Drones News - Page 4
There are two bills sitting in the California State legislature that could change the future of drones in that state, and probably beyond. These laws, if they pass, would require you to register with the state, have a tiny physical or electronic license plate and have insurance for damage to property and for hurting people too.
The first bill is is just a requirement for a small amount of property and personal insurance should injuries or damage accidentally occurs. It might even eventually evolve as a natural extension of auto insurance, though in this case it's a small policy bought at the point you bought the drone. That bill also requires GPS enabled drones to have an auto shut-off feature enabled that'll shut drones down when they approach airports. A necessary function, unfortunately.
The second bill wants to help curb future hit and run type accidents, with a state registration system similar to what we already have for cars. This would also require pilots to leave their information, much as with a car accident, in a conspicuous place after the fact, or face legal consequences. This should help place more responsibility on the drone pilot themselves.
Claimed to be the world's smallest camera-equipped drone, Axis' new Vidius drone measures just 3cm, offers five to seven minutes flight time on an impressive 20-minute charge, and sports 420p live streaming capability courtesy of its Wi-Fi camera.
Vidius comes with a 2.4GHz four-channel controller and optional app for travel distances of up to 30m; its gyro stabilization is said to make it easy to control.
With CES 2016 incoming, Qualcomm hypes up its new Snapdragon Flight drone tech with a teaser clip.
Not content with just dominating the land with its mobile processors, the chipmakers at Qualcomm have now set their sights on the skies. Using its new tiny 58 x 40cm circuit board called Snapdragon Flight, Qualcomm aims to usher in a new generation of drones that merge convenience with high performance. The Snapdragon Flight board is pretty much a jack-of-all-trades solution that combines navigation, photography and communications hardware with the new 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 processor.
The teaser clip is short and sweet, showing off the benefits of Qualcomm's new drone-centric approach. The Snapdragon Flight board features a variety of capabilities including basic functions like 4K video recording, quick battery charging, and global navigation satellite system (GNSS) for "highly accurate location positioning". For particular feature-set, the board also supports optical flow cameras, visual-inertial odometry, motion planning, obstacle mapping, and last but not least, an autonomous pilot mode.
With drones becoming an ever-popular hobbyist item and there being a multitude of new 'pilots' expected to fly for the first time throughout this holiday season, the US Government has decided to make all owners of drones register their products with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), beginning from next week.
This regulation has been put into place thanks to various reports of drone misconduct, seeing hobbyists pilot their toys through near-misses with large-scale aircraft, police officers and private property alike. This registration will help enforce the fact that drones must remain under 400 feet in altitude, they must stay more than five miles from airports and must always be in the line of sight from the operator. The last clause is an interesting one, especially when users these days are flying drones in first-person.
Other rules state that drones must keep well away from groups of people, stadiums and sporting events. Applying to all drones which weigh between 0.55 lbs and 55lbs, the registered pilot of each drone will be issued an official certificate and registration number, with this number expected to be displayed on the drone itself.
A new drone from Japan's largest security company Secom can chase and follow intruders on property all on its own. It does it slowly, mind you (top speed is just 10km/h or 6MPH), but it's an important innovation for interested property owners, and should be plenty sufficient before the intruder becomes aware of the drone, if they do at all.
The drone flies between three and five meters above ground and can detect suspicious vehicles and people and can send photographs it takes to a monitoring center, making security much more efficient at a given facility. It's advanced enough that it will attempt to photograph license plates and faces when possible.
Remember when everyone told Ralphie in the Christmas Story he shouldn't get a BB gun because he'll just "shoot his eye out", and lo and behold, the first thing he did with his Red Ryder was blast a BB into his eye? A recent accident might make you rethink your plans to become a drone enthusiast, as it's been proven those unmanned fliers can be pretty hazardous.
According to the BBC, the blades of a recreational drone sliced an 18-month-old toddler's eye in half after the pilot lost control of the vehicle. "It was up for about 60 seconds," said Simon Evans, a family friend who was operating the drone. "As I brought it back down to land, it just clipped the tree and span round. The next thing I know I've just heard my friend shriek and say 'Oh God no' and I turned around and just saw blood and his baby on the floor crying."
Despite being a seasoned pilot, Simons was unable to keep the UAV from crashing into the toddler. The boy, Oscar Webb, will have to wait before he can get surgery and an artificial eye. The accident will serve as a cautionary tale to parents everywhere and may very well have lasting implications for the future of drones.
After months of speculation and rumors, the internet's most popular e-tailer has finally taken to the skies with a fleet of delivery drones that may usher in a new level of convenience.
As explained by Jeremy Clarkson, Amazon's new Prime Air delivery service taps the power of autonomous drones in order to ship packages in 30 minutes or less. The drones themselves are quite advanced, using "sophisticated sense-and-avoid technology" to detect and avoid nearby obstacles in the sky, and even scans the landing zone to ensure safe deliveries. The drones can fly up to 400 feet at 55 miles-per-hour, and can deliver 5-pound packages--things like DVD's, games, CD's and even shoes--in a 15-mile radius.
Amazon notes that the Prime Air service isn't ready for deployment, and the drones are still being manufactured and developed. "We are testing many different vehicle designs, and delivery mechanisms to discover how best to deliver packages in a variety of environments," reads the official Q&A. The company plans to offer Prime Air in the United States, the United Kingdom and Israel to start, with other territories to follow.
Vantage Robotics has launched the Snap drone, a flying camera designed to be safe and easy-to-use for enthusiasts of all levels.
Snap features a 4K gimbal-stabilized camera, 20-minutes flight time, a 30 mph top speed, and what Vantage Robotics promises as faster acceleration than a Ferrari. The drone weighs just 1.1 pounds and is easily transportable, as it can be folded up.
The drone is easy to fly with auto-tracking modes, canned shooting modes, and tilt-based flight control from a smartphone.
The latest effort to fly a drone loaded with contraband into a state prison was thwarted by police, after an incident in Maryland between two suspects and at least one prisoner.
The two men were reportedly flying a drone with a cargo of tobacco, drugs and pornography into the Western Correctional Institution.
Trying to crack down on drones smuggling contraband is extremely difficult, especially with smaller drones that can be disguised to look like birds, for example. Also, the distribution of tobacco, marijuana, and narcotics inside of prisons helps fund prison gangs - and violence - so it's a major problem that corrections officials hope to eliminate quickly.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos admits delivery drones are "years" away before they are flying orders to your doorstep, but he expects them to be "as common as seeing a mail truck."
The biggest hurdle to delivery drones, however, is overcoming regulations that are quite complicated - and outdated - as more drones take to the skies. Amazon still hasn't announced which country will see drone deliveries first, but it sounds like the UK is the likely front runner.
"What I would say is that in the scheme of things the UK regulatory agencies have been very advanced," Bezos said while speaking to The Telegraph. "The FAA is catching up a little here in the US, but the has been, I'd say, a very encouraging example of good regulation. I think we like what we see there."