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Intel Acquires Drone Maker Ascending Technologies

1/5/2016 00:10 AM EST
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Time for responsible drone design
cookiejar   1/6/2016 5:41:17 PM
Will Intel take a responsible position in drone design?  The average drone design presents a real threat to people's safety.

The most newsworthy threat is to aircraft.  A simple solution is readily available.  The FAA frangible spec. ensures that an object is of a low enough density so that it can collide with an aircraft without causing major damage.
One product to which the frangible spec is applied is the weather balloon, which through the years has included various sensors,  aneroid barometer, electric motor, radio transmitter and of course a battery.  All the components are most interesting from a design standpoint because of their very low density.  The design is such that when the balloon bursts and the package falls, slowed by a parachute, it also minimizes damage to anything it strikes.  Weather balloons have been around for over a century, with an excellent safety record.

I would argue that design restrictions should also apply to drones in order to minimize damage to people and property.  Having high speed blades surrounding the drone without any protection may be a cash cow for replacement blades but can also do serious damage to people and property.  At the very least there should be a cowling around each blade or a cage similar to a household fan.  We wouldn't want an unguarded spinning fan blade sitting around in the house with small kids around.  Why are 4 unprotected spinning blades flying around, often out of control, acceptable?

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Re: Intel has too much money.
DMac   1/5/2016 6:18:29 PM
Perhaps you are right about Intel having too much money, but I for one find it interesting that they are investing so much in drone technology. Dan Kara, practice director for robotics at ABI Research, says chip vendors and consumer electronics firms are looking at the drone market as another market where technologies that have been developed mainly for smartphones.

To your point, PC growth has flatlined, smartphone growth has slowed, are drones really the next big thing?

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Intel has too much money.
Loser99   1/5/2016 3:16:36 PM
Throwing away money as usual.  I guess people are not buying PC's like they used to.

Remember when they used to have a "play" division that made educational toys & plastic microscopes etc?  Boy that was a good investment.

What are they thinking?  How bout returning the money on these wacky "investments" to the shareholders in higher dividends instead?  Or pay their over-paid employees even more?

Probably the decision of some Intel Capital person that can't figure out what to do with their excess cash and needs to do something or keep up with his co-workers.

or a quid pro quo someone knew/used to work with somebody or they offered to bail out this failing company because someone bought someone at Intel a drink at a bar.



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