drone

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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PhoneDrone case puts propellers on your smartphone

PhoneDrone case puts propellers on your smartphone

Quadcopters can come in handy at times, but if you're not going to be using them too often, shelling out for a dedicated drone likely isn't in your budget. Enter the PhoneDrone, a compact phone case with propellers that unfold into a functional quadcopter. Rather than including its own hardware, however, the PhoneDrone has a slot in which the operator inserts their own smartphone, which will then serve as the brains of the UAV. Once finished with the drone, the phone be removed and the case can be folded back together.

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Onago camera drone auto-follows operator

Onago camera drone auto-follows operator

There is no shortage of quadcopters on the market at this point, and after a while they all start to look similar. The latest exception is Onago, which stands out from competing products via the inclusion of an auto-follow feature, which is sort of like autopilot for camera drones. With auto-follow, the drone will lock on to a subject and follow it around while recording, allowing independent users to record their own shenanigans without having to manually operate the drone.

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FAA reconsidering line of sight requirements on drone regulations

FAA reconsidering line of sight requirements on drone regulations

Good news for companies hoping to move ahead with their vision of deliveries by drone! The FAA has acknowledged that changes need to be made to the "line of sight" requirements, or the rule that states commercial drones must stay with the field of view of the operator during flight. This comes from Jim Williams, head of the FAA's office that oversees drones flying in US airspace, who made the statement at the Drones, Data X conference on Friday.

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World’s first drone graffiti… isn’t that great

World’s first drone graffiti… isn’t that great

So you want to get a drone and make it spray a fantastic mural on your local public wall, yes? That's what KATSU did this week, right on Kendall Jenner's face. It was about this time last year that this same graffiti artist demonstrated his newfound love of drones for their ability to deploy spray paint whilst flying. Apparently it took him a whole year to actually find the place at which fate and a lack of local authority readiness were aligned.

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3D Robotics Solo drone adds autopilot for smart GoPro filming

3D Robotics Solo drone adds autopilot for smart GoPro filming

3D Robotics promised a smarter drone and today we get to meet Solo, a quadcopter with the promise of easily-programmed autonomous flight and camera control, live HD streaming, and a sub-$1k price tag. While it might look like other drones, slinging a GoPro camera in an independently-maneuverable gimbal underneath, Solo's cleverness is in 3D Robotics' twin computers: one in the drone and another in the controller with its smartphone mount. Rather than having to twiddle joysticks to get your shot, however, the drone uses a combination of GPS and preprogrammed Smart Shots that should see it navigate through the air around your route of choice, filming as it goes.

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