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.
Sony Mobile, the wholly owned Sony subsidiary formerly known as Sony Ericsson, is going upwardly mobile by teaming up with Japanese robotics firm ZMP to launch a drone company. Aerosense Inc. will launch next month and target enterprise customers with a focus on the internet of things applications.
The California State Fair played host to an unconventional but increasingly popular type of sporting event last week. The first international drone racing contest invited budding pilots from all around the globe to battle it out for the inaugural US National Championship and a slice of US$25,000 in cash prizes.
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?
One weekend each July, 1,500 people from rural area of Wise County, Virginia descend on the local fairgrounds for a once yearly medical clinic. Here they seek attention for unique conditions that go untreated for the rest of the year due to lack of access to proper healthcare. In years gone by, medical supplies would be brought into the town by truck, but this year things will be working a little differently. Startup Flirtey has teamed up with NASA to conduct an FAA approved exercise to deliver some of these items by drone. This is a good news for a startup trying to spread its wings, but even better news for rural folk who instead of waiting days for urgently needed medication will have their prescriptions filled in just half an hour. And as Flirtey CEO Matt Sweeney tells Gizmag, it could be the "Kitty Hawk" moment the drone delivery industry has been longing for.
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.
From the pure fun to the potentially world-changing, we continue to find exciting new reasons to put drones in the sky. But one of the most compelling is the blossoming world of drone photography, where vehicles hover with ever-improving camera gear open up new perspectives on the world around us. Dronestagram has just held its second annual drone photography competition and it's no surprise the judges had no shortage of stunning images to choose from.
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.
While Amazon continues testing out its drone delivery service in North America, Israel-based Flytrex is already offering delivery drones and a 3G-based platform to send and receive small packages via a connected app. The company claims the Flytrex Sky, which was announced last week, is the first cloud-connected drone carrying an on-board 3G module designed to track the UAV and keep it jacked into the internet while in flight.
There are already quite a few camera-equipped quadcopters that can be
used for shooting aerial video. According to Japanese startup RcRebel,
however, that type of drone moves too robotically to capture really
fluid footage. That's why the company created the BlackOps tricopter,
which is claimed to fly more like Superman than like a robot.