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TECHNOLOGY
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DRONES

 

 

INTRODUCTION LESSON PLANS
CARTOONS LISTENING
CINEMA PROS and CONS
EXAMPLES SONGS
FACTS VIDEOS

(Created on 16/03/2015)

 

INTRODUCTION:

 

  • Drones: What are they and how do they work?
    "President Barack Obama has confirmed the US is using unmanned aircraft to target suspected militants in tribal areas of Pakistan. He defended the drone attacks, saying they made precision strikes and were kept on a "tight leash". What are drones used for and how are they controlled?...
    To the military, they are UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) or RPAS (Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems). 
    However, they are more commonly known as drones...
    Those used by the United States Air Force and Royal Air Force range from small intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance craft, 
    some light enough to be launched by hand, to medium-sized armed drones and large spy planes."
    + Key uses
    (BBC)

    MQ-1B Predator / MQ-9 Reaper

 

EXAMPLES:

  • Dubai to Launch Self-Flying Air Taxi by July - Text + Audio + Pictures + Video - 16 February 2017
    "Officials in Dubai say they plan to launch a self-flying air taxi as soon as July. The Chinese-made drone has four propeller wings.
    It can operate for up to 30 minutes on a single battery charge, with a flying range of 50 kilometers."

    (learningenglish.voanews.com)

    Self-flying taxi to transport passengers in Dubai
    - 14 February 2017
    "The Ehang is electric-powered and can travel for about 31 miles with a person and bag that weigh up to 100kg.
    It can go at speeds of up to 63 miles an hour and takes two hours to charge fully...
    Designed to be secure, the autonomous vehicle has a "fail safe" system, according to the company, that prompts it to land in the nearest place if anything malfunctions or disconnects. It also communicates via encrypted channels."

    (telegraph.co.uk)


    The Ehang 184 "autonomous aerial vehicle" can transport
    one passenger and their bag for up to 23 minutes

    Dubai announces passenger drone plans - with a video - 14 February 2017
    "A drone that can carry people will begin "regular operations" in Dubai from July, the head of the city's Roads and Transportation Agency
    has announced at the World Government Summit...
    The drone can carry one passenger weighing up to 100 kg (220 pounds) and has a 30 minute flight time."

    (BBC)

  • Reach for the sky: five of the best drones - with pictures - 30 October 2016
    "Discover your inner aviator, from the entry level Parrot Mambo to the high-spec DJI Phantom."

    (theguardian.com)

  • Drones Helping to Save Lives in Rwanda and Madagascar - Text + Audio - 24 October 2016
    "Drones are now being used to transport blood, medicine and supplies in Rwanda and Madagascar. Zipline International, an American-based company, has begun flying blood and vaccines to Rwandan medical centers. Another company, Vayu, transports blood and laboratory test materials in Madagascar."

    (learningenglish.voanews.com)

  • Precision forestry with drones
    "DroneSeed offers full lifecycle services for forestry management.
    From planting to harvesting, we help our customers maximize the value of their forestland.
    An efficient, cost-competitive fleet of drones reduces reliance on manual labor."

    (droneseed.co)

 

  • Drones to Deliver Fast Food to Virginia Tech University - Text + Audio - 13 September 2016
    "Some students in Virginia will soon be able to order burritos delivered by drone.
    The service, starting this month, will be one of the first tests of a commercial drone delivery service in the U.S."

    (learningenglish.voanews.com)
  • US Drone Maker to Fly Medicine in Rwanda - Text + Audio - 12 May 2016
    "A U.S. drone maker is teaming up with United Parcel Service to test drones in Africa.
    Zipline International plans to start using its aircraft to transport blood and medicine in Rwanda later this year.
    The companies say the partnership will save millions of lives and provide extensive drone testing."

    (learningenglish.voanews.com)
  • New Drones Could Improve Weather Predictions - Text + Audio + Video- 31 March 2016
    "Scientists are working to develop unmanned planes that can gather information from different levels of the Earth’s atmosphere;
    the information will help weather experts increase the accuracy of their forecasts."

    (learningenglish.voanews.com)
  • Pilotless drone to transport humans on display - VIDEO - 7 January 2016
    "A human-carrying drone is one of the transport innovations on display at the CES tech show in Las Vegas.
    The EHang personal minicopter is not operated by manual controls. The passenger chooses a point on a map to travel to.
    The device is likely to cost more than $200,000 (£137,000) and could be illegal to ride in public in many countries."

    (BBC)

 

 

  • Flying Robots Are Coming to US Universities - Text + Audio - 2 January 2016
    "Drones are flying robots that people use for fun and for work. More and more jobs involving drones are created every day.
    Now some US universities are starting drone classes and degree programs. But, some new laws make drone piloting difficult."

    (learningenglish.voanews.com)

  • Shark drones to patrol stretch of Australia's coast - 25 November 2015
    "Beachgoers will be protected from sharks by drones and "smart" drum lines, according to the New South Wales (NSW) government."

    (BBC)

  • Drone wars: Today’s weapon of choice? - 14 September 2015
    "Drone strikes are often controversial. They seem to allow the attacking nation to remain literally and metaphorically above the fray.
    Their own service personnel are not at risk.
    And drones also seem to blur the boundaries between warfare on the one hand and counter-terrorism and law enforcement on the other."

    (BBC)

  • Meet Transwheel, self-balancing parcel-delivery drone - Article + Photos + Video - 24 August 2015
    "The use of flying drones, for all their well-documented virtues (amazing aerial photography, for one), is a fraught topic.
    News reports carry tales of drones flying too close to commercial airliners, drones spying into bedroom windows and drones carrying – and firing – handguns. And as legislation managing their civilian use tightens, there seems little doubt that public contempt for the machines is coming to a head."

    (BBC)

  • Drone drops package of drugs into Ohio prison yard - 5 August 2015
    "Ohio officials are investigating after a drone dropped a package full of illegal drugs into a prison yard, sparking a fight over the contraband...
    The package contained small amounts of marijuana and heroin."

    (BBC)

    Prison drone dropped heroin, marijuana and tobacco - 4 August 2015
    (mansfieldnewsjournal.com)

  • Terrifying video shows home-made drone 'made by a teenager' equipped with a HANDGUN opening fire in the woods
    - with VIDEOS - 16 July 2015
    (dailymail.co.uk)

    • Footage uploaded online shows drone hovering with semiautomatic pistol
    • Robot can fire at least a shot every three seconds while staying stable
    • Thought to be the work of Austin Haughwout, 18, from Clinton, Connecticut
    • FAA officials have said in the past that any armed drone are illegal

 

 

 

 

 

FACTS:

 

 

 

 

 

  • The rise of human-like robots, cars and drones - 29 October 2014 
    "Should we add more humour and humanity to our gadgets? David Robson reports on a new breed of machine designed to make us love them, and discovers whether robots can make you laugh..." 

    (BBC)

 

 

  • Miniature spy helicopter used to hunt pirates - ARTICLE + VIDEO  - 1 August 2011
    "It is only seven foot long and weighs just 49lbs but it is the latest weapon in the war on piracy in Africa...
    A remote-controlled mini-helicopter, which can fire tasers, grenades and shotgun shells, is being used to track pirates off the Horn of Africa and enforce law on the streets in the US...
    The discreet Shadowhawk UAV is proving an effective crime-fighting solution for both police forces and private companies."

    (telegraph.co.uk)

 

  • Robot history: The rise of the drone
    "Lurid pictures from the last 100 years show the idea of military drones – and removing humans from the battlefield - has a long history." 

    (BBC)

 

 

PROS and CONS:

 

 

LISTENING:

  • Drones Helping to Save Lives in Rwanda and Madagascar - Text + Audio - 24 October 2016
    "Drones are now being used to transport blood, medicine and supplies in Rwanda and Madagascar. Zipline International, an American-based company, has begun flying blood and vaccines to Rwandan medical centers. Another company, Vayu, transports blood and laboratory test materials in Madagascar."

    (learningenglish.voanews.com)

  • Drones to Deliver Fast Food to Virginia Tech University - Text + Audio - 13 September 2016
    "Some students in Virginia will soon be able to order burritos delivered by drone.
    The service, starting this month, will be one of the first tests of a commercial drone delivery service in the U.S."

    (learningenglish.voanews.com)

  • US Drone Maker to Fly Medicine in Rwanda - Text + Audio - 12 May 2016
    "A U.S. drone maker is teaming up with United Parcel Service to test drones in Africa.
    Zipline International plans to start using its aircraft to transport blood and medicine in Rwanda later this year.
    The companies say the partnership will save millions of lives and provide extensive drone testing."

    (learningenglish.voanews.com)

  • Drones Help Rangers Fight Poachers - Text + Audio - 13 June 2015
    "Conservationists are struggling to stop people who illegally hunt or catch animals, such as rhinos and elephants.
    They are now using DNA identification and drones to follow animals in the wild and help protect them from poachers."

    (learningenglish.voanews.com)

  • Chinese Officials Use Drone to Stop Cheating on Exam - Text + Audio - 10 June 2015
    "In an effort to stop cheating, administrators in China took an unusual step. They used a drone, or small aircraft without a pilot.
    The drone flew over two testing centers in Luoyang City in central China's Henan province.
    The drone was looking for unusual signals being sent to wireless devices."

    (learningenglish.voanews.com)

  • Amazon Receives Patent for Drone Delivery System - Text + Audio + Video - 18 May 2015
    "Amazon.com has received patent rights to send its products to customers by unmanned drone aircraft.
    The company is the largest U.S.-based online seller of products.
    But even with a patent, it does not appear the company will put its new delivery system in place any time soon."

    (learningenglish.voanews.com)

 

LESSON PLANS:

  • Amazon.com testing drone delivery service (December 04, 2013) - a lesson plan with AUDIO
    "The online store Amazon is testing a new method of delivering packages to customers.
    It wants to start using drones to get packages to customers, in just 30 minutes.
    The drones are small, remote-controlled helicopters called 'octocopters'. They look like toys."

    (breakingnewsenglish.com)
    SEE Cartoons and Videos
  • Reuters Video: Drone could deliver Amazon goods (December 03, 2013)
    "Amazon.com is testing drones to deliver goods to homes. It says it could be four to five years before they're put to use. Bobbi Rebell reports."

    + TRANSCRIPT + VOCABULARY + COMMENT + DISCUSSION ACTIVITY + Related articles
    (englishblog.com)

 

CARTOONS:


 

Drone warfare - Cartoons
(cagle.com)


Cartoon: Drone Condolences - 28 April 2015
BACKGROUND + THE CARTOON + VOCABULARY
+ NOTES + Related articles

(englishblog.com)

 

 

Drones Delivery by Amazon in Comics
(fpv.tv)
Lots of cartoons

 

 


Drone Delivery
(cagle.com)
SEE Videos and Lesson plans

 


Amazon Drones
- Cartoons
(cagle.com)
SEE Videos and Lesson plans

 


Cartoon:
Mac on Amazon Sending Parcels by Drone

BACKGROUND + THE CARTOON
+ EXPLANATION + ALSO SEE
+ Related articles

(englishblog.com)

SEE Videos

 

Cartoon: Google Robots vs. Amazon Drones
BACKGROUND + THE CARTOON
+ ALSO SEE + Related articles

(englishblog.com)
SEE Videos and Lesson plans


Cartoon: Amazon's Drone Deliveries

"This cartoon by Chappatte 
from The International New York Times 
relates to Amazon's plan to use drones 
for some local deliveries by 2015
(see earlier posts here and here)."

+ VOCABULARY + COMMENT + ALSO SEE
+ Related articles

(englishblog.com)
SEE Videos and Lesson plans

 

 

 

VIDEOS:

 

 

  • Precision forestry with drones
    "DroneSeed offers full lifecycle services for forestry management.
    From planting to harvesting, we help our customers maximize the value of their forestland.
    An efficient, cost-competitive fleet of drones reduces reliance on manual labor."

    (droneseed.co)

 

  • Norman Foster's design for world's first droneport – video - 26 July 2016
    "A video animation shows a design by Norman Foster for the world’s first droneport.
    The facility in Rwanda would support planned cargo drone routes linking remote areas in Africa: a red-line network for emergency supplies and a commercial blue-line network.
    The team hopes to complete the droneport in 2017."
    (theguardian.com)

     

     

  • How drones would carry emergency blood supplies in Rwanda – video - 26 July 2016
    "This promotional footage from Silicon Valley tech startup Zipline shows how it would use drones to deliver emergency blood supplies.
    The company hopes to make up to 150 blood deliveries a day by drone in Rwanda.
    Difficult transport conditions mean rural health centres across Africa often lack supplies and delivering emergency blood is particularly challenging.
    A ‘zip’ drone can fly a 75-mile round-trip on a single charge."

    (theguardian.com)

 

  • Can drones help save the rhino? – video - 26 July 2016
    "Drones are operating above some of South Africa’s national parks in an attempt to deter and intercept poachers.
    Poaching is at record levels on the continent, devastating elephant and rhino populations.
    These drones can fly 2.5 hours on a single charge and up to 22 miles from the control vehicle.
    The operators say they have seen a direct link between their presence in an area and a fall in poaching."

    (theguardian.com)

 

 

 

  • Flying Robots Are Coming to U.S. Universities - VIDEO - 22 January 2016
    "Drones are flying robots that people use for fun and for work. More and more jobs involving drones are created every day.
    Now some US universities are starting drone classes and degree programs. But, some new laws make drone piloting difficult."

    (learningenglish.voanews.com)
  • Could consumer tech help tackle wildfires? - VIDEO - 25 August 2015
    "Firefighters in Santa Barbara, California are combining consumer thermal imaging technology and drones to help monitor wildfires.
    Drought and high temperatures has seen large parts parts of the western US ablaze.
    BBC Click's Marc Cieslak reports."

    (BBC)

  • How drones are transforming movies - VIDEO - 22 August 2015
    "Getting closer than a helicopter, higher than a crane, and as steady as a dolly - drones are fast becoming an essential part of the professional filmmaker's kit.
    Compact drones can now carry heavy camera equipment into the air for spectacular aerial filming and shoot rock-steady shots in the most unforgiving of environments.
    BBC Click's Spencer Kelly went to Norway for a demonstration from film production company Fram Film."

    (BBC)

  • The man who plans to be ringmaster - of a drone circus - Article + Photos + Video - 3 August 2015
    "Amsterdam will host the first ever drone circus later this year. Rose Eveleth talks to the man behind the machines."

    (BBC)

 

 

 

  • Amazon Receives Patent for Drone Delivery System - Text + Audio + Video - 18 May 2015
    "Amazon.com has received patent rights to send its products to customers by unmanned drone aircraft.
    The company is the largest U.S.-based online seller of products.
    But even with a patent, it does not appear the company will put its new delivery system in place any time soon."

    (learningenglish.voanews.com)

  • The Army of the Future - VIDEO
    (nytimes.com)

  • Up close with drone racers at an Aerial Grand Prix - 13 April 2015
    "The popularity of drones has grown rapidly over the last 12 months and now there is a contest where pilots can test their piloting skills
    while flying around an obstacle course at speeds of 60 mph (100 kph)."

    (BBC)

 

  • Could ambulance drones appear on the battlefield? - VIDEO - 3 June 2014
    "Removing casualties from remote battlefields is often dangerous and highly skilled work for helicopter pilots.
    But a prototype air ambulance drone developed by Tactical Robotics is hoping to make these evacuations safer.
    Part funded by the Israel's Ministry of Defence, the AirMule, has a top speed of 120 knots (140 mph, 190 km/h) and can reach an altitude of 12,000 ft (3,600 m).
    BBC Click's Jen Copestake reports."

    (BBC)
  • An Animated History of the Drone | Mashable
    "The drone revolution is over 100 years in the making. Here, we take an animated look at the past, present and future of unmanned aerial technology."

    (YouTube)



     

  • US advances in drone development - VIDEO - 29 December 2011 
    "Private companies are developing smaller, more sophisticated unmanned military drones to be used for air strikes or reconnaissance missions."

    (BBC)

 

 

  • How toys are going hi-tech in 2015 - VIDEO - 29 January 2015
    "Toys are getting ever more hi-tech - from robots that can research the internet to toy drones and plastic pets.
    BBC Click's Spencer Kelly went along to the British Toy Fair on the hunt for the must-have toys of 2015. 
    Some 260 exhibitors were showing off their latest toy creations - many still in the prototype stage."
     
    (BBC)

  • CES 2015: Testing the latest drones - 9 January 2015
    "There are drones to help you take the perfect selfie, drones that fly themselves and drones that follow you by hooking up with your smartphone."

    (BBC)

 

 

 

  • Technology's biggest trends of 2014
    "It has been a busy year for technology innovation with wearable devices, connected machines and drones all being offered to consumers.
    However, 2014 has also seen an increasing number of bugs and hacks affecting technology users." 

    (BBC) 

 

  • The smart multitasking drones of the future - a video - 12 August 2014
    "BBC Click's Marc Cieslak met with BAE Systems, to see the potential future military uses for drones and also learn how the technology is being adapted to help rescue people from dangerous locations and even prevent poaching."

    (BBC)

 

  • Open season on drones? - VIDEO - 6 September 2013
    "Hadley Malcolm hosts USA NOW for Sept. 6, 2013, on Deer Trail, Colorado to potentially becoming the first American town to pass a drone hunting ordinance.
    Would you go hunting for drones? One Colorado town wants to give you the chance."

    (usatoday.com)

 

  • The future of drones: dog robots and camera grenades - VIDEO - 12 August 2012
    "Among the technology being developed are hand grenade sized robots that can be thrown into Afghan compounds 
    to search for bombs and robotic dogs that can carry hundreds of kilograms of military kit and follow soldiers over any terrain." 

    - on display at an unmanned drone exhibition in Las Vegas this week. 
    (BBC)

 


CINEMA:

  • "EYE IN THE SKY":

    • ‘Eye in the Sky' Looks at Drone Strikes - Text + Audio + Video - 8 April 2016
      "Should the life of one innocent be sacrificed to save many others? That is the thematic question of director Gavin Hood’s new film, "Eye in the Sky." 

      (learningenglish.voanews.com)


    • How a Hollywood film reveals the reality of drone warfare - 10 April 2016
      "As Helen Mirren’s new film 'Eye in the Sky' is released, an expert reflects on the morality of how and when to use drones in war...
      The Toronto film festival this autumn saw the premiere of Eye in the Sky, a topical thriller about a group of intelligence staff tasked to decide whether to target a village in order to potentially thwart a terrorist attack. The Guardian called the film ‘impressively performed and briskly efficient’ – here is the UK version of the first trailer. Eye in the Sky is released in the US on 11 March and the UK on 8 April."

      (theguardian.com)

     

 

SONGS:

  • Muse - Reapers [Official Lyric Video] - Muse's new album, DRONES
    (YouTube)
    + LYRICS:
    "Home, it's becoming a killing field
    There's a crosshair locked on my heart
    With no recourse, and there's no one behind the wheel
    Hellfire you're wiping me out
    Killed by
    Drones!"

    (azlyrics.com)
    "En douze titres, le nouvel album du trio, Drones, retrace l’aliénation d’un soldat contraint à tuer qui finit par retrouver un semblant d’humanité et par se révolter pour retrouver sa liberté."

    (20 minutes.fr)

 

 

  • Drone Plane Protest Song
    "Drone Pilot is a protest song. 
    All over the world drone planes are being flown, by 'X-Box Generation' men..."

    (YouTube)

 

 

 

 

  • The Drone Force Song
    "The Drone Force Song" is a parody of "Wild Blue Yonder", the U.S. Air Force song. New lyrics by Mike Delaney. www.mikedelaney.org."

    (YouTube)