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UAV

— Aircraft

Ghost Drone follows its user, and is controlled via their phone

By - December 31, 2014 6 Pictures
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

DJI mount lets users transfer stabilized 4K camera from drone to hand

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

CNN gets go-ahead to use drones in newsgathering

News media heavyweight CNN has reached an agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) designed to usher in the use of drones in newsgathering and reporting. CNN plans on experimenting with the vehicles in producing video content, while the government agency says the initiative will help to inform its drone policy moving forward. Read More

FAA launches campaign targeting rookie drone pilots

If you were gifted a drone for Christmas, then the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has you in its sights. It may not be in the form of long-awaited laws for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that are due later this year, but is a campaign directed at rookie pilots whose expertise may be outstripped by their unbridled enthusiasm. Read More
— Military

Northrop Grumman MQ-8C Fire Scout makes first destroyer flight

By - December 28, 2014 2 Pictures
A helicopter landing on the flightdeck of a destroyer is hardly news – unless it's the US Navy's latest Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. Northrop Grumman's MQ-8C Fire Scout became the first unmanned helicopter to operate from a US destroyer on December 16. Under guidance of the ship's ground control station, the MQ-8C made 22 takeoffs and 22 precision landings on the guided missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) off the coast of Virginia. Read More
— Aircraft

New frontiers: Drones deliver a raft of surprises in 2014

By - December 24, 2014 12 Pictures
2014 wasn’t the year that drones first entered the consumer lexicon, but it did see the notion of using these unmanned vehicles to our advantage become much more palatable. Package deliveries and carrying out conventional robotic tasks are some concepts that have defined the progress of drones in the past 12 months, but, as is typical of emerging technologies, the more their potential is realized the more they find uses in unexpected new applications. Let’s have a look over some of the year’s more surprising, yet significant, drone projects that promise to shake things up in exciting new ways. Read More
— Aircraft

Amphibious HexH2o drone shoots both aerial and underwater video

By - December 23, 2014 5 Pictures
Readers who checked out our recent article on the Seahorse human-powered airboat may have noticed something at least as impressive in the accompanying video – a camera-equipped quadcopter that can land on the water to shoot underwater footage. It's called the QuadH2o, and is made by a Thailand-based company of the same name. Now, that drone is about to be joined by a companion that sports another two propellers, along with some other extra features. It's time to say hello to the HexH2o. Read More
— Military

DARPA puts out call for super-agile UAVs

By - December 23, 2014 1 Picture
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) are the eyes in the skies for soldiers and disaster relief crews, but despite over a century of aviation progress, they still leave a lot to be desired and close quarters are very difficult for them to navigate on their own. To make UAVs more practical in debris-strewn areas, DARPA's Fast Lightweight Autonomy (FLA) program aims to develop algorithms that will allow autonomous fliers to negotiate obstacles as easily as a bird of prey. Read More
— Aircraft

X PlusOne drone hovers steady, but also flies nose-first at 60 mph

By - December 16, 2014 5 Pictures
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
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