drone

NASA tests new avoidance systems for UAVs

NASA tests new avoidance systems for UAVs

NASA is has developed a new sense-and-avoid system that will let unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) fly routine operations. The technology is currently undergoing its third round of testing. The researchers will use live data to validate the aircraft's trajectory, sensor, and other simulation models. The real-time data collection is designed to help the UAV move out of the path of incoming hazards like other aircraft.

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Parrot’s hopping, swimming Minidrones get official for US

Parrot’s hopping, swimming Minidrones get official for US

Those mini-drones that cropped up on Parrot's French website earlier this month just became a little more official, at least for those located in North America. The company has revealed the pricing and availability for those in the United States, adding more details on to the pricing and availability we'd previously heard for the European market. The Minidrones, as Parrot calls them, include standard quadcopters, as well as a water vessel that can zoom around on water, and a land drone that features two wheels and the ability to jump up stairs and over small obstacles.

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Moths could gift low-light vision to new micro-drones

Moths could gift low-light vision to new micro-drones

Moths might not be the first animals you'd think to emulate when you're designing new micro-drones, but robots could learn at lot from how their eyes work. A team at Georgia Institute of Techology figured out that moths can purposefully slow their brain activity so as to see better in low-light conditions, keeping their nectar-sipping position at flowers even when the plants are moving, and potentially opening the door to future machine vision systems that can react accurately even in the depth of night.

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Parrot’s new slew of MiniDrones can fly, jump and swim

Parrot’s new slew of MiniDrones can fly, jump and swim

Parrot has introduced a ton of new miniature drones, which it appropriately calls "MiniDrones". The drones serve different functions, and they come with smaller price points than you'd pay for their larger counterparts. Interestingly enough, Parrot introduced the drones on its French site exclusively, though it will be launching them officially in the United Kingdom early next month. There are 13 drones that are part of three new models in total, and several of them hit the sub-$200 price point. We've a trio of videos showing them off after the jump!

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DJI’s new Matrice 100 self-guided drone keeps developers in mind

DJI’s new Matrice 100 self-guided drone keeps developers in mind

As drones evolve from military applications to playthings and back again, we're seeing an incredible variety of drone technology from waterproof drones capable of withstanding a splashdown to replicas of Star Wars' Millennium Falcon. Drone-manufacterer DJI has released its newest drone, the Matrice 100. This quadcopter uses an onboard guidance system that has integrated ultrasonic sensors and visual cameras. The onboard guidance system is designed to track the drone's environment from all sides, providing 360-degree awareness of its surroundings. Therefore, the drone should adjust its flight path automatically when faced with an impending obstacle.

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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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