UAVs http://www.stuff.tv/uavs/features en-GB DJI Phantom 2 Vision quadcopter drone http://www.stuff.tv/dji/dji-phantom-2-vision-quadcopter-drone/review <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> We could “drone on” about the Phantom 2 Vision forever - this is the hottest camera-toting quadcopter on the block </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="DJI Phantom 2 Vision review" alt="DJI Phantom 2 Vision review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/dji-phantom-2-vision-in-flight-3.jpg?1394117590" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/sam-kieldsen" title="View user profile.">Sam Kieldsen</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>DJI&rsquo;s Phantom 2 Vision is a revolutionary product.</p> <p>This powerful, easy to fly quadcopter sports not only a built-in anti-vibration camera, but also smartphone compatibility. That means you can view, in real time, what the camera&rsquo;s looking at when it&rsquo;s soaring 300 feet above your head. And all at a relatively affordable price. So does it deserve to sit atop the drone throne, or is it a UAV you should avoid?</p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-pricing"><legend>Pricing</legend><div class="field field-type-number-float field-field-test-price"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> £830.00 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-price-from"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 0 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-ratings"><legend>Ratings</legend><div class="field field-type-hcmreviewrating-rating field-field-overall-rating"> <div class="field-label">Overall rating:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="hcmrating-default">8 stars</div> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-pros"> <div class="field-label">Pros:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Incredibly easy to fly </div> <div class="field-item even"> Brilliant first-person view via smartphone </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Simple, all-in-one solution </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-cons"> <div class="field-label">Cons:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Disappointing image quality </div> <div class="field-item even"> Shaky images in windy conditions </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>Review Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Flying made simple (and smart) </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>You don&rsquo;t have to be a polymath, possess lightning reactions or have 20/20 vision to fly the Phantom 2 Vision.</p> <p>The quadcopter is designed to be easy to fly: it self-stabilises, and if you take your hands off the controls it&rsquo;ll simply hover in its current position. Lose sight of it or move it out of its control range and, thanks to built-in GPS, it&rsquo;ll automagically fly back to where it took off from and land - that&#39;s some smart self-preservation right there. It also has a generous 25 minutes of flight time per charge &ndash; about 10 minutes longer than previous DJI quadcopters.</p> <p>The controls are sensitive (you can adjust them using the desktop app), but we never came close to crashing the Phantom. Manual landing is a piece of cake, too. <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_U8iHn_2l0U" target="_blank">There are plenty of YouTube clips that demonstrate that these things can be crashed</a>, but it&#39;s far from easy to do. Do avoid tight confines if possible, though - the body&nbsp;seems tough enough to withstand plenty of punishment but the rotor blades are more easily shattered.</p> <p>DJI&rsquo;s manual also specifies that the drone should be kept below 400 feet at all times, as above that it can pose a hazard to low-level aircraft. Yes, really.</p> <p>The responsiveness of the controls and the zippiness of the quadcopter (it can climb at 6m/s and travel forwards at up to 15m/s) make it a joy to fly.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="DJI Phantom 2 Vision review" alt="DJI Phantom 2 Vision review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/dji-phantom-2-vision-in-flight-2.jpg?1394117590" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="DJI Phantom 2 Vision review" alt="DJI Phantom 2 Vision review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/dji-phantom-2-vision-battery.jpg?1394117590" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-3"> <div class="field-label">Image #3:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_3" width="1200" height="900" title="DJI Phantom 2 Vision review" alt="DJI Phantom 2 Vision review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/dji-phantom-2-vision-controller.jpg?1394117590" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-title"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> DJI Phantom 2 Vision tech specs </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-body-text"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Body Text:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><strong>Flight time</strong> - 25 minutes</p> <p><strong>Communication range</strong> - 300m</p> <p><strong>Still resolution</strong> - 14MP (RAW or JPG)</p> <p><strong>Video quality</strong> - 1080p/30fps/25fps; 1080i/60fps; 960p/30fps/25fps; 720p/60fps/30fps; 480p/30fps</p> <p><strong>App compatibility</strong> -&nbsp;iOS 6.1 and above; Android 4.0 and above</p> <p><strong>Weight</strong> - 1160g</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> App’s the way to do it </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The main thing that sets the Phantom 2 Vision apart from previous DJI quadcopters is its app compatibility and the first-person vision feature that opens up (previously, you&rsquo;d need to mod a Phantom with third-party gear for FPV).</p> <p>Install the app on your iOS or Android device and its screen becomes your eye in the sky &ndash; as well as the controller for the &lsquo;copter&rsquo;s camera, which can be tilted up and down. The app also allows you to fiddle with camera settings including field-of-view, video and still quality, metering mode and more.</p> <p>DJI claims the Wi-Fi extender unit on the remote control boosts the range of the signal to 300m, although your environment can affect this and you may find it shorter &ndash; or sometimes longer.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="DJI Phantom 2 Vision review" alt="DJI Phantom 2 Vision review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/dji-phantom-2-vision-app.jpg?1394117590" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="DJI Phantom 2 Vision review" alt="DJI Phantom 2 Vision review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/dji-phantom-2-vision-camera.jpg?1394117590" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Blurred Vision </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Sadly, we found the integrated camera&rsquo;s image quality to be a hit-and-miss affair, with more emphasis on the latter.</p> <p>The 14MP stills are on par with a decent smartphone camera&rsquo;s, but we noticed a soft, unfocussed area on the left side of all our shots (we suspect that&rsquo;s a fault in the review sample, not a widespread issue) and glare and other effects creep in at times. The camera shoots in RAW or JPG, but at the time of writing our version of Photoshop couldn&rsquo;t open DJI&rsquo;s RAW format.</p> <p><strong>UPDATE 07/02/14:</strong> It turns out that in order to use the RAW format, all you need do is download DJI&#39;s desktop app for PC or Mac and use it update the Phantom 2 Vision&#39;s firmware.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="480" mozallowfullscreen="" msallowfullscreen="" oallowfullscreen="" src="http://www.flickr.com/photos/99712217@N05/12235167453/in/set-72157640350944284/player/" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="640"></iframe></p> <p>Videos are impressive, particularly in 1080p &ndash; but a new GoPro model offers more options (4K, or 720p at 120fps for super slo-mo) and DJI&rsquo;s camera mount doesn&rsquo;t dampen vibration and shake to the degree you&rsquo;d get from a decent third-party gimbal.</p> <p>Both photos and videos are highly distorted due to the fisheye nature of the lens - some will like that style of shot, but DJI has released a lens profile for Photoshop that allows you to correct this without too much fuss.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="video-wrapper youtube-player-wrapper"> <iframe width="640" height="385" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/GquwpyIVQHo" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="DJI Phantom 2 Vision review" alt="DJI Phantom 2 Vision review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/dji-phantom-2-vision-test-shot-4.jpg?1394117590" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Verdict </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Those seeking smooth, well-stabilised video straight out of the camera would probably be better suited with the <a href="http://www.dji.com/product/phantom-2/" target="_blank">cam-less standard Phantom 2</a>, kitted out with third-party gear from GoPro or the like.</p> <p>That said, for an all-in-one option it&rsquo;s tough to see anything out there that beats the Vision: as long as you&rsquo;ve got a compatible smartphone or tablet, this package offers everything you need to soar off into the wonderful world of aerial photography and videography - and have an absolute blast while you&#39;re at it.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/it-bird-no-its-terrifying-robo-pigeon-military-drone/news" target="_blank">the terrifying robot falcon drone</a></strong></p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/amazon/watch-out-amazon-s-drone-army-might-soon-invade-your-home/news" target="_blank">the friendly Amazon delivery drone</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="DJI Phantom 2 Vision review" alt="DJI Phantom 2 Vision review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/dji-phantom-2-vision-in-flight-1.jpg?1394117590" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-review-rating"><legend>Review Rating</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> design </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 8 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> features </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 8 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> stills </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 6 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> video </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 7 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-4"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> battery </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 9 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-verdict"> <div class="field-label">Verdict:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>While there&rsquo;s plenty of room for improvement, the Vision is an amazingly cool tool for amateur videographers and photographers</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-preview"> <div class="field-label">Preview:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Disabled </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/dji/dji-phantom-2-vision-quadcopter-drone/review" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/dji/dji-phantom-2-vision-quadcopter-drone/review#comments DJI Geek accessories Phantom 2 Vision Robots UAVs Sat, 01 Feb 2014 09:45:00 +0000 Tom Parsons 1431868 at http://www.stuff.tv Watch out! Amazon’s delivery drone army is coming to invade your home http://www.stuff.tv/amazon/watch-out-amazon-s-drone-army-might-soon-invade-your-home/news <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Forget trucks and postmen – the e-tailer plans to use UAVs to deliver packages straight to your doorstep </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="567" height="425" title="Watch out, Amazon’s drone army might invade your home very soon" alt="Watch out, Amazon’s drone army might invade your home very soon" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/primeair_0.jpg?1386129374" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>It might sound like something out of a cyberpunk movie but, apparently, Amazon is seriously considering using drones to make product deliveries direct to your doorstep.</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/nigel-yap-0" title="View user profile.">Nigel Yap</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>News Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Hang on - we&#039;ve seen this before </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Amazon isn&rsquo;t the first company to think delivery by drone up. A China-based delivery company called SF Express is already&nbsp;<a href="http://news.cnet.com/8301-11386_3-57601531-76/drones-in-china-deliver-packages-even-a-birthday-cake/" target="_blank">testing out their own drone delivery army</a>.&nbsp;In Australia, a Sydney-based text book rental startup called&nbsp;<a href="http://www.zookal.com/" target="_blank">Zookal</a>&nbsp;will be rolling out it&rsquo;s own UAV delivery service in March next year. Closer to US soil,&nbsp;<a href="http://matternet.us/" target="_blank">Matternet</a>, a California-based start-up plans to set up an international network of drones to ship packages from local storages.</p> <p>So forget how sci-fi it sounds, UAV deliveries seem to be becoming a reality. Although, we&#39;ve got to question how effective it can be. What&#39;s the range of these drones? How far from the local Amazon depot can they go? And how much can they carry? Can you get a Folio edition of His Dark Materials in one?</p> <p>Still, if you think that&rsquo;s all UAVs are doing, you&#39;re dead wrong. Check out why they&rsquo;re taking off in a big way&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/ardrone-20/drone-wars/feature" target="_blank">in this feature</a>&nbsp;of ours. Let&#39;s just hope that these drones don&#39;t turn sentient and decide to drop stuff other than parcels.</p> <p>Source:&nbsp;<a href="http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57614166-93/amazon-testing-octocopter-package-delivery-drones/">CNET</a></p> <p><em>Image credit: SF Express drone delivery from Weibo</em></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="600" height="400" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/weibo_delivery_drone.jpg?1386129374" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-carousel-item"><legend>Carousel Extras</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-carousel-item-title"> <div class="field-label">Carousel item title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Amazon sends in the drones </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-carousel-item-standfirst"> <div class="field-label">Carousel item standfirst:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> UAV service to deliver to your doorstep </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/amazon/watch-out-amazon-s-drone-army-might-soon-invade-your-home/news" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/amazon/watch-out-amazon-s-drone-army-might-soon-invade-your-home/news#comments Amazon UAVs Mon, 02 Dec 2013 10:05:01 +0000 Will Findlater 1429645 at http://www.stuff.tv Is it a bird? No - it's a terrifying robot falcon drone http://www.stuff.tv/it-bird-no-its-terrifying-robo-pigeon-military-drone/news <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The US Department of Defence is working on a robotic drone the size of a falcon - and designed to look, and fly like a bird. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="640" height="426" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/Maveric_Prioria.jpg?1385980120" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>Military bosses say the small drone can be launched by soldiers in the field - and do everything from surveillance to search and destroy missions</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/mark-prigg" title="View user profile.">Mark Prigg</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>News Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> I&#039;m like a (killer) bird </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Army bosses have decided to look to nature for the latest in killer drones.</p> <p>The Maveric, which has a bird-like design, is said to look like a bird the size of a pigeon or falcon in flight.</p> <p>Made of composite material, it can fly as high as 25,000 feet and fly along at between 20 and 65 mph It weighs 2.5 pounds and can be contained within a 6-inch tube - and is simply unpacked and launched by a soldier.</p> <p>It can fly for an hour, although landing is a bit of an issue - soldiers have to catch it with a net.</p> <p>&ldquo;There was a Special Operations requirement for a plane that had a natural, biological look &mdash; it wasn&rsquo;t supposed to look DoD-ish,&rdquo; Derek Lyons, vice president of sales and business development at Prioria Robotics, told Flightglobal.</p> <p>&ldquo;Maveric is capable of fully autonomous operation from launch to landing,&rdquo; says the firm behind the drone.</p> <p>&ldquo;It can also be flown manually by a human pilot via a simple joystick. Maveric does not need a human pilot to fly it, only an operator to define mission parameters, such as waypoints, orbit positions and a landing point.</p> <p>&ldquo;Maveric can deploy at a moment&rsquo;s notice, and the operator can launch and fly from a standing-up or laying-down position.&rdquo;</p> <p>The Florida firm won a $4.5 million contract from the U.S. Army&rsquo;s Rapid Equipping Force to produce 36 Maverics earlier this year for a secret training mission - and training has already started.</p> <p>Source: <a href="http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/prioria-hopes-to-make-inroads-from-us-army-uav-deal-392856/">Flightglobal</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="video-wrapper youtube-player-wrapper"> <iframe width="640" height="385" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/DwDEa0k40Uk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="477" height="264" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/mavericpic01.png?1385980120" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> http://www.stuff.tv/it-bird-no-its-terrifying-robo-pigeon-military-drone/news#comments UAVs Fri, 29 Nov 2013 22:57:55 +0000 Mark Prigg 1429598 at http://www.stuff.tv 5 killer drones you can buy right now http://www.stuff.tv/4-best-drones/news <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Want a robot minion of your very own? We&#039;ve picked out the finest unmanned aerial vehicles that you don&#039;t need to lay your piloting thumbs on </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="DJI Phantom" alt="DJI Phantom" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/DJI-GPS.jpg?1385996551" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>Things have moved on quite a bit since the days when Scalextric and Tamiya were the pinnacle of remotely-piloted vehicles.</p> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/ardrone-20/drone-wars/feature">Drones are taking off in a big way</a>&nbsp;&ndash;&nbsp;and if you want your own robotic minion, these ones will go up in the air or down beneath the waves. They can even film their exploits along the way.</p> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>News Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Quadricopter (£250) </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Parrot&rsquo;s second-generation quadcopter is easily controlled via smartphone or iPad, can do flips, and packs a 720p HD video camera, allowing you to play insanely fun augmented reality games &mdash; or just snoop on the neighbours. Don&rsquo;t really do that.</p> <p><a href="http://ardrone2.parrot.com/">ardrone2.parrot.com</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Quadricopter" alt="Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Quadricopter" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/ARDrone2_HD_Outdoor_BLUE_Left_View_0176.jpg?1385996551" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Lehmann LA100 GoPro Drone (€990) </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Designed to carry a GoPro camera, this fixed-wing drone flies completely independently once launched. Constructed from foam and carbon fibre, it&rsquo;ll fly at altitudes of up to 100m, acquiring video and images for five minutes before it lands.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.lehmannaviation.com/la/la100.php">lehmannaviation.com</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Lehmann LA100 GoPro Drone" alt="Lehmann LA100 GoPro Drone" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/IMG_2350.jpg?1385996551" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> DJI Phantom (£500) </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>This quadcopter packs a powerful on-board GPS system, accurate to within less than 1m.&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1">It can hover in a single spot indefinitely, which is great for movie makers, and has a setting that allows you to control it as if you&rsquo;re always standing behind it.&nbsp; </p> <p class="p1"><a href="http://www.dji.com/product/phantom/">dji-innovations.com</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="DJI Phantom" alt="DJI Phantom" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/DJI-GPS_0.jpg?1385996551" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Walkera Dragonfly QR Infra X (US$85) </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Dirt cheap and small enough to fit in your palm, the Walkera Dragonfly is equipped with 10 collision sensors which make it impossible to crash. Two ultrasonic altitude sensors even let it climb stairs step-by-step, adjusting its height as it goes.</p> <p>walkera.com.hk</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Walkera Dragonfly QR Infra X" alt="Walkera Dragonfly QR Infra X" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Walkera-Dragonfly-QR-INfra-X.jpg?1385996551" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-4"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Ziphius (US$200) </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Not all drones take to the sky: Ziphius is set to be the first waterborne consumer drone. An hour of battery life will let you explore the sea at 6mph, shooting 720p video both above and below water level. And don&rsquo;t worry: it can never capsize.</p> <p><a href="http://www.myziphius.com/">myziphius.com</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Ziphius" alt="Ziphius" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Ziphius-Aquatic-Drone-6.jpg?1385996551" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> http://www.stuff.tv/4-best-drones/news#comments UAVs Mon, 30 Sep 2013 11:52:51 +0000 Jools Whitehorn 1427176 at http://www.stuff.tv Attack of the Drones – why UAVs are taking off in a big way http://www.stuff.tv/ardrone-20/drone-wars/feature <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> You too can own a robotic flying machine, and they&#039;re not just toys anymore </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/MAINeBee-top.jpg?1385980017" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>Drones aren&rsquo;t the menacing aerial overlords they&#39;re made out to be &ndash; from saving lives to helping make Hollywood films, they&rsquo;re ready to become man&rsquo;s best robotic friend.</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/jamiecondliffe" title="View user profile.">Jamie Condliffe</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Taking flight </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Drones are, by their nature, inconspicuous souls that prefer shadows to stagelights. But in January 2012 a team of 20 autonomous quadroters became overnight YouTube stars.</p> <p>In two videos posted by the Philadelphia company KMel Robotics, they were seen formation flying, organising themselves into a fluid figure of eight and, in a memorable encore, playing the James Bond theme tune on specially modified instruments. More than 10 million views later, drones had garnered a reputation as fun-bots with exciting potential.</p> <p>They weren&rsquo;t the first non-military drones to capture the imagination &ndash; Parrot&rsquo;s original gaming AR.Drone was announced as far back as 2010. But after growing bad press about lethal, pilotless military strikes, they were a timely reminder that autonomous bots could yet become a force for good.</p> <p>Eighteen months later, with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approving the first commercial drones in the US and prices plummeting, drones are ready to become familiar faces.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="video-wrapper youtube-player-wrapper"> <iframe width="640" height="385" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/_sUeGC-8dyk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-title"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> What is a drone? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-body-text"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Body Text:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Drones are pilotless robotic vehicles capable of autonomous movement. Commonly they&rsquo;re Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), which can include remote-controlled craft that are flown beyond the operator&rsquo;s line of sight.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Rise of the robots </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Drones didn&rsquo;t just burst into life like the worker bees they&rsquo;re named after: perhaps unsurprisingly, their roots are in military research. As far back as 1935, the RAF was testing modified Tiger Moth biplanes which could be flown from the ground and these days the aviation industry has perfected the art, with drones such as the Global Hawk &mdash; which weighs 14 tonnes and can fly for 32 hours &mdash; carrying out missions the world over.&nbsp;</p> <p>But just like the birth of computing, where IBM mainframes inspired hobbyists to create desktop computers for fun, so drones have garden-shed enthusiasts too. Online forums such as DIYDrones.com boast over 30,000 users sharing stories about home-made flying machines. &ldquo;People are really turned on by the technological challenges and understanding that comes with building their own drone,&rdquo; says Chris Anderson, ex-WIRED editor-in-chief and CEO of DIYDrones.com.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Parrot AR.Drone 2" alt="Parrot AR.Drone 2" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/ARDrone2_HD_Outdoor_BLUE_Left_View_0176_0.jpg?1385980017" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Quadrotors2.jpg?1385980017" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> What’s in a drone? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Building your own drone is possible because they&rsquo;re relatively simple. Sure, they vary: big or small, winged or rotored, cost hundreds of pounds or hundreds of thousands.</p> <p>But essentially they&rsquo;re built around an autopilot, made up of a combination of sensors &mdash; such as GPS, gyroscopes, and accelerometers &mdash; along with a processing unit to interpret the data and control the craft. Strap that autopilot to an airframe, with motors teamed with rotors or wings, and you&rsquo;re good to go.</p> <p>If the tech sounds familiar, it&rsquo;s because you have something similar in your pocket right now. &ldquo;A drone is essentially a paper plane plus an iPhone,&rdquo; says Henri Seydoux, CEO of Parrot.</p> <p>And fortunately, the essential components have been getting better, smaller and cheaper. &ldquo;We have the mobile phone market to thank,&rdquo; adds Anderson. &ldquo;The thirst for better phones has driven down the prices, and improved the quality, of sensors, batteries and chips.&rdquo;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/eBee-zermatt-2.jpg?1385980017" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-title"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Drones as… </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-body-text"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Body Text:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><strong>&hellip;life savers</strong></p> <p>When conventional ground and air searches failed to locate a missing man in Saskatchewan, Canada, earlier this year, they sent in a <a href="http://www.draganfly.com/uav-helicopter/draganflyer-x4es/">Draganflyer X4-ES</a> with heat-sensing equipment. The X4-ES soon found him, saving him from a night in sub-zero conditions. It was the first time a drone had rescued a human from serious danger.&nbsp;</p> <p>&ldquo;The Draganflyer X4ES found the victim in just 3 minutes &mdash; after 2hrs of ground search and a helicopter with night vision failed to do so.&rdquo; Kevin Lauscher, Draganfly&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>&hellip;cameramen</strong></p> <p>Their small size and nimble nature allows drones to get close to the action on film sets. Video specialists <a href="http://www.flying-cam.com/">Flying-Cam</a> have a system called SARAH which features autopilot, inertial stabilisation and a 5K RED EPIC camera setup. No surprise, then, that they&rsquo;ve shot footage for Mission Impossible and Skyfall.</p> <p><em>&ldquo;We thought a drone would work well for the motorcycle scene at the start. We did a rehearsal with Sam Mendes, and he was so impressed that we went to Istanbul to film.&rdquo; Haik Gazarian, Flying-Cam</em></p> <p><strong>&hellip;cartographers</strong></p> <p>Fly a drone back-and-forth and you can create detailed maps of hard-to-reach places such as the Ad Deir Plateau. Flying pre-defined routes covering tens of square kilometres, drones acquire images where each pixel represents as little as 3cm on the ground. Software such as <a href="http://pix4d.com/">Pix4D</a> can stitch them into amazingly detailed 3D maps.&nbsp;</p> <p><em>&ldquo;The detailed map we created of the Ad Deir Plateau in Petra, Jordan is the first of its kind. The results are the talk of the archaeological community.&rdquo; Scott Ure, Brigham Young University</em></p> <p><strong>&hellip;computer games</strong></p> <p>Just as your phone&rsquo;s camera allows you to augment reality as you walk down the street, so drones can create part-real, part-fictional worlds to explore. Games such as Parrot&rsquo;s <a href="http://ardrone2.parrot.com/apps/ar-race/">AR Race</a> let you plot out a course then pilot an AR Drone 2.0 around it, while AR Rescue overlays your surroundings with missions.</p> <p><em>&ldquo;For me, the dream was to use drones to turn video game into a real thing &mdash; so that&rsquo;s what we&rsquo;ve done. These games aren&rsquo;t for kids; they&rsquo;re high-tech games for everyone.&rdquo; Henri Seydoux, Parrot</em></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Flight for the masses </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Plummeting costs means drones are becoming available to the everyday punter. Just as IBM seized on hobbyists&rsquo; interpretations of mainframes to sell PCs to the masses, so the aviation industry is doing the same with drones. &ldquo;What captures the imagination of the customer is to fly,&rdquo; explains Seydoux. &ldquo;Flying looks so beautiful and simple.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>Whether it&rsquo;s a Parrot AR Drone 2.0 that lets you play augmented reality or a fixed-wing Lehmann L100 carrying a GoPro camera, the market&rsquo;s flooding with automated flying machines, many of which can be controlled via your smartphone or tablet. Getting there hasn&rsquo;t been easy, though.</p> <p>&ldquo;A big part is safety and reliability,&rdquo; explains Jonathan Downey, CEO at Airware, which offers a development platform for drones. &ldquo;You have to walk the line of using low-cost sensors available in commercial products and then wrapping that up in software that accounts for failures and deals with them in a reliable way.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Screen-shot-2013-07-23-at-15.10.41.jpg?1385980017" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-4"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The perfect payload </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>In fact, that&rsquo;s exactly what sets the &pound;20,000 drones &ndash; made by companies such as Microdrones and Draganfly and used by pros &ndash; apart from those available in the shops. Sure, commercial drones can fly for about an hour rather than a few minutes and are made using more expensive components, but it&rsquo;s reliability that expert users demand.&nbsp;</p> <p>The most exciting thing about drones, though, is what they can carry. We&rsquo;re not talking bombs or missiles here, but high-res cameras, laser scanners, and other exotic imaging systems strapped to their undercarriage, the data from which is beamed back to the ground. And the more expensive the drone, the better the sensors. So while the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 packs a 720p HD digital camera, a pro drone such as the Draganflyer X6 could come kitted out with an infrared thermal imaging system.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-5"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Being put to work </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Dripping in tech bling as they are, it&rsquo;s no surprise that drones are being put to task on some big projects. Remember the motorbike chase in <em>Skyfall</em>? You have drones to thank. &ldquo;Directors often want a grand vista as well as intimate detail,&rdquo; explains Haik Gazarian, director of operations for Flying-Cam, a company that&rsquo;s supplied drones for<em> James Bond</em>, <em>Harry Potter</em>, and, er, <em>Smurfs 2</em>. &ldquo;The only way to achieve it is to get close up to the action. Drones offer a safe and reliable way to do that.&rdquo;&nbsp;</p> <p>And films are far from their only new workplaces. In July 2013, the first fleet of autonomous marine drones was tested in Toulon as part of the MORPH project, with the aim of creating underwater 3D maps and providing surveillance. The agricultural industry is embracing them, too. &ldquo;A farmer&rsquo;s field will be a daily updated Google map,&rdquo; explains Seydoux.</p> <p>&ldquo;With a good camera, he&rsquo;s able to see every tree or every plant.&rdquo; The result is better crop management &mdash; and big savings. There&rsquo;s no shortage of applications: from chasing poachers to mapping disaster zones, inspecting structures and delivering food, drones are versatile vehicles.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="video-wrapper youtube-player-wrapper"> <iframe width="640" height="385" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/13DQS1AHdXg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-6"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Teething troubles </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>It&rsquo;s not all good news, though. Like any immature technology, drones have problems, and perhaps their biggest right now is lack of power. &ldquo;Flight time will improve, but slowly,&rdquo; says Seydoux. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a result of poor battery performance.&rdquo;</p> <p>There&rsquo;s hope, though: battery tech is improving, and manufacturers are contemplating solar panels of fuel cells as an alternative. There are legal issues, too: while legislation varies from country to country, it&rsquo;s still relatively draconian the world over (see panel below), but the industry is confident that will soon change.</p> <p>&ldquo;Whether people want to admit it or not, drones are going to become more populist,&rdquo; explains Kevin Lauscher from Draganfly. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s just a matter of time before legislation catches up.&rdquo; As for the privacy concerns? &ldquo;Google Glass is much more dangerous for privacy,&rdquo; says Seydoux. &ldquo;Drones fly for a limited time; Google Glass you wear all day.&rdquo;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="video-wrapper youtube-player-wrapper"> <iframe width="640" height="385" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/cfoLYTKObiU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Hurrican-Hunters-2----University-of-Florida.jpg?1385980017" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-title"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Who can fly drones in the UK? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-body-text"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Body Text:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>To fly a drone in British airspace, you need to apply to the Civil Aviation Authority for a <a href="http://www.caa.co.uk/default.aspx?catid=1413">Permit To Fly</a>. Even then, you&rsquo;ll only be able to use something which weighs less than 20kg. If you&rsquo;re thinking of using your drone commercially, things get trickier still, so always check with the CAA first.</p> <p><strong>Emergency services</strong></p> <p>Instead of sending personnel into danger zones, UK police and fire services increasingly use drones for reconnaissance. Staffordshire, Merseyside and Essex police forces are all using drones to fight crime, while Dorset, Hampshire and West Midlands Fire and Rescue scope out danger zones with them.</p> <p><strong>Universities</strong></p> <p>Undergraduates at Cranfield and Southampton Universities can take courses in drone design, and even get to fly their own creations &mdash; which will soon be used by the British Antarctic Survey and Serious Organised Crime Agency. Beats another day spent avoiding philosophy lectures and making beer can sculptures.</p> <p><strong>You</strong></p> <p>You should be excited about your new toy &mdash; but don&rsquo;t go crazy. Your permit states you can&rsquo;t fly higher than 122m, further than 500m or within 150m of built-up areas. Also, the rules insist you must be able to see it at all times. This applies to the likes of the Parrot AR Drone just as much as to the big commercial drones.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-7"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Improved engineering </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Technology&rsquo;s ever-advancing march is certain to make drones better &mdash; and fast. Top of the list is ever-more sophisticated autonomous flight.</p> <p>While drones can happily fly simple missions guided by GPS now, expect them soon to be reacting to their surroundings. &ldquo;Autonomous flight is coming along quickly thanks to the proliferation of 3D sensing,&rdquo; explains Seydoux. &ldquo;We have demos with a Kinect on the drone, which can see in 3D. It can reconstruct its environment and fly by itself, avoiding obstacles.&rdquo;</p> <p>Not only will they fly better &mdash; they&rsquo;ll be able to do more, too. &ldquo;The next real advance will be in payloads,&rdquo; says Anderson. &ldquo;As sensors become cheaper, you&rsquo;ll start seeing things like infrared sensors and lidar on the bottom of more drones.&rdquo;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Sensfly Swinglet Cam" alt="Sensfly Swinglet Cam" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Swinglet_Cam_Case.jpg?1385980017" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-8"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> A flighty future </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>So what does the future hold for drones? Well, we can expect them to take on more demanding imaging tasks, creating hyper-realistic 3D worlds for cinema and computer games and playing a central role in real-life video games. They&rsquo;ll also dive further into difficult situations, hunting storms and getting to the heart of natural disasters.&nbsp;</p> <p>There are more basic possibilities, too. In June 2013 Domino&rsquo;s Pizza carried out its first delivery by drone, albeit one steered by remote control. Imagine load-carrying drones buzzing around the city, each one delivering your latest Amazon package &mdash; or perhaps transporting something even larger.</p> <p>&ldquo;People are even talking about using them to carry passengers,&rdquo; speculates Lauscher. <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/google/google-self-drive-cars-get-nevada-road-legal-licence/news">Google&rsquo;s driverless cars</a> suddenly seem a bit less exciting.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="video-wrapper youtube-player-wrapper"> <iframe width="640" height="385" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/on4DRTUvst0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-9"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Stuff says </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Drones are already becoming incredibly popular &mdash; just look at <a href="http://www.dronestagr.am/">Dronestagr.am</a>, an Instagram feed showcasing their aerial photography. And with components constantly improving in quality and decreasing in price, the sky is literally the limit.</p> <p>While commercial drones are already dripping in expensive technology, we can expect them to do more for us &mdash; from insane Hollywood camera work to delivering our online shopping.</p> <p>But plummeting costs mean that the most dramatic changes will be seen in consumer drones, which will come equipped with better autopilots, amazing cameras, and exotic sensors such as thermal imaging systems. Soon, every home could own a drone.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-title"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Future Flight </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-body-text"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Body Text:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><strong>Super-small spies</strong></p> <p>Imagine shrinking down drone tech into something insect-sized. Harvard University&#39;s <a href="http://robobees.seas.harvard.edu/">RoboBees</a> weigh just 80 milligrams and flap their piezoelectric wings to fly.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Smart paper planes</strong></p> <p>Say hello to the future of play: the <a href="http://robotics.itee.uq.edu.au/wiki/pmwiki.php?n=Site.Research">University of Queensland</a> has created an autonomous paper plane. It&#39;s a single sheet which folds into a plane, with flaps on the back to steer and a simple autopilot to control them. Throw it, then watch it work out its own route as it glides to a predefined spot.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Mind-reading robots</strong></p> <p>By using a headband which measures brain activity, researchers from the <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LWz4qa2XQA">University of Minnesota</a> have detected what physical movements a person is thinking about, then used the results to control a drone.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Delivery drones</strong></p> <p>California-based start-up <a href="http://matternet.us/">Matternet</a> wants to set up an international network of drones to ship packages from local storage hubs. It claims 2kg parcels can be shipped over 10km for just 16 pence.&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-carousel-item"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-text field-field-carousel-item-title"> <div class="field-label">Carousel item title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Attack of the Drones </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/ardrone-20/drone-wars/feature" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/ardrone-20/drone-wars/feature#comments UAVs Sun, 29 Sep 2013 11:16:18 +0000 Jools Whitehorn 1427170 at http://www.stuff.tv