As is the story throughout much of the protected parklands across Africa, endangered species in Tanzania are under serious threat from poaching. So following in the footsteps of other conservationists across the continent, Tanzania-based Bathawk Recon has field-tested surveillance drones to better protect the local wildlife, with results indicating these eyes in the sky can seriously bolster anti-poaching efforts in the country's nature reserves.
Expansive skies, mind-blowing scenery, a dozen motorcycles to follow and no pesky drone laws to stop us from publishing the video ... Loz spent two weeks in gorgeous Western Mongolia with a Phantom 3 Professional to give it a proper aerial photo and video test – and the results were pretty spectacular.
The crowdfunded drone explosion continues with the FLYBi, a
quadcopter designed to put you in the "cockpit," sort of. It aims to
fulfill the promise of earlier concepts like Oculus FPV that merge virtual reality tech with drones to provide a first-person view of the flight.
Despite the increasing number of companies making and marketing consumer drones, there’s apparently still room for growth and innovation. For example, Axis Drones' Aerius quadcopter is touted as the smallest one ever manufactured. We got some hands-on time with the wee wonder.
As we learned earlier this year, researchers at ETH Zürich's institute for Dynamic Systems and Control are looking at ways in which flying construction robots can be programmed to autonomously build tensile structures. Now it appears they've taken a significant step forward. Literally. The team has demonstrated a rope bridge built by drones that can support the weight of an adult human as they walk across it.
Yep, it's another prosumer quadcopter – ProDrone's Byrd. So, what's so
special about this one? Well, among other things, it combines folding
propeller arms with swappable camera gimbals and a 29-minute flight
Children of the 1970s may recall Kenner's Smash-Up Derby set, in which
two toy cars flew into pieces when they crashed into each other – the
neat thing was, they could then just be snapped back together. Well,
Vantage Robotics' Snap is sort of like the Smash-Up Derby of drones. The
4K camera-packin' quadcopter's main body is attached to the folding
propeller assembly by magnets, allowing it to come off under impact
without incurring any lasting damage.
Last month, DJI released the Phantom 3 Standard drone, which slotted in below the Phantom 3 Advanced and Phantom 3 Professional in the company's lineup. At the time, DJI promised compatibility with a series of intelligent flight modes would be forthcoming in a software update and the company has now delivered on that promise.
Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), or drones, have quickly gained popularity with the public. And as is so often the case with rapidly advancing technologies, it can be hard for the public to know legally what they can and can't do with the technology – or in the case of drones, where they can and can't fly. To help dispel confusion surrounding drone flights, the US FAA is beta testing its B4UFLY smartphone app, which tells users about any restrictions on unmanned aircraft they might want to fly in a particular area.
In the drone photography world, names like Parrot and DJI (maker of the Phantom
series) are the closest things to a gold standard at the moment.
However, a Latvian startup is promising to deliver a
smartphone-controlled, lightweight carbon fiber drone that improves on
battery life by as much as 40 percent.