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Quadcopter

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

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

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

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

The 3D printers of today can produce objects that may be quite intricate in shape but, by and large, these objects are still made solely of "dumb" plastic. This may be about to change thanks to the Voxel8, a printer presented at CES that makes it much easier to blend plastic, conductive ink and other electronic components in the same object to manufacture highly customizable devices, such as your very own quadcopter. Read More
It was just this June that we heard about the HEXO+ and AirDog drones, which were two of the first consumer multicopters to offer a Follow function – that's the ability to track the location of their user, and fly along above them. Since then, models including the Iris+ and Zano have come out with the same feature. Now, Chinese/American company Ehang is successfully raising production funds for its Follow-equipped GoPro-toting Ghost Drone. Developed in partnership with Duke University, not only is the quadcopter able to track and film its user, but it's also reportedly easier to fly than its competitors. Read More
Both Google and Belgium's Katholieke Universiteit Leuven are working on drone-based delivery projects that utilize UAVs which take off and land vertically, but that can also tip sideways to transition into fast and efficient fixed-wing flight. If you're thinking that it would be neat to purchase a consumer drone that could do the same thing – combining the hovering capability of a quadcopter with the speed of a "flying wing"-type plane – a new one may soon be available, in the form of the X PlusOne. Read More
The silly season is well and truly upon us again and with it comes the challenge of selecting a suitable gift for tech-loving friends and family. The options are a little overwhelming, but Gizmag's editorial team has sifted through 2014's most innovative and, in some cases, odd product offerings in an effort to help. Read More
One of the world's largest photographic retailers is now getting into the camera-equipped drone market, with Adorama announcing its Aries Blackbird X10 quadcopter. Among other things, the little copter shoots 1080p/30fps video, captures 16-megapixel stills, and has a flight time of 25 minutes per charge of its 5,300-mAh lithium-polymer battery. Read More
You've gotta hand it to Kaman's K-MAX UAS unmanned helicopter ... it's been used to deliver cargo in a combat zone, it's set altitude and payload weight records for airdrops, and it's been part of an autonomous air/ground mission. Now it's teamed up with a quadcopter in an exercise which suggests that the two could be used to fight forest fires, without endangering human pilots. Read More
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