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.

Drones for Agriculture in Tampa

Drones For Agricultural Crop Surveillance

farming-portfolio1Explore the benefits that DFS agriculture drones (A.K.A. UAVs or UASs) can offer modern farmers and crop scouting.

Using drones for crop surveillance can drastically increase farm crop yields while minimizing the cost of walking the fields or airplane fly-over filming. Using our Imaging system, you can view composite video showing the health of your crops.

Utilize Advanced agricultural drone technology for the farming and agriculture industries with intuitive, actionable intelligence that drives costs down and improves crop performance. Reap the benefits of precise crop scouting from above.


The Benefits of Drones in Farming

  • Increase Yields
    • Find potentially yield limiting problems in a timely fashion.
  • Save Time
    • While all farmers know the value of scouting their crops few actually have time to cover the acres on foot.
  • Return on Investment
    • At an average of $2 per acre for a walking visual inspection or an aerial survey to take an image of crop fields, the ROI on the purchase of an aerial helicopter drone can be met quickly. In most operations, the ROI for our drones can be achieved in a crop season or less, leaving you owning a drone that reduces your operating costs and improves your crop yield by giving you the timely information you need for quick management intervention.
  • Ease of use
    • UAV products can be very complex to set-up and operate, but with our preset standards we allow new operators to have confidence in operating from the beginning.
  • Integrated GIS mapping
    • Draw field borders for flight pattern
  • Crop Health Imaging
    • Seeing the true health of your field in a color contrast allows you to see how much sunlight is being absorbed by the crop canopy.
    • Identify Crop Stress, Track Rough Plants & Detect Early Infestations
  • Failsafe – The Drone Flies Home
    • As an added safety net with the flip of switch your  Drone will return to its original takeoff location

With a drone or UAV you can capture highly accurate images of your fields, covering up to hundreds of acres in a single flight. Without the cost and hassle of manned services. At a far greater resolution than satellite imagery provides, even when there is cloud cover.

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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/


Drone surveys a good fit for cotton growers

Agricultural drone surveys like those provided by Diverse Flight Solutions have been embraced by broadacre growers because of the massive advantages of aerial crop scouting over ground-based crop scouting in large fields like cotton. But are they really effective?

Although we see results for ourselves in the outcomes of surveys we perform for our customers, we also look to external research to validate what we’re seeing.

Read more