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Drones

Xiaomi's debut drone does 4K aerial video on the cheap

China is already home to the world's largest drone manufacturer in DJI, so in a way it seems only natural for one of the country's biggest electronics players to come in for a slice of the pie. Xiaomi has just revealed its debut consumer drone, a modular quadcopter with a handy suite of autonomous features and a price tag that might make its local counterpart a little uneasy.Read More

Tethered drone provides a hovering watchtower to troops on the ground

From Gengis Khan and his Mongol commanders to jihadis hiding in the Afghan mountains, fighters have always gravitated towards elevated vantage points to better prepare for incoming enemies. Technology has changed the face of warfare but the benefits of holding the higher ground remain the same, even if it's a flying robot doing the legwork for you. Looking to further boost to its surveillance capabilities, the US military has begun testing a tethered drone system that hovers in the air and streams continuous aerial views to troops on the ground. Read More

Fire-starting conservation drone lights things up in national park

Mixing drones with fire sure sounds like a dangerous idea, but under close control this unlikely pairing could have a beneficial environmental impact. Researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) have been developing a drone that ignites controlled burns from the air, and the team has now carried out real-world testing of the technology with a view to minimizing risks to conservation crews and avoiding out of control wildfires. Read More

Rwanda's blood-delivering drones to service 20 hospitals this summer

It is said that constraint can breed innovation, and when it comes to delivering medical cargo by land in Rwanda, also known as the "Land of Thousand Hills," there are some serious limitations at play. To overcome the nation's challenging topography, the local government and US startup Zipline are launching a drone delivery service that will start dropping much-needed blood bags to 20 remote hospitals in the coming months.Read More

Janus 360 drone shows two heads are better than one

Drones have given photographers and videographers the ability to capture shots that once required a helicopter pilot, and now French outfit Drone Volt appears to have taken things to the next level. The company's Janus 360 drone boasts two heads to carry a total of 10 cameras in order to capture obstruction-free, 360-degree 3D video for use in virtual reality content production.Read More

Drone captures rare moment as whales take down juvenile shark

You might think sharks have little to fear as they glide about the ocean, but dolphins and their relatives can be pretty cunning predators themselves. A drone has captured a rarely seen moment of maritime madness, filming a pack of false killer whales chase and kill a juvenile shark off the coast of Sydney, Australia.Read More

DHL uses completely autonomous system to deliver consumer goods by drone

When you think of delivery by drone of consumer goods, chances are you'll think of Amazon. But it's not the only one working on flying packages to people's front doors via unmanned aerial vehicles. Delivery company DHL is also making steady strides in this arena, first with a drone that could fly blood samples across a river, then with a medication-delivery drone and now with the third generation of its "Parcelcopter," which does in eight minutes what it would take a standard mail-delivery vehicle a half hour to complete.Read More

Single-rotored Monospinner keeps drone flight simple

Whether they look like a thermos or a bracelet, today's drones come in all shapes and sizes, but they all involve a bunch of moving parts to keep them balanced in the air. Swiss researchers have now fashioned a drone that remains airborne through a single propellor, resulting in what they describe as the mechanically simplest controllable flying machine in existence.Read More

Cloud-seeding drones to bring the rain

Firing particle-loaded rockets into the sky and spraying chemicals from airplanes are just a couple of ways scientists are already attempting to boost rainfall in drier regions of the world. But they may soon have a new tool at their disposal, with researchers in the US successfully testing a cloud-seeding drone aimed at offering a cheaper and safer alternative.Read More

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