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Remote Control

The dragon can shoot fire three feet while on the ground

A couple of years ago, a man named Rick Hamel created one of the most insane remote-controlled flying machines you'll ever witness. No, it's not an airplane or helicopter, or anything that mundane. Instead, he created a dragon that actually shoots fire and reaches airborne speeds of up to 70 mph (112.6 km/h). Now, this beast is actually for sale via Hammacher Schlemmer, with a staggering US$60,000 price tag.  Read More

The SPHERES robots were put through a simulated follow-the-leader exercise (Image: NASA)

Controlling a robot in space from the ground can be a bit like hitting a moving target. There’s a one to three second delay as data passes back and forth between the robot and ground control, which means that operators have to anticipate how the robots will move during these delays. This week, the Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center (ATC) announced the first-ever demonstration of collaborative tele-operations that involved control of robots on the International Space Station (ISS) by astronauts on the ISS and operators on the ground.  Read More

Rendering of the robot ship of the future

Running away to sea has been a dream of escape for centuries, but unless you plan to be a tap dancer on a cruise ship, that door may be closing. In a report on the future of cargo shipping, Rolls-Royce Vice President for Innovation, Engineering and Technology, Oskar Levander, outlines a vision for a time not far from now when freighters and other ships are unmanned robots that cruise the oceans under remote control by shore based captains.  Read More

The SuperDroid snow plow in action

In the southeast United States, snow storms are as about as common as canoes on Mount Everest, which is what makes the current task of digging the region out from under the recent deposit of the white stuff so irksome. To aid the inexperienced snow shoveler, SuperDroid of Raleigh, North Carolina is selling a remote-controlled robotic snow plow that allows you to clear the drive while sitting where it’s warm with a cup of cocoa.  Read More

The HISY lets you take smartphone photos, without holding the phone

Like 'em or not, it looks like selfies are here to stay. Using the just-released HISY, however, they don't have to possess that "I'm holding my phone out at the end of my arm" look. It's a simple Bluetooth device that lets you prop your smartphone up and get out in front of it, then remotely trigger the phone's camera once you're in place. I recently got my hands on a HISY, and gave it a try.  Read More

The My N3RD smart switch from Wild Hare LLC

Opening garage doors using a smartphone is certainly nothing new. Nor, for that matter, is remotely operating a light switch or kitchen appliance. The My N3RD, however, is claimed capable of turning just about any device switch into a smartphone-controlled, user-programmable smart switch.  Read More

The Pocket Drone, prior to being folded up

The original DJI Phantom quadcopter is now priced below US$500, and it's designed to carry a GoPro camera. However, while the copter could conceivably be stuffed into a backpack, doing so might be a little ... awkward. That's why the guys at San Diego-based AirDroids created the Pocket Drone. It squeaks in under the $500 mark and is made to carry a GoPro, but it also folds down for easy transport. What's more, its battery runtime is about twice that of the Phantom.  Read More

The Phantom FC40 is one of two quadcopters recently introduced by DJI

Last year right around this time, DJI Innovations released its original Phantom quadcopter. The fact that the aircraft was designed to carry a GoPro camera made it quite popular. Then in November, the company started selling the Phantom 2 Vision model, which features its own built-in Wi-Fi-controlled HD camera. It's pretty awesome, but at US$1,199 it's priced $720 more than the base Phantom. Now, DJI has introduced two new models that occupy the middle ground between those two price points.  Read More

Gizmag looks back at the top five drone stories of 2013

Although aerial drones been around in one form or another since World War I, it hasn’t really been until the last decade that they’ve really taken off, so to speak. Where they were once restricted to a spot of battlefield reconnaissance, in addition to military applications, drones are now used for everything from agriculture to oil prospecting and by everyone from rescue workers to real estate agents. Although the technological advances and proliferation of drones has accelerated over the past decade, 2013 was the year that the technology really entered the public consciousness. So let’s have a look back at Gizmag’s pick of the top drone stories of 2013.  Read More

The new-and-improved PowerUp 3.0

Early this year we first heard about PowerUp 3.0, a kit that converts an ordinary paper airplane into a powered, smartphone-controlled flying aircraft. Inventor Shai Goitein has made some improvements to the product since then, and recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to finance its large-scale production. At the time of this posting, he's exceeded his funding goal by over 960 percent.  Read More

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