Robert Scoble launches Unmanned.Life to the world

Robert Scoble, (Scobleizer),  the world renowned futurist and tech journalist is a recognised authority on what comes next – he launched Google Glass to the world from his shower, Siri was launched in his house and he drove the first ever Tesla – and now it’s Unmanned.Life’s turn after Scoble was impressed enough to launch a live interview with our Founder and broadcast Unmanned.Life’s capabilities to a wide global audience.

Scoble’s infamous bathroom selfie epitomized the pinnacle of the Google Glass hype.

As well as picking out some questions from the viewers contributing in real-time via the Facebook Live chat, Scoble also posed his own questions that got into the meat of concerns and skepticism around autonomous drones in their real applications in industry today.

With the Internet of Things and flying devices what is your approach to security and how do you keep people from f@%*ing with your data sets?

“It is one of the first questions we considered; what if somebody took over 100 drones…what could they do with that?

The basic answer is there is no 100% security in any area within IoT, but you can follow security protocols and procedures…We take a system of systems approach, so it means that each individual drone – whether it is flying or on the ground – is a system within a larger set of systems so we can shut down one of them without affecting all of them.”

The full video can be found on Scoble’s Facebook wall or just below the QnA posted here. The full length video which featured in Scoble’s live stream from Unmanned Life’s Drone Dance capability shoot can be found below also.

If you would like to know more about our A-DaaS system or want to begin planning your bespoke pilot demonstration please get into contact with our team here;

These drones only have to fly for a few minutes then they are able to sit back down on a charging pad right? Plus there is a fleet of drones rotating and charging?

That’s correct. If i send the drone a kilometre out and it has to come back suddenly it has lost a lot of charge, whereas for the rover to go a kilometre it is very little charge, so you have to be able to synchronise that. Especially for 24/7 operations, it is easier to have four mobile charging pads and to have the drones doing the rest.

The idea to have the drones doing everything or rovers doing everything isn’t the right approach. Let’s focus the drone on doing what it does best which is flying and moving in 360 degree airspace in a precise way and carrying stuff. Then let’s focus the rover on doing what it does best which is moving along the ground, carrying all kinds of equipment and charging other units. Combine the two and you have a killer application.

What demand is there for Drones-as-a-Service?

I can do a sorting centre right here. There is a lot of demand for something that is flexible, that is cheap, that can be deployed at will and managed seamlessly whether that is in warehousing or logistics…This platform empowers a number of use cases such as 24/7 inspection of towers, 24/7 border surveillance, indoor inspection of places hard to get to, say a tight area of a ship or a nuclear reactor, you can even monitor forest fires.

We are at the beginning stages of this. The people that come in now in to this market they are the ones that are going to sit back five years later and say “look, I told you it was going to be different and you didn’t believe me!”.

Marie – one of the viewers right now – is asking; What is the regulation climate like for this technology?

Drone regulations are evolving right now and it looks like the regulations in Europe are a bit ahead of the US…We are compliant because we tend to work within private areas so indoors and on private premises, so there is private liability rather than public liability. We don’t do pizza delivery over a city or try to take a picture of the Eiffel tower or something, but overtime these regulations will change. My Co-Founder is actually on one of the advisory committees of the EU, working with them to get that regulation shaped out…This is an area where the restrictions are falling faster than the market pick up.

If I fly a DJI drone in here it needs to see these columns to not hit them and that is a different problem to understanding a warehouse floor and knowing where everything is, say if there is a new obstacle on the warehouse floor like a crane or a human walking around, how does your software ensure the drones don’t fly into someones face?

I think we will come to a point where a drone can, in real time, make decisions on where to move just like you and I do, but we are not there yet.  So how do we solve the problem now? We do the mapping based on vectors and we figure out what are the possible routes unlike you and me a drone can be trained to follow a specific route down to millimetre or centimetre accuracy.

So you tell them “stay to this 10cm range and follow this route” it might seem a bit counter intuitive but thats exactly how planes fly, they don’t just fly all over the airspace they follow air ways. That’s what we do; we use ‘drone ways’. If they see something on these routes it is obvious something is wrong because that shouldn’t be there so they (drones and rovers) just land or stop.

That’s not something you can do all over a city for example, but that isn’t the target application. The target application is to do this in indoors in industry or in constrained areas where you need repeatable actions and you generally have control over the environment to a certain extent.

How big are you guys at the moment?

We have been around for 18 months now, so we have just survived that period so to speak. Right now we are talking to different companies to implement these scenarios in areas like warehousing, logistics, e-commerce, surveillance etc.

What we are looking at here is a system of systems, an intelligent system of systems, this can be a blueprint for other automation paradigms out there. Everybody is trying to figure out how do you get something autonomous to work with humans, be safe, be repeatable and be reliable. We believe with this platform approach wrapped in a systems of systems we can actually scale that in a way that makes sense.

Want to chat?

Unmanned.Life’s Capabilities Shoot: ‘Pure Software. No Pilots’

Pure Software. No Pilots from Unmanned Life on Vimeo.