Raymond's California-based company Solar Flight has released details of its fourth solar-powered aircraft, the Sunstar. The airplane has been designed for unmanned flight, though a human pilot version is also an option, and is reported to have more performance potential than any other projects currently under development, with greater flight speeds in a turbulence-tolerant design.
Since its first flight in June 2002 and introduction to the US Navy in 2005, the ScanEagle UAV developed by Boeing subsidiary Insitu has received a steady stream of improvements, including a short-wave infrared (SWIR) camera
and Synthetic Aperture Radar
(SAR), and clocked up over 800,000 combat flight hours over land and sea. Now Insitu has announced the next generation of the platform in the form of the ScanEagle 2.
If there's anything we can take from the barrage of delivery drones
to emerge recently, its that the technology has the potential to transport objects with unprecedented efficiency. Graduate student Alec Momont from Holland's Delft University of Technology is looking to tap into this ability to reduce emergency response times to cardiac arrest incidents. His Ambulance Drone prototype carries a defibrillator to the scene and promises to dramatically increase the rate of survival.
Turbulence can be unpleasant enough for passengers in full-sized aircraft, but it's even more of a challenge for unmanned micro air vehicles
(MAVs) – a good gust can blow one of the little drones completely off course, or even cause it to crash. That's why a team from RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, has looked to birds for a solution. The result is a system that detects turbulence before
it buffets the MAV, allowing the aircraft to anticipate it and thus maintain a smoother flight. The technology could also be applicable to regular airplanes.
Over the last ten years, a new type of malaria has been on the rise in the forests of Southeast Asia, and experts are turning to new technologies to try and figure out why. By using drones to observe the environment from above, researchers are gaining a new perspective on how changes to the terrain may be impacting local wildlife and causing the spread of the disease.
Back in April, we first heard about a 3D-printed UAV airframe
that could be fabricated within 24 hours. Created by a Boeing-assisted team at the University of Sheffield's Advanced Manufacturing Research Center, it was a gliding prototype that would require the addition of a motor and an external propeller for powered flight. Its recently-announced successor, however, features integrated electric ducted fan motors.
We've seen drones designed to deliver Wi-Fi
, but your favorite music? That's what Spotify and Belgian mobile operator Base have done, enlisting UAVs to deliver personalized music to festival goers across Belgium last month.
As is so often the case when it comes to rapidly evolving technologies, the law is struggling to keep up with the surge in popularity of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). In an attempt to pave the way for commercial, philanthropic, and civil use of small UAVs in the US and around the world, a number of players in the field have teamed up to form the Small UAV Coalition.
With the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) last week granting exemptions
for drone use in film production, we are guessing this won't be the last time we cover an unmanned aerial vehicle promising fresh new ways of capturing footage from above. The team behind the PlexiDrone really couldn't have timed its run any better, looking to shake things up with a snap-together drone capable of lugging a range of camera equipment along for the ride.
Nixie is a camera-equipped quadcopter designed to follow the user around taking pictures and videos on command, while conveniently wrapping around the wrist to form a bracelet when not in use.