Drone

Big blue balloon drone uses an ultrasonic propulsion system

Big blue balloon drone uses an ultrasonic propulsion system

There have been remote-controlled flying machines for use indoors that utilize mylar balloons for hobbyists for years. Typically these balloons utilize helium to float and battery-powered propellers to move around an environment. More common today are multi-rotor drones that slurp a lot of power and are noisy. A Japanese company called NTT Docomo has introduced a new type of drone that uses a round helium-filled balloon and a unique ultrasonic propulsion system.

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US Navy spends millions to develop a solar-powered UAV

US Navy spends millions to develop a solar-powered UAV

Most branches of the United States military operate drones in one capacity or another. Some drones are used for short-term surveillance while others loiter over a target site for extended durations keeping an eye on the ground from above. The United States Navy is looking for an uncrewed air vehicle with a much longer duration than what's currently possible.

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New algorithm flies an autonomous drone faster than a human pilot

New algorithm flies an autonomous drone faster than a human pilot

University of Zürich researchers have created a new algorithm for handling autonomous flying for a quadrotor drone. The new algorithm was tested against a pair of human drone racing pilots and outperformed them in a race. The new algorithm calculates time-optimal trajectories that fully considers the drone's limitations.

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MQ-25 autonomous aircraft refuels another aircraft for the first time

MQ-25 autonomous aircraft refuels another aircraft for the first time

The United States Navy and Boeing have announced a first in aviation history. The Navy and Boeing have been testing MQ-25 unmanned aircraft known as the MQ-25 T1 test asset. In a recent test, the MQ-25 was able to perform aerial refueling of a U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet, demonstrating its aerial refueling mission for the first time.

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Video shows the Sony Airpeak drone operating in 44 mph winds

Video shows the Sony Airpeak drone operating in 44 mph winds

When it comes to any flying aircraft, be it a drone or piloted machine, high winds are a significant challenge. Late last year, Sony announced its Airpeak drone, and we've heard little since then. Sony has now shared a video showing its Airpeak drone operating comfortably and flying in sustained 44 mph winds inside a wind tunnel.

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Georgia Institute of Technology system allows multiple drones to lift heavy packages

Georgia Institute of Technology system allows multiple drones to lift heavy packages

There has been talk of new methods of delivering packages in the future when more and more people are ordering from online services like Amazon. Amazon has talked about using drones to deliver packages by air, but the challenge is creating a drone with enough power and range to carry packages. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a new modular solution to deliver larger packages via drones without requiring a fleet of drones of varying sizes.

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MIT gets inspiration from insects for next-generation drones

MIT gets inspiration from insects for next-generation drones

We've all been standing outside at some point and had tiny flying insects like gnats continually flying around our face or ears no matter how many times we swat them away. Small flying insects have incredible agility that allows them to avoid swatting hands and other obstacles as they fly through the air. MIT Assistant Professor Kevin Yufeng Chen has constructed a new flying robotic system that approaches the agility of insects in the air.

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LaserFactory fabricates fully functional drones using only three ingredients

LaserFactory fabricates fully functional drones using only three ingredients

MIT researchers have created a system dubbed LaserFactory that can automate the process for making functional devices in a single system. LaserFactory produces functional custom-made devices and robots with no human intervention. The single system uses three ingredients allowing users to create structural geometry, print traces, and assemble electronic components like sensors and actuators.

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DJI launches new flyaway protection for Mavic Air 2 and Mini 2

DJI launches new flyaway protection for Mavic Air 2 and Mini 2

A long time ago, when drones were first coming on the market, it wasn't uncommon at all for them to suddenly stop responding and simply fly away. As expensive as drones can be, this is a big problem as often they travel so far that it's impossible to find them. This problem is much less common today, but as expensive as drones from DJI are, it's nice to have protection in the event that does happen.

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Pineapple waste material converted into drone parts

Pineapple waste material converted into drone parts

A group of researchers in Malaysia has developed a technique to take waste material from the pineapple farming industry and turn it into disposable parts for drone aircraft. The technique developed takes a fiber found in usually discarded pineapple leaves and harnesses it to make a robust material that can be used to build frames for unmanned aircraft. The project's goal has been to find sustainable uses for pineapple waste generated by farmers in the Malaysian area of Hulu Langat.

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Smellicopter detects scents using live moth antenna

Smellicopter detects scents using live moth antenna

Researchers at the University of Washington have created a small drone called the Smellicopter fitted with live moth antenna. The drone uses those live moth antennae to seek out smells. It can smell chemicals in the air, locate disaster survivors, gas leaks, explosives, and more. Researchers relied on live moth antenna because sensors created by humans aren't sensitive or fast enough to find and process specific smells while flying through the scant odor plumes the sources create.

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Sony announces new Airpeak drone project

Sony announces new Airpeak drone project

Drones have become very common in recent years for all manners of uses ranging from military to civilian uses like photography. Some drones are powered by AI systems allowing them to operate without human control. Other drones are remotely controlled and require a person to help fly them. Sony has announced a new drone project under the Airpeak brand that it says falls into the field of AI robotics.

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