Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

UAV

Chaotic Moon's CUPID is a drone that can taser people with an 80,000 volt shock

Last week, at SXSW, creative tech studio Chaotic Moon demonstrated CUPID, a drone equipped with an stun gun that can incapacitate people with an 80,000 volt shock. The brave intern used as a guinea pig can no doubt testify to its effectiveness. The studio says the exercise was aimed at raising awareness of the extent to which technology is outpacing our ability to regulate and live with it.  Read More

The Watchkeeper UAV has be given the go ahead for military flight tests (Photo: Richard Se...

Since first taking to the air in June 2009, trials of the UK's homegrown Watchkeeper tactical unmanned aerial vehicle have been conducted by industry partners including QinetiQ. The UK Ministry of Defence has now announced the aircraft has been awarded a Release To Service, clearing the way for flight training to begin with the Royal Artillery.  Read More

Facebook is reportedly looking to buy solar-powered drone company Titan Aerospace to help ...

Titan Aerospace's Solara, a solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicle designed to cruise at an altitude of 20 km (12.42 miles) for five years at a time, certainly got our attention back in August, and it appears to have not gone unnoticed by some of tech's bigger players either. Facebook is reportedly in talks to acquire the company with a view to using the drones as a means of providing internet access to the world's under-served regions.  Read More

DARPA's ARES consists of a VTOL flight module capable of carrying several different types ...

Helicopters are an invaluable military resource for transporting supplies, carrying out surveillance and reconnaissance, and evacuating casualties from rugged terrain. Unfortunately, they are also a finite resource. That's why DARPA is looking to share the load with the Aerial Reconfigurable Embedded System (ARES) concept, a compact, high-speed and highly-automated delivery system with vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capabilities.  Read More

The Riverview system is a symbiosis of two robots – an Autonomous Surface Vehicle (ASV) an...

The string of disastrous floods currently plaguing Britain demonstrate that managing rivers and other waterways is about more than protecting curlew nests and counting otters. To help provide a better understanding of riverine areas, a team headed by José Barata and Pedro Santana of the University of Lisbon are developing a “marsupial” robotic system called Riverwatch that teams a robotic catamaran with an on-board hexacopter to survey areas beyond the reach of the hip-boots and rubber raft brigade.  Read More

The UAE is planning to use drones to deliver official government documents (Photo: Shutter...

The United Arab Emirates is set to deploy unmanned drones to deliver official government documents such as driving licenses and identity cards within a year, according to a report from Reuters.  Read More

The Scan Eagle UAV, and the Cessna that it knew not to fly into

In a recent flight test in Australia, a Scan Eagle UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) succeeded in visually identifying an approaching Cessna aircraft, and letting its own ground-based operators know that evasive action was required. It's being hailed as a major step towards the allowance of UAVs in commercial airspace.  Read More

The Hubsan X4 FPV is likely the world's smallest quadcopter that can be flown by first-per...

It was just a few months ago that we showed you what is probably the world's smallest consumer quadcopter, the tiny Estes Proto X. Although it's a marvel of modern engineering, Gizmag writer Jonathan Fincher noted that it lacks any particularly interesting features, such as a camera. Well, late last year, Hubsan released its X4 H107D FPV. It's not much bigger than the Proto X, and it has a camera that transmits a real-time video signal to the user. When I heard about it, I knew I had to try it out.  Read More

The Pocket Drone, prior to being folded up

The original DJI Phantom quadcopter is now priced below US$500, and it's designed to carry a GoPro camera. However, while the copter could conceivably be stuffed into a backpack, doing so might be a little ... awkward. That's why the guys at San Diego-based AirDroids created the Pocket Drone. It squeaks in under the $500 mark and is made to carry a GoPro, but it also folds down for easy transport. What's more, its battery runtime is about twice that of the Phantom.  Read More

The Phantom FC40 is one of two quadcopters recently introduced by DJI

Last year right around this time, DJI Innovations released its original Phantom quadcopter. The fact that the aircraft was designed to carry a GoPro camera made it quite popular. Then in November, the company started selling the Phantom 2 Vision model, which features its own built-in Wi-Fi-controlled HD camera. It's pretty awesome, but at US$1,199 it's priced $720 more than the base Phantom. Now, DJI has introduced two new models that occupy the middle ground between those two price points.  Read More

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