Like most electronic devices, drones and multicopters are plagued by poor battery life. Intelligent Energy hopes to change that within the next few years with its hydrogen fuel cells, which can power a drone for up to 2 hours and can be refilled within minutes.
Intelligent Energy recently showed BBC Click a DJI Matrice 100 modified to run on two of the company’s prototype fuel cells.
First, we saw a robot that could both fly and walk. Then we saw a robot that could fly, walk and perch. Now we have SCAMP, a robot that can do all of the above as well as scale vertical surfaces.
SCAMP stands for Stanford Climbing and Aerial Maneuvering Platform and was made by engineers at Stanford University’s Biomimetics & Dexterous Manipulation Laboratory.
Remember the DroneDefender? It is basically a gun that discourages drones from entering your airspace. But maybe you want to actually steal that drone right out of the sky? Maybe sell your stolen drones and create a criminal empire.
Volvo is working on a slick autonomous vehicle project with a Swedish refuse company that is aiming to automate the task of picking up your trash and taking it to the truck for dumping. The process needs a human driver for the truck (for now) and otherwise the process of picking up the can, schlepping it to the truck, and dumping it is automated.
The modified truck has a platform on the back where the ROAR robot rides.
Is it a car? Is it a plane? It’s the RC Flying car! It’s 2016 and we should have flying cars all over the skies by now. Since we don’t we will have to settle for this weird remote controlled flying car, called the Protocol Terracopter.
Right now, it seems like everything is about Star Wars, but let’s not forget about that other awesome classic sci-fi franchise, Star Trek. 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the series, and to celebrate, Spin Master has unveiled a quadcopter version of the USS Enterprise and it looks amazing.
This nicely detailed replica looks just like the Enterprise.
If you thought it was cool that the Japanese police were using a drone with a net to capture rogue drones, check out what the police are doing in the Netherlands. Dutch cops are working with a company called Guard from Above to see if trained eagles can be used to snatch nefarious drones out of the sky.
As it turns out the eagles are able to instinctively capture a drone and take it to a place away from people on the ground.
A couple of weeks ago we checked out a drone designed to carry a person across considerable distances. The Megacopter had a more modest goal, but it’s already accomplished it.
Built by Henning Pedersen and students from the University of Oslo, the Megacopter recently won the Guinness World Record title for “Heaviest payload lifted by a remote-controlled multicopter” by lifting 134lb and 7.6oz
Intel and Ars Electronica Futurelab recently set a Guinness World Record for most UAVs flown simultaneously. They made 100 drones dance and put on a light show, set to music from a live orchestra.
To accomplish Drone 100, Futurelab created their own software to choreograph the drones, control their lights and complement the live music.
While Amazon is figuring out how to airdrop Three Wolf Moon t-shirts, Chinese drone maker Ehang has its sights on a much bigger goal: delivering people. Behold: the Ehang 184, a “low-altitude aerial autonomous vehicle.”
Ehang’s CEO Huazhi Hu was motivated to develop a passenger drone after two of his friends passed away in separate aircraft crashes.
Want to encourage the ladies to kiss you during the holiday season? Nothing beats the Mistletoe Drone from Hammacher Schlemmer. This compact remote control drone is outfitted with a festive mistletoe design.
That’s one way for a nerd to get some action.
If you don’t want to fly your drone to it’s destination and then meet it there later, you can always just carry it the old fashioned way. But drones can be hard to carry when you have to carry other stuff with you as well.
Ever wonder why you wouldn’t want to get your finger caught in the blades of a drone? Watch this video and find out. Watching things like fruit, donuts, sausages and other things fall like rain in slow-motion and be chopped up by this drone’s blades is truly hypnotic.
This video from Speed Motion was shot at 1500 fps with a Phantom Miro camera from Vision Research, so that we can see clearly how well a drone running at full throttle can chop your food for you.
With Christmas on Friday, you can bet that lots of folks around the US will be getting a shiny new drone under the Christmas Tree. Consider this a PSA that could prevent you from being fined thousands of dollars and potentially sent to prison.
Back in the summer, we saw this awesome R2-D2 drone that flew around using some sort of ducted propulsion with no propellers sticking out anywhere. This time out we have a DIY R2-D2 drone that isn’t quite as self-contained, but might actually be something you can build yourself.
The drone was built by Don Melara using the frame of a DJI quadrotor drone.