Which is where the team from Melbourne-based drone cinematography company XM2 came in.
” Flying a drone is easy enough. Ensuring that thousands of them flying through the same airspace don’t crash into each other, though? That’s a bit harder. Fortunately for the future of drones, Alphabet’s X laboratory has been developing its own solution.
The vision of a sky filled with autonomous aircraft isn’t as ridiculous as it once seemed. Amazon has already made genuine deliveries using its quadcopters in the U.K., and a startup called Zipline has shown that its winged drones are able to deliver medical supplies to remote health-care centers in Rwanda. Add the prospect of surveying and infrastructure inspection aircraft to the mix, and it’s more believable than ever that drones could take off in great numbers before too long.”
” But the big hitch preventing the sky from filling with drones is making sure it happens in an orderly fashion. Because many of them will fly at relatively low altitudes inside the small footprints of cities, the chances of a collision will become rather high as numbers increase. In fact, a lack of drone traffic control is often cited as one of the biggest barriers facing the adoption of aerial delivery.”
” Set off into the great outdoors and discover new horizons with the limited edition Parrot Bebop 2 and Parrot Disco Adventurer packs.
Both packs are tailor made for adventurers and designed to meet the demands of a new generation of explorer, equipped with lightweight, ergonomic backpacks that include all of the flying essentials. This includes:
- Parrot Bebop 2 Adventurer: a Parrot Bebop 2 quadcopter; a Parrot Skycontroller 2 controller; one pair of Parrot Cockpitglasses FPV goggles; one battery offering 25 minutes of flight time; and the Follow Me GPS and visual tracking app
- Parrot Disco Adventurer: a Parrot Disco fixed wing drone; a Parrot Skycontroller 2 controller; one Parrot Cockpitglasses FPV goggles; two batteries offering up to 90 minutes of flight time; the Flight Plan app, to create autonomous flights
You’ll never miss a shot using Follow Me or Flight Plan app, which is free to download as part of the Adventurer Packs. Soar your drone over unexplored spaces and take pictures of the world around you from new heights.”
” The smaller a drone gets, the more places it can be easily flown. But while many researchers have been trying to tackle the monumental challenge of building drones that look and behave like tiny insects, a new approach has engineers giving Mother Nature’s existing creations drone-like upgrades.
The biggest hurdle with building tiny drones that can fly almost anywhere is powering them. A small flying craft is only strong enough to carry a small battery, which dramatically limits its flight time. But somehow that mosquito in your tent while camping can buzz your ear for hours on end before refueling—on you.”
” We can only make electronics so small, though, so upgrading a mosquito isn’t currently feasible. But a dragonfly? Researchers at Charles Stark Draper Laboratory and Howard Hughes Medical Institute have created something they call DragonflEye: a remote control drone built on a living dragonfly.”
” CES 2017 has had some amazing quadcopters showcased at the event, and one such new one is the Walkera Vitus. It has made quite a splash because the drone looks very similar to the DJI Mavic Pro. Priced at $600, it is considerably cheaper and according to the company has a lot of similar features as the Mavic as well, making it a great competitor if the features and flight capabilities are as good as they claim.
This Walkera quadcopter weighs just 870g that makes it compact and pocket friendly. It comes with dual satellite positioning collision avoidance sensors, as well as 3 directional sensors in the front, and a vision sensor on the bottom. With active track features, it is also equipped with a standard 4K camera, which can provide 1080p transmission video back.”
” The battery is a 5200 mAh LiPo that runs at 11.4v, and gives a flight time of up to 25 minutes. Walkera also claims that it can support augmented reality games, so VR could definitely be a part of the drone. The quadcopter can be controlled using a smartphone, or with an optional DEVO-f8 S controller.”
“UPS has already experimented with, and Amazon Prime started in the United Kingdom last year. That’s all pretty cool, but a drone doughnut delivery service? Now that’s something worth getting excited about!
LaMar’s Donuts, of Denver, Colorado, is working with Drone Dispatch to make doughnut drone delivery a reality.
On Wednesday, as proof of concept, the company delivered boxes of donuts from LaMar’s to a police station, two fire departments and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, reported the Associated Press.”
” I understand if maybe you’re a little sick of drones by now, but hear me out. This one is ridiculously cheap and ridiculously cool.
There are two ways to pilot a quadcopter, right? Either you use an app on your phone or tablet, or you use a handheld remote with a pair of joysticks.”
” But wait! Turns out there’s a third way, and so help me I’m positively giddy over it. Not only that, it’s stupid cheap. For a limited time, and while supplies last, Tomtop has the Techboy TB-802 motion-controlled drone for $19.99 shipped. That’s after applying discount code TT802 at checkout.
Take note: This will ship from Tomtop’s China warehouse, meaning it will very likely take two to three weeks to arrive. The reseller will be offering it via a US warehouse, but not for a couple weeks — and the price will be a few dollars higher.”
” For the fourth year in a row, we are very pleased to announce the opening of the 2017 International Drone Photography Contest supported by National Geographic.
Previous editions shown to the whole world how the drones could capture beautiful images and provide a very unique perspective. We all look forward to see how drone photography has evolved. It’s time to prove that we are in the beginning of a revolution!
Entry Frequency: No limit
Submissions Start: May 30th, 2017 01:00PM GMT
Submissions End: June 30th, 2017 01:00PM GMT
Award Announcements: July 3rd, 2017
Eligibility: Open Wordwide.”
The three entry categories are … Nature , People and Urban.
” In late July 2015 filming on the Hollywood blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales was in its final week when cast, crew and a small team of Melbourne drone operators arrived on Hamilton Island.
After six months filming on the Gold Coast, it was supposed to be a leisurely week. But a large tropical storm changed all that.
” The winds were blowing mega,” cinematographer Paul Cameron tells AFR Weekend ahead of the worldwide opening of the movie this week, and the helicopters being used to shoot a number of aerial scenes weren’t coping.
” They dumped a six-camera array system into the sea,” he explains, “it would have cost them an insane amount to get another helicopter, camera and do it again.”
Which is where the team from Melbourne-based drone cinematography company XM2 came in.
Founder Stephen Oh and his crew took their drone into winds that had closed the airport and pulled off the shots. For Oh and Cameron, it was the final affirmation that the rapid improvement in the way drones could handle high end cinematography was changing forever the way big budget blockbusters are made.”
” When I worked at Popular Photography (RIP), part of my job was to review drones. I understood what made a drone desirable and what features were cool enough to notice, but I never got good at flying them. I crashed one into a picnic table and literally flew one off of a cliff, where it lost GPS contact and flew off over the wilds of upstate New York bound (I think?) for Canada. And while these unmanned crafts have come a long way since their humble and wobbly beginnings, they can still be a pain to set up and fly. The category leader DJI is hoping its new “palm-sized” drone called the Spark can change that.
The $500 flying machine comes in a variety of different colors, which is typically an indicator that a product is meant for the masses—there’s no risk of mistaking this sunny yellow number for a piece of military equipment. The Spark uses the typical quad-rotor configuration that should be very familiar by now if you have ever seen any of DJI’s other aircrafts. It also has a lot of the AI-driven smarts you’ll find in higher-end models like the Mavic Pro and the Phantom that help it handle things like object detection and automated flying.”
” The hook, however, is Spark’s simplicity. One of the primary ways to interact with the craft is gesture recognition, in which the sensor actually detects the pilot’s hand and follows it around like you’re Darth Vader and it’s being compelled by the Force. This isn’t a totally new idea, but gesture control often requires some kind of external sensor or glove. That’s not the case here. You can even launch the drone from your hand and then catch it out of the air if you’re feeling brave or you have really tough thumbs.
Pre-orders start today for $499, but the drone itself will start shipping out in mid-June. You can also pre-order the Spark Fly More Combo Kit, which costs $699 and comes with an extra battery, an extra set of rotors, a charger for multiple batteries, a carrying case, and blade guards for flying inside without costing yourself time and money repairing your drywall if things go sideways. Honestly, the kit seems like the better deal since 16 or so minutes of flight time on a single battery likely won’t be enough.”
” Surveillance drones and security robots are not new innovations on their own, but Singapore company Otsaw Digital has brought the two together. The O-R3 is the world’s first ground-aerial outdoor security robot that combines an autonomous roving ground vehicle with a surveillance drone, resulting in a mobile system that can launch a drone to follow intruders and track their location.
The O-R3 is powered by machine learning algorithms that allow it to dynamically avoid obstacles and identify anomalous objects, such as unattended bags, while on its rounds. The system also includes facial and license plate recognition technology designed to identify people or vehicles that are where they shouldn’t be, while ignoring approved personnel and vehicles.”
” The accompanying drone is is contained within the ground vehicle and launches from a platform that extends from the rear of the vehicle when required. Once in the air, the aerial drone can track suspects at a distance of up to 328 ft (100 m) from its ground-based counterpart.
Able to essentially run 24/7, the system is designed to reduce the need for human security personnel to constantly patrol a property. All alerts on unusual behavior are sent to a control center where a team of humans can monitor the data and, if necessary, take control of the O-R3. The vehicle also has the ability to autonomously return to its charging station when the battery is running low.”
“Conservation researchers have developed an interactive software tool called ConservationFIT that can “read” digital images of animal footprints captured from smartphones, cameras or drones and accurately identify the species, sex and age of the animal that made the tracks, and even match tracks to individual animals.
Researchers at Duke University and SAS developed the interactive software to help scientists monitor and map the world’s most elusive and endangered species. Anyone who spots animal tracks can upload images, even if they’re unsure what species made them. The system was launched today (May 22) to celebrate International Day for Biological Diversity.”
” “The beauty of ConservationFIT is that it’s a sophisticated tool in a user-friendly format,” said Zoe Jewell, principal research associate at SAS and an adjunct faculty member at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment. “You simply snap digital photos of an animal’s footprints, upload them using our online protocol, and your images are downloaded for analysis, identification and entry into our mapping database.” “
” Unlike typical consumer-aimed quadcopter drones, Latvian company Aerones specializes in big UAVs that can carry hefty loads. Last year, they showed off one of their big lifter’s prowess by towing YouTuber Kaspars Balamovskis on a snowboarding run. Today, they released another stunt video spotlighting one of their heavy lifters hauling a man a thousand feet in the air — before he let go to skydive back down to earth.”
” Drone pilots are buzzing with excitement over a court ruling Friday striking down a 2015 FAA rule that required them to register with the government. The US Court of Appeals didn’t mince words in finding the Federal Aviation Administration had overstepped its authority. “Statutory interpretation does not get much simpler,” the court said.
Two years ago, the FAA ordered all drone pilots; professionals and hobbyists to register, pay a fee, and put an identification number on their aircraft. John Taylor, a recreational drone pilot who lives in the Washington DC area balked.”
” In its summary the court wrote, that Taylor, a recreational pilot, did not think the FAA could order him to register and the court concluded, “Taylor is right.”
Loretta Alkalay, an aviation lawyer, drone pilot and professor at New York’s Vaughn College of Aeronautics was one of those who advised Taylor in his challenge to the FAA. It was pretty simple, she explained. In 2012, Congress passed the FAA Modernization and Reform Act which included a provision that protected model aircraft from FAA rules.”
” DJI has a big announcement coming at the end of this month. Any thoughts on what it could be?
DJI is hosting an invitation-only event between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on May 24 in New York City. The details are pretty limited except for the event’s incredibly vague titled, “Seize The Moment.”
” My bet is on the DJI Spark — a drone that resembled a miniature version of the DJI Mavic. It is unclear what the Spark drone is intended to be used for, though it could fill one corner of the market where DJI is still lacking: low-cost, toy drones. DJI’s cheapest drone available is still about $400-$500.”
” Others have suggested it could be DJI’s first racing-focused drone.A DJI spokesperson would not confirm or deny the existence of a “Spark” drone. But, a trademark for the name “Spark” was filed by DJI on March 6, 2017.”