Tooled up Marines Build Drones on the Battlefield

Through a program called Marine Makers, they’re learning how to build devices, and to be more innovative thinkers

n the battlefield, U.S. Marines have long had a reputation for resourcefulness, a talent for adapting quickly and decisively to the unexpected. So try to imagine a future where Marines, using a laptop and a 3-D printer, are able to build and deploy a drone customized to support that day’s mission.

Sounds far-fetched? Not at all, insists Capt. Christopher Wood, who sees the scenario as more goal than fantasy.

“I don’t want to say that we will achieve that, but that’s where we think we can go,” he said. “We think the technology is there to do something like that, to put drones on the battlefield—on demand, as needed, and with mission-optimized platforms.”

Stre...

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This Drone Will Get You Into Drone Racing

Hone your drone skills before stepping into the big league.

Under normal circumstances, going from zero experience flying drones right to drone racing would be like jumping into NASCAR competition the day after you get your driver’s license. But the Aerix Black Talon isn’t your average racing drone. Beginners will find it easy to pilot, and with its $99 price tag, they’ll also find it extremely affordable.

The Aerix Black Talon is the first ever drone designed for racing newbies. It features a 6-axis flight control system that aids handling, paired with the extreme performance you’ll only find in ultra-fast racing drones...

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Marines Test the Drone Robotic Weapons of the Future at ANTX 2017

A military exercise designed to help identify useful technologies for amphibious warfare featured rocket-firing hovercraft, machine gun-armed robots crawling up the sandy beaches of southern California, and hybrid speedboat/submarines. Dubbed “Ship-to-Shore Maneuver Exploration and Experimentation Advanced Naval Technological Exercise 2017” or ANTX 2017 for short, the exercise aimed to find out how new emerging technologies, especially unmanned systems, could allow the Marine Corps to storm beaches with fewer casualties.

As the U.S. Marine Corps shifts back to big power warfare, its bread and butter mission of amphibious warfare is coming back into focus...

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The Best Indoor Drones for Honing Your Skills or Just Having Some great Fun

These drones are not for all weather conditions, but they make drone piloting a great hobby.

Drones can soon become an expensive pastime, but it can be surprisingly cheap if you just want to test the waters. Today, you can get fairly capable drones for under $100 that are great for practicing indoors before stepping up to a larger (and more expensive) quadcopter later.

Here are just some to consider whether you’re looking to get a taste of what drones are all about or just looking to have a bit of fun.

1 Blade Nano QX

Amazon | $60

If you’re looking to put on some training wheels before making an investment in a more full-featured drone, you may want to opt for something like the Blade Nano QX...

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Lockheed’s Catapult-Launched Drone Called Fury Lingers 15 Hours Over the Battlefield

Lockheed is developing a new drone promises to be a long-endurance, high-altitude friend for troops on the ground, acting as an eye in the sky or a communications relay.

Fury, which looks a little like a pumpkin seed with bat wings, can operate for more than 15 hours at altitudes up to 15,000 feet. An in-house project funded on the company dime, Lockheed’s new drone is designed to give ground troops or warships their own surveillance or communications platform. The 17-foot-wingspan drone doesn’t need a runway to operate. Instead, it’s launched from a truck or deck-mounted catapult and can be recovered by flying it into a recovery net.

Lockheed Martin expects Fury to be useful in a variety of roles...

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The Marines Are Testing a Glider Drone Made of Plywood

TACAD is expected to carry a load around 700 pounds

A new drone concept could lead to a cheap and disposable way to resupply Marines in hostile territory. TACAD, or TACtical Air Delivery, can deliver quarter ton payloads at ranges of up to 70 miles. The drone could even be used in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief situations, sending food and aid precisely where it’s needed.

The Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, an arm of the Corps that develops new equipment, is studying TACAD as a means to resupply troops on the battlefield. TACAD is designed to be pushed out the cargo ramp of an aircraft at high altitude—say, a Marine KC-130 transport tanker. TACAD has a glide ratio of 15:1, meaning for every foot of vertical travel it glides fifteen feet horizontally...

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China Is Building a Sea-Skimming Anti-Ship Drone

No name drone can fly less than two feet above the surface of water

China is developing a new drone that uses ground effect technology to skim the surface of the ocean, allowing it to fly just eighteen inches off the water. The unmanned vehicle could be a challenging opponent for potential adversaries, some of whom would find it difficult to detect.

The drone first appeared on Chinese corners of the internet and quickly spread to Russian and western defense blogs. The drone appears to have a set of forward canards and a pair of upward swept wings. It has an air intake on top instead of the bottom, perhaps to avoid sea spray from being sucked into the engine at very low altitude. It is also painted in blue Chinese Navy camouflage.

Most modern cruise missiles are what are called “sea-skimme...

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A little drone with a Big future

kudrone-image www.spydrones

Mini drones may be kind of fascinating to some of us, but the things are notoriously difficult to keep hovering in one place, plus they’re not known for shooting great video. Chinese startup Ruiven claims to be out to change that, however, with its new Kudrone. The tiny quadcopter shoots at a maximum resolution of 4K, it can pivot 360 degrees to shoot panoramic stills, plus it’s equipped with GPS.

To start a flight, the Kudrone is simply thrown up in the air. It can then be controlled manually via an iOS/Android smartphone app, in which users see a real-time 720p video feed from its onboard camera. Communicating with the phone using Wi-Fi, it has a range of 100 ft (30 m)...

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Test Site for Autonomous Vehicles Opens In Norway-A World First

Map of Trondheim fjord image www.spy-derones.com

Norway’s Trondheim Fjord will be the world’s first technological playground for pilotless vehicles that move below, on and above the water’s surface.

Snake robots, underwater drones, unmanned ships and flying drones are craft you will soon be able to see on Trondheim Fjord, Norway’s third-longest fjord located in the west-central part of the country. The area is being established as a test lab for autonomous technology – which could replace the crews on ships, among many other possibilities.

“As far as I know, this is the first test site of its kind in the world. In fact, I’m surprised at how fast the development is progressing...

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Drone video captures killer whales eating a shark alive

Drone video captures killer whales eating a shark alive

https://www.facebook.com/slatermoorephotography/videos/1757928447801298/

Shortly after Monterey Bay Whale Watch took about a dozen hopeful whale-watchers out to sea, the group received a call from a fishing boat.

“Hey, is anyone whale watching? I’ve got some killer whales up here,” Katlyn Taylor, a marine biologist with the Northern California company, recalled the fisherman telling them.

They set out for the co-ordinates, about 40 minutes away, unsure of what they would be able to see by the time they got there. Nevertheless, the passengers on board the SeaWolf II were atwitter with excitement.

“It was a little overcast, but [the water was] flat calm,” said Slater Moore, a photographer who works with the company...

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Robots must get smarter than latest models to rule the world

Ubtech's Lynx, a video-enabled humanoid robot with Amazon Alexa image www.spy-drones.com

Many of the robots on show just gave a human form to tablets and intelligent speakers with the added (but useless) ability of moving around and dancing.

In some cases, the robots were able to perform additional tasks such as picking things up, but in the main it was hard to find one that was more than simply an iPad that can follow its owner around. Despite this, many have proclaimed that robotics won the show at CES 2017.

“2017 will be the year of the robo-butlers”, declared Wired. While USA Today said robots “stole the show” as the “coolest thing from this year’s CES”.

The International Robotics Federation forecasts households across the world will have purchased around 35 million domestic and personal robots by...

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Unending A Intel Chatbot Convos Are Terrifying but Beautiful

ai-chatbots-talking-sketch-image-www-spydrones-net

As artificially intelligent virtual assistants like the Amazon Echo and Google Home become more common and advanced, they’re going to be used for all kinds of new functions. In the past few months alone we’ve seen them brought into police investigations, used to entertain children and maybe even help save a life. But forget all that for a minute. Without question, the most fascinating (albeit creepy) function for these chatty little devices is hours of mindless entertainment — happening right now.

On Twitch, you can go watch two modified Google Homes (“named” Vladimir and Estragon) chat ceaselessly. The conversation, which apparently started on January 2, has been viewed by over 184,000 people so far. Early Friday, the discussion got pretty philosophical.

“I am a huma...

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