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Simon G Potts, Peter Neumann, Bernard Vaissière, Nicolas J Vereecken
The notion that robotic crop pollination will solve the decline in pollinators has gained wide popularity recently (Fig. 1), and in March 2018 Walmart filed a patent for autonomous robot bees. However, w present six arguments showing that this is a technically and economically inviable 'solution' at present and poses substantial ecological and moral risks: (1) despite recent advances, robotic pollination is far from being able to replace bees to pollinate crops efficiently; (2) using robots is very unlikely to be economically viable; (3) there would be unacceptably high environmental costs; (4) wider ecosystems would be damaged; (5) it would erode the values of biodiversity; and, (6) relying on robotic pollination could actually lead to major food insecurity...
June 14, 2018: Science of the Total Environment
A Deidun, A Gauci, S Lagorio, F Galgani
The monitoring of beached litter along the coast is an onerous obligation enshrined within a number of legislative frameworks (e.g. the MSFD) and which requires substantial human resources in the field. Through this study, we have optimised the protocol for the monitoring of the same litter along coastal stretches within an MPA in the Maltese Islands through aerial drones, with the aim of generating density maps for the beached litter, of assisting in the identification of the same litter and of mainstreaming this type of methodology within national and regional monitoring programmes for marine litter...
June 2018: Marine Pollution Bulletin
Anna Valenzano, Fiorenzo Moscatelli, Antonietta Messina, Vincenzo Monda, Raffaele Orsitto, Giovanna Zezza, Giovanni Fiorentino, Monica Salerno, Antonio I Triggiani, Andrea Viggiano, Maria P Mollica, Marco Carotenuto, Marcellino Monda, Giuseppe Cibelli, Giovanni Messina
Emotional stability plays a key role in individual and team performance during both routine activities and management of unexpected emergencies. Using a psycho-physiological approach, the stress response was investigated in drone operators in service. Methods: Salivary α-amylase (sAA), galvanic skin response (GSR) and anxiety were assessed over a 2-h operating flight. Results: Compared to baseline values, GSR and sAA values increased in operating conditions. Moreover, these values were higher in Pilots than in Sensor Operators, indicating that their stress response was greater...
2018: Frontiers in Physiology
Jemma L Geoghegan, Vanessa Pirotta, Erin Harvey, Alastair Smith, Jan P Buchmann, Martin Ostrowski, John-Sebastian Eden, Robert Harcourt, Edward C Holmes
There is growing interest in characterizing the viromes of diverse mammalian species, particularly in the context of disease emergence. However, little is known about virome diversity in aquatic mammals, in part due to difficulties in sampling. We characterized the virome of the exhaled breath (or blow) of the Eastern Australian humpback whale ( Megaptera novaeangliae ). To achieve an unbiased survey of virome diversity, a meta-transcriptomic analysis was performed on 19 pooled whale blow samples collected via a purpose-built Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV, or drone) approximately 3 km off the coast of Sydney, Australia during the 2017 winter annual northward migration from Antarctica to northern Australia...
June 2, 2018: Viruses
A Ganthaler, A Losso, S Mayr
High elevation spruce forests of the European Alps are frequently infected by the needle rust Chrysomyxa rhododendri , a pathogen causing remarkable defoliation, reduced tree growth and limited rejuvenation. Exact quantification of the disease severity on different spatial scales is crucial for monitoring, management and resistance breeding activities. Based on the distinct yellow discolouration of attacked needles, it was investigated whether image analysis of digital photographs can be used to quantify disease severity and to improve phenotyping compared to conventional assessment in terms of time, effort and application range...
June 2018: Plant Pathology
Geovanna Cristine de Souza Silva, Laura-Maria Peltonen, Lisiane Pruinelli, Henrique Yoshikazu Shishido, Gabrielle Jacklin Eler
Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes are responsible for the transmission of diseases such as dengue fever, yellow fever, chikungunya fever, zika virus fever, some of which can cause irreversible central nervous system problems and death. This study investigates what technologies are being used for combatting and monitoring the Aedes mosquitoes and to propose joining these technologies into a single and complete solution using the Smart Cities concept. A search for newscasts on Google and mobile apps in app stores were performed to identify technological solutions for combat to Aedes mosquitoes...
2018: Studies in Health Technology and Informatics
Heino Kuuluvainen, Mikko Poikkimäki, Anssi Järvinen, Joel Kuula, Matti Irjala, Miikka Dal Maso, Jorma Keskinen, Hilkka Timonen, Jarkko V Niemi, Topi Rönkkö
The vertical profiles of lung deposited surface area (LDSA) concentration were measured in an urban street canyon in Helsinki, Finland, by using an unmanned aerial system (UAS) as a moving measurement platform. The street canyon can be classified as an avenue canyon with an aspect ratio of 0.45 and the UAS was a multirotor drone especially modified for emission measurements. In the experiments of this study, the drone was equipped with a small diffusion charge sensor capable of measuring the alveolar LDSA concentration of particles...
May 23, 2018: Environmental Pollution
Phong Ha Nguyen, Muhammad Arsalan, Ja Hyung Koo, Rizwan Ali Naqvi, Noi Quang Truong, Kang Ryoung Park
Autonomous landing of an unmanned aerial vehicle or a drone is a challenging problem for the robotics research community. Previous researchers have attempted to solve this problem by combining multiple sensors such as global positioning system (GPS) receivers, inertial measurement unit, and multiple camera systems. Although these approaches successfully estimate an unmanned aerial vehicle location during landing, many calibration processes are required to achieve good detection accuracy. In addition, cases where drones operate in heterogeneous areas with no GPS signal should be considered...
May 24, 2018: Sensors
Jens Karschau, Marco Zimmerling, Benjamin M Friedrich
Motivated by multi-hop communication in unreliable wireless networks, we present a percolation theory for time-varying networks. We develop a renormalization group theory for a prototypical network on a regular grid, where individual links switch stochastically between active and inactive states. The question whether a given source node can communicate with a destination node along paths of active links is equivalent to a percolation problem. Our theory maps the temporal existence of multi-hop paths on an effective two-state Markov process...
May 22, 2018: Scientific Reports
Matias Micheletto, Vinicius Petrucci, Rodrigo Santos, Javier Orozco, Daniel Mosse, Sergio F Ochoa, Roc Meseguer
While there have been important advances within wireless communication technology, the provision of communication support during disaster relief activities remains an open issue. The literature in disaster research reports several major restrictions to conducting first response activities in urban areas, given the limitations of telephone networks and radio systems to provide digital communication in the field. In search-and-rescue operations, the communication requirements are increased, since the first responders need to rely on real-time and reliable communication to perform their activities and coordinate their efforts with other teams...
May 22, 2018: Sensors
Eliza E Moskowitz, Yonaton M Siegel-Richman, George Hertner, Thomas Schroeppel
Purpose: The purpose of this case report is to present the novel findings of a drone causing such a traumatic ocular injury and provide recommendations for how it might be prevented. Observations: We report on a recent case where a child presented to our Emergency Department after incurring a blow to the face by the propeller of a remote controlled drone. The patient suffered significant trauma including rupture of the right globe. Conclusions: As drone sales continue to rise, it is important that physicians be prepared to treat the potential injuries that may result from using these devices...
June 2018: American Journal of Ophthalmology Case Reports
Mathew Schwartz, Gabriele Lenzini, Yong Geng, Peter B Rønne, Peter Y A Ryan, Jan P F Lagerwall
The responsive and dynamic character of liquid crystals (LCs), arising from their ability to self-organize into long-range ordered structures while maintaining fluidity, has given them a role as key enabling materials in the information technology that surrounds us today. Ongoing research hints at future LC-based technologies of entirely different types, for instance by taking advantage of the peculiar behavior of cholesteric liquid crystals (CLCs) subject to curvature. Spherical shells of CLC reflect light omnidirectionally with specific polarization and wavelength, tunable from the UV to the infrared (IR) range, with complex patterns arising when many of them are brought together...
May 14, 2018: Advanced Materials
Teemu Hakala, Lauri Markelin, Eija Honkavaara, Barry Scott, Theo Theocharous, Olli Nevalainen, Roope Näsi, Juha Suomalainen, Niko Viljanen, Claire Greenwell, Nigel Fox
Drone-based remote sensing has evolved rapidly in recent years. Miniaturized hyperspectral imaging sensors are becoming more common as they provide more abundant information of the object compared to traditional cameras. Reflectance is a physically defined object property and therefore often preferred output of the remote sensing data capture to be used in the further processes. Absolute calibration of the sensor provides a possibility for physical modelling of the imaging process and enables efficient procedures for reflectance correction...
May 3, 2018: Sensors
Pablo Chamoso, Alfonso González-Briones, Alberto Rivas, Federico Bueno De Mata, Juan Manuel Corchado
Rapid advances in technology make it necessary to prepare our society in every aspect. Some of the most significant technological developments of the last decade are the UAVs (Unnamed Aerial Vehicles) or drones. UAVs provide a wide range of new possibilities and have become a tool that we now use on a daily basis. However, if their use is not controlled, it could entail several risks, which make it necessary to legislate and monitor UAV flights to ensure, inter alia, the security and privacy of all citizens...
May 3, 2018: Sensors
Anders Bäckman, Jacob Hollenberg, Leif Svensson, Mattias Ringh, Per Nordberg, Therese Djärv, Sune Forsberg, Olof Hernborg, Andreas Claesson
OBJECTIVE: The feasibility and potential of using drones for providing flotation devices in cases of drowning have not yet been assessed. We hypothesize that a drone carrying an inflatable life buoy is a faster way to provide flotation compared with traditional methods. The purpose of this study is to explore the feasibility and efficiency of using a drone for delivering and providing flotation support to conscious simulated drowning victims. METHODS: A simulation study was performed with a simulated drowning victim 100 m from the shore...
May 2018: Air Medical Journal
Stefanie M Croghan, Paul Carroll, Sarah Reade, Amy E Gillis, Paul F Ridgway
 While an explosion in technological sophistication has revolutionized surgery within the operating theatre, delivery of surgical ward-based care has seen little innovation.  Use of telepresence allowing off-site clinicians communicate with patients has been largely restricted to outpatient settings or use of complex, expensive, static devices.  We designed a prospective study to ascertain feasibility and face validity of a remotely controlled mobile audiovisual drone (LUCY) to access inpatients.  This device is, uniquely, lightweight, freely mobile and emulates 'human' interaction by swiveling and adjusting height to patients' eye-level...
May 2, 2018: Journal of Innovation in Health Informatics
Holly L Holt, Gabriel Villar, Weiyi Cheng, Jun Song, Christina M Grozinger
Susceptibility to pathogens and parasites often varies between sexes due to differences in life history traits and selective pressures. Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae are damaging intestinal pathogens of European honey bees (Apis mellifera). Nosema pathology has primarily been characterized in female workers where infection is energetically costly and accelerates worker behavioral maturation. Few studies, however, have examined infection costs in male honey bees (drones) to determine if Nosema similarly affects male energetic status and sexual maturation...
April 26, 2018: Journal of Invertebrate Pathology
Hayyan Afeef Daoud, Aznul Qalid Md Sabri, Chu Kiong Loo, Ali Mohammed Mansoor
This paper presents the concept of Simultaneous Localization and Multi-Mapping (SLAMM). It is a system that ensures continuous mapping and information preservation despite failures in tracking due to corrupted frames or sensor's malfunction; making it suitable for real-world applications. It works with single or multiple robots. In a single robot scenario the algorithm generates a new map at the time of tracking failure, and later it merges maps at the event of loop closure. Similarly, maps generated from multiple robots are merged without prior knowledge of their relative poses; which makes this algorithm flexible...
2018: PloS One
Danica Schaffer-Smith, Jennifer J Swenson, Matthew E Reiter, Jennifer E Isola
Over 50% of Western Hemisphere shorebird species are in decline due to ongoing habitat loss and degradation. In some regions of high wetland loss, shorebirds are heavily reliant on a core network of remaining human-managed wetlands during migration journeys in the spring and fall. While most refuges have been designed and managed to match the habitat needs of waterfowl, shorebirds typically require much shallower water (<10cm deep). Traditional static habitat modeling approaches at relatively coarse spatial and temporal resolution are insufficient to capture dynamic changes within this narrow water depth range...
April 25, 2018: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Elspeth Carruthers
Mortality data plays an essential role in shaping humanitarian, legal and ethical responses to conflict situations. The rise of drone warfare poses new questions regarding the accuracy and reliability of mortality data in conflict. This article examines some of the methodological and political challenges to collecting mortality data in drone warfare, and how the way in which drones are framed in public discourse contributes to these challenges.
March 2018: Medicine, Conflict, and Survival
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