Love robotics? Fill out the form below to stay
abreast of the latest news, research, and business
analysis in key areas of the fast-changing
robotics industry
Subscribe to Robotics
Trends Insights


 
Sponsored Links

Advertise with Robotics Trends
[ view all ]
Security and Defense
Bookmark and Share
STORY TOOLBOX Print this story  |   Email to a friend  |   RSS feeds
FEMA Stops UAVs Mapping Disaster Area After Colorado Flood
FEMA threatened to arrest anyone flying a UAV, even those volunteering to assess flood damage and provide relief.
By Josh Peterson, The Daily Caller - Filed Sep 18, 2013

More Security and Defense stories
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) threatened to arrest anyone flying drones over the Colorado flood damage over the weekend, even those volunteering with the relief effort.

On Saturday, FEMA grounded Colorado company Falcon UAV — a drone manufacturer that had been helping local authorities map the disaster area in near-real time — and threatened to arrest anyone flying a drone over the disaster area, IEEE Spectrum reports.

Drone industry representatives, plagued by the negative stigma drones have earned from their service in war, have been eager to promote the non-lethal uses of unmanned aerial systems.

Falcon UAV had been volunteering its services with the Boulder County Emergency Operations Center’s (EOC) relief efforts for several days prior; the company’s drone, called the Falcon, uses GPS and cameras to create detailed maps of the ground it flies over.

Falcon UAV is cleared by the Federal Aviation Administration to fly in some parts of Colorado.

The company said in a blog post that when they were heading up to Lyons, Colo. early Saturday morning to conduct damage assessment they were notified by the Boulder EOC that FEMA had taken over the relief operations, denied Falcon UAV’s request to fly a drone, and said “that anyone flying drones would be arrested.”

Falcon UAV also noted that while Civil Air Patrol and private aircraft were authorized to fly over the damaged town, the mountainous landscape made it difficult to see and help provide visual support for the recovery efforts.

“Meanwhile we were grounded on the Lyons high school football field with two Falcons that could have mapped the entire town in less than 30 minutes with another few hours to process the data providing a near real time map of the entire town,” said Falcon UAV.

FEMA did not respond to The Daily Caller’s request for comment by the time of publication.


Bookmark and Share
STORY TOOLBOX Print this story  |   Email to a friend  |   RSS feeds
  FOLLOW US
Facebook
Now you can follow Robotics Trends and
Robotics Trends Business Review on Facebook