drone

The first World Drone Prix is being held in Dubai next week

The first World Drone Prix is being held in Dubai next week

While it hasn't taken the world by storm yet, the activity of drone racing is starting to catch on in certain circles of UAV fans. Heck, we've already seen drone races that recreate the Speeder Bike scene from Star Wars. But it seems the city of Dubai in the UAE is banking on it becoming a big spectator event, as it's hosting the first World Drone Prix next week, with over 100 teams taking part in the competition.

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Gas-powered shoulder cannon blasts nets at wayward drones

Gas-powered shoulder cannon blasts nets at wayward drones

Drones being operated in places they’re not allowed — the White House, over airports, etc. — has been a growing issue, and researchers have moved quickly to develop various neutralizing weapons that take down such drones. Nets seem to be the most popular method, as they have a large spread and the drone’s rotors get tangled up easily. Deploying those nets isn’t so easy though — that is, until SkyWall100 was developed.

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DJI Phantom 4 release detailed for super-smart future

DJI Phantom 4 release detailed for super-smart future

The next generation in what DJI describes as "intelligent flying cameras" has been initiated with the DJI Phantom 4. This drone - as we otherwise know it - is coming to the public with a stack of technology never before offered in a consumer edition drone. This includes advanced computer vision and sensing technology, made to roll with new features like its Obstacle Sensing System, ActiveTrack and TapFly functionality.

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DJI is now offering drone insurance to cover crash repairs

DJI is now offering drone insurance to cover crash repairs

Personal drones are quickly becoming one of the hottest high-tech toys around the world, and with more drones in the air, that means increased chances of accidents. That's why DJI, one of the leading drone manufacturers — and the makers of some of the most expensive models — has just announced its own protection plan that will cover the cost of repairs in the event of an accident, even when it's caused by the operator.

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Volvo’s drone-guided garbage-lifting robot is now a working prototype

Volvo’s drone-guided garbage-lifting robot is now a working prototype

First announced back in September, Volvo's concept of a small, autonomous robot that picks up and empties trash bins now has a working prototype. The project is dubbed "Roary," for Robot-based Autonomous Refuse handling, and also involves waste recycling company Renova, as well as universities in Sweden and the US.

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New MAV membrane wings use electricity to change shape

New MAV membrane wings use electricity to change shape

Bat wings have inspired the creation of a new type of membrane wings for unmanned Micro Air Vehicles, more commonly called MAVs. Unlike other wings, these newly developed wings are able to change shape sans mechanical parts, doing so because of the wind forces experienced during flight. The lack of mechanical parts mean MAVs have lower maintenance demands and, thusly, lower operating costs.

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Dronebox autonomous recharging station lets UAVs operate for months

Dronebox autonomous recharging station lets UAVs operate for months

Small unmanned drones can be used for all sorts of purposes from providing video surveillance of an area to using their sensors to keep check on air quality and lots more. The challenge is that a human needs to be there to handle the refueling and recharging of these drones to keep them operating. That is changing with a new product called the Dronebox. Dronebox is an autonomous recharging station that allows UAVs to charge without intervention from a human.

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DARPA FLA program for autonomous drones flight tests begin

DARPA FLA program for autonomous drones flight tests begin

DARPA has announced that it has begun flight testing in its latest drone program called Fast Lightweight Autonomy (FLA) and the initial round of tests was a success. The goal of FLA is to create small autonomous aircraft with sensors that allow the drones to avoid obstacles while achieving a desired speed of 20 meters per seconds. The main goal of the program is to develop and test algorithms that reduce the processing power, communications and human intervention needed for UAVs to perform certain low-level tasks.

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DARPA FLA project drone zooms indoors at 45MPH

DARPA FLA project drone zooms indoors at 45MPH

DARPA’s Fast Lightweight Autonomy (FLA) program has resulted in a small drone that can zip through indoor corridors at just under 45MPH, doing so autonomously and without crashing. A specially crafted small drone was used, and it was equipped with a high-definition camera and a bunch of sensors onboard, enabling it to ‘see’ and avoid obstacles. The flight testing happened at the Otis Air National Guard Base in Cape Cod.

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New software enables drones to search forests for lost hikers

New software enables drones to search forests for lost hikers

Autonomous drones could be the future of finding lost hikers thanks to new software developed by researchers at a few universities. Drones equipped with this software are able to find and follow forest paths on their own, possibly finding someone who has become lost on the path. Once the lost hiker is found, the drone can alert rescuers and provide the location.

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Drones can autonomously follow forest paths with new software

Drones can autonomously follow forest paths with new software

There are hoards of people around the world who enjoy getting outdoors and hiking through paths in the forest and mountains. Sometimes when people unfamiliar with the terrain venture out accidents happen leading to injury or lost hikers. Typically finding these lost or injured hikers involves an expensive search with lots of people and often helicopters to search from the sky.

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PowerEgg drone folds up into an ‘extremely lightweight’ egg

PowerEgg drone folds up into an ‘extremely lightweight’ egg

Powervision Robot Inc has launched its first ever drone, the oddly shaped PowerEgg. Like its name suggests, the PowerEgg is shaped like an egg…and, you know, is powered. Or something like that. Unlike other consumer-level UAVs, the PowerEgg looks like a big egg with four armatures coming off it, each of them with rotors. Despite its weird shape, the PowerEgg can fly due to its “extremely lightweight” design, and when not in use, it simply folds up into a regular-looking (giant robot) egg.

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