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Aircraft

Though drones are capable of some pretty incredible things, different models tends to specialize at one incredible thing in particular, be it shooting 4K video or avoiding crashing into obstacles. An Israeli company called Percepto hopes to allow drone owners to bring new functionality to their existing vehicles by way of an open-source attachable camera, controlled by an ever-growing suite of drone apps. Read More
UK-based ProAirsport has developed a hybrid microlight/glider with electrically powered wheels used for taxiing and takeoff, and a jet turbine for climbing and cruising. During flight, the engine can be turned on and off with the flip of a switch, allowing the aircraft to be flown as either a microlight or glider. Unlike typical microlights and self-launching gliders, ProAirsport's GloW is propeller-free. Read More
It may not be as glamorous as building vehicles that go faster, fly higher or shoot more beautiful images, but making drones less likely to crash into walls and people's faces is pretty critical to advancing the technology all the same. One company working on this problem is the team at Panoptes, which has just launched a Kickstarter campaign for eBumper4, an obstacle avoidance system that can be slapped on two of the more popular consumer drones to stop them running into things. Read More

In the latest move towards opening up the skies to commercial drones, NASA and aerospace company Exelis have teamed up to develop a prototype air traffic control system, according to a Reuters report. Read More

The Solar Impulse 2 solar-powered airplane may have only just begun its attempt at a round-the-world flight, but it's already broken a world record. By traveling from Muscat, Oman to Ahmedabad, India, it broke the Solar Impulse team's previous record for longest solar-powered straight distance flight between predeclared waypoints. Read More

A pair of Swiss explorers have begun a mission to circumnavigate the globe via air and sun. A take-off twelve years in the making, the experimental Solar Impulse 2 plane left Abu Dhabi at 7:12 a.m. local time, bound for Muscat, Oman, on the first leg in a journey that will require 25 days in the air spread over a period of roughly 5 months. Read More
Just a few months ago we heard about the HexH2o, a waterproof hexacopter that can shoot both aerial and underwater footage. While it looks like it could be a lot of fun, its US$3,658 price tag certainly isn't for everyone. If you don't mind a drone with two fewer propellers, however, Urban Drones' just-announced Splash Drone offers a much less expensive alternative. Read More
Over time we have gotten used to machines assuming certain roles in society, but even at the dawn of the the age of robotics, some types of skilled labor still seem beyond their reach. After all, how does a machine wield a hammer and overcome the perpetual problem-solving involved in putting together a house or a high-rise? While we might be some ways off from watching buildings sprout out of the ground at the push of a button, flying robots are already carrying out surveying and mapping tasks on construction sites from the US to Japan. But leading researchers are adamant that when it comes to automating the building industry, these machines have more to offer. Read More
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