Dronefence Gets Funding

Share this

Drones in commercial, industrial, government, public, and private spaces — everywhere — pose various threats. And they can be just a plain nuisance as well.

One company working on this problem is Dronefence. They have a patent-pending tech that basically uses 2 cameras in stereo and a sensor, as well as some software, to identify drones in the air, check if their registration passes muster, and sound an alarm if it doesn’t. The system also records video footage of the drone.

Currently, Dronefence is just working on the identification. How to deal with intruding drones is another thing. But they’ve now acquired seed funding for their project from VP Capital, Larnabel Ventures, Boundary Holding, and the Technology and Business Consulting Group.

World’s First Hybrid Aeroboat

Share this

It’s capable of travelling over water, snow, sand and land, it can carry 10 people, and it has no problem with steep slopes and embankments … and it’s about to be unveiled at the Skolkovo Foundation’s Startup Village in Russia this week. … By the way, its very different from hovercraft, and it goes way faster (keep reading).

Who will end up buying these boats? Government agencies (for emergencies and surveillance), corporations (for transporting passengers and cargo to infrastructure sites such as oil and gas rigs in shallow waters), and individuals (for transport and recreation).

“They can be used for a whole variety of applications, including search and rescue operations, transportation of people and cargo, leisure, sports, fishing, monitoring of ports and surveillance,” according to the designers.

The Aeroboat was made as a joint Russia-India project, and was designed by IIAAT Holding. The St. Petersburg firm designed the Aeroboat in order to do what is currently impossible: Shallow water, dry patches, and marine plant-life in marshy or flooded areas pose a problem for traditional boats and other vehicles, and nevermind that terrain sometimes changes drawstically with the seasons.

So how is it different from hovercraft?

Besides being more robust, cheaper to maintain and fuel, the company explained, “Hovercrafts work on static air-cushion, whereas Aeroboats work on dynamic air-cushion. This feature gives Aeroboats a huge advantage in terms of speed and maneuverability.

“While hovercrafts on average move at around 45-50 kmh, Aeroboats are capable of going at around 150 kmh and even more on water, These speed levels are critical, especially during search and rescue operations, where sometimes every minute of swiftness can result in saving lives, as well as frequency in transportation of both passengers and cargo.”

Other interesting things about the Aeroboat: IIAAT developed nanomaterial-based anti-friction technology for the engine and selected mechanical parts, which greatly reduces friction and energy losses. The Aeroboat comes with either a standard gas or a hybrid gas-electric engine for increased efficiency and reduced pollution.

“Additionally, we are equipping our Aeroboats with [Internet of Things] technology, which allows us to remotely monitor and control/diagnose the equipment, as well as troubleshoot selected faults,” commented Sukrit Sharan, a senior board member of IIAAT. IIAAT is working with InfoWatch Group (Russian cybersecurity) in order to ensure its IoT tech stays secure.

India has already bought 25 units, and 5 have been delivered, and its expected the Aeroboats will be used in India’s vast regions of rivers and canals, which are sometimes dry land, sometimes monsoon flood. A similar but different use is predicted for Russia, where there is also government interest, because parts of the country with rivers and canals that are sometimes frozen, and so boats can’t transport year-round.

And guess what? They’re already working on a new version: an electric-only one Aeroboat with tandem wings.

New Tech Means More People Will Be Making Money From Their Intellectual Property – Russian Economic Diversification Authority

Share this

According to Igor Drozdov, the board chairman of the Skolkovo Foundation, who spoke at Russia’s SPIEF economic forum this year, new technologies will allow more people “to earn real money using intellectual property institutions.”

He also talked about tech that would be developed in order to protect IP, describing projects similar to what Microsoft is currently working on.

“Currently, works of authorship are analyzed by humans, but as artificial intelligence technologies become more and more sophisticated, they can at one point analyze texts just like humans, making AI expert evaluation possible.”

Paradigm Shift From Industrial to Knowledge City

Share this

In 2017, the idea has come to the fore that there has been a shift towards a knowledge/creative class, and the new method of production is knowledge. Recently, the subject featured large at the 2017 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

Cities that have developed lately into strong knowledge economies are considered to have had seeds decades ago in investment in education.

The new drivers of competitiveness of cities: No power losses, evolution and dynamics of the city’s economy, higher disposable income, personal wealth, and high technologies.

According to Roberto dos Reis Alvarez, Executive Director, Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils, who spoke at SPIEF on these ideas, “First, the Seamless City. Cities should operate in a way that we are not wasting energy-created heat, but just light. A second key idea … was really about evolution. And how could cities be adaptive to … all these transformations… A third conversation was about the Wellcity, this is really about wellness at the personal level. … And finally, this concept of the free city.”

Russia’s place in the future knowledge economy was highlighted by Alexey Kudrin, Chairman of the Board, Center for Strategic Research Foundation: “By 2025, 60% of the world’s GDP will be produced in 600 major cities. … In Russia, only two cities – Moscow and St. Petersburg – can somehow take part in this global competition. The first two cities produce 27% of Russia’s GDP; it is 13% in the US and 9% in Europe.”

The speakers talked about building new cities, but with modern technology, because current infrastructure is lagging behind tech. “When Russia will create … large cities and agglomerations which will become the hubs bringing together technology and intellectual potential, social capital and quality of life, it is only then that it will be competitive on a global scale,” said Kudrin. “Those 15 cities with a population of more than a million people, and another five cities that would be able to gather more than a million people around taking the agglomeration into account, should receive special support and, perhaps, a special status,”

The goal of these new cities is one that would require special civil workers, another speaker noted. “There is a need to have such a mayor who would have his own vision of the future and would be working hard in their position, and for a long time.”

And these would also require new transportation — airports and high-speed railways.

Microsoft Obtains Patent to Use for Detecting Pirated Content

Share this

The company was granted a patent for technology that scans items users have stored on the cloud when they are shared.

Microsoft envisions using software based on the patent for services like Google Drive, Dropbox and other storage services, social networks, and pirate sites.

A summary of how the patent is understood: “When objects are shared by one user with another user, prohibited content, if identified as such, can be blocked from being shared, while the remainder of the shared objects can be accessed by the other user.”

Microsoft intends that people who share copyrighted content can be banned.

It is illegal to share copyrighted content, although not illegal to store it on the cloud.

Thailand Telecom Regulator Approves Plan to Track Tourists With Phone Tech

Share this

Thailand has been considering tracking tourists with phone technology, and now plans have been approved by the nation’s telecom regulator.

The purpose of the move is to catch visitors who overstay their visa, according to the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), who also considers the technology not to be an invasion of privacy.

Phones for tourists would come with special SIM cards that would have tracking that could not be disabled.

The regulator also made mention of how the tracking could be used on Thai nationals as well, saying it could help police catch criminals on the run, although police would need a warrant in these cases.

The government stated they liked the plan: “It will be helpful, if any foreigner comes and commit crimes, because in the past they have been able to flee or it can be difficult to find them,” said Pongsathorn Chansri, an official in the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security.

Tourists will still be able to use SIMs brought from their own countries and use those, however, said NBTC.