” Nigel Gifford makes drones with a difference. His humanitarian UAV, the Pouncer, is designed to deliver food aid in disaster zones – by being edible itself. That may sound unlikely, but Gifford, 70, has a history of succeeding with unconventional projects. He’s the Somerset-based engineer behind Aquila, the Wi-Fi-beaming drone bought by Facebook in 2014 to connect 1.6 billion humans to the internet.”
” In 2010, Gifford imagined Aquila (originally named Ascenta) as a high-altitude drone that could be used to beam internet or mobile-phone connectivity to civilians below.
Post-sale, Gifford’s new company Windhorse Aerospace has focused its energies on the Pouncer, a UAV whose three-metre-wide hull can enclose vacuum-packed foods. Its structure will be made from as yet unspecified baked components that can be consumed. “It will have a 50kg payload that should feed 100 people for one day,” Gifford says. GPS will guide it to within eight metres of its target. Windhorse Aerospace will be testing its capabilities in the spring; by late 2017, it will be in production.
” UPS also announced that it successfully tested a drone that launches from the top of a UPS package car, autonomously delivers a package to a home and then returns to the vehicle while the delivery driver continues along the route to make a separate delivery. UPS conducted the test on Monday in Lithia, Fla., with Cincinnati-based Workhorse Group (Nasdaq: WKHS). Workhorse built the drone and the electric UPS package car used in the test along with electric delivery trucks that company has already been using on the road.“
“This test is different than anything we’ve done with drones so far. It has implications for future deliveries, especially in rural locations where our package cars often have to travel miles to make a single delivery,” said Mark Wallace, UPS senior vice president of global engineering and sustainability. “Imagine a triangular delivery route where the stops are miles apart by road. Sending a drone from a package car to make just one of those deliveries can reduce costly miles driven. This is a big step toward bolstering efficiency in our network and reducing our emissions at the same time.”
With ORION, UPS’s On-Road Integrated Optimization Navigation routing software, a reduction of just 1 mile per driver per day over one year can save UPS up to $50 million.”
” You saw the best drone photos of 2016. Now get ready for the best drone videos of 2016.Nominations have been announced for the 3rd Annual New York City Drone Film Festival, the world’s first and largest film festival dedicated to works filmed by drones.“ (The films) take us to far-away places, examine social issues like climate change and the Dakota Pipeline, and riff on pop culture,” said Randy Scott Slavin, founder and festival director. “One of them even features a team of drones making a cake. With films originating everywhere from the ocean to the desert to the skate park, the 2017 festival is our most diverse one yet.” “
” The festival will be held March 17-19, 2017 at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts and the Liberty Science Center. The Best in Show winner at the 2017 New York City Drone Film Festival will receive $75,000 worth of camera and drone gear from Freefly and RED.
Here’s a list of the 2017 NYC Drone Film Festival nominees (some of which you may have seen at the Flying Robot International Film Festival in November 2016):”
” Scores of vertical UAV markets are now taking off and selling real estate is at the top. Drone-based aerial photography for real estate brokers and agents is not only booming, but is becoming nearly mandatory for properties over 25 acres. Potential buyers from another city, state or even a distant country can take an aerial tour of the rolling hills and see the picturesque rural layout of the house, barn, ponds and external fencing with just a click of the mouse.
Granted, Google Earth can provide a year-old satellite static view of the land in pseudo 3D at no cost, but a drone video is on a completely higher level. Drone videos give the realtor a production quality movie comprised of the most positive aspects of the country estate. Potential buyers see the property in the best light with inspiring music playing in the background. The UAV market for real estate is one of the original commercial industries conceived and is now in full implementation. The question is, “How are you going to get those aerial contracts?” You could have the top UAVs in your hanger, all the FAA credentials necessary and live in hot rural property markets. Yet without a solid marketing strategy and the entrepreneurial spirit to vigorously pursue that goal, your drone services will simply become the best kept aerial secret.”
” Let’s cover some basic prerequisites first to verify you are on the correct path for real estate aerial showcasing. It is absolutely critical to have your FAA 333 exemption and to be a private/sport pilot or at least have one on contract. The vast majority of realtors will run from any outlaw commercial drone pilots that could get them into trouble with their state regulators.
The minimum UAS platform should be at least a DJI Phantom 3 Professional with six to eight batteries coupled with a dedicated iPad or Android tablet. Invest in a solid travel case which can serve as both a secure storage for all the remote flight project components and a takeoff platform to get above the tall pasture grass on a million dollar ranch.
At the office you will need a strong computer with video editing software to produce smooth, professional, flowing aerial commercials. Most of your final productions for 2016 will still be in HD 2K since most real estate buyer prospects will be viewing your product on YouTube or Vimeo. As 4K computer monitors and TV’s start becoming more mainstream, 4K resolution recording and delivery will be required.”
” Enough people must have saved enough money to buy big motors and batteries. Man carrying multirotors are popping up (see what I did there) everywhere. The Scorpion 3 has just been launched by Russian company Hoversurf. It looks um interesting in flight. Not sure I would want such a large prop near my legs. Sensibly the Hoversurf test pilot has a helmet and protective clothing. Top marks for that!”
” SCORPION platform is a single-seat aircraft that rediscovers the art of flying and hovering enabling a hi-tech quadcopter-based solution. It’s a unique electric-powered vessel combining a motorcycle seat with quadcopter drone technology bringing speed agility and stability of flight to the hands of amateur and professional navigators. For the moment, SCORPION platform is increasingly seen as an extreme sports instrument, yet the vessel’s transportation potential remains evident.”
” With time lapse and drone photography all the rage on the internet, it is time to get serious and do something challenging and creative. The concept is called Dronelapse and is the marriage of time lapse and the use of drone videos.”
” So how does one get the dronelapse process started? Well, consider your landscape. Any location you think is compelling as well as the right conditions and you have the makings of some special photography. Clouds and fog are always the mystery element in the video as well as time of day.
One such artist that is creating waves with his Aerial Photography Droneslapse is Artem Pryadko. Pryadko is from the country of Belarus in Eastern Europe who incorporated both of his DJI Phantom 4 and Phantom 4 Pro. One example of his footage he captures involves the city of Minsk as well as the seasons used effectively as the color on his canvass. “
” Have you ever wondered what a DJI Phantom looks like when it is equipped with the portability of a DJI Mavic? Well, a user named ” cIJI ” from phantompilots.com starting developing a Phantom / Mavic Hybrid. cIJI and his team are working on a mod to convert your Phantom 3 into a DJI Mavic-like drone. It’s technically still a phantom 3 under the hood, but the foldable design can be attributed to a Mavic. This is not a Mavic body, but it is similar in shape. The mod will obviously void any warranty tied with DJI, but it can also bring new life to your dust collecting Phantom 3!
It seems like cIJI hit the Phantom Pilots forums with some teaser photos of his design a little before Christmas last year, and he has been posting blog like updates on his team’s current progress since then. His team has designed this to only work on a phantom 3 right now. In the short time that this has been worked on, the results are quite impressive.”
” The outer shell was made from a Mavic’s shape to utilize its foldable design. The GPS has also been improved. In the event of a crash, the improved GPS will still work within the app. Improvements with light interference and propellers have also been implemented on this ongoing model.”
” Two guys, somewhere in China have attached the fireworks to their Phantoms and literally started a drone duel. We have seen drones taking pictures and videos of the fireworks. We also have seen drones flying straight through the fireworks. But this is the first time I see two drones shooting each other with the fireworks.”
” A Chinese city orchestrated a dazzling 1,000- drone performance to mark the end of the Lunar New Year.
Traditionally, Chinese people celebrate the end of the new year, which takes place on the 15th day of the first lunar month (in 2017, that’s Feb. 11 on the Gregorian calendar), with a lantern festival. But the southern city Guangzhou opted this year for high- tech flying machines to light up the sky. The performance set a Guinness World Record for the largest number of drones that were airborne simultaneously, according to the drone manufacture Ehang (link in Chinese), shattering the previous record held by Intel when it launched 500 drones in the sky in November.”
” The conflicts in Syria and Iraq have seen a proliferation of drones throughout the battlespace. Whether used for filming propaganda, as an intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) asset, or for command and control, drones are being used by a multitude of groups for a wide variety of missions. The Mosul offensive has seen this kind of drone warfare step up a level, with Islamic State (IS) employing drones armed with an assortment of different munitions, sometimes in conjunction with other assets, to deadly effect.
Armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have been around for some time, probably the most famous being the V1 flying bombs used by Germany during the Second World War. Modern drones, such as the Predator, have been armed since 2001. Developments in civilian recreational drones, most notably quadcopters, in the last five years have made them affordable, reliable and widely available. The parallel development and miniaturization of civilian cameras and smartphones have turned these recreational vehicles into effective ISTAR platforms, and recently, weapon platforms.”
” IS is certainly not the first group to use drones as an offensive weapon. This video reportedly shows Jund al Aqsa using a drone to drop some kind of improvised bomb on Syrian government soldiers in September 2016. Another video from August 2016 appears to show a Hezbollah-owned drone dropping MZD-2 sub-munitions. Hezbollah has claimed to have this kind of capability since September 2014, and was an early adopter of suicide drones, using them during the 2006 Lebanon War.”
” InnoCorp, LLC has announced SubMurres – its unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV), unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) drone—transitioning from water to air to land without any individual or multiple deployments, fission of elements, (as in rockets), or complicated maneuvering.
Like the Murres, a unique seabird which can circumnavigate in the air and in water, SubMurres does both in unprecedented fashion. SubMurres has all the key features of a submarine, including complete marine functionality, communication tower with periscope for panoramic viewing of above-water landscape, dual propulsion blades, fully-articulated rotors that emerge as needed, sensors, and more. But it doesn’t end there.”
” The dual submarine aircraft moves ubiquitously from water to air. As a submarine, Submurres glide silently underwater performing its mission as it surfaces. Once on the water surface its flight system is engaged and its four rotors emerge from their compartments as vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) is initiated. Once airborne, there is no expulsion of parts. SubMurres simply flies unfettered, with all components intact. Its landing apparatus allow it to settle on terrain, and its second camera system allows it to fully capture surroundings. From land, it can be directly re-dispatched to water. No need to redeploy or to be picked up by another carrier aircraft, unlike any of the chief aeronautic industry or Navy-funded university’s latest submersive drone models.”
” The bees are dying globally at an alarming rate. As we continue to come to grips with the problems of our dystopian future, it’s probably as good a time as ever to dream up some solutions with an idea straight out of the dystopian show Black Mirror: pollinating drones.
We rely heavily on bees and other species to pollinate our plants, and though there isn’t global data, there have been enough local die-offs to spark widespread concern, according to a report from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. Now, a team of scientists from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in Japan have engineered drones featuring a specially-engineered adhesive that can pick up and deposit pollen.”
” The team is not looking to replace natural pollinators, but to assist them in their pollination efforts. They think that in a future, when bee populations are lower, drones like these might be able to relieve the stress of having to do all of the pollination.
Miyako’s drone started with a decade-old bottle of sticky gel from a past experiment he found while cleaning his lab. The so-called ionic liquid gel is composed of a collection of complex molecules joined together in long chains, and has the optimal stickiness to pick up pollen grains. The group performed a number of tests with their gel, like rubbing it on ants and flies and having the bugs hang out around flowers. Each bug ended up covered in pollen grains.”
” As drones become more and more complex, there are many different features that users can pick from. Having a drone camera that follows you has a special appeal for those in the filming and videography realm: the pilot can lock the drones direction on a very specified moving target.
After the pilot selects this function, the drone will then follow the target without needing to use the pilot’s input for control, by use of sensors, and software that allows the device to lock in on certain objects. While this feature is activated, the individual flying can focus on their own choice of creative photo and video elements, not having to worry about the duties of stabilizing flight.
Some of the other benefits of a self-following drone are for easier filming of action sports: a subject such as a mountain biker or skateboarder can be followed with this feature, and having the perspective from overhead will really add to the richness of the clip. When a drone follows you from overhead, everything from jumps you are taking, marathon steps you are running through, or obstacles you are grinding on or flying over with a skateboard will really come to life.”
“What does auto follow drone mean?
An auto-follow drone is a uav that has the very useful feature which allows for a bit more freedom in the creative realm. It has the ability to use very high technology to fixate on a moving object, so the pilot does not have to spend time and effort worrying about the navigation of the craft. The subject being followed could be a person, plane, biker, runner, pet having fun, or athlete in training or performance.
How Fast can a Follow Me Drone Fly?
An average speed of an auto follow drone is around 25 MPH. That is what is clocked for the Ehang Ghostdrone; other units will vary slightly.
How does a drone that follows you have the ability to track you?
The way this technology works is that the device sends its location to the drone, and as the object begins to move, the drone closely tracks the object’s coordinates. It is not truly seeing an object, it is following according to map coordinates that it is given.
” The premiere of manned flights with the world’s first certified Multicopter, e-volo’s Volocopter VC200, marks the beginning of a new era in urban mobility. For the first time humans’ dream of personal flight as a daily routine becomes attainable. As such it not only offers more widespread use in conventional aircraft domains, but brings us another step closer to air taxi services and entire transportation systems in the third dimension.”
” “The flight was totally awesome” pilot Alexander Zosel said right after his landing. “I got in, we did the pre-checks for what felt like maybe 20 seconds, and after that I’d already got the all-clear for flying. I didn’t wait long, I simply pushed the lever upward and the Volocopter simply sprung upward in a single bound. It is definitely a sublime feeling to lift off, fly the first few meters, and then actually take my hand off the joystick and think that, yeah, it’s really as if I’m standing on the ground, and then I look down and there are 20-25 meters beneath me. So it’s definitely unbelievable what we’ve achieved here. It’s seriously unbelievable!” “