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Quadcopter

— Aircraft

DJI's new Matrice 100 drone avoids obstacles and flies for 40 minutes at a time

By - June 8, 2015 10 Pictures

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.

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Yeair! hybrid gasoline/electric quadcopter boasts impressive numbers

By - May 26, 2015 14 Pictures

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?

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Nano Tornado drone swaps props for ducted fans

By - May 25, 2015 2 Pictures

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.

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B-Unstoppable combines a mini tank and a drone

By - May 20, 2015 5 Pictures

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.

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Origami-inspired drone snaps open to take flight

By - May 20, 2015 2 Pictures

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.

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Hydrogen-powered Hycopter quadcopter could fly for 4 hours at a time

By - May 19, 2015 3 Pictures

When people suggest possible uses for electric multicopter drones, it frequently seems like they're forgetting something – presently, most such aircraft can only fly for a maximum of around 25 minutes per battery charge. Horizon Energy Systems, however, is developing a quadcopter that should do a lot better. Known as the Hycopter, the fuel cell-powered drone is hoped to be capable of 4-hour flight times once completed.

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— Aircraft

PhoneDrone gives your smartphone wings

By - April 28, 2015 6 Pictures
Your smartphone already has a powerful processor and multiple sensors, so why pay for all those things over again when buying a drone? That's the thinking behind the PhoneDrone, which utilizes its user's smartphone as its brains. Kind of like a flying version of the Romo or SmartBot robots, it requires users to dock their phone into it for each use. That approach helps keep its price down ... and also serves as an added incentive not to crash the thing. Read More
— Aircraft

Lockheed Martin's drones widen the net for search and rescue missions

By - April 27, 2015 1 Picture
Spreading eyeballs as widely as possible can make all the difference in the early stages of search and rescue operations. With the recent rise of drones, this has come to include getting eyes up into the sky to give some first responders an aerial perspective. The latest move to enhance search and rescue efforts comes from Lockheed Martin, which will team up with non-profit Project Lifesaver to help locate people with cognitive disorders that wander away from their home. Read More
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