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Most Read This Week: Flying Vehicles Start Working on Farms, Industrial Inspection Robot Dog Gets Upgrade and More

Also inside, flying air taxi developer expands with $20 million grant from the state of New York

Scarlett Evans

December 8, 2023

4 Min Read
Unitree Robotics' new quadruped robot, Unitree B2
Unitree Robotics' new quadruped robot, Unitree B2Unitree

Here are IoT World Today’s most read stories this week: 

Flying Vehicles Start Working on Farms; FAA Approved

An eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) maker has begun officially sanctioned commercial farming operations in California.

Guardian Agriculture has started operating four of its electric aerial vehicles (EAV) for spraying crops in the Salinas Valley region of California.

One flying vehicle can cover up to 60 acres per hour and can carry a 200-pound payload with a combined tank fill and charging time of less than one minute, according to the company.

Guardian recently received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to operate its EAVs nationwide, believed to be the first commercially authorized eVTOL in the U.S. 

"This is a watershed moment for sustainable farming and a giant leap forward for eVTOL technology," said Guardian founder and CEO Adam Bercu. 

Read more about the EAVs here >>>

Industrial Inspection Robot Dog Gets Upgrade; Humanoid Robot Video Released

Unitree Robotics has released a new version of its quadruped robot, Unitree B2, for industrial inspection use cases.

The new robot design has lidar for obstacle detection and navigation, a standing payload of around 264 pounds and a battery life of four to six hours.

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In a video demonstration, the new robot is shown climbing up and down stairs, navigating obstacles including a pile of wood and plants, jumping from a table to the floor and walking on slippery surfaces.

According to Unitree, the B2 is the “fastest running industrial-grade quadruped robot” moving at speeds of up to 19 feet per second. 


See the robot dog in action here >>>

Flying Taxi Company Expanding; $20M Grant from New York

An air taxi developer has been granted $20 million from the state of New York to expand its operations at Plattsburgh International Airport.

Beta Technologies in Burlington, Vermont, was awarded the grant via Clinton County from Empire State Development’s Regional Economic and Community Assistance Program.

The new facility is intended to become the manufacturing and final assembly hub for Beta’s electric aerial vehicles (EAV) and to create a permanent flight test and EAV delivery center, for final flight testing, vehicle painting and customer delivery.

As part of the deal, Beta also agreed to create 85 full-time jobs.

Find out more about the deal >>>

Ransomware Attack Causes Outages Across 60 Credit Unions

A ransomware attack caused outages across around 60 credit unions in the U.S., the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) has reported.

The attack targeted an IT provider used by credit unions, bringing down several unions as a result, though the full scale and impact of the attack are not yet clear.

The incident is just the latest in a spate of attacks that have caused major disruptions across industries including health care, universities and hospitality, with the Biden administration saying ransomware is a “global scourge” and a national security crisis. 

Read about the cyberattack here >>>

EVTOL Cargo Drone Makes First Flight

Moya Aero’s eVTOL successfully performed its first flight, marking the start of the company’s flight testing phase before entering into service in 2026.

The flight took place over the SDA4 airfield outside of São José dos Campos, Brazil. 

Moya’s eVTOLs are autonomous cargo drones that can carry up to 440 pounds and have a travel range of 68 miles. The company developed the all-electric autonomous, high-capacity cargo drone to solve logistic challenges and to reach places difficult to access. 

Alexandre Zaramela, CEO of Moya Aero and designer of the eVTOL called the successful takeoff a “remarkable feat.”

He added that with logistics systems experiencing saturation, the Moya eVTOL has the potential to combine sustainability and solutions for different markets.

Watch the maiden flight >>>

About the Author(s)

Scarlett Evans

Assistant Editor, IoT World Today

Scarlett Evans is the assistant editor for IoT World Today, with a particular focus on robotics and smart city technologies. Scarlett has previous experience in minerals and resources with Mine Australia, Mine Technology and Power Technology. She joined Informa in April 2022.

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