Items tagged with drone

Many of us have gazed in awe at some of the gorgeous, high-definition videos captured with ultra-expensive drones, and wished we could produce the same kind of imagery on our own. But for most of us, budgets would not allow it.  With that in mind, Parrot sought to integrate a quality, full HD video camera into a lightweight drone, built with safety and accessibility as top priorities. The company also wanted to produce a drone that offered an engaging piloting experience with substantial range and an expertly designed, custom controller kit. The end result is the Bebop Drone and Skycontroller kit we'll be showing you here today. In this piece, we'll try to asses whether Parrot succeeded... Read more...
If there's a way to abuse the coolest technology, you can bet that somehow, somewhere, a silly human will figure out how. It's true of idiots pointing high powered (and blinding) lasers at helicopters and airplanes, and it's also true of people interfering with firefighting efforts with drones. The latter happened recently, forcing firefighters to temporarily abandon plans to drop water on the flames via low flying aircraft. Drones proved a nuisance to firefighting efforts in three major wildfires this summer, which collectively burned around 36,000 acres.Image Source: Flickr (Richard Unten) Identities of the drone operators are still not known, though San Bernardino County supervisors hoped... Read more...
I’m not sure how to react to the rapid ascent of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or “drones.” On the one hand, you have people using drones to film extreme sports, take breathtaking video footage in nature, and even get an overhead view of the construction of Apple’s new spaceship campus. But on the other hand, you have the idiots that were at the controls of not one, but five drones during a recent wildfire in southern California. The rubbernecking drones delayed the response of firefighting by nearly a half hour, when every minute counts in lessoning the spread of a fire. Now we have would could be the most interesting use for a personal drone yet: a flying gun platform. Of course, the U.S.... Read more...
Drones are the hottest thing going right now, and it's for what I'd like to think is a great reason: regular folk can strap a camera onto one and capture some unbelievable footage. From capturing a unique perspective of a fireworks display to getting nosey and scouting a place out, drones make it easy to produce great content. But (of course there's a but!), being in control of a drone requires responsibility, and unfortunately, we're quickly learning that a lot of people don't acknowledge that. A great, but concerning example was made just this weekend. Flickr: Don McCullough In southern California, a fire broke out along Interstate 15, and ultimately, it consumed five homes and more than a... Read more...
Prepare to meet Lily, the world's first throw-and-shoot camera and the first product from Lily Robotics. Lily is self-flying unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) camera that is designed to follow you, committing your movements to video and/or still photos, via a small circular GPS-enabled tracker that you keep on or near you.  A single tap on the tracker gets the party started, readying Lily to follow a defined set of commands, all while maintaining a tight focus on you. And armed with a camera that company CTO and co-founder Henry Bradlow says is roughly equivalent to the GoPro Hero 3, Lily is able to deliver the results of that focus in the form of 1080p video at 60fps, 720p video at 120fps,... Read more...
Just when you thought you've already seen the coolest drone footage ever, some guys come along with a 30 pound unit and pro camera equipment that supports 4K resolution at a staggering 1,000 frames-per-second. While the content itself is somewhat awe-inspiring, it's incredibly impressive from a technical standpoint as well. Most people who hange a camera like a GoPro from the bottom of a drone, wind up with a complete system that weighs just a couple of pounds. The folks at Brain Farm didn't just want to take things a step further - it's safe to say they've scaled the entire staircase. The camera chosen for the build is the Phantom Flex 4K, a super high-performance video machine that retails... Read more...
Facebook’s efforts to spread Internet connectivity to nearly every person on the globe will get off the ground this summer. A new report from The Wall Street Journal indicates that Facebook’s prototype drone, dubbed Aquila, will be much larger than the one-tenth-scale drone that the company tested in early March. The full-size model will have the wingspan of a Boeing 737 (117 feet), but will only weigh as much as a small car (we’re assuming something that weighs less than 3,000 pounds). “Depending on how this test flight goes, we’ll see what happens,” says Jay Parikh, Facebook’s VP of Engineering. “This is a big plane, this is a big project and it’s never been done before.” The drones are capable... Read more...
When Amazon's Jeff Bezos unveiled Amazon Prime Air in late 2013 via 60 Minutes, a lot of people took it as a joke -- an easy way for Amazon to hog the limelight for a little bit. It took only a few months more to realize that the company was very serious about the venture, and while it might still seem a little bit outlandish to use drones to deliver packages, it can and has been done. Of course, deploying drones for commercial use is easier said than done. The amount of regulatory work that needs to be done is massive, and we're still not at the point where we're much closer, something proven with new draft rules that the FAA released over the weekend. While it doesn't seem like a problem in... Read more...
Here’s a dose of ”Rebel” goodness to tide you over while you wait for the next Star Wars trailer. A drone enthusiast in France recently graced YouTube with a few videos of a self-built quadcopter with a shell designed to look like the Millennium Falcon. It’s enough to make a Star Wars fan tear up.  The drone features a blue thruster light, just like the “real” Millennium Falcon, and has bright front lights as well. Its creator, who goes by “Oliver C” on YouTube, has some serious modding skills. He details his builds at RCGroups.com, taking fellow enthusiasts step by step through the process of turning an ordinary drone into one of the baddest vessels in the galaxy. Related: Insane Engineer... Read more...
Pepcom’s Digital Experience gives the media a chance to take a sneak peek at some of the coolest gadgets as CES kicks off, so we checked out the latest gear from HP, Patriot, and the like. This year we found ourselves dodging a number of drones, including Parrot’s Bebop, which hovered at about eye-level, taking in the show with its built-in camera.Parrot is touting its Skycontroller remote, which looks a bit like an oversized console remote at first glance. But plug your tablet or smartphone into the Skycontroller and you’re in for an entirely different experience. With the tablet as a display, The FreeFlight 3 app lets you see what the Parrot is seeing. Big Brother implications aside, the drone... Read more...
As drones become more popular, so does the risk of drone-related incidents. While Google and Amazon are looking to employ drones for delivery purposes, the number of drone owners continues to climb and has prompted the FAA to outlaw drone usage over stadiums and large public events. However, a passenger jet’s near miss with a drone might call for more stringent measures.An Airbus A320, capable of carrying 180 passengers, nearly collided with an unidentified drone at Heathrow Airport on July 22. The jet was flying at an altitude of 700 feet when the pilot spotted the drone, which didn’t show up on air traffic control systems, and alerted the UK Airprox Board... Read more...
There are very few products that have genuinely made me go "wow", but I can safely add the Nixie drone camera to that modest list. Over the past couple of years, drones have become popular enough to the point where a new release doesn't excite most people. But Nixie is different. It's a drone that you wear, like a bracelet. Whenever you want to let it soar, you give it a command to unwrap, power-up, and let it go... From the consumer standpoint, the most popular use for drones is to capture some amazing footage. But what if you want to be in that footage? That's where Nixie comes in. After "setting your camera free", the drone soars around you, keeping you in its frame. Unfortunately, my Nixie... Read more...
Maybe your kids or grandchildren will inherit a world where delivery drones are the norm, but for now, the Federal Aviation Administration is keeping a close and cautious eye on these unmanned aircraft. Current restrictions are so tight that the University of Michigan had to cancel plans to have a drone deliver the game ball before kickoff on Saturday as the Wolverines prepared to take on the University of Utah at its Ann Arbor stadium. "The FAA promotes voluntary compliance by educating UAS operators about how they can operate safely under current regulations and laws," the agency told Bloomberg in an email. After the FAA explained the rules to the University, school officials made the decision... Read more...
Drones aren't what they used to be. Once reserved for tactical purposes, drones of all shapes, sizes, and prices are flying around now, with Parrot enabling normal consumers to pick one up to goof off with, and Amazon even going so far as proposing to use drones for package delivery. Of course, Prime from the sky can't happen without a little practice, and practicing with drones in airspace that's shared with commercial airliners requires permission. Now, Amazon is requesting permission from U.S. regulators so that it can test out these delivery drones near its Seattle campus. The request alone should quell pundits who were suggesting that its drone delivery ideas were nothing more than hot air.... Read more...
Now here’s a use for drones that we can surely all get behind: Filming a fireworks display from inside the beautiful, explosive mayhem. One Jos Stiglingh sent up a DJI Phantom 2 drone with a GoPro Hero 3 silver strapped to it and filmed a fireworks show, and the resulting video is approximately as marvelous as you’d expect it to be. We see different aerial shells exploding mid-air with a variety of colors and effects, and the camera manages to get shots from below, above, and right in the middle. The best shots are when the camera pans around a firework in mid-burst. The soundtrack really enhances the experience, incidentally--a juxtaposition of powerful explosions and smooth, pretty... Read more...
Drones aren't just good for military use, they're proving to be fun tools for the public, as well. One day in the future, aerial drones might be a part of your everyday life by delivering Amazon packages (or pizza from Dominoes) to your door, recording your backyard shenanigans, and even accompanying you on extreme sports adventures where it's too difficult or too unsafe to bring along a camera crew. The latter is one of the ideas behind HEXO+, an intelligent drone that follows and films you autonomously. HEXO+ has already surged past its goal of bringing in $50,000 on Kickstarter and now stands at over $260,000 with 29 days still to go. Not only does this project now have a financed future,... Read more...
You surely know about Parrot and its drone quadricopters, but the company is releasing a new version called the Bebop that comes loaded with impressive features, including the ability to experience POV flight via the drone’s HD camera and an Oculus Rift headset. (Incidentally, we sort of did the same thing with a Nokia Lumia 1020 and a different Parrot drone. Fun stuff.) The Bebop comes equipped with a 14MP Full HD fisheye lens camera with 3-axis image stabilization and horizontal curve correction, and if you connect an Oculus Rift headset to the optional Skycontroller that controls the Bebop, you can see what the drone’s camera sees. You can even pan the camera by moving your head.... Read more...
Car maker Renault took the wraps off of a new concept car called the Kwid. The crossover is immediately noticeable for its bold gray-and-yellow color scheme and gull-wing doors, but if you look closely, you’ll notice another prime feature: A drone. Yep, this car is designed to have a little drone buddy that putters along with it. The “Flying Companion” as Renault calls it can be launched out of the roof along a pre-programmed flight to scout the traffic ahead, obstacles, and other potential concerns. (It would also be guaranteed to alternately terrify or annoy the various other drivers populating the same road.) The Kwid itself is the proof of concept for a mini-SUV platform... Read more...
Amazon never stops looking for ways to get packages to people in as little time as possible, and its latest effort on that front is shipping packages before you even order an item. Amazon is calling it “anticipatory shipping”, and the company just landed a patent for it. Simply put, Amazon will pack up items before anything is ordered, ship them to a general geographic region, and not specify the exact address until it’s already in transit. We can see this being a smart, relatively low-tech way to get deliver packages faster. Certainly there are many regular orders from customers that Amazon deals with every day, and further, it can’t be that hard to maintain a database... Read more...
Tonight on CBS' "60 Minutes," Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, sat down for an extended interview. Amazon is an online superstore that has morphed into a technological powerhouse on so many other levels -- tablets and eReaders included, that they're effecting a dramatic change in the way people shop. The company has historically operated on thin profits and a volume model and there is no doubt, Amazon is a disruptive force in etail. Amazon also typically invests excess cash into new fulfillment centers and other R&D projects. Why? So that Amazon itself doesn't get disrupted by whatever big innovation is bound to come next. One way to stay ahead of the curve is to innovate in shipping, which Amazon... Read more...
A wise person once said that those who don't innovate simply get left behind. We can't say for sure if that person was employed by Domino's, but the famed pizza company seems to be working overtime on next-generation tactics for selling pies. The latest story to focus on drones actually has nothing to do with Google nor the military -- it's about pizza. Of course, DomiCopter is just a pie-in-the-sky concept / promo stunt right now, but the most interesting part is that the concept could probably be executed with aplomb if the right engineers were put on the job. DomiCopter is a folksy drone that can (in theory) deliver pizzas to an address, and then fly back to home base. Domino's has stated... Read more...
Callpod Introduces the Hi-Power Drone USB Bluetooth AdapterThe Drone is a Plug-n-Play Bluetooth Adapter Ideal for Skype, VoIP Calls and Stereo Music via Bluetooth, Stereo Headphones, and High-Speed Data Transfer at a Range of up to 100 meters.Callpod, Inc., an emerging leader in the mobile electronics industry introduces the Drone, a plug and play VoIP and Bluetooth stereo USB adapter for PC's and Mac computers. The Drone, which was created from die-cast zinc and high impact polycarbonate for strength and durability, seamlessly switches between Bluetooth headsets and headphones, and can connect to any PC or Mac computer via a USB port. It has an operating range of up to 100 meters.Skype and VoIP... Read more...
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