FHP chief says drones won’t be used for speeding enforcement

– Drones would not be used to ticket motorists, Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Executive Director Terry Rhodes said Tuesday after her agency got backing from the state Cabinet to ask lawmakers to set up a pilot program that would use unmanned aerial devices to help manage traffic crashes.

“If we were going to do this, number one I would want to try it for a year, 18 months, report back to the Legislature and then determine what type of law it would be,” Rhodes told reporters. “It would not be for criminal evidence or arrests.”

Asked if drones could be used to issue speeding tickets or other motor-vehicle infractions, Rhodes responded, “That is not the intent.” She added, “There are other uses for it, but I don’t want to use it for getting speeding tickets.”

The Cabinet — Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, Attorney General Pam Bondi and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater — agreed to accept the highway agency’s “legislative concepts,” including the drone proposal, for the 2017 session.  Gov. Rick Scott abstained from the vote.

The drone proposal stems from a 2013 state law that prohibits the use of unmanned aerial vehicles by law enforcement for surveillance and evidence gathering. The law limits the use of automated surveillance aircraft by law enforcement unless a judge issues a warrant, there is a “high risk of terrorist attack” or officials fear someone is in imminent danger.

The law was pushed as a way to protect people from the unwarranted use of drones and other unmanned aircraft.



Information provided by The News Service of Florida.

Watch: WFTV flew a drone over Flagler Beach after Hurricane Matthew

From: http://www.wftv.com/news/watch-wftv-flew-a-drone-over-flagler-beach-after-hurricane-matthew/455133306



A stranded veteran and his dog were rescued from Hurricane Matthew flooding in North Carolina with the help of a drone and social media.

Craig Williams of Austin, Texas, was concerned for his brother Chris Williams, who was stranded on the second floor of his home because of flooding in Hopes Mills, North Carolina.

Chris Williams, a Navy veteran, was with his dog, Lana, who did not know how to swim. He began calling for help, only to find that emergency services were down in the area.

When Chris Williams was unable to find help, he contacted his brother hoping he would have more luck.

Craig Williams began searching Twitter to find information on when the flood waters might subside. To make light of the situation, Craig Williams sent a photo to his brother showing homes submerged in water.

“I saw this incredibly devastated neighborhood, where you couldn’t see anything, just the rooftops,” Craig Williams told ABC News. “Then I sent it to him as a joke and was like, ‘Well, at least it’s not as bad as this.’ And he said, ‘That’s my house.'”

Craig Williams immediately contacted the photographer, Quavas Hart, to find help for his brother. Hart was able to alert a nearby Federal Emergency Management Agency rescue crew to save Chris Williams and Lana.

“You see a lot of negative things and you hear a lot of awful stuff, but the reality is there are a lot of good people in this world and if you just ask, they will do the right thing,” Chris Williams said. “This is one of those moments when humanity came together.”

Story from: http://abc11.com/weather/drone-and-social-media-help-rescuers-save-veteran-in-hurricane-matthew-flooding/1550476/


Drones and Augmented Reality -Powerful Tools when Disaster Strikes

In 2015, flooding in the United States caused $3 billion in damage and led to hundreds of deaths (US National Climatic Data Center). During a natural disaster, every tool is needed to reduce suffering and save lives. Rapid Imaging Software, Inc. recently demonstrated that video captured with a small drone equipped with Powered by SmartCam3D, augmented reality software can have a big impact on disaster relief.

Powered by SmartCam3D adds augmented reality (AR) overlays to live or recorded video, making it useful before, during and after a natural disaster. The flight was conducted by Bird’s Eye Solutions using a DJI Phantom 3 at Steuben Wisconsin on the Kickapoo River during a flood on September 24, 2016.

Augmented reality (AR) has become a household phrase due to mobile apps and games. In this application, augmented reality blends map data and other useful information onto video captured from a drone. The video may be viewed by the drone/camera operator.  However if drone video is distributed via a network, then everyone involved in relief operations can watch the video in real time.  The advantage is that augmented reality allows all users to see and agree on what is (or is not) in the video.  AR overlays assist the viewer to answer questions such as: Where am I looking?  What am I looking at?

In the critical moments after a disaster, the first concern is to save lives and assess the extent of the damage.  Equipped with a small drone and AR the pilot or camera operator can do the following:

·         Mark locations to search for survivors.

·         Scout the extent of the damage and send information about closed bridges and roads to the command center.

In the video link below, the bridge on Bridge Street is submerged, but the street name is shown as is the nearest intersection with AR overlays. Armed with this information, dispatchers can direct rescue teams via the best route. In addition, since the street is identified in the video there is no confusion about which bridge is in the view.  Emergency services can be routed efficiently and the public can be warned away from the area.

As the disaster recedes and it is time to restore services augmented reality can assist in the following ways.

·         Show locations of storm drains to be checked for debris.

·         Show Identifiers for power line poles. Poles will show in the correct location whether or they are still standing.

·         Locations of fire hydrants, gas main valves and more may show as overlays.

If drone video is recorded, it provides information for engineers, communities and city managers as they plan and prepare for future disasters. For example both ends of the bridge are marked in the video to show the extent of flooding, important information when the bridge is repaired or rebuilt.

Mike Abernathy, Founder and Director of Technology for Rapid Imaging Software notes, “I have been refining augmented technology for 23 years for a variety of uses. AR for disaster relief is an important tool and I believe it will save thousands of lives in the next decade.”

Powered by SmartCam3D augmented reality software is used with a variety of unmanned systems from: DJI drones through tactical unmanned aircraft systems.  This patented technology is cloud based and compatible with a variety of operating systems and devices.



Article from: http://www.suasnews.com/2016/10/drones-augmented-reality-powerful-tools-disaster-strikes/