Monthly Archives November 2014

Explore the Eiry Ruins of Chernobyl Through the Eyes of a Drone

A drone armed with video equipment recently flew over the skies of Pripyat, a Ukrainian city that was home to the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. After the disaster, the city was abandoned, though some curiosity seekers have explored the ruins of the irradiated city.

Danny Cooke took the footage while working on a 60 Minutes segment, providing a rare aerial view of the city. Postcards from Pripyat, Chernobyl captures some startling contrasts, filming abandoned, decayed swing sets alongside resurgent plant life. In some cases, the plant life has taken over buildings, invading abandoned swimming pools.

Fast decaying isotopes have let radiation levels drop to acceptable levels for exploration in the Zone of Alienation, though no one still lives in Pripyat, and many of the buildings have decay...

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Could drone technology become so pervasive that soon you won’t be comfortable leaving home without some form of quadcopter in your pocket? San Francisco-based drone company AeriCam is looking to ease the mind of traveling pilots for whom the urge to fly can strike at any time. Anura is a low-cost drone not much larger than an iPhone, with fold-in rotors for better portability.

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With the rotors tucked neatly inside its body, the Anura is around the size of a thicker 4.7-inch iPhone 6. Like the blades of a Swiss Army knife, the rotor arms fold outwards to transform the brick-like device into a quadcopter ready for take off.

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Anura is piloted by an iOS or Android smartphone over Wi-Fi...

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SKEYE Nano drone image

Drones are definitely one of the most fun tech inventions of recent times, but sadly, most have to stay in the loft when the weather is miserable — they’re just too big. In contrast, the SKEYE Nano drone will happily fly around the house when winter bites. Heck, you can fly it without getting out of bed. It’s 1.57” square, but it is a full-fledged quadcopter that can pull some nice tricks, too. Right now, it also has 41% off.

Impressively, for what is a genuinely pocketable drone, the Nano is completely self-stabilizing, using gyros and accelerometers to keep things steady. That means it’s a solid outdoor flyer, and there are three levels of control sensitivity for different conditions and piloting abilities...

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AirDog drone automatically follows you and films your sporting feats

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Typical. You wait ages for an autonomous aerial camera drone and then two come along at once. We featured Squadrone System’s Hexo+ drone yesterday and today it’s the turn of the AirDog from Helico Aerospace Industries. Like the Hexo+, the AirDog will track the user and film them from above.

airdog-gopro drone images www.spy-drones (9)

Both Squadrone System and Helico are based out of Palo Alto, and are both claiming that their respective devices are the world’s first of their type. Consumer drones are targeted to a large extent at the action-sports market and this is where these autonomous drones can really excel. Much like with autonomous vehicles, these drones are able to track their route and make smooth adjustments without the possibility of human error.

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The AirDog is a quadcopter with rotor-arms that fold away for easy storag...

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GoPro to make it’s own consumer drones:

Cutting out the middle man. GoPro is looking to roll out its own consumer drones image

Cutting out the middle man: GoPro is looking to roll out its own consumer drones.

This post was originally published on Mashable.

GoPros are already often used with drones to capture unique videos and perspectives. Naturally, GoPro is cutting the middle man and trying its hand at developing its own drones.

The company, known for its high-durability action cameras, is putting together a line of multi-rotor helicopters that carry high-definition cameras, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. The price tag will be between $US500 and $US1000.

Due to drones’ current popularity, consumers have some pretty cheap options to play around with. DJI’s Phantom Drone, for example, retails at about $US579, and the even cheaper Parrot MiniDrones sell for as cheap as $US99...

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Japan invests in robotic workforce to regain it’s status as world’s leading manufacturer


Once the undisputed world leader in robotic technology, Japan’s supremacy in the field is being challenged by rival robot producing countries.

Now the government is pouring money into regaining that place to ensure the robot age starts in Japan.

Pepper is the world’s first emo robot and represents a huge leap in artificial intelligence. It can read facial expressions, voice tones and body language and then respond.

At Omotosando, an upmarket shopping district in Tokyo, Pepper works in a mobile phone store doing market research.

Pepper told one woman: “You’re very lovely – do people say that to you often? Now it’s your turn to compliment me! What do you think of my face?”

And then later joked with a male customer: “So you want to become Pepper? Well you’ve got shave off your...

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A biodegradable drone
A team of students from Stanford, brown, and Spelman college have created a biodegradable drone. The drone is made from fibrous mycelium, which is a root-like material found in fungi. The material is covered in cellulose and all the circuits are printed using silver nanoparticle ink. This means that the drone will actually fully decompose over a few months, though future versions could disappear in as few as 4 days.

Digital signage that delivers targeted ads
Photon Interactive — which bills itself as the largest global provider of Cloud-to-Consumer User Experiences — is teaming up with Panasonic to bring a version of this targeted advertising to life...

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Drone delivery nets could be the mailboxes of the future as shown in this video & pics

skynet_drone_delivery_system-image www.spy-drones (2)

With drone technology progressing so quickly, it may not be too long before they start dropping packages at our doorsteps. But proposals for how the vehicles can safely navigate fences, pets and small children haven’t been entirely convincing so far. A pair of Australians believe they have the answer, with a system that sees drones zero in to drop deliveries into a purpose-built net, guided by LEDs to ensure centimeter-perfect accuracy.

skynet_drone_delivery_system-image www.spy-drones (1)

The Skynet concept won’t attract the publicity of big name announcements like those of Amazon and Google, but it may help shape an equally important link in the chain...

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Engineers-to-be compete to be world champion drone builders


Eighteen teams of young engineers-in-training competed for the right to call themselves world champion drone builders at the 22nd annual ASME Student Design Competition (SDC) finals today at the International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exhibition at Montreal’s Palais des Congres.

The international slate of teams – including squads from universities in China, France, India, Peru, Turkey and across the United States – brought their talent and training to bear on one of today’s hottest mechanical technologies: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or as they are better known, drones. Each team had designed and built a powerful, maneuverable, remotely-piloted drone to fly in this year’s competition.

Today, drones are one of the world’s hottest technologies...

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French police arrest three in nuclear facility drones probe

nuclear power plant in france image

Nuclear plants in south-western France where drones had been sighted. Photo: Reuters

Paris: Police arrested three people found in possession of remote-controlled drones near one of the nuclear plants involved in a series of mystery overflights by the unmanned aircraft, a source close to the investigation said on Wednesday.

Two women and a man were apprehended near the Belleville-sur-Loire nuclear plant in central France and two drones were confiscated, the source said.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said last week that France had launched an investigation after drones were repeatedly sighted over seven of power utility EDF’s atomic plants, raising concerns over nuclear safety.

The drones in question were very small, but police have given no indication of their exact nature.

French ...

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