drone

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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Wallet Drone fits in your pocket, charges in its controller

Wallet Drone fits in your pocket, charges in its controller

Personal drones have become a so common that they have started to come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. A new crowdfunding campaign wants to stretch that size range even further. The name Wallet Drone probably says it all. The drone itself actually isn't the size of your wallet. In fact, it is much smaller than that. The tiny quadrocopter fits inside a controller box and that controller is the one that is the size of your wallet, letting you carry fun and mayhem anywhere you go.

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Amazon patent details how drones will find you, talk to each other

Amazon patent details how drones will find you, talk to each other

Like all government agencies, the FAA moves slowly. Drones move quickly, and Amazon wants to strap packages to them for delivery. The well-documented issues pit the pragmatic FAA against the anxious Amazon brass; Amazon wants drones delivering packages yesterday, and the FAA is in no rush to decide how and when drones can be used for commercial use. Most recently, the FAA agreed to reconsider their ‘line of sight’ mandate for flying drones; great news for Amazon. Undeterred, or buoyed by the promise of FAA regulations going their way, Amazon is filing new patents for drone deliveries.

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FAA launches smartphone app B4UFly to answer questions about drones

FAA launches smartphone app B4UFly to answer questions about drones

Most of us see consumer level drones with cameras attached as nothing more than a toy like any other remote controlled airplane. We don’t really think about toys or RC planes needing FAA permission to fly, but for some drones in certain locations, that is exactly what you need. To help people wanting to fly their drone to figure out if it's legal and safe to do so in their area, the FAA has a new app.

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