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GE's new Laser MicroJet drilling holes in high-pressure turbine blades (Photo: GE Aviation...

Turbine blades for use in jet engines need to be made of a hard, unyielding exotic material made to exact specifications, which means the drilling of tiny cooling holes in the blades runs the risk of ruining them. To prevent this from happening, GE is combining the heat of the laser beam with the cooling of the water jet to drill holes without weakening the blades.  Read More

The micro-flyer scouts the hallways of the USS Shadwell (Photo: CMU)

This week, the US Office of Naval Research released details regarding a demo of its Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot (SAFFiR) conducted last November. The robot, as its name implies, is designed to help human crews fight fires in the close confines of naval vessels. In order to get to those fires quicker, SAFFiR may ultimately receive some help itself from an autonomous drone, that was also part of the demonstration.  Read More

Up to 450 customers in three Chinese cities are receiving their tea via quadcopter (Photo:...

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd beat Amazon to the punch this Wednesday, by beginning actual deliveries-by-drone. The three-day, three-city test of the system began in Beijing, with deliveries being made from a single merchant operating through Alibaba's Amazon-like Taobao Marketplace website.  Read More

DJI has announced a new firmware update that disables drones flying within a 15.5 mile (25...

Following the crash-landing of a drone on the grounds of the White House last week, the Chinese manufacturer of said drone, DJI, has released new firmware to prevent overzealous pilots flying UAVs anywhere near 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Available to download now for owners of the company's popular Phantom 2 drones, the update signals a willingness from the company to work with regulators to clear the air for safer drone flight.  Read More

Allsopp's new Action Cam Skyshot Helikite – some of the company's other Helikites have bee...

It's certainly no secret that consumer drones are proving to be extremely popular for shooting aerial videos. That said, the things still aren't perfect – you can't fly them for more than about 25 minutes per battery charge, pre-flight procedures such as calibrating their compass can be tricky, they're noisy, and they can fall out of the sky and hurt people. Allsopp's Action Cam Skyshot Helikite, however, is claimed to have none of these problems. It's basically just a GoPro-carrying kytoon – a kite/balloon hybrid.  Read More

The Drones For Good award sees US$1 million up for grabs

The word "drone" is synonymous with autonomous military aircraft that hail down death and destruction from on high. But the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is looking to highlight the humanitarian potential of the technology with its Drones For Good competition. Entrants include vehicles that detect landmines, plant trees and service slums all in the hunt for the industry's most prestigious (and probably only) prize, with the inaugural first place winner set to be announced next week to take home US$1 million.  Read More

The DALER prototype drone

Robot drones that can both fly and move about on land would vastly improve their usefulness by increasing the areas in which they could operate. Adding wheels of sufficient size to handle most terrains, however, would adversely increase both the weight and size of such a drone. Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), building on their earlier developments, have created a drone that uses wings incorporating movable tips, allowing it to both walk and fly.  Read More

The X-Voice drone is partly controlled by voice commands (Photo:Stu Robarts/Gizmag)

Unsurprisingly, this year's Toy Fair in London saw its fair share of drones, all being touted as somehow unique. One that had a fairly solid case for that was the X-Voice from Flying Gadgets. As its name suggests, the X-Voice is controlled, in part, with voice commands.  Read More

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