2015 Geneva Auto Show

Drone

The Splash Drone can land on the water, to shoot beneath the surface

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

Drones are already proving incredibly efficient at aerial mapping on building sites, but a...

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

The Piaggio P.1HH HammerHead made its maiden flight last December, and the aircraft has al...

There's little doubt that drones will play an increasingly prevalent role in our skies in the future, so any aircraft manufacturer that wants to stay ahead of the curve is either already building them, has some in the pipeline, or is madly trying to get them up and flying. Piaggio Aerospace is not a newcomer to the game of flight by any stretch of the imagination, being one of the oldest airplane manufacturers in the world. It is, however, perceived as more of a civilian and business aircraft manufacturer. But it is determined to make its mark in the lucrative defense and security sector and the successful maiden test flight of its Prototype 001 P.1HH HammerHead UAS is an important step down that path.  Read More

An air traffic controller advises a drone, using the experimental system (Photo: RMIT Univ...

If autonomous delivery drones are ever going to see widespread use, then they can't simply fly around with no regard for other aircraft. In recent projects, drone operators had to file flight plans in advance. Researchers from Australia's RMIT University have gone a step farther, however. They've developed a system that lets drones communicate with air traffic controllers using a synthesized voice.  Read More

Researchers working on the Brainflight project have successfully demonstrated mind-control...

In what may be a just a taste of what's possible when you merge robotics and neuroscience, researchers from Portugal's Brainflight project have successfully demonstrated a drone flight piloted by human thought.  Read More

Shift automatically pans and tilts a quadcopter's camera, to keep the subject centered

Although camera-equipped drones have opened up all sorts of film-making possibilities, trying to simultaneously control the aircraft and the camera movements can definitely be challenging. That's why Perceptiv Labs developed Shift. It's a system that allows a DJI or 3D Robotics quadcopter's motorized camera to automatically keep a tagged subject centered in the frame, letting the user concentrate on flying.  Read More

The SkyProwler ready for some speed, with its quadcopter props retracted

Arizona-based start-up Krossblade is developing a five-passenger "flying car"-type vehicle known as the SkyCruiser. Among other things, plans call for it to take off and land like a quadcopter, while transitioning to faster, more efficient fixed-wing flight while en route. Will you ever be able to buy one? Well, that's hard to say, but if Krossblade's current Kickstarter campaign is a success, you will soon be able to buy a functioning miniature prototype known as the SkyProwler.  Read More

The FAA's proposed rules would rule out delivery drones from the likes of Amazon

In welcome news for businesses banking on the commercial potential of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has put forward a proposal for guidelines surrounding commercial drone use. The rules would clear the air for some applications of the technology, though would still leave certain big-name players, such as Amazon, in limbo.  Read More

DJI has plans to feature the Micro Four Thirds lens standard in future products

Chinese drone-maker DJI has jumped aboard an interchangeable lens alliance, promising aerial photography enthusiasts greater flexibility when shooting from the sky. Pledging its support for the Micro Four Thirds System standard could see new DJI drones come equipped with a greater range of cameras and lens types, while also allowing pilots to slap on their own.  Read More

NoFlyZone.org is aimed at preventing unwanted drones flying over your home (Photo: Nick La...

About the only thing growing quicker than the number of privately owned drones is the level of concern surrounding them. Questions of privacy and how these things can be regulated are pretty well-founded, but are so far yet to be met with any convincing answers. NoFlyZone.org may go some way to providing a solution, allowing users to enter their address to create drone-free zones in the airspace over their homes.  Read More

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