Programmable, do-it-yourself drones are fun. They're cool. But the thought of building one and getting started with flying and programming it can be super intimidating. Skyworks Aerial Systems hopes that its Eedu kit will change that perception. Eedu can be assembled in half an hour with a few simple tools (no soldering required) and it comes with a drag-and-drop development environment that's meant to allow kids and hobbyists alike to be up and running with custom drone applications in a flash.
There are already quite a few camera-equipped quadcopters that can be
used for shooting aerial video. According to Japanese startup RcRebel,
however, that type of drone moves too robotically to capture really
fluid footage. That's why the company created the BlackOps tricopter,
which is claimed to fly more like Superman than like a robot.
Small, palm-sized quadcopters have a certain appeal within the increasingly cramped drone market. They're portable, low-risk and are generally an inexpensive way for rookie pilots to learn the ropes. But these pint-sized robots have their shortcomings. In developing its new Micro Drone 3.0, UK company Extreme Fliers has set out to work features typically found in high-end drones into a smaller package, namely HD video stabilized by a tiny gimbal and compatibility with Google cardboard VR for first-person view flying.
Chad Nowak describes himself as an aviation nutter. For 25 years he's been flying remote controlled aircraft and full-sized sail planes, fuelled by a fascination for anything that glides through the air. But this interest went up a notch when he came across a Youtube video of an emerging sport known as FPV (first person view) drone racing. Fast forward 12 months and his home in Queensland, Australia, is covered in half-built quadcopters and loose parts. Last weekend, Nowak flew to Melbourne to take on like-minded racers in an abandoned warehouse on the outskirts of the city.
Getting to grips with piloting a drone can involve a steep and expensive learning curve. How these vehicles can be made to avoid crashing into stuff is a question that has plagued the technology from the outset. But the world's largest drone maker DJI says it has now developed a solution. Simply called Guidance, its obstacle avoidance system integrates with its new developer-focused Matrice 100 quadcopter and promises to make busted rotor-blades a thing of the past.
We've already seen floating fish finders that transmit readings from out on the water, plus we've also seen waterproof quadcopters
... so perhaps it shouldn't be surprising that someone has combined the
two. Created by San Diego-based inventor Daniel Marion, the AguaDrone
can first tell you where the fish are, and then fly your lure to that
GoPro CEO Nick Woodman has confirmed long-swirling rumors that his company will tap into the fast-growing drone market, outlining plans to launch its own quadcopter in 2016. Making the announcement at the Code Conference in California on Wednesday, Woodman also spoke of a spherical six-camera array that could capture content for virtual reality applications.
One hour of flight time, a top speed of 100 km/h (62 mph), a payload of 5 kg (11 lb) – these are big figures for a drone, and figures that are basically out of reach using today's LiPo battery technology. But German startup Yeair! believes it's possible using a hybrid system in which each rotor is driven by two motors – an electric, and a two-stroke 10cc gasoline engine. And the Yeair! team has its sights set on something even more impressive down the track – personal flight in a two-seater hybrid octocopter. The quadcopter of the future, according to German startup Yeair!, will eclipse the performance of current quads by using the fuel of the future… Gasoline. Wait, what?
While there's a great deal of excitement surrounding the concept of autonomous delivery drones, the aircraft would
likely all utilize GPS to navigate – and GPS satellites aren't always
available. That's why Prof. Martinez Carranza has developed a new drone
navigation system, that's based purely on visual observations.
Although personal drones are becoming increasingly popular, a lot of
people are still understandably intimidated by their exposed propellers.
Not only can those whirling blades hurt people, but they also regularly
get damaged in crashes. That's why Pasadena, California-based Polyhelo
created the Nano Tornado. It's a quadcopter, but instead of open props
it utilizes four ducted fans.