drone

Google’s delivery drone prototype fails, new design in the works

Google’s delivery drone prototype fails, new design in the works

Google's drones were part of its drone-delivery system Project Wing, under the Google Project X research lab. The goal was for these delivery drones to be capable of vertical take-off and landing. Such a feature would be useful in busy commercial and residential areas, but Google hasn't quite perfected it yet. The prototype used a single-winged design spanning five feet. Google announced at SXSW that it has actually scrapped the design completely, opening the door for new designs and engineering innovation. This, honestly, sounds like they put a positive spin on an expensive failure.

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FAA says publishing drone footage to YouTube is a no-no

FAA says publishing drone footage to YouTube is a no-no

There are rules in place that allow the average consumer to fly small drones for personal use. Those same rules also stipulate that drones can’t be flown for commercial uses without falling under more strict control by the FAA. The line that separates what is commercial use from what is a private use of a drone aircraft is probably not what most of us thought it was.

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ELF VRdrone takes selfies from the air

ELF VRdrone takes selfies from the air

People love to take selfies and lots of people use products that make it easier to take selfies like the much maligned selfie stick. If you want to get really high tech with your selfie staking, a new drone called the ELF VRdrone can take selfies for you from the air. The small flying drone can also take pictures of other things if you are so inclined.

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Star Wars Speeder Bike drone puts mini trooper in the air

Star Wars Speeder Bike drone puts mini trooper in the air

Joining the growing number of drones crafted to be miniature flying replicas of movie staples is a new mini Star Wars speeder bike being piloted by a Scout Trooper. Any Return of the Jedi fan will recognize the replica, while hobbyist will note that at its core the drone is a quadcopter. We've got some footage of it in action, of course, and thanks to a tiny camera in the trooper's helmet, there's also some nice first-person video footage to join it.

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Living Aerial Bot drone uses your smartphone as its brain

Living Aerial Bot drone uses your smartphone as its brain

The Living Aerial Bot (LAB) is a drone with a twist, in that it uses your smartphone as its brain and face. The handset connects to the drone using Bluetooth or a wired connection, likely depending on the phone, delivering commands to the UAV's on-board hardware. In addition, the related mobile app can also be used to display a "face" for the drone, such as an owl's face or, depending on the situation, a live video feed used to give remote directions, such as in medical emergency situations.

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Waterproof Splash Drone can automatically follow your jet ski

Waterproof Splash Drone can automatically follow your jet ski

There are all kinds of ways to record your surf session. You used to need a friend to film from shore, or you could wear a camera helmet, or attach a Go Pro to your surfboard for a first-person view. Aerial shots over water have always been tricky, even with quadcopter drones because it has been risky to fly your drone over open water. It used to be that once it touched down in the water, it was toast. With the Splash Drone, you'll never need to worry about losing your drone in the water. This little guy can even launch from the sea.

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Somewhere in Japan, a drone is delivering shoes

Somewhere in Japan, a drone is delivering shoes

Drones are still finding their way in our world. Though they’re really fun, and cool, some don’t use them for good. People fly them at planes, or intrude on the privacy of others. The FAA is considering grounding drones for consumer use, or at least severely restricting their use. Still, there are good applications for drones. Shoe delivery might not be the most efficient way to use a drone, but it sure is cool. To celebrate ten years in Japan, Crocs are being delivered to shoppers via drone.

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TIE Interceptor drone joins Millennium Falcon replica

TIE Interceptor drone joins Millennium Falcon replica

If you, like a growing number of UAV hobbyists, love a good flying replica, the man behind the Millennium Falcon drone is back with another creation: a TIE Interceptor drone, which is likewise styled after a Star Wars spacecraft and fully functional, at least as far as drones go. The creator goes by the handle "Olivier", and he has shown off his latest creation in a couple of YouTube videos, one of them at night so that the drone's flashing lights are visible.

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Ad company’s drones are tracking mobile locations in LA

Ad company’s drones are tracking mobile locations in LA

Personal drones are once again a hot topic in the media, but this time in a not so favorable light. Recent events, like the drone that landed at the White House and the FAA's proposed rules, have cast drones in a negative light. This latest news might very well sour the taste buds of the public even more. Several drones flying over San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles have been reported to be tracking smartphone and tablet locations. Their purpose? To eventually serve ads to mobile device owners.

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Wind-powered drone can fly for hours at a time

Wind-powered drone can fly for hours at a time

The average consumer drones that are becoming more and more popular these days run on batteries, which means at best they can stay in the air between 20 and 30 minutes at a time. But XAir Unmanned Aerial Systems, a California startup, has begun work on a drone model that is powered by the wind, with a prototype that was able to fly for more than two hours continuously. While the lift come from the wind, the 24-ounce fixed-wing design aircraft also features a small solar panel that is used to power electronics and recharge the internal battery.

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