MIT teaches drones to fly with uncertainty

 MIT researchers are working on a new steering system for drones that uses uncertainty to ensure that they don’t hit obstacles as they fly autonomously. The system is a bit complex but it’s called NanoMap and it quite simply finds ways to get from point A to point B without crashing and while handling random objects in its path. Spectrum describes the system in detail but basically… Read More

Skydio’s $2499 ‘self-flying’ drone knows where you are and where you’re going

 Today, Skydio is showcasing the R1, a drone that boasts what the startup calls “self-flying” capabilities. What this means is that the drone is capable of locking-on to an individual and following them while shooting video and avoiding obstacles. This doesn’t just mean that it can avoid a tree or two while flying through an otherwise open field, the drone can track you… Read More

This smooth, one-take drone short of Muscle Beach won a big prize at a film festival

Using the "world's smallest HD drone," Robert McIntosh filmed Muscle-Up, a short that flies (seemingly) effortlessly over and around Southern California's famous Muscle Beach first thing in the morning. Impressively, it was all shot in one take.

At the Los Angeles Drone Film Festival in December, his short won in two categories: Made in LA and Best in Show. According to a friend of his, McIntosh received a a $23,000 drone for the prize.

To stabilize the raw footage, which as you'll see below wasn't all that smooth, he used ReelSteady for Adobe After Effects. https://vimeo.com/218837928

Watch Ehang’s passenger drone take flight

 Like many who attended CES 2016, we were taken with the Ehang 184. If nothing else, the passenger drone was a nice break from all the smartphones and giant TVs. That said, the big quadcopter amounted to little more than a giant paper weight and some goofy composite videos. Earlier today, however, the company showed off some pretty impressive video of the drone carrying actual humans. Read More

Taking DJI’s Mavic Air for a spin

 Every inch of the Mavic Air is a testament to thoughtful engineering. Before handing off a review unit, a DJI rep takes us through the process of getting up and running. He flips open the smartphone docking arms from the bottom of the remote, revealing two hidden replacement joysticks nestled inside. Read More

Drone comes to the rescue of two swimmers in Australia

 One day, they may yet turn against us, but for now, they’re still our allies: A drone rescued two teenage swimmers in distress off the coast of New South Wales in Australia, according to a new report. The drone spotted two teenagers in trouble around a half-a-mile out from shore, and then dropped a flotation device it carries for the purpose to give them something to hang on to (via… Read More

Boeing’s prototype drone can carry 500 lbs of cargo

 Boeing just revealed a prototype drone capable of carrying much more than a camera. The company tasked engineers with designing and building a cargo drone and the prototype they came up with is able to haul 500 lbs of goods. The vehicle is huge and much larger than anything DJI sells. It weighs 747 pounds and is 15 feet long, 18 feet wide and 4 feet tall. Four arms hold two props each. It… Read More

Intel’s drone lightshow now works indoors

 Remember Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl halftime show with the drones that made the light show? A scaled-down version of that system now works indoors, Intel says, making it perfect for conferences, Vegas shows and bar mitzvahs. These drones opened Intel’s CES keynote. A dozen or so took the stage and danced above a projected piano, playing a tune reminiscent of Tom Hanks’ performance… Read More

Trump signs bill reinstating the FAA’s drone registration requirement

 Back in late-2015, the Federal Aviation Administration introduced new rules requiring owners of  small drones to submit their devices to a database and attach a registration code to the side of the product. In May of this year, a judge in the D.C. Circuit shot the rule down, and the FAA began the process of returning the $5 registration fee.  Now the registry is back on, courtesy of a… Read More