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UAV

The air traffic control system might one day clear the air for drone delivery and other co...

In the latest move towards opening up the skies to commercial drones, NASA and aerospace company Exelis have teamed up to develop a prototype air traffic control system, according to a Reuters report.  Read More

The Splash Drone can land on the water, to shoot beneath the surface

Just a few months ago we heard about the HexH2o, a waterproof hexacopter that can shoot both aerial and underwater footage. While it looks like it could be a lot of fun, its US$3,658 price tag certainly isn't for everyone. If you don't mind a drone with two fewer propellers, however, Urban Drones' just-announced Splash Drone offers a much less expensive alternative.  Read More

Drones are already proving incredibly efficient at aerial mapping on building sites, but a...

Over time we have gotten used to machines assuming certain roles in society, but even at the dawn of the the age of robotics, some types of skilled labor still seem beyond their reach. After all, how does a machine wield a hammer and overcome the perpetual problem-solving involved in putting together a house or a high-rise? While we might be some ways off from watching buildings sprout out of the ground at the push of a button, flying robots are already carrying out surveying and mapping tasks on construction sites from the US to Japan. But leading researchers are adamant that when it comes to automating the building industry, these machines have more to offer.  Read More

An air traffic controller advises a drone, using the experimental system (Photo: RMIT Univ...

If autonomous delivery drones are ever going to see widespread use, then they can't simply fly around with no regard for other aircraft. In recent projects, drone operators had to file flight plans in advance. Researchers from Australia's RMIT University have gone a step farther, however. They've developed a system that lets drones communicate with air traffic controllers using a synthesized voice.  Read More

The SkyProwler ready for some speed, with its quadcopter props retracted

Arizona-based start-up Krossblade is developing a five-passenger "flying car"-type vehicle known as the SkyCruiser. Among other things, plans call for it to take off and land like a quadcopter, while transitioning to faster, more efficient fixed-wing flight while en route. Will you ever be able to buy one? Well, that's hard to say, but if Krossblade's current Kickstarter campaign is a success, you will soon be able to buy a functioning miniature prototype known as the SkyProwler.  Read More

NoFlyZone.org is aimed at preventing unwanted drones flying over your home (Photo: Nick La...

About the only thing growing quicker than the number of privately owned drones is the level of concern surrounding them. Questions of privacy and how these things can be regulated are pretty well-founded, but are so far yet to be met with any convincing answers. NoFlyZone.org may go some way to providing a solution, allowing users to enter their address to create drone-free zones in the airspace over their homes.  Read More

How drones can be prevented from crashing into things, or at least in a way that doesn't p...

Some are calling it the World Cup for Drones, while the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has simply labeled it the Drones For Good award. Whichever way you spin it, offering up US$1 million in prize money is sure to bring out great ideas from all corners of the globe. The international competition seeks to emphasize the positive capabilities of drones and on Saturday, a team of Swiss technologists took out first prize with a vehicle that flies protected by a spinning cage, helping it to better travel through confined spaces.  Read More

Up to 450 customers in three Chinese cities are receiving their tea via quadcopter (Photo:...

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

DJI has announced a new firmware update that disables drones flying within a 15.5 mile (25...

Following the crash-landing of a drone on the grounds of the White House last week, the Chinese manufacturer of said drone, DJI, has released new firmware to prevent overzealous pilots flying UAVs anywhere near 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Available to download now for owners of the company's popular Phantom 2 drones, the update signals a willingness from the company to work with regulators to clear the air for safer drone flight.  Read More

The Drones For Good award sees US$1 million up for grabs

The word "drone" is synonymous with autonomous military aircraft that hail down death and destruction from on high. But the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is looking to highlight the humanitarian potential of the technology with its Drones For Good competition. Entrants include vehicles that detect landmines, plant trees and service slums all in the hunt for the industry's most prestigious (and probably only) prize, with the inaugural first place winner set to be announced next week to take home US$1 million.  Read More

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