While there are already some truly tiny consumer drones out there, their protruding propellers still make them difficult to stuff into one’s pocket. AeriCam had been developing a model called the Anura, which featured props that folded into its sides – as a result, the whole aircraft became a pocketable rectangle. While we haven’t heard much about that one lately, Droidworx is now promising something similar in the form of its Blu quadcopter.
As the latest in Parrot's line of smartphone-operated drones, the Bebop boasts a number of improvements over the AR.Drone 2.0 including a better camera, longer range, and an optional joystick-based controller. We put the Bebop in the hands of several quadcopter neophytes, tested it indoors (which is supposedly one of its strengths), and enlisted its 14-megapixel camera to capture some aerial footage. We also powered on Parrot's new Skycontroller, which adds physical controls and a more powerful Wi-Fi antenna for extended big range and potential FPV fun. So how did it perform?
Swiss Post and Swiss World Cargo (the air freight division of Swiss International Air Lines) have joined the likes of Amazon, GeoPost and Alibaba
by taking concrete steps toward using drones for deliveries. This week,
the corporations announced that they have teamed up with
California-based Matternet to trial several of its Matternet ONE cargo quadcopters.
It seems like not a day goes by without another announcement
of a new quadcopter drone. Needless to say, that makes it very hard to
stand out in this
crowded field ... unless your product features something truly unique.
With that in mind, Mobile Recon Systems has announced a Kickstarter
campaign starting July 10, for a new super-sized quadrotor drone with
three camera mounts.
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
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?
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.
A couple of years ago, UK-based product designer Witek Mielniczek turned to Kickstarter to fund B – a combination radio-controlled car and quadcopter.
Its ability to both fly through the air and drive along the ground was
certainly intriguing, although its ability to traverse rough terrain
wasn't necessarily phenomenal. That's why he's now created B-Unstoppable, which swaps wheels for neoprene tank-like treads.
Micro-drones may be versatile in the air, but carry one in your pocket or bag and you run the risk of damaging its propellers. While carry cases are available for a number of models, some are catering to the micro-drone class with arms that fold away for safe storage. Two Swiss roboticists are the latest to take this approach, with a palm-sized quadcopter that spreads its wings and springs to life in less than a second.