth a read whether you build things or sell services. Simple but thought provoking.

I don’t know whether the timing was random (it is possible) but a DJI VP, one Mr. Shao Jianhuo came out with a very strong statement in the China Daily suggesting that the drone industry should not allow itself to be dominated by a single chip company. Hard to say if he was pointing fingers or just saying but it’s a meaty interview.

For more insight into DJI there’s a fascinating interview about the early days of the initial team primarily as remember by Lu Zhihui who went on to found MMC. I was very surprised to find MMC on Indiegogo this week looking for aUS$1M to help fund their firefighting drone, the Blue Whale which is a radical concept. For whatever reason the offer has gotten no support.

Back to Intel and more specifically Intel Inside, the Verge got ahold of a pre-release Yuneec Typhoon H and was blown away by the controller. As Emeril liked to say, talk about kicking it up a notch – wow. I had some fun speculating what one might be able to do with a controller that had both and Intel chip and an Android inside…

If you’re looking for insurance and are an AUVSI member, Global Aerospace has just announced DroneGuard which seems to offer all the cover most people are likely to need. A few more details in the story – and I suspect more to come at XPONENTIAL in May.

The Small UAV Coalition wasted no time in adding three new members. Both Walmart and T-Mobile bring a lot to the party. From the looks of their website NGO Linking The World is rebooting right now.

Finally a couple of really exceptional drone short films. Because it’s kind of fun to remember why we all go so nuts about this… Balance is touted as the return of a unique dolly zoom effect first used in the Hitchcock classic Vertigo. Honestly I think that description sells this piece short – hang on to your popcorn.

All the way at the other end of the spectrum is a lovely piece I found in a fishing blog. The piece is shot in Alaska on some prime salmon water. It is one of the most effective marketing pieces using drone footage I have ever seen. If you like to fish take a look because this puts you on the river and in the scene in a way I’ve never seen before.

Thank you for reading and for sharing.


Christopher Korody

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