Clearpath Robots

Robots in Agriculture

Very interesting article about the current state of Agricultural robots. Clearpath Robotics mentioned for the Grizzly robot.

A very surprising statistic:

Cropdusters have the 3rd highest fatality rate among professions in the US.

90% of crop spraying in Japan is done using small unmanned helicopters.

Transformation Station – Waterloo Public Library

Last Saturday, Jeff and I visited the Waterloo Public Library for their  Transformation Station event.

Jeff and I had a great time showing children how fun and inspiring robotics can be.

Even some of the parents were interested as well!

 

A big thank you to Waterloo Public library for hosting Clearpath Robotics.

 

Clearpath Founders Top 40 under 40

Business Insider has listed Clearpath Robotics founders as some of the Top 40 under 40 today!

I couldn’t agree more, this is a fantastic place to work!

Drone usage in Canada

Aeryon Labs Scout
Aeryon Scout © Aeryon Labs

Transport Canada, the governmental body regulating all aircraft in Canada, announced new and simpler rules for UAV (drone) usage in Canada on Nov 5th.

The most important effect is the clarification of how UAVs are to be regulated in Canada. In the past, any commercial use (including videotaping from quadrotor, posting to YouTube, and getting add revenue) required getting an SFOC. This was a fairly painful and bureaucratic process. Not getting the SFOC and getting caught could mean tens of thousands of dollars of fines. Transport Canada is now revising this rule.

The bullet points:

  • UAVs cleared for any use under 2Kg (most quadrotors and RC planes out there) even commercial one like the aeryon scout.
  • “certain operations involving UAVs under 25 kilograms” are also cleared, though exactly what that means is so far unclear

What does this mean?

Well for one thing, amateur aerial videographers can breathe a little easier. This new regulation actually makes Canada one of the most permissive countries when it comes to UAV use. Canada is now even more permissive than the United States for UAV use, as different states have wildly different laws about their use. One of the most controversial rules in the States is the requirement to only fly in line of sight. This makes the growing sport of FPV (First Person View) flying technically illegal in some states. Keeping the drone in sight is suggested in Canada, but not a legal requirement as far as I understand it.

When I was a co-op at Aeryon Labs in Waterloo, we always had problems getting an SFOC approved in a timely and reasonable matter. This could sometimes lead to delays in our flight plans. This new regulation should make life a lot simpler for all GIS and info gathering uses of quadrotors.

Note that this new regulation just removes the SFOC impediment, it does not relax the regulations covering UAV usage. It is still up to the pilot to use the drone safely. Here is a handy guide:

Canada UAV infographic
Canada UAV infographic

Overall the new regulations should see more drone usage in every day work, while not decreasing safety in any reasonable way.

Full list of Rules Here

The new rules should come into effect at the start of December.

Source

Caffeine

This comes to mind, except for caffeine. Optimal level is about 0.1337

STEM – Destination Imagination

On Nov 4th-6th, THEMUSEUM hosted a great event for furthering STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education for primary school students. Speaking for Clearpath Robotics, I got to share my passion for robotics with the next generation of students.

A huge thank you to THEMUSEUM for the opportunity and for sharing the images.