drone

The UK is getting its first 24/7 police drone unit

The UK is getting its first 24/7 police drone unit

The United Kingdom is launching what will end up being the first ever 24/7 police drone unit in all of Great Britain. The finer details about the drone force still need to be ironed out, namely who will be managing the new unit. The unit is being assembled by the Devon and Cornish Police, according to a local publication, and it may be followed soon by a similar unit in Sussex and Surrey.

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DJI challenges FAA’s low-risk drone maximum weight limit

DJI challenges FAA’s low-risk drone maximum weight limit

Drone company DJI has challenged the Federal Aviation Administration’s maximum weight limit for so-called “low risk drones,” saying it is too low. As it stands, the FAA says that low-risk drones must have a maximum weight of 250 grams. That’s at odds with a new white paper published by DJI claiming that, per its own research, low-risk drones can have a max weight limit as high as 2.2kg (4.9lbs).

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This drone is both stiff and squishy to survive crashes

This drone is both stiff and squishy to survive crashes

Drones are designed to fly, but crashes are a fact of life, whether because of external forces or pilot error. Some commercial drones employ techniques like propeller guards to at least protect the drone, or humans nearby, but they’re not exactly effective all the time. More industrially-inclined drones even have “cages” that protect them but also make them bigger and heavier. Researchers from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, or EPFL, in Switzerland may have come up with an actually effective solution. Unsurprisingly, their inspiration came from Mother Nature herself.

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DJI M200 is no toy, built for professional use

DJI M200 is no toy, built for professional use

It seems that drones have come almost full circle. Originally created more for industrial and military purposes, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), or drones as they are more popularly called, have become a hobbyist product that came in all sizes and prices. With that market almost saturated, drone makers like DJI have turned their attention to even bigger customers. The DJI Matrice 200, or M200, line of drones isn’t something you’ll be able to play with, even if you can afford it. This drone is all work and no fun, targeted at companies and industrial customers, but has a bigger potential to improve the lives of its users significantly.

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FAA: reported drone collisions with aircraft are all unverified

FAA: reported drone collisions with aircraft are all unverified

The Federal Aviation Administration has released its latest report detailing the number of claims it has received about drone sightings near aircraft and alleged consumer drone collisions with aircraft. Though it has received ‘several’ pilot reports of drones colliding with airplanes, the Administration says that none of the reports have been proven true following an investigation, with causes instead including things like impacts with birds or malfunctions.

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Watch Siberian tigers take down a flying drone

Watch Siberian tigers take down a flying drone

Drones: they annoy and amuse humans, mostly annoy kangaroos, and apparently greatly intrigue Siberian tigers. A new video shows a pack of such tigers chasing around a flying drone, doing so like big cats trying to catch a laser dot, when one eventually yanks it from the sky. It seems at first the tigers are moving in to swiftly destroy the drone, but their instincts quickly give away to curiosity and, it seems, confusion.

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UPS drone launched from truck on delivery route

UPS drone launched from truck on delivery route

The folks at UPS said this week that they'd completed their first test of a drone launched from a truck. Of course this isn't the first time any drone has been launched from a truck, but it is the first time that a UPS drone has launched from a UPS truck with a delivery. This same drone delivered said package and returned to the truck while the driver continued on with their daily route.

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Hoversurf hoverbike rides on a powerful Scorpion 3 drone

Hoversurf hoverbike rides on a powerful Scorpion 3 drone

Move over hoverboards. This is the year of vehicles that, true to their name, actually do fly. PAL-V just opened up sales for what is the world’s first commercial flying car and now another personal flying vehicle of the future might be closer to the present. The world’s first fully-functional, fully-manned hoverbike has just been revealed. Unsurprisingly, it’s built upon the same foundations as a drone. A Scorpion 3, to be exact, made by Hoversurf. While commercial availability is probably still a ways off, you can probably start dreaming of real-life Star Wars Speeder Bike chases soon.

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AT&T just tested its emergency LTE drones

AT&T just tested its emergency LTE drones

Nobody likes finding they've got no signal on their phone, especially if it's an emergency, so AT&T is pushing ahead with testing drones as temporary LTE towers. The carrier successfully completed its first trial flights last week, dispatching a number of drones on short flights in a network dead-spot in the US. Each was equipped with the necessary hardware to create its own little bubble of coverage.

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Amazon patent details delivery drone drops using parachutes

Amazon patent details delivery drone drops using parachutes

Amazon has been testing its drone technology for a while now, and we’ve seen some demonstrations and patents related to this testing. The latest patent to surface details one method by which Amazon delivery drones may get packages directly to customers — via a parachute, allowing the package to be dropped from the sky. This would prevent the drone from having to land, though it would monitor the package’s descent before taking off.

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DARPA SideArm prototype snags drones out of the air

DARPA SideArm prototype snags drones out of the air

DARPA has shown off a prototype of SideArm, a contraption that can snag drones out of the air and quickly bring them to a stop, doing so in order to recover drones after a mission. One possible use of SideArm is attaching them to the side of an aircraft carrier, where they would then help launch and, later on, retrieve UAVs weighing up to 900lbs. Obviously given its DARPA status, the contraption would be used for military purposes.

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300 Intel drones light up Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl act

300 Intel drones light up Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl act

From smartphones to wearables to smart appliances, and now, to drones. That seems to be the journey that Intel has taken as it tries to gain some ground in markets outside its traditional PC silicon market. Although it's not exactly taking on more established drone makers like DJI head on, it is aiming for a more niche segment where it might actually stand uncontested for some time. And what better way to make a big splash than by launching 300 of those drones above the Super Bowl Halftime show.

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