There are a bunch of drones on the market today and most of them need a pilot to fly them around and record video. A new drone has landed on Kickstarter seeking funding that needs nobody controlling it.
Scientists from the NASA AMES Research Center and Stanford University are working on an interesting new drone that is designed to be biodegradable. The idea is that if the drone is on a mission watching someone on the down low and crashes, it will melt away into the environment.
Most drones are a variant on a multi-rotored helicopter. The quad-rotors are the most common, but professional photographers like the octo-rotors more. Still, there are a lot of other ways to beat the air into submission and fly, including the good old standby of be light, have wings, and flap them a lot.
Like many electronic devices, remote-controlled aircraft and other UAV have to deal with their batteries’ limited capacity, which often translates to just a few minutes of flight time. That might not be such a big deal if you’re using a UAV just for fun, but it could be a headache for commercial or industrial applications.
The ambulance drone was invented by 23-year old Dutch student Alec Momont. Good idea Alec, but outfitting a drone with a defibrillator inside immediately makes me think that it will be used for evil purposes. Like say, instead of saving people, swooping down and electrocuting humans dead.
The FAA is looking at new guidelines for drone operation, and a man is being taken to court for shooting down a drone that flew over his property, so we’re still not quite sure what laws are going to be in effect regarding these unmanned flying aircraft, even though they’re not really at all different from existing R/C aircraft; people just freak out because the word “drone” is scary.
A group of French aerial drone enthusiasts called AIRgonay recently started a racing competition where participants controlled quadcopters or tricopters in first-person view. YouTuber Herve Pellarin says they were inspired by the pod racing scenes in Star Wars Episode I, but as many others have pointed out, their race is actually more reminiscent of the speeder bike chase scenes in Return of the Jedi.
If Team Nixie has its way, drones might someday become the selfie addicts’ best friend. One of the finalists in Intel’s Make It Wearable Challenge, the team is working on Nixie, a camera-toting drone that’s thin, light and flexible enough to wrap around your wrist.
Malloy Aeronautics in the UK is developing a flying quadcopter designed for human riders. Right now they are testing a 1/3 scale model proof-of-concept vehicle called the Drone 3 that has a robot riding it. Now imagine a full scale version of this thing chasing you down with a larger robot and outfitted with lasers.
Like Amazon, it appears Google has been mulling the use of drones to deliver goods. The company recently unveiled its Project Wing, a system that uses drones with the goal of delivering goods within two minutes after an order is placed.
Sports enthusiasts love drones because they allow them to take shots that would otherwise be impossible or expensive for them to make. The AirDog takes drones’ usefulness and efficiency to another level by eliminating the need for a cameraman.
Aerial filming is a cool way to share more of what’s going on in some sports or activities. GoPro cameras are used by a lot of active folks to record their antics, but most of those videos are recorded from the wearers point of view.
Talk about letting your imagination fly. Illlustrating the capabilities of 3D printing pens, Matt Quest used a 3D AirPen to doodle a tiny quadcopter frame and combined it with parts from an RC Eye One micro quadcopter.
Parrot has been making automated flying drones for a while. The first of them was the AR.Drone. While at least one person has hacked their AR.Drone to be controlled using an Oculus Rift, Parrot has unveiled that it’s next drone – dubbed the Bebop – will offer optional Oculus Rift support.