If you're in the business of making drones for photography, it takes a bit to stand out from the crowd these days. Drone-mounted cameras are only getting better
, and the vehicles themselves are only becoming more capable
of accommodating higher quality lenses and equipment. Freefly Systems is looking to add another element to the airborne filmmaking mix with a professional-grade UAV that can fly with a camera above its body.
Researchers from the Vancouver Aquarium and the US-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have begun using drones to keep tabs on endangered killer whales off the west coast of the continent. The technology is giving the researchers a fresh perspective on the well-being of the animals, and provides yet another example of how UAVs are giving rise to new means of conservation.
We've seen drones designed to deliver Wi-Fi
, but your favorite music? That's what Spotify and Belgian mobile operator Base have done, enlisting UAVs to deliver personalized music to festival goers across Belgium last month.
If you watch almost any video promoting a consumer drone, chances are you'll see the aircraft flying along above a moving motorbike rider, snowboarder or other fast-moving athlete. It makes for some impressive aerial footage of the person, but also requires a fair bit of piloting skill. Additionally, if you buy one of those drones, you'll end up shooting other
people doing those things – what if you want footage of yourself? Well, that's where the HEXO+ hexacopter comes in. It autonomously flies above its user, shooting video of them as they do their thing.
The swiftlet may not look much different than other little birds, but it has one unique ability – it builds its nest out of its own saliva. Inspired by the swiftlet, scientists at Imperial College London's Aerial Robotics Lab have created a robotic quadcopter that can extrude polyurethane foam while in flight. By targeting where that foam goes, it can build up simple structures, essentially becoming a flying 3D printer. The technology could have some very important applications.
University textbooks can be quite expensive to purchase, so Australian startup Zookal now offers an increasingly popular option – textbook rentals. The problem is, some of the money that students save by renting just goes into shipping charges for the rented books. That's why Zookal has joined with another Ozzie startup, Flirtey, to offer free textbook delivery by drone.
What do you get when you cross a hexacopter with a hexapod? A hexacopterpod? Hexapodcopter? Hexahexapopter? Whatever it’s called, it’s pretty cool and it comes courtesy of a couple of some industrious lads at Mad Lab Industries. After first attempting to get a quadrocopter and hexapod to mate by throwing them in a closet and cranking the Barry White, the team finally found success with a more engineering-based approach.