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One of Prof. Mohseni's 'hurricane drones'

When we think of aircraft that study hurricanes, most of us probably either picture powerful manned airplanes that fly straight through them, or perhaps unmanned drones that fly safely over them. The University of Florida’s Prof. Kamran Mohseni has something else in mind, however. He’s developing tiny unmanned aircraft – and submarines – that will be swept up with the hurricane, gathering data on the strength and path of the storm as they go.  Read More

Falkor Systems has developed a dance piece in which a human dancer performs with an autono...

New York City-based robotics developer Falkor Systems is working on autonomous flying robots that could fly alongside extreme athletes, shooting video of their exploits in the process. Beyond that, however, the company envisions a day in which such machines may hover around everyday people, acting as their assistants and perhaps even becoming their “friends.” In a demonstration of how such a relationship could be possible, Falkor recently used an augmented AR Drone quadcopter to take part in a modern dance performance with a human partner.  Read More

Aeryon Labs recently unveiled its latest compact UAV, the SkyRanger, which deploys within ...

Many UAV drones have issues when it comes to strong winds and adverse weather, but if you're a soldier needing a birds-eye view, you don't always have time to wait for the sky to clear up. Aeryon Labs' SkyRanger UAV deploys from a backpack within seconds and boasts a new airframe that can remain aloft in high winds and extreme temperatures.  Read More

The Triton making its first flight (Photo: US Navy)

It’s been a busy month for UAVs with some launching from aircraft carriers and others saving lives. Now, the US Navy’s latest unmanned Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft, the MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System, has taken to the skies. This Wednesday, the 47.6-foot (14.5-m) aircraft, powered by a Rolls-Royce AE 3007 turbofan engine, took off from Palmdale, California. It was under the control of Navy and Northrop Grumman personnel, as part of a series of tests to certify the system for fleet operations.  Read More

UAV helicopter used to hunt oil in Norway

Like an army, science needs the high ground. This is true when it comes to oil exploration and especially so in the rugged landscape of Norway. The Virtual Outcrop Geology (VOG) group at the Norwegian Centre for integrated petroleum research (CIPR) is working to capture this vantage point in a distinctly 21st century way, by using UAVs to seek out oil by helping geologists build 3D models of the terrain.  Read More

X-47B  flies over the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) (Photo: US  Navy cour...

Naval aviation history was made today, as an autonomous unmanned aircraft took off from a US Navy nuclear aircraft carrier in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia. The X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System demonstrator (UCAS-D) took to the air from the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) and is part of a program to develop carrier-based unmanned combat aircraft capable of carrying out missions according to pre-programmed instructions rather than being under constant control by a ground-based pilot.  Read More

The Ion Tiger UAV completes its record-breaking flight

Back in 2009, the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) set an endurance record for electric unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) when its fuel cell-powered Ion Tiger aircraft managed to stay aloft for 26 hours and 1 minute. Now, NRL has announced that the same aircraft has trounced that record, by remaining in flight for 48 hours and 1 minute.  Read More

Draganfly Innovations' X4-P quadcopter, which is similar to the model used in the rescue

While we hear a lot about the ways in which hovering aerial drones can potentially be used to violate peoples’ privacy, it’s always nice to know that they can help us, too. That was the case last Thursday (May 9th), when RCMP from the Canadian city of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan used a remotely-operated quadcopter to locate the victim of a single-vehicle rollover, which occurred in the countryside at near-freezing temperatures.  Read More

Researchers have developed a quadcopter that can attach to walls and ceilings with a dry a...

Micro UAVs that have the ability to slip into tight spaces, including inside buildings, have wide ranging military and search and rescue applications. To reach their full potential, however, these UAVs are going to need to learn how to land in rougher areas that don't always have a horizontal surface to touch down on. One team of scientists has begun taking a huge step towards accomplishing just that by developing a quadcopter with a mechanism that allows it to land on walls or ceilings, stay for a while, and then take off again.  Read More

A flying drone will be delivering beer at this year's Oppikoppi music festival in South Af...

Until now, a beer dropping out of the sky into the middle of a party has been a feat that only existed in TV commercials. Thanks to Darkwing Aerials though, attendees at the Oppikoppi music festival in South Africa can fulfill the dream of beer lovers everywhere and have a fresh brew delivered to them from above with the help of a flying drone.  Read More

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