drone

Amazon conservation group use drones to fight rain forest logging

Amazon conservation group use drones to fight rain forest logging

While drones are getting a lot of press these days as either high-tech toys or dangerous hazards, they are also being used as effective tools for great causes. Take the Amazon Basin Conservation Association for example, who use a custom drone to fly above the rain forest in Peru, scanning for illegal logging and mining taking place, both of which damage the local ecosystem. The group uses a custom made wing-style drone to get more range than a quadcopter, and are able to protect a reserve that measures 550-square-miles.

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NASA drone tracking trials tap Verizon towers

NASA drone tracking trials tap Verizon towers

NASA and Verizon are working together on air traffic control for drones, aiming to use existing cellphone towers to track and even ground unmanned aircraft. The deal will see the space agency kick off trials at its Ames Research Center in California this summer, focusing on small, low-altitude drones which currently don't make it onto the radar of traditional air traffic management. The goal is an automated system which would open the skies to drone delivery, something which already has Amazon and Google throwing their money at NASA.

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Concert mishap shows why you shouldn’t grab drones

Concert mishap shows why you shouldn’t grab drones

Drones and crowds are a no-no -- in the US, at least, that's one of the rules: if there's a crowd, don't try to fly your drone through or over it because someone is liable to get hurt. Fast forward to a recent event in Tijuana, Mexico, where a "drone" (it was a quadcopter) was being used to get various shots of the crowd at an Enrique Iglesias concert. By all accounts this is nothing new, and neither is Iglesias' grabbing the drone to get a POV shot for the crowd. This time, though, things didn't go as planned.

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GoPro has set its sights on drones and virtual reality

GoPro has set its sights on drones and virtual reality

GoPro, maker of the ever-popular little action cameras by the same name, has expanded its horizons a bit, or at least its vision of those future horizons. The company is eyeing both virtual reality and drones, GoPro’s CEO Nick Woodman revealed earlier today. The virtual reality aspect would be facilitated with something dubbed the Six-Camera Spherical Array, which is an accessory designed to hold six of the maker’s Hero 4 action cameras. The other project is a quadcopter said to be in the works. Unfortunately, precious few details about that particular project were revealed, though we can imagine it’ll include a nifty camera.

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Hycopter drone uses hydrogen gas to fly for 4 hours

Hycopter drone uses hydrogen gas to fly for 4 hours

With the rising buzz around drones, some have started envisioning them to become bearers of good news. Or at least the packages you ordered. But while Amazon might have gotten a bit of green light for its delivery drone plans, there remains one technical problem. Drones can't really stay up in the air for long, with some of the best lasting only half an hour. Horizon Unmanned Systems, however, might have a solution in the works. Its Hycopter UAV can fly 2.5 to 4 hours, depending on payload, by using fuel cells instead of lithium batteries.

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This drone uses origami principles to become foldable

This drone uses origami principles to become foldable

Personal drones are all the rage now, even hitting mainstream media because of rather questionable antics. But not everyone might be interested in hulking quadrocopters the likes of which Amazon plans to use for deliveries. There are, of course, more than a dozen "mini" drones in the market, but these are pretty much just toys with very little strength for any sort of payload. So what to do if you want a slightly more capable UAV that can still fit on the palm of your hand? Try origami.

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Drone-maker reveals blimp plans for Venus’ skies

Drone-maker reveals blimp plans for Venus’ skies

Venus might not be top of the list for manned missions, but a flock of floating explorers - part drone, part blimp - for its atmosphere are are on the drawing board. Drone-maker Northrop Grumman wants to send its Venus Atmospheric Maneuverable Platform (VAMP) concept, a long-lived, maneuverable, semi-buoyant research platform that would soar through Venus' skies around 30-40 miles up, to the inhospitable planet, with the aim of using data there to figure out how life here on Earth may have evolved.

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SmartChutes are parachutes for your (falling) drone

SmartChutes are parachutes for your (falling) drone

Some drones return themselves safely to the ground when the battery is low, but others just start to die and sink quickly. On top of that, any number of catastrophes or troubles can surface that means your drone will be hurtling toward the potentially damaging earth at a fast rate. Such is a time for a parachute, in this case the SmartChutes, which is described as an "autonomous parachute recovery system" for quadcopters. When your drone falls, the parachute deploys.

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Drones banned from Tokyo’s public parks

Drones banned from Tokyo’s public parks

While the acceptance of privately owned drones is rapidly expanding here in the US, in some countries, such as Japan, they are only beginning to get consumers' attention. Unfortunately for budding drone enthusiasts in Tokyo, there is a new roadblock to enjoying their hobby. The Japanese capital's municipal government recently issued a ban on drones being used at all public parks. The prohibition on UAVs follows a recent political protest incident, where a drone was landed on the roof of the Japanese Prime Minister's residence.

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Lily camera drone hands-on: Aerial video, no pilot required

Lily camera drone hands-on: Aerial video, no pilot required

If you're reinventing the camera, why not make it fly? That's the concept behind Lily, a drone that puts flying photography at its core, but doesn't require a pilot's license to use. Promising not only autonomous flight but eye-catching drone footage with zero operator talent, the new quadcopter wants to usurp the GoPro as the extreme sportsperson's go-to gadget, and snap the selfie-stick for family gatherings. I ventured into the park to strike a pose as I was filmed from the sky.

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