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Drones


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Drones take the legwork out of tracking radio-tagged wildlife

By - August 25, 2015 6 Pictures

Radio tags have made things easier for environmental scientists tracking animal movements, but they still involve spending a lot of time and money traipsing over land by foot in search of a signal. This is particularly pertinent for Australian National University's (ANU) Debbie Saunders, who has spent years trying to track small, evasive birds. But work is set to become easier for Saunders and her team, who have developed the first radio-tracking drone that locates radio-tagged wildlife in a fraction of the time of previous methods.

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Facebook takes aim at expanding internet access using laser-equipped drones

By - July 30, 2015 3 Pictures

In its quest to connect all corners of the globe – and get even more people signing onto the social networking juggernaut – Facebook has completed the first full-scale model of its internet-broadcasting drone. Dubbed Aquila, the solar-powered aircraft is made to fly for months at a time and has a wingspan equal to that of a Boeing 737, yet weighs less than a car.

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Review: A critical look at DJI's Phantom 3 Professional

By - July 30, 2015 25 Pictures

China’s DJI made a gutsy move with the release of the Phantom 3. The Phantom 2 Vision+ was still clearly the best all-in-one prosumer camera drone on the market, so the Phantom 3 could easily have been an incremental upgrade. Instead, it's a total overhaul, and an amazing piece of aerial camera gear that equals gear that costs twice as much (like DJI's own Inspire One) in many areas. But is it perfect? No - and not by a long way. There's some pretty clear areas for improvement, even if the Phantom 3 Professional is still miles ahead of the competition.

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Study successfully uses drones to transport blood samples

By - July 30, 2015 2 Pictures

We’ve already heard about drones being used to deliver pharmaceuticals to patients in remote locations, but scientists from Johns Hopkins University and Uganda’s Makerere University are now looking at the other end of the picture – using them to deliver remotely-located patients’ blood samples to labs in larger centers. According to a proof-of-concept study conducted by the researchers, the little unmanned aircraft should be able to do the job just fine.

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Blu drone folds up to go in your pocket

By - July 29, 2015 7 Pictures

While there are already some truly tiny consumer drones out there, their protruding propellers still make them difficult to stuff into one’s pocket. AeriCam had been developing a model called the Anura, which featured props that folded into its sides – as a result, the whole aircraft became a pocketable rectangle. While we haven’t heard much about that one lately, Droidworx is now promising something similar in the form of its Blu quadcopter.

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Amazon makes its case for dedicated drone highways in the sky

By - July 28, 2015

Much of the talk around the feasibility of Amazon's Prime Air drone delivery service is rightly centered around how the vehicles can be safely squeezed into US airspace. But under plans outlined by the company at a NASA convention today, these aerial robotic couriers could have as much to do with larger manned aircraft as a school bus does with a freight train. By setting aside a low-altitude chunk of sky and splitting it into high-speed and low-speed droneways, Amazon believes that the needs of this fast-growing industry can be accommodated without bringing all manner of things crashing to the ground.

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Sir Patrick Stewart gets behind effort to collect whale mucus using "Snotbot" drones

By - July 27, 2015 6 Pictures

Gathering good biological data about whales can be difficult without bugging the big mammals with large planes, boats, tags, sampling darts or even biopsies and lethal study techniques. Instead, the Ocean Alliance wants to send custom drones to collect whale mucus – aka snot – for study and they've enlisted the help of Sir Patrick Stewart for the crowdfunding effort to finance the project.

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