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Quadcopter

ESA's prototype dropship attached to a mock lander (Photo: Airbus Defence & Space)

The ESA has tested a novel system that may allow the agency to safely land rovers on Mars using a quadcopter-like dropship. A fully automated, proof of concept Skycrane prototype was created over the course of eight months under the ESA's StarTiger program, with the system's hardware largely derived from commercially available quadcopter components.  Read More

Thanks to an app update, the DJI Phantom 2 Vision and Vision+ are now able to follow pre-p...

You could almost say that the DJI Phantom is to consumer drones what the GoPro Hero is to actioncams – not the first or the cheapest, but certainly among the best-known. One thing that the Phantom has lacked in comparison to some of its competitors, however, is the ability to fly on its own. Well, it's now able to do that too, thanks to the addition of the Ground Station feature to its existing camera app.  Read More

The Skyteboard drone is designed to integrate with the Fatdoor social network to bring com...

When we have unmanned aerial vehicles zipping about delivering school textbooks and burritos, drones that bring neighborhoods closer together doesn't sound like the most radical idea. But combining them with a social network could have impacts beyond enabling more efficient shipping services, at least in the eyes of software and robotics company Fatdoor. This week it launched a crowdfunding campaign for Skyteboard, an internet-connected quadcopter designed to take community spirit to the next level.  Read More

Google's Project Tango lets this simple quadrotor autonomously navigate its environment

We’ve seen a lot of eye- and brain-catching robotics fun from the GRASP lab at the University of Pennsylvania, including a swarm of nano quadrotors playing the James Bond theme and a quadcopter swooping raptor-like onto prey. Dr. Vijay Kumar now gives us proof of concept of the utility of Google’s Project Tango in aerial systems by outfitting a quadrotor with the device to provide autonomous navigational capabilities.  Read More

Parrot's upcoming Bebop Drone

Fans of Parrot's AR.Drone quadcopter have been anticipating the arrival of the AR.Drone 3.0 for the past couple of years, but it now looks like the next major addition to the French company's fleet is going to take the form of a little something known as the Bebop Drone. Among its improvements over the AR.Drone 2.0 are a better camera, longer range, and an optional joystick-based controller.  Read More

The drones will be used to speed inspection of the easyJet fleet (Photo: easyJet)

Airliners aren't the cheapest form of transportation to run – not the least because of the costs run up by the detailed inspections required by safety regulations on a regular basis. easyJet and Bristol Robotics Laboratory have announced that they've entered into a partnership to adapt drones for inspecting easyJet’s fleet of 220 Airbus aircraft as part of a larger package of technological innovations designed to make inspections between flights faster and more efficient.  Read More

The 3D-printing robotic quadcopter hovers over its target (Photo: Aerial Robotics Lab)

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.  Read More

The Arcturus Jump system is designed to give UAVs VTOL capability without the weight penal...

Fixed-wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicles have a lot of advantages over manned aircraft, but much of that is lost when they get too big to be launched by hand and start needing runways and catapults to get aloft. Vertical Takeoff and Landing systems seem like an obvious alternative, but the extra weight of these systems can limit the advantages they offer. Arcturus UAV in Northern California unveiled its solution this week with its Jump VTOL system. Using self-contained electric lift motors, this add-on system is designed to provide tactical UAVs with VTOL capabilities without the usual penalties of payload and range.  Read More

The newly-announced Phantom 2 Vision+

Last November, DJI Innovations released its Phantom 2 Vision quadcopter. Unlike the base Phantom copter, this one featured its own motorized HD video camera that could be remotely tilted by the user. Now, DJI has announced the Phantom 2 Vision+. Its camera has a three-axis electronic stabilizer, which keeps the shot steady regardless of changes in pitch, roll or yaw.  Read More

The UAE is planning to use drones to deliver official government documents (Photo: Shutter...

The United Arab Emirates is set to deploy unmanned drones to deliver official government documents such as driving licenses and identity cards within a year, according to a report from Reuters.  Read More

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