If your quadcopter flying skills are not quite up to scratch, a new drone might be worth more investigation as it has been equipped with a patented protective shell frame designed to keep both the pilot safe and prevent catastrophic damage to the quadcopter.
Designed by Advanced Aerodynamics the durable drone is also equipped with virtual reality capabilities and due to weighing less than one pound. Its expected to be exempt from the new federal regulations requiring owners to register their drone before flight.
When 3D Robotics announced its Solo quadcopter, one of the more intriguing features was an accessory bay. Instead of opening up the Solo and wiring in, or screwing on an accessory (as is common with hobby drones — including the ubiquitous Phantom 2), you would simply “plug and play.” Until now, that’s all we really knew, but today the company is announcing “Made for Solo” — a program that will standardize, and encourage the development of third-party accessories for the self-proclaimed “smart drone.” If you make infrared cameras, for example, you could make a version just for Solo and have it work seamlessly with the drone’s GPS and smart flight modes. Basically, any gadget, sensor or product that could squeeze into, and be lifted by, a quadcopter could be integrated into the Solo as if it were native to the product.
More official information here:
The proposed regulatory framework can be downloaded here (PDF, 41 pages):
While the US rules seem to be quite restrictive, complex and drone adverse the EU ruleset at least partially aims to balance better between conflicting interests (freedom for RC hobbyists vs aviation safety vs public privacy).
The ruleset acknowledges the economic importance of drones, their innovation potential, the fragmentation of the industry as well as the diversity how drones are used. At least the agency seems to be willing to not lump together all these things.
Drones with built-in geofencing will produce far better results than registration by preventing problems as opposed to pointing to who might have done it after something has happened.
Jonathan B. Rupprecht is a drone lawyer and a commercial pilot with single-engine, multi-engine, and instrument ratings. He is also an airplane flight instructor and instrument flight instructor. Jonathan obtained a Bachelor of…
The US government will soon require tech enthusiasts to register their drones with the Department of Transportation (DOT) to crack down on reckless flying.
The DOT, which supervises the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) still needs to figure out the specifics of, including which drones will be included, how users will register the devices, and whether the policy will apply to devices that have already been sold. The DOT hopes to have the registration process up and running by Christmas 2015.
US regulators have…
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Student engineers from ETH Zurich are preparing to fly their world-record breaking solar plane over the Amazon rainforest.
The team is fitting its AtlantikSolar unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for a 400 kilometer, 12 hour, flight as it seeks to push the endurance limits of solar planes.
The fixed-wing 6.8 kilogram AtlantikSolar will be fitted with a variety of cameras and atmospheric sensors.
AtlantikSolar’s most recent landmark was achieved while carrying no payload this July. The team broke the flight endurance world record for any aircraft below 50 kilograms by flying continuously on solar powered batteries for 81.5 hours (over four days and three nights) in Zurich.
As a weapon, it is coming, no doubt. And, as a commercial tool, what might be called “streaming drones” in a series of co-ordinated flyovers.
Most drones fly high above the terrain, connected to their human operators, alone, one by one for now. The main beneficiary of this semi-unmanned technology has been the army so far. Fly alone, identify the target, controlled from the center the get the green light to launch the missile.
The autonomous drone of the future are independent and no longer alone, instead, fly and swim in groups. Just like locusts, we’ll have swarms of drones, communicating to each other and surrounding environment, like a mobile network of connected robots.
Wow! Mr. Phelps, this drone will self-destruct in 60 seconds.
WINGS THAT MELT ARE A FEATURE, NOT A BUG
Sometimes, the best things are those that can be easily left behind. For rescue missions, whether battlefield or natural disaster, DARPA envisions using lightweight, cheap, and expendable single-use drones that can carry supplies to those in need and, once their mission is complete, fall apart into disposable uselessness. Building on VAPR, which wanted electronics that fell apart on command or when introduced to water, DARPA’s new ICARUS program reaches for the sky and hopes to fall apart before it gets there.
ICARUS is an acronym for “Inbound, Controlled, Air-Releasable, Unrecoverable Systems,” but it’s also the tragic subject of a Greek myth. As the story goes, the young Icarus and his father Daedalus escaped from a prison by building wings from wax and feathers. Shortly after, Icarus ignored his father’s warnings and flew too close to the sun; his wings melted…
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