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UAV

— Aircraft

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

Lily drone shoots video and pilots itself after being hurled into the air

By - May 12, 2015 6 Pictures

It's easy to be inspired when you see some of the aerial photography captured by drones. Perhaps inspired enough to get a camera drone of your own. But one of the hurdles in doing so (apart from the price) is learning to fly the thing, let alone capture nice shots with it. But there are a number of companies looking to break down these barriers by building drones that automate much of the piloting process. The latest to join the fray is Silicon Valley-based startup Lily, whose aircraft starts flying and snapping all by itself, all you need to do is toss it into the air.

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— Aircraft

Amazon working on drones that will deliver items to wherever you are

By - May 10, 2015 1 Picture

Drone deliveries hey? What could be more convenient than having the milk for your cereal arrive fresh each morning, or that forgotten dinner ingredient plonked down on the doorstep just as you fire up the stove? Well, details now revealed in an Amazon patent application suggest that if its Prime Air drones do materialize, they mightn't just be limited to making house calls. The application outlines plans for drones that track a customer's GPS position, flagging the possibility of having items brought to you even when you're out and about.

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— Aircraft

Roomba inventor takes robotics to the skies with consumer-focused LVL 1 Drone

By - May 4, 2015 4 Pictures

Drones may have gone mainstream, but it's not everyday that you see an entry to that marketplace from a veteran technologist with a history of popularizing clever little robot vacuum cleaners. Having already built a pair of industry-oriented drones, Roomba co-designer Helen Grainer's startup CyPhy Works has made its first flirt with the consumer space with a moderately priced six-rotor drone that takes flight with a swipe of the smartphone screen.

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— Aircraft

Ten-motor electric plane takes off

By - May 4, 2015 3 Pictures

In seeking a compromise between helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, engineers in recent years have opted for tilt rotors, but NASA has dusted off and improved on a tilt wing aircraft design that takes off and lands like a helicopter and flies like an airplane. Called the Greased Lightning, or GL-10, the unmanned prototype made a successful vertical takeoff and transition to horizontal flight at Fort A.P. Hill, not far from NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.

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— Aircraft

Could aid-carrying drones assist war-torn Syria?

By - April 30, 2015 9 Pictures
Once Syria's bustling economic center, an unrelenting barrage of artillery fire, gunfights and makeshift bombs have ravaged the city of Aleppo in the last two years. Getting food and medicine to civilians is a nearly impossible task for aid groups, but one thing Aleppo and other suffering communities in northern Syria have in their favor is the close proximity of the Turkish border. So close it is that one former US Air Force cargo pilot believes launching humanitarian drones from inside Turkey is the best chance of getting these people the help they need. Read More
— 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
— Military

X-47B completes first ever unmanned refueling exercise

By - April 23, 2015 17 Pictures
The US Navy's X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration (UCAS-D) aircraft has gone out on a high note (and added yet another acronym to the military lexicon) by conducting the first ever Autonomous Aerial Refueling (AAR) exercise. The autonomous aircraft rendezvoused with an Omega K-707 tanker plane off the coast of Maryland and Virginia, successfully taking on 4,000 lb (1,814 kg) of jet fuel as it completed the project's final test objective. Read More

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