Computational creativity and the future of AI

Quadcopter

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

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 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

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

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 micro-flyer scouts the hallways of the USS Shadwell (Photo: CMU)

This week, the US Office of Naval Research released details regarding a demo of its Shipboard Autonomous Firefighting Robot (SAFFiR) conducted last November. The robot, as its name implies, is designed to help human crews fight fires in the close confines of naval vessels. In order to get to those fires quicker, SAFFiR may ultimately receive some help itself from an autonomous drone, that was also part of the demonstration.  Read More

Up to 450 customers in three Chinese cities are receiving their tea via quadcopter (Photo:...

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd beat Amazon to the punch this Wednesday, by beginning actual deliveries-by-drone. The three-day, three-city test of the system began in Beijing, with deliveries being made from a single merchant operating through Alibaba's Amazon-like Taobao Marketplace website.  Read More

The X-Voice drone is partly controlled by voice commands (Photo:Stu Robarts/Gizmag)

Unsurprisingly, this year's Toy Fair in London saw its fair share of drones, all being touted as somehow unique. One that had a fairly solid case for that was the X-Voice from Flying Gadgets. As its name suggests, the X-Voice is controlled, in part, with voice commands.  Read More

DJI's Inspire 1 Handheld Camera Mount

Like the cameras on several other drones, the 4K/30fps unit on DJI's new Inspire 1 is gimbal-mounted. This not only allows users to remotely pan and tilt, but it also automatically keeps the camera level as the quadcopter itself tips back and forth. Now, DJI is planning on offering a handheld mount, which the Inspire 1's camera – gimbal and all – can be mounted on after being removed from the drone.  Read More

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