UAV and Drone News

Drones, Quadcopters and UAV News stories from around the World

8-2-2014:  Nanyang Technological University (NTU) will be showcasing its latest R&D expertise in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) technology at the Singapore Airshow, one of the most important aerospace and defence exhibitions in the world, held from 11 to 16 February.Visitors to the Singapore Airshow will be able to see 12 drones, programmed by NTU scientists and researchers, flying in formation within inches of each other and executing complex indoor aerial manoeuvres.

Read the full article http://www.alphagalileo.org/ViewItem.aspx?ItemId=138834&CultureCode=en

6-2-2014: Drones are being extensively used to film at the winter Olympics in Sochi. They are also being used to survey and monitor spectators.

30-1-2014: Aerial Gaming Drones. Here is another new entry to the Drone space the flipped drone!  http://www.qfolabs.com/ have come up with this novel approach with the propellers situated underneath the drone. The one handed Mimix controls the drone and it can shoot the enemy with infra-red laser! I’ve not had any feedback from users yet but to be honest I don’t think this is a serious craft but more of a fun thing.

Drone by QFO

The Aerial Combat Drone

29-1-2014: Surfer Mag article on UAV photography The Rise of the Drone  http://www.surfermag.com/features/drones/ It features Eric Sterman’s great surf video. If you haven’t seen it yet check it out http://vimeo.com/83187924

29-1-2014: Great new resource for the Drone industry http://caddrones.com/ Sign up now for Beta

Read the Motherboard article http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/an-open-source-community-wants-to-fix-your-drone-with-3d-printed-parts

29-1-2014: Nuremburg Toy Fair 2014 Blade Quadcopters and Helicopter Reviews

Blade Helicopters announced another model the 200 QX. Built as an upgrade to the 180QX HD, the 200QX is a brushless powered, LED lit, SAFE technology quadcopter brother with the good looks of the 350QX. It has impressive specifications:

  • SAFE™ Technology equipped
  • Three flight modes
  • High performance brushless motors
  • Internal LED illumination for easy orientation and night flying
  • Optional camera available separately

Offered currently only as a Bind-n-Fly package, the part number is BLH7780 and will sell for $230 when it comes out at the end of April

16-1-2014 Make: Go big on DIY Drones. The latest release of Makezine features Homegrown Drones and to celebrate the release they are organising a drone fly-in event Monday, Jan. 20 from 1 to 4pm at Paintball Jungle in America Canyon, Calif.

14-1-2014 Will Google enter the Drone space? Yes says Benedict Evans, a technology and telecommunications analyst “Google missed social, and so is clearly not going to miss Drones, and is not going to miss robotics, and is not going to miss home automation as major trends of technology.”

14-1-2014 Data delivery via Drones.You may have thought that Amazon’s announcement that they will be using Drones to deliver goods in the not too distant future as farfetched but in a joint initiative between the University of Aberdeen and the Norwegian University of Bergen, Drones are being used to scan rock formations in remote areas in a quest to discover oil reserves. By analysing the rock structure of the cliffs and mining the data geoscientist can make detailed 3D models and adapt their findings to better understand what lies beneath the surface. Advances in laser technology and Drone technolgy is also being capitilised upon in Finland where UAV’s are being used to scan forest to determine where best to lay powerlines to support the electricity grid.

12-1-2014 All the hype coming out of CES left me very disappointed and the only company in my mind that comes out with credit is DJI Innovations. Parrot Drones with wheels at $300?I don’t think so I can buy similar and better for under $60, Yuneec for all their talk have a video that shows acrobatic Quadcopters that aren’t even their models and their FlyingEyes website keeps redirecting. Then we had the Pocket Drone tricopter quirky features but  yet to prove itself. Well done DJI it’s no wonder you are leaders in affordable aerial photography platforms.

8-1-2014 Cool video of dancing Quadcopters from FlyingEyes and Kmel Robotics

8-1-2014 Drone news video from CES featuring the DJI PhantomVision 2

7-1-2014 Vineyards in Bordeaux to utilize Drone technology

Bernard Magrez will use Drone technology to monitor his vineyards in Bordeaux. Drone technology is not new to viticulture and vineyards  in California and Oregon are already using UAV’s. The technical director at eleven MagrezMedoc estates Jeanne Lacombe will utilize their first UAV to measure disease, plant damage and other factors in precision viticulture. This initiative will aim to reduce manpower and fertilisation. They will fly the Drones manual to start with but hope to move toward autonomous flying in the future.

6-1-2104 Flying Eyes from Yuneec

HX3 small

Flying Eyes HX3 from Yuneec

Another UAV offering Flying Eyes from Chinese company Yuneec (Unique) will be showcasing their products at CES. The www.flyingeyes.com  website will go live tomorrow at 10am Las Vegas time. Flying Eyes is the brand name  of airborne sUAS (Small Unmanned Aerial Systems) Yuneec International and comprises of Quadcopters, Hexcopters and Octocopters capable of carry varying payloads.  The HX3 uses an advanced Yuneec Technology Gimbal so a host of leading manufacturers cameras can be fitted. The HX3 smart aerial photography system has a very impressive 60minute flying time and has an ultra light Gimbal fitted to take a Canon 5D11/111. This is one is for the serious aerial photographer. Yuneec will also go live@ www.c-pro.com where they will showcase their cameras. At last we may see some serious competition to GoPro. We don’t want to get too excited but feel Yuneec could become a leading player in this market space to rival the likes of DJI and 3D Robotics makers of the IRIS Quadcopter

Flying Eyes Hexacopter

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6-1-2014 Mini Drone from Parrot released at CES

We have just seen the latest micro Quadcopter release from Parrot. These smaller Drones are aimed at the rapidly expanding micro Quadcopter market a space that’s current dominated by Hubsan with their H107 range and the Walkera Ladybirds. The parrot drone has a large wheel each side to protect it from crashes and as yet there are no price details available. The 3-Axis gyro and 3-Axis accelerometer it can supposedly climb walls ( I don’t know why they should want to do this). It is Bluetooth enabled with a reported range of 75 feet and a flight time of 8 minutes.

I’m unsure where Parrot are coming from with this model as we haven’t as yet received any price details but I feel that Parrot need to rapidly get their act together and produce a decent multi rotor. Their days of market domination are well behind them and they have serious competition from the new Hubsan 109S X4 Pro that will be available from March. Both Blade and Walkera have had difficulty with their midmarket Drones when trying to compete with the DJI Phantom and if you can find a better micro Quadcopter than the Hubsan H107C or the LadybirdV2 I would love to hear about it. Update 6-1-2014 I’ve just read on the BBC website that the price of the micro Quad will be £300. In the words of John McEnroe “You cannot be serious” ! Another company that are showing at CES are Rotor Concept. They have a mini Quadcopter for sale on their website without the transmitter for a staggering $249! and have what looks like Walkera Ladybird parts at grossly inflated prices to support this Quadcopter! Who do they think they are kidding.

6-1-2014 The emergency Minister in Russia Vladimir Puchov announced today January 6th that all regions  will have UAV’s (unmanned aerial vehicles) and robotics systems. The Drones will primarily be used in search and rescue

4-1-2024 News and Video from Syracuse University. “Unmanned Aircraft are going to be one of the cutting edge industries over the next 20 years and they will change the way people do business and create millions of jobs” Senator Charles Schumer in New York

3-1-2014 Amazing underwater drones featured on BBC program about Dolphins from the Spy in the Pod series

2-1-2014  NASA’s New Robotic Challenge to Explore UAS Airspace Operations – See more at: http://www.uasvision.com/2013/12/30/nasas-centennial-challenges-prize-program/#sthash.fDDZb34P.dpuf

1-1-2014 Six sites have been chosen by the FAA to act as test beds for UAV testing. After a rigorous 10-month selection process involving 25 proposals from 24 states, the Federal Aviation Administration has chosen six unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) research and test site operators across the country.Visit the FAA website to read the details

1-1- 2014 At Beijing Capital International Airport police detained four people for flying and unmanned aerial vehicle in restricted airspace causing delays for more than 10 passenger flights. Apparently the drone was conducting surveying and mapping operations but the users had failed to notified the Civil Aviation Administration.


31-12-2013 Drones being used to film real estate in Florida

US confirm 6 states to trial Drones

The six sites for Drone testing are named as the University of Alaska, the State of Nevada, New York’s Griffiss International Airport, North Dakota Department of Commerce, Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi, and Virginia Tech. Their remit will be to evaluate how Drones will perform in diverse climates, how the Drones will co-exist with traditional aircraft, what qualifications unmanned aerial vehicle pilots should have and how smart they can be made and how best can they navigate. The US seem to be taking the lead in developing Drone technology with courses in unmanned aerial flight already available a some universities. Whether we like them or nor UAV’s are going to play a significant part in our future and they will embrace and benefit many industries. What industry now needs to do is strike the right balance of safety, privacy and economic growth.

Awesome video from senseFly

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