Tuesday, September 27, 2016

DJI responds to Gopro's Karma with it's own portable quadcopter


"The amazing thing about the Mavic Pro is that, while it shrinks the physical form factor of a DJI drone down significantly, it doesn’t sacrifice any of the advanced features that make the Phantom series so popular. You still get sensors on the front and bottom, providing you with obstacle avoidance, subject tracking, autonomous landing, and stability indoors without GPS."

Well that didn't take long. The Mavic has more features than the Karma, but I'm probably going with the Karma next year. But that's still months away so things could change in the market again.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Dude tries out a Gopro Karma quadcopter

At the end he mentions that a Gropro dude was with him just in case. i was wondering why he flew it over the water on his first try, since any mistake would mean he lost the thing.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Using a drone to inspect a commercial plane


 "The inspection, which usually takes about two hours, took just 15 minutes with the drone. 'We believe this prototype will further enable our products and our industry, as well as others,' said Nanduri."

This is a good use.  And when blimps start becoming popular again, this will be a great way to inspect them.

Monday, September 19, 2016

GoPro's Karma is here at $799!


"The biggest selling point for Karma is its ease of use. That starts with a foldable design for easy storage and carrying — GoPro is even including a small backpack with the drone. Karma users will control the quadcopter from a very simple clamshell-shaped controller. On one half of the controller is a touchscreen display and on the other are two joysticks with a bare minimum of buttons. You can use the controller to set up a cable cam mode, too."

I don't see information about batteries, range, and stuff, but otherwise this looks good to me.  

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Keeping an eye on all flying drones


"While the FAA is using much more consumer-friendly burrito delivery tests to build out a method of low-altitude air traffic control, DARPA envisions a system that can be used by the military in urban settings overseas or for homeland security applications in the US. DARPA's plan would include a network of surveillance nodes that can track slow, low-flying drones without the need for a direct line of sight. Those nodes could be anything from a fixed instrument to a tethered or 'long endurance' drone and the whole thing is meant to be cost-effective and highly scalable for larger coverage areas.
While the agency doesn't have a plan for implementing this dragnet just yet, the program is seeking proposals from teams with 'expertise in sensors, signal processing, and networked autonomy.' Full details about the project goals have been posted to FedBizOps and there is a Proposers Day scheduled for September 26th, 2016 in Arlington, Virginia."

This seems like overkill to me.  But I don't have an alternative.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

sending relief aid via drone


"On deployment, an onboard navigation system would guide the Pouncer to head towards the target area, pretty much the same as a skydiver wearing a wingsuit. Right before landing, a small parachute is deployed at low altitude, and delivers the Pouncer to the specified target with precision. With the ability to be deployed from range and altitude, the Pouncer is less affected by weather conditions than traditional parachute deliveries and keeps pilots of the transport aircraft carrying the Pouncer vehicles out of danger zones, too.
Every Pouncer is capable of delivering 110 pounds of medical supplies or food to an accuracy of around 30 feet from 25 miles away. The drone can also be broken down and used as fuel — the lightweight wooden airframe is perfect for starting fires and building shelters."

Sounds like a good idea.  I'm not sure why they want to make them self-destructable.  Why not re-use them after the crisis?

Monday, September 12, 2016

a drone with arms


"The horrifically named 'PD6B-AW-ARM' has two arms that end in claw-like grabbers which it can use to perch when not in flight, or to hoist unwitting cargo up to 20 pounds in weight. That's enough strength to let it swoop down, pick up a chair, and fly off."

Thursday, September 8, 2016

North Dakota cops can use armed drones


"Armed drones could be used by police in the US state of North Dakota after local lawmakers legalised their use.
While they will be limited to 'less than lethal' weapons, tear gas, tasers, rubber bullets and pepper spray could all be used in theory by the remote controlled flying machines.
In a classic case of unintended consequences, the original sponsor, Republican state representative Rick Becker said he was unhappy with the way legislation turned out.  "

Brave New World.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Scientology's Gold Base gets the drone treatment


"Recently, the Underground Bunker was contacted by an anonymous source who said he had something rather spectacular he wanted to share with our readers. We were stunned when we saw what he was talking about. He has made super-high-quality films of Scientology facilities, using a 4K camera mounted on a drone.
You have never seen Scientology’s secretive compounds like this. Our source says that he complied with local laws when he made these videos, but we have a feeling Scientology will be contacting YouTube to try have these films taken down. So while they’re available, please give them a good look.
Today, we’re embedding two flyovers of Scientology’s 500-acre international management headquarters near Hemet, California. Known as “Int Base” to Scientologists, it’s also called “Gold” or “Gold Base” because it houses the studios of Golden Era Productions, where Scientology makes its films."

well.... he might have complied with local laws, but he violated FCC rules.  Still, this is a beautiful video of a seldom-seen cult compound.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

the fuzziness of local drone rules


"Boodheshwar said he doesn't want to hinder the budding industry, and even ticked off the ways the technology could help the city: search and rescue, environmental monitoring, criminal investigations. Before the town council approved the ordinance this summer, drone takeoffs and landings were banned in the city.
'We're trying to embrace it and not push it away,' he said. 'We want to embrace it in a controlled sort of way with the powers that we have.'
St. Petersburg police Officer Robert Lord raised another point: If there is nothing on the books locally, enforcing FAA regulations is reduced to little more than an 'observe and report' role. If the city had rules that resembled the FAA's — for example, keeping a drone within your line of sight, flying slower than 100 mph — the city could have ticketing power."

This is an important point. Local laws can be even more strict than federal rules.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Anti-drone device for your home or office


"The ApolloShield, which looks like a home internet router, uses radio waves to prevent small drones from flying overhead. Unlike the radar-based systems that can only detect drones, it promises to get rid of them.

Hobbyist drones have unique codes in their signals so their users can control them. ApolloShield’s receivers scan for these codes, alerting you if there’s an unauthorized drone overhead.

ApolloShield’s app essentially spoofs the drone’s remote control signal, allowing you to redirect the copter elsewhere, without crashing it."

I don't think I need one, but there are no doubt some people and/or companies that would enjoy having this.

Gopro to finally release their quadcopter!


"What’s GoPro going to bring to the table of drone photography? We’ll find out September 19, according to the action camera maker’s official Twitter account. They posted a short teaser for its upcoming Karma drone, which was originally due out in the first half of 2016 before a delay."

Yay!  I've been waiting to see what Gopro puts on the market before deciding what upgrade quadcopter to buy.