Rise of the Drones
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Rise of the Drones
Investigating the future of unmanned aerial vehicles.
Curated by ddrrnt
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Get ready for virtual flight : Parrot Introduces Oculus Rift-Enabled Drone

Get ready for virtual flight : Parrot Introduces Oculus Rift-Enabled Drone | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it
Parrot's new Bebop drone is tricked out with an HD video camera, built-in GPS, an array of image-stabilizing sensors and Oculus Rift compatibility.

. . . 

Flying the drone with the Oculus headset provided a unique first-person view of the piloting experience. The effort Parrot put into image stabilization really comes through, though there was some lag in the unit we tried out.

 

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Prox Dynamics PD-100 Black Hornet

Prox Dynamics PD-100 Black Hornet | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

In a world of delicate, experimental nano-drones, the Black Hornet is the first operational system deployed. A hand-launched observation drone, it can resist gusting winds, fly for 25 minutes, and travel nearly a mile from its operator. The autopilot can follow GPS coordinates to conduct a preplanned patrol or simply hover and stare. All in a drone that weighs less than 0.6 ounces.

ddrrnt's insight:

These nano-drones are not toys.

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The drones of the future won't kill, they'll take selfies

The drones of the future won't kill, they'll take selfies | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

Today, drones blow people up. In 2020, they might take the ultimate selfies.

 

Paparazzi, the selfie drone, is one of the two concepts that emerged from frog the workshop. It's a far cry from the Predator. The craft "lets you virtually stream your entire life to all of your social networks without pulling out your phone or even lifting a finger," as the designers put it. A spherical, stabilised camera shoots pics and video from the perfect vantage point, buzzing into position to account for lighting conditions and making sure it captures you from a flattering angle every time. It's the logical conclusion of our self-shot obsessed culture. It's a little bit ridiculous, but only a little bit.

 

Whether or not we'll reach the narcissistic summit of robotically optimised selfies, Paparazzi does succeed in challenging our expectations of what drones can be and what they can do. And that was very much the point of the exercise. For the workshop, frog's designers put themselves in the year 2020, trying to imagine a landscape in which which drones had become as ubiquitous as smartphones.

 

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BeeWi's Smart Toys Put Your Smartphone in Control

BeeWi's Smart Toys Put Your Smartphone in Control | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

Like another iPad-controlled device, Parrot's popular AR.Drone, the big-wheeled ScaraBee ($149.99) lets you steer via simple on-iPad (or iPhone) controls — it connects via ad-hoc Wi-Fi — and includes a camera so you can see what the toy sees. Unlike the Drone, ScaraBee only records up to one minute of VGA video. It does drive for 15 minutes on a charge. I took the bot for a quick test drive and found the controls simple, though not entirely intuitive. I assume I'd get better with practice. The company also introduced TankBee, which connects to mobile devices via Bluetooth.


BeeWi's RC helicopters, also controlled by iOS and Android devices, do have cameras, but only the infrared sort, which they use to see other helicopters and stationary targets — the latter of which can "shoot" back. Five hits and the $119 StingBee slowly loses altitude until it lands back on the ground. There's also a $69.99 version that cannot shoot or read infrared beams.

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Spy Hawk RC Plane: Radio Controlled Gliders & Fun Video Camera Planes

Spy Hawk RC Plane: Radio Controlled Gliders & Fun Video Camera Planes | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

The Spy Hawk is a 3 channel mini glider that comes with a built in FPV (first person view) video system that sends a high quality, 5 megapixel live feed back to the 3.5” LCD screen on the transmitter. It features a state of the art stabilisation system that makes it super easy to fly, with a little practice. Simply fly the plane up to the required height, switch on the ‘autopilot’ and the built in gyro will kick-in keeping the plane level (even if a gust of wind tries to knock you off course, the various flaps with automatically adjust to compensate)! See, we told you it was awesome. With the plane actively giving you a helping hand you get to concentrate on the fun side of flying.


via RED5 Gadget Shop

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AirDroids Markets a Pocket Drone for the Everyman

AirDroids Markets a Pocket Drone for the Everyman | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

Very early adopters have had the option to buy a drone kit — with a lot of assembly required. But in a current Kickstarter campaign, the Southern California company AirDroidshopes to appeal to a broader audience with a ready-to-operate book-sized drone, aptly named Pocket Drone, that sells for a manageable $495.

Billed as a high-tech camera mount that allows users to video their hikes and bike rides, get higher angles in their shots and appear in their own family pictures, the drone weighs just one pound and folds down to fit easily in a backpack. Loaded with a half-pound camera, it can fly for up to 20 minutes at a time. (A low-battery alarm warns the user that it’s time to land.)

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Robot dragonfly DelFly Explorer flies autonomously

Robot dragonfly DelFly Explorer flies autonomously | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it

The DelFly Explorer is the first flapping wing Micro Air Vehicle that is able to fly with complete autonomy in unknown environments. Weighing just 20 grams, it is equipped with a 4-gram onboard stereo vision system. 


The DelFly Explorer can perform an autonomous take-off, keep its height, and avoid obstacles for as long as its battery lasts (~9 minutes). All sensing and processing is performed on board, so no human or offboard computer is in the loop.


http://www.delfly.nl/

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Vision Aerial SwitchBlade-Pro Maiden Flight (HD)

http://www.popsci.com.au/article/technology/crowdfund-collapsible-rc-tricopter

 

The three-rotor SwitchBlade, a small, collapsible drone that's already raised $32,810 on Kickstarter, is designed to compete with radially symmetric quadrotors in the realms of search and rescue, infrastructure inspection, aerial photography, research, and (of course) recreational flight. According to creators Vision Aerial, the tricopter has better balance while flying forward compared with a quadcopter; it's also easier to determine the orientation of an asymmetrical drone while in flight.

 

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1156811099/switchblade-tricopter-professional-grade-multicopt

The SwitchBlade comes in both regular and pro models. Neither include cameras or other special sensors right out of the box, but both have mounts for them. Both have on-board flight computers that keep the trirotor stable in the air; the pro's system allows for programmable missions. Radio controllers are included with each model. The regular SwitchBlade goes for $949 on Kickstarter, while the pro costs $1,549.

After years of quadrotor domination in the commercial drone market, we're excited to see new designs emerge. Watch some SwitchBlade-captured aerial views of a motocross track below.

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Helicopters, Quadcopters, and This Year’s Other Amazing Flying Toys

Helicopters, Quadcopters, and This Year’s Other Amazing Flying Toys | Rise of the Drones | Scoop.it
Prices given for these items reflect the listed retail price at the time of publication. Just before the holidays in 2010, I reviewed a bunch of flying toys—planes, helicopters, and UFO-like drones that could take to the air indoors and out.
ddrrnt's insight:

Nice review of all the RC copters that Santa will be delivering this Christmas. 

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