When it comes to quadcopters, ProDrone hopes that the Byrd will be the word

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Yep, it’s another prosumer quadcopter – ProDrone’s Byrd. So, what’s so special about this one? Well, among other things, it combines folding propeller arms with swappable camera gimbals and a 29-minute flight time.

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The Byrd is designed to fold down to a rectangular package, for easier transport and storage. Once the propellers and arms are unfolded and the thing is fired up, its 14.2V/7,000-mAh lithium battery can reportedly keep the Byrd in the air for just short of half an hour – by comparison, the DJI Phantom manages about 25 minutes.

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Depending on what users want to do with the drone, its 3-axis gimbal can be replaced with one better suited to their choice of camera, or with another type of payload device. The quadcopter can lift up to 4.5 lb (2 kg).

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There are actually three mod...

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CoCoRo underwater mini-robots school like fish and share knowledge

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Starting in April 2011, the European Union CoCoRo (Collective Cognitive Robots) research consortium has been developing three varieties of autonomous underwater robots that school together like fish. By doing so, the little bots can share and learn from each others’ “knowledge” of their environment, acting as a collective cognitive system that’s smarter than any one of its individual parts.


The robots communicate with one another via built-in flashing LEDs, using onboard electronics such as computer vision systems, compasses and accelerometers to find their way around aquatic environments.

Utilizing an algorithm inspired by the clustering behavior of bees (not fish!), they can seek out others of their kind and then settle together around one central base location, becoming aware of the...

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