SkyFire Consulting is helping firefighters use drones to save lives

Determined to improve public safety, SkyFire Consulting works with police and fire departments to implement the use of drones in varying aspects of their efforts. SkyFire’s work is mainly done behind the scenes as it aids Federal Aviation Administration training and certification for public safety departments.

“We help [public safety organizations] identify their use cases, their missions, and identify what equipment will help them best,” SkyFire CEO Ben Kroll told Digital Trends at the Drone Rodeo at the 2018 CES expo. “We will assist with the FAA certification process and whatever route they want to go that way. We also do [public safety] training, we have several customizable training programs that we offer departments.”

Besides for training and certification, SkyFire also focuses on pairing the proper drones for the appropriate public safety department. For example, with fire departments, SkyFire teaches firefighters how drones can be location scouts with thermal imaging to see where they should focus on extinguishing a blaze.

SkyFire, however, does not build or provide custom drones. Instead, SkyFire helps public safety departments understand drone technology and know which drones they should purchase to best fit their needs.

Despite the beneficial use of drones for public safety, not everyone is on board just yet. Due to concerns about privacy, policies for drone usage aren’t yet that nuanced and some local governments may have even placed strict restrictions on the use of drones. These challenges are nothing new for SkyFire, as it works with municipalities and local governments to make the use of drones by public safety departments more acceptable and an actual reality.

“Politically, there is a lot of misinformation about what drones can and can’t do,” Kroll said. “We try to advocate to municipalities [that] if they are going to have sort of drone restriction or drone ban, make an exemption for public safety. Public safety can really use this as a tool.

“We’ve seen lives saved ultimately from the adoption of the technology.”

Emerging Tech

Hikers missing on Mount Fuji could soon find a drone buzzing above their heads

Hikers who go missing while climbing Japan's highest mountain could soon find a drone buzzing above their head. A new system using the flying machines has been set up on Mount Fuji for future search-and-rescue missions.
Photography

See the National Forests like never before in these awe-inspiring drone videos

What's the difference between a National Park and a National Forest? Drones. With no ban on drones in National Forests -- at least, not yet -- filmmakers have a way to capture the immensity of these locations with stunning results.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Cars

Car parts maker ZF is using drones to deliver components to its factories

ZF recently became the first entity in Germany to receive approval to use drones to deliver spare parts, and the company now uses them to deliver parts from its central warehouses to its workshops.
Emerging Tech

In a weighty decision, scientists prepare to redefine the kilogram

Metrologists are meeting at the General Conference on Weights and Measures in Versailles to vote on whether to redefine the kilogram as a constant that can be observed in the natural world.
Emerging Tech

Google’s balloon internet is coming to Kenya in 2019

In order to bring the internet to those who lack it, a company called Loon is launching balloons into the stratosphere. From more than 12 miles up, these balloons beam connectivity over a large area on the ground.
Emerging Tech

Elon Musk receives FCC approval to launch over 7,500 satellites into space

Not surprisingly, SpaceX is thinking big with Starlink, its space-based global broadband network. This week, the company received FCC approval to launch 7,518 satellites into a low-Earth orbit for its satellite internet service.
Cars

The world’s first 3D-printed titanium wheels are so intricate they look fake

HRE Performance Wheels and GE Additive have teamed up to create the world's first 3D-printed titanium wheels. They are not only impressively durable, but extremely lightweight as well.
Emerging Tech

Of all the vape pens in the world, these 5 are the best

Vaping concentrates has become significantly more popular, especially among those that use cannabis for medicinal purposes. But don’t use just any vape pen: we found these five devices to be our favorites in 2018.
Emerging Tech

DJI Mavic 2 Pro vs Mavic 2 Zoom: What’s the real difference?

DJI's Mavic 2 series drones are ready to fly -- but which one is right for you? The Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom are nearly identical save for their cameras. Here's what you need to know about these powerful new UAVs.
Emerging Tech

This startup will sequence your entire genome for free — but there’s a catch

Want to get your DNA sequenced but don’t want to shell out the hundred bucks or so to do so? A new startup called Nebula Genomics offers you the opportunity to have it done for free.
Emerging Tech

Here’s all the best tech gear and gadgetry that survived Shark Tank

The television show "Shark Tank" has churned out quite a few strange, interesting, and downright awesome products -- so we rounded up some of the best ones for your perusal. Enjoy!
Emerging Tech

Students who designed transforming smart home will compete in Solar Decathalon

Modular smart homes are all the rage, and now some students from Virginia Tech are putting their money on their FutureHAUS, a modular, solar-powered, transforming smart home they're taking to the Solar Decathlon in Dubai.
Emerging Tech

Hotter than the sun: Chinese fusion reactor claims breakthrough

China’s “artificial sun” has reached a temperature of 180 million ºF with a heating power of 10 megawatts -- six times hotter than the center of the sun. The achievement could mark progress towards fusion as a clean energy source.