DJI AeroScope is an invisible license plate that knows when drones go off limits

dji aeroscope launches cool spy gadgets mavic
Drone giant DJI has now turned proposals for a sort of invisible drone license plate system into reality. DJI AeroScope is a new system that uses existing drone hardware to gather details on a nearby drone’s location, reporting those details back to authorities. Exactly which details are broadcast will depend on local laws, DJI said. The company unveiled the system in a presentation in Belgium on Thursday, October 12.

While just announced to the public,  AeroScope was installed at two international airports in April, where DJI continues to test and evaluate the system, and it is available for installation at additional locations.

A drone is wirelessly linked to a controller — AeroScope uses that same link to share information on the drone with authorities. DJI said the system can broadcast, location, registration or serial number and telemetry data, which includes altitude, speed, and direction. When a drone powers on, the AeroScope software can immediately display the drone on the map.

AeroScope is the actualization of a white paper DJI presented in March suggesting an invisible license plate system that both allows authorities to respond to trespassing drones and respects the privacy of drone owners. DJI affirmed the research with a second presentation in September. The program, DJI stressed, does not broadcast over the internet but to local receivers, in order to help maintain privacy for drone owners. This helps ensure, according to DJI, that drone data isn’t recorded into a government database.

Drone owners will be prompted inside DJI software to choose which details are broadcast as part of the program. If local laws require identification, that setup process will change based on those regulations. DJI  said that if a jurisdiction doesn’t require it, then personal identification will not be part of the transmission, excluding the registration details from the location information.

Because the system uses existing hardware, AeroScope doesn’t create substantial costs, DJI said. But, that also means, currently, AeroScope only recognizes DJI drones. Analysts estimate two- thirds of the civilian drones in flight today are part of the DJI system. DJI says that other drone companies could also transmit the same information with software configuration without any additional hardware, which would allow the program to work both on new and existing non-DJI drones.

AeroScope is designed for installation at areas where drone presence is illegal or a safety concern, such as at airports. Just last week, a drone collided with a passenger airplane in Canada. DJI drones already have geofencing built into the app that notifies pilots when they are nearing a restricted area, including during temporary restrictions.

“The rapid adoption of drones has created new concerns about safety, security, and privacy, but those must be balanced against the incredible benefits that drones have already brought to society,” Brendan Schulman, DJI’s vice president of policy and legal affairs, said in a statement. “Electronic drone identification, thoughtfully implemented, can help solve policy challenges, head off restrictive regulations, and provide accountability without being expensive or intrusive for drone pilots. DJI is proud to develop solutions that can help distribute drone benefits widely while also helping authorities keep the skies safe.”

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

Facebook hasn’t given up on the idea of building an internet drone

Facebook's efforts to provide internet connectivity from the skies using solar-powered drones suffered a blow last year when the company abandoned its "Aquila" drone project. But the company clearly hasn't given up on the idea ...
Cars

Michigan OKs digital license plates with Rplate’s connected car platform

The state of Michigan approved the use of digital license plates on motor vehicles registered in the state. Reviver Auto, the manufacturer of the Rplate connected car platform, worked with Michigan's Department of State to pass the bill.
Computing

Delete tracking cookies from your system by following these quick steps

Cookies are useful when it comes to saving your login credentials and other data, but they can also be used by advertisers to track your browsing habits across multiple sites. Here's how to clear cookies in the major browsers.
Emerging Tech

Want to know which drones are flying near you? There’s an app for that

Want to know what that mysterious drone buzzing over your head is up to? A new system developed by AirMap, Google Wing, and Kittyhawk.io could soon tell you -- via a map on your phone.
Emerging Tech

Google’s radar-sensing tech could make any object smart

Computer scientists have shown how Google’s Soli sensor can be used to make dumb objects smart. Here's why radar-powered computing could finally make the dream of smart homes a reality.
Emerging Tech

Tiny microbots fold like origami to travel through the human body

Tiny robots modeled after bacteria could be used to deliver drugs to hard to reach areas of the human body. Scientists have developed elastic microbots that can change their shape depending on their environment.
Emerging Tech

Dinosaurs never stood a chance after asteroid impacts doubled 290M years ago

The number of asteroids pummeling Earth jumped dramatically around 290 million years ago. By looking at Moon craters, scientists discovered that d the number of asteroid impacts on both Earth and the Moon increased by two to three times.
Emerging Tech

Saturn didn’t always have rings, according to new analysis of Cassini data

Saturn's rings are younger than previously believed, according to new data gathered from the Cassini mission. The rings are certainly less than 100 million years old and perhaps as young as 10 million years old.
Emerging Tech

Water-based fuel cell converts carbon emissions to electricity

Scientists from Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology have developed a system which can continuously produce electrical energy and hydrogen by dissolving carbon dioxide in an aqueous solution.
Emerging Tech

Scientists investigate how massive stars die in dramatic hypernova events

Our Sun will gradually fade before expanding into a red giant at the end of its life. But larger mass stars undergo extreme explosive events called hypernovas when they die which outshine their entire galaxies.
Emerging Tech

Pilotless planes are on their way, but would you fly in one?

Airbus says advancements in artificial intelligence can help it toward its goal of building a plane capable of fully autonomous flight, though whether passengers can be persuaded to travel in one is another matter entirely.
Emerging Tech

‘Tech vest’ prevents Amazon workers from colliding with robot co-workers

Amazon workers at its fulfillment centers are using "tech vests" to help protect them from collisions with their robot co-workers. The robots already have obstacle avoidance sensors, but the belt offers another layer of safety.
Emerging Tech

3D printers are finally affordable. Here are the best models under $500

3D printer prices have dropped dramatically over the past few years, but just because something is cheap doesn’t mean it’s worth buying. Here, we’ve rounded up all the cheap 3D printers that are actually worth spending your money on.