Highlights from the 2015 Geneva Motor Show

Drone

Facebook has successfully tested its internet-beaming drones in the UK

Mark Zuckerberg's plans to use unmanned drones to provide internet connections appear one step closer to reality. The Facebook CEO today revealed that his Internet.org initiative has put the aircraft to the test for the first time, describing the operation as a success.  Read More

The Laser Drone on the prowl

The ability to view real-time video from a quadcopter's onboard camera is certainly a handy feature, but let's be honest – there are probably a lot of people who just think, "Wouldn't be great if I could use this to shoot at stuff?". Well, German cyberpunk weapons tinkerer Patrick Priebe has adapted an off-the-shelf drone so it can do just that – using a laser.  Read More

The FAA has announced new rules that streamline the application process for commercial dro...

If you want to operate your drone for commercial reasons in the US at the moment, there are considerable hoops you'll need to fly through first. But an announcement today from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is set to make this process more efficient, throwing a blanket approval over operators that meet a certain criteria.  Read More

Air Shepherd's system uses unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with infrared cameras and GPS t...

For under-resourced park rangers patrolling the porous, poacher-friendly borders of Africa's national parks, conserving the ailing rhino and elephant populations is certainly a tall order. With tusks and horns only yielding more and more cash on black markets all across Asia, poaching numbers are on the rise and the future of local species hangs in the balance. But equipped with drones, big data and high-tech infrared cameras, one organization says it has the capabilities to start stemming the tide.  Read More

Today's development will certainly be welcome news for Amazon, but won't have Jeff Bezos s...

It's been more than a year in the making but it seems that the regulatory wheels are beginning to turn on Amazon's bold plan for drone delivery. The FAA has today granted the online retailer permission to start testing its unmanned aircraft as part of its Prime Air initiative. It does come with its share of caveats, however, so don't expect a box set to be plonked down on your doorstep anytime soon.  Read More

Percepto's Computer Vision add on is aimed at making it easy to develop apps that run on a...

Though drones are capable of some pretty incredible things, different models tends to specialize at one incredible thing in particular, be it shooting 4K video or avoiding crashing into obstacles. An Israeli company called Percepto hopes to allow drone owners to bring new functionality to their existing vehicles by way of an open-source attachable camera, controlled by an ever-growing suite of drone apps.  Read More

When the eBumper4 system detects an obstacle that's a little too close to comfort, it boun...

It may not be as glamorous as building vehicles that go faster, fly higher or shoot more beautiful images, but making drones less likely to crash into walls and people's faces is pretty critical to advancing the technology all the same. One company working on this problem is the team at Panoptes, which has just launched a Kickstarter campaign for eBumper4, an obstacle avoidance system that can be slapped on two of the more popular consumer drones to stop them running into things.  Read More

The air traffic control system might one day clear the air for drone delivery and other co...

In the latest move towards opening up the skies to commercial drones, NASA and aerospace company Exelis have teamed up to develop a prototype air traffic control system, according to a Reuters report.  Read More

A newly-created compound eye-inspired system may complement existing accelerometer navigat...

Most modern aircraft, cruise missiles, spacecraft – in fact, almost all flying vehicles – use an accelerometer for flight stabilization. Living creatures that fly, on the other hand, rely on their own innate sense of balance determined by environmental observation and inbuilt organ-based systems. Now French researchers have designed a bio-inspired, sight-based system that could be used in conjunction with accelerometers to vastly increase the autonomous capabilities of drones by endowing them with more natural flying abilities.  Read More

The Phantom 2 Vision+, the first true out-of-the-box stabilized camera drone (Photo: Noel ...

DJI's US$1100 Phantom 2 Vision+ is the best selling camera drone on the market – and with good reason. It's a relatively affordable, relatively friendly and relatively easy to fly quadcopter that arrives nearly fully assembled and is easy enough for a beginner to operate straight out of the box, even if we recommend you fly something cheaper first to get the hang of things. It has a decent quality, tilt-controllable camera that shoots 1080p HD video footage and 14 megapixel photos, and the camera delivers smooth footage thanks to a multi-axis stabilizing gimbal. But it has a bunch of other tricks up its sleeve. Gizmag spends a few weeks with the latest 2015 version of the #1 consumer camera drone.  Read More

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