Iran claims to have flown a reconnaissance drone over a US aircraft carrier, part of a war-games op the American Navy has blasted as "unprofessional". The incident is believed to have taken place in early January, with the drone part of a combined effort to surveil not only the USS Harry S. Truman but a French aircraft carrier, Charles de Gaulle, which were both in international waters in the Persian Gulf at the time.
In May 2015, one of Google’s Internet drones, a Titan Solara 50, crashed during a test flight in New Mexico. The drone was solar powered and didn’t last long in the air before crashing in the company’s Albuquerque test field. This drone was part of Google’s larger effort to deliver Internet from the stratosphere; investigators began probing the cause of the crash following the incident.
For all the fun, or mayhem, that drones have to offer, they are, for all intents and purposes, creatures of the sky. They don't really take to land, much less water, which is the bane of any electronic contraption. However, there might be some instances where a remotely piloted machine will be needed to go the depths but also to fly high as well. At the moment, no commercial drone has that ability. But researchers from Oakland University's Embedded Systems Research Laboratory might be on to something with the Loon Copter: an unmanned aerial and aquatic drone or UAAV.
Scientists and researchers around the world are hard at work on drone aircraft for all sorts of uses. Researchers at the German Aerospace Center recently performed a successful landing of a small ultralight autonomous drone on the roof of a car while the drone and car were travelling at 75 km per hour.
In the first 30 days since the drone registration requirement went public, the FAA has announced about 300,000 drones were registered in the US. To help encourage drone owners to register, the FAA had offered to wave the $5 registration fee for the first month, perhaps leading to the very high number of registrations. New registrations pour in regularly.
A team of students from the University of Oslo led by Henning Pedersen has built a giant drone aircraft that has set a new Guinness World Record for lifting the heaviest payload. The drone looks like multiple small drones were simply attached to a larger frame. There are 48 propellers total arranged in eight groups.
As drones become more and more prevalent and useful, there is a need to make drones smarter and to allow them to operate in harsher environments. To successfully operate in a forest environment or other very crowded environment drones need to have both obstacle detection and motion planning capabilities.
Who needs a fake man made of hay when you can scare birds away with an autonomous drone? The new ProHawk UAV from Bird-X imitates birds of prey to scare away lesser birds, keeping them away from farmers' crops or other places where groups of birds aren't welcome. Officially called a “bird control drone,” the ProHawk UAV is said to be the first of its kind with a self-operating GPS-based flight feature.
Small drones are just powerful enough to get an operator in trouble. Whether the operator is intentionally doing something forbidden like using a drone to snoop or something accidental like veering into protected air space, a new tool has been designed to snatch that drone out of the sky while keeping innocent bystanders safe. Simply referred to as the “Drone Catcher,” this new tool takes down drones by shooting a net at them.
Intel has put together a very cool light show using 100 different drone aircraft. The feat was enough to win Intel a Guinness World Record title for putting the most unmanned aerial vehicles in the air simultaneously. These drones weren't just flying in the air at the same time; they were synchronized together in a swarm.
Drones are all the fad these days, from hulking machines to palm-sized toys. So, too, are self-driving cars, with car maker after car maker, including Google, revealing a piece of autonomous driving technology. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that someone, in this case Chinese drone company EHang, has made something that combines both. Introduing the EHang 198, the world's first AAV, not UAV. That stands for Autonomous Aerial Vehicle, basically a manned Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (oxymoronic, ain't it?) whose purpose is to carry its package from point A to point B. The package, in this case, is a human being.