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Updated: 13 hours 31 min ago

Drone versus a flying boomerang in accidental mid-air collision

March 23, 2017 - 10:18pm
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If you've ever seen Indigenous Australia's most-famed hunting weapon, the boomerang, you'll know it's a solid piece of wood that can really pack a punch if it manages to hit you. They're meant to be for knocking down mammals, after all.

Drones are surprisingly resistant to a boomerang hits though, at least the one in this YouTube video by Dronegear. The DJI Phantom 4 Pro manages to take the whack of the weapon, which actually breaks. 

The drone is disturbed from its original position by the whack, but finds its wings again pretty quickly. Still — good luck going up against those eagles. Read more...

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Drones are revolutionising dinosaur research by mapping giant footprints by air

March 23, 2017 - 5:10pm
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Along the northwest Australian coast lies a dinosaur highway.

With the Indian Ocean eating away at the rock, the red cliffs of the Kimberley have revealed hundreds of prehistoric footprints. Two-legged theropods and big-bodied sauropods, among other groups, walked this patch of Earth around 130 million years ago. 

Armed with drones and hand-held laser scanners, scientists are mapping the heavy tracks they left behind.

SEE ALSO: It's time to start thinking about cybersecurity for sharks. Yes, the fish.

Anthony Romilio works in the Vertebrate Palaeontology and Biomechanics Lab at the University of Queensland. He and his team have created 3D models of track sites using a combination of high-resolution aerial photography and lidar — a way of measuring depth with laser light — gathered by hand, drone and light aircraft. Read more...

More about Dinosaurs, 3d Modelling, Drones, Western Australia, and Dinosaur Coast

DJI Phantom 4 Pro + extends drone power and excitement

March 21, 2017 - 10:06am
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I often draw comparisons between DJI and Apple. Though one makes phones and tablets and the other drones, they each have reached a design plateau in their respective categories and the updates they now deliver are more polished refinements of existing products than great, genre-breaking leaps.

SEE ALSO: The small, foldable DJI Mavic Pro is the ultimate personal drone

There is nothing wrong with that, especially when the refined product is as beautifully rendered as the DJI Phantom 4 Pro +.

DJI’s latest prosumer drone is at once comfortingly familiar, while at the same time technically advanced and innovative to be noticeable and appreciated. Read more...

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Drone footage of desert 'super bloom' will make your frigid Thursday

March 16, 2017 - 8:38am
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Abundant showers mean brilliant flowers for a California desert. 

Canyons, sands and badlands are now speckled with yellows, purples and pinks inside the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

SEE ALSO: Southern California bracing for an 'off the charts' storm

After years of severe drought, California experienced one of its wettest winters on record. Those rains have fueled a once-in-a-decade wildflower "super bloom" in the park seen in drone footage captured on a sunny day earlier this week.

A New York Times video also captures the super bloom in 360 degrees at the park, which is located about 90 miles east of San Diego and sits inside the Colorado Desert. Read more...

More about Wildflowers, Flowers, Drones, Weather, and Atmospheric Rivers

China's police are now shooting down drones with radio-jamming rifles

March 16, 2017 - 2:10am
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A Chinese city's police department is arming itself with more than 20 drone-jamming rifles to crack down on illegal drone flights.

SEE ALSO: Use Jedi mind tricks to command this drone

Police in Wuhan, central China , are going to be equipped with 20 of these rifles, which work by emitting radio signals that force the drones to land purportedly without damaging them.

Image: Weibo

The drone-killing rifles will be used during the upcoming 2017 Wuhan Marathon, to raise security.

Image: WEIBO

Wuhan police demonstrated the drone-killing rifles last week, where they shot down six drones, according to the Chutian Metropolitan DailyRead more...

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Use Jedi mind tricks to command this drone

March 14, 2017 - 1:31pm
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HanDrone comes with a smart wristband that translates gestures into altitude, direction and speed commands. Read more...

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How a drone helped firefighters battle a blaze in New York City

March 7, 2017 - 7:13pm
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The New York Fire Department has been messing around with a new drone for months. On Monday, it finally put the gadget into action.

SEE ALSO: Drone captures mesmerizing footage of water overflowing in a portal-like 'Glory Hole'

After a four-alarm fire broke out at a six-story building in the Bronx, the $85,000 drone was deployed high above the scene. Connected to the ground by a small cable, it relayed live images back to the ground. 

"The roof started to fail and we had a lot of great radio reports but that’s only verbal, so with the drone we had good visual pictures and it really helped us make decisions to put this fire out and keep our members safe," said FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief Dan Donoghue on FacebookRead more...

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This SUV is also a drone landing pad

March 7, 2017 - 3:54pm
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Land Rover built an SUV that does double-time as a drone launch and landing pad. 

The vehicle is meant to help with search-and-rescue operations, and will soon be a part of the Austrian Red Cross. The drone can take off from a moving SUV, send back live footage from the air, and land without the driver having to stop. 

"The drone will be used in simulations to develop new and innovative techniques for disaster relief and on test-runs for complex natural disaster scenarios, including at night and in dense forests," the company said in a press release on Tuesday. 

The Austrian Red Cross will start testing out the special Land Rover in June.  Read more...

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Sad military drone that just wanted to fly around for a bit crashes into tree :(

March 4, 2017 - 1:47pm
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Here is a fun thing that happened: On Jan. 31, the military sent a 450-pound mostly autonomous machine into the sky, and— according to a Stars and Stripes report on Thursday—lost it. 

The army sent a drone above the Arizona desert as part of a training mission, but lost touch with it soon after it left the earth. 

SEE ALSO: Video of 'chubby' tigers taking down a drone may be way darker than you think

The drone normally has a range of 77 miles, so maybe the army thought: 'couldn't get very far. Nope. 

They looked around for a bit, and then figured the drone much have smashed itself to pieces somewhere around the barren parts of southern Arizona.  Read more...

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Robots are about to make your beer runs

March 3, 2017 - 3:39pm
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In the future, your beer will be delivered by by robots that look like big beetles out to set up a golf course. 

Virginia became the first state in the union on Wednesday to legally allow robots to use sidewalks and crosswalks just like us humans. 

SEE ALSO: Bizarre Boston Dynamics robot moves like a world-class athlete

The impetus for the new law is Starship Technologies, which is looking to use its beetle bots to deliver packages or groceries or beer or whatever else you can stuff inside.

The bots won't be allowed to beef up beyond 50 pounds or zip around at anything above 10 miles per hour, though that's still the pace of someone running pretty quickly down the block. They do, however, have a little flag so they don't blindside folks who will inevitably trip over them while looking at their phones.  Read more...

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How does VR alter your brain?

March 3, 2017 - 6:15am
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Virtual Reality is evolving fast, but are we evolving along with it? We asked a scientist to see how our brain works in VR. 

After digging into the video above, feel free to see what it's like to go 380 mph in VR. Take that VR journey in the latest episode of 'The Possible' by downloading the app hereRead more...

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This drone photo shows how much damage was done to a Jewish cemetery

March 2, 2017 - 1:53pm
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Perspective sometimes requires taking a step back. 

The FBI is trying to figure out who recently knocked down more than 100 headstones at a Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia. This followed an incident in St. Louis, Missouri, in which vandals damaged 200 headstones  at a Jewish cemetery. This week, a Jewish cemetery in Rochester suffered a similar fate

SEE ALSO: Video of 'chubby' tigers taking down a drone may be way darker than you think

Damage can be hard to visualize in numbers or as a series of incidents, but photojournalist Charles Mostoller brought a different perspective to the vandalism in Philadelphia when he sent his drone into the sky above the cemetery.  Read more...

More about Camera, Drones, Philadelphia, Vandalism, and Jewish Cemetery

Flame-throwing drones make for badass trash removers

March 2, 2017 - 6:44am
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That has got to be the most intense way to clean a power line.

Chinese companies have engineered an fiery way of removing trash that hangs from power lines. They're literally torching them with flame-throwing drones. 

Right, that's not scary at all. Read more...

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Drones and UAVs are going to help inspect our subway tunnels

March 1, 2017 - 11:43pm
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Singapore is keen to start using drones and unmanned aerial vehicles to inspect its extensive underground subway tunnel network.

The transport regulator put out a request for companies on Wednesday to design and develop suitable trial technologies, including 360-degree video mapping of the tunnels, as well as software that would automatically detect defects and provide their location. 

SEE ALSO: Bottle of champagne rolls out under subway seat, brings New Yorkers together

These smarter technologies are hoped to supplement the current manual inspection process, which take about three hours at a time, the Land Transport Authority said in a press releaseRead more...

More about Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Drones, Subways, Singapore, and Tech

Man sentenced to 30 days in prison for accidentally hitting woman with his drone

March 1, 2017 - 10:48am
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Attention drone operators: Watch your aim with those things or you could end up in behind bars.

Yeah, we're serious. Paul Skinner, a 38-year-old Seattle man who accidentally knocked a woman unconscious with his drone back in 2015 has received a 30-day prison sentence along with a $500 fine, after being charged with reckless endangerment back in January.

SEE ALSO: Predator drones will no longer rain hellfire missiles from the sky

When Skinner, an aerial photographer, flew his two pound, 18-by-18 inch drone — which retailed for $1,200 — into a crowd of people at 2015 Seattle Pride Parade, it accidentally fell on top of a 25-year-old woman's head, knocking her out. Read more...

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A Snapchat drone?! Here's what we know

February 28, 2017 - 10:19pm
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Snap Inc. has been playing with dronesThe New York Times reported Tuesday that the company has worked on building its own drones, citing three people "briefed on the project who asked to remain anonymous because the details are confidential."

SEE ALSO: Our first look at Snapchat's biggest risks and most powerful enemies

The piece doesn't get into details, but the premise is intriguing — and not at all surprising for a company that defines itself as a "camera company" in its own mission. 

"Snap is a camera company. We feel like we’re really at the beginning of what cameras can do, evolve from being just a piece of hardware to software connected to the internet," Snap CEO Evan Spiegel said in a 35-minute video released about the company ahead of its initial public offering. Read more...

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Facebook ready to ramp up flights of its solar-powered drone

February 28, 2017 - 2:35pm
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Last summer, when Facebook tested its huge drone, the right wing fizzled out and it smashed into the Arizona desert. So, you know, could have gone better. But it was round one, and the company now believes it's ready to test the solar-powered Aquila multiple times a month. 

“The systems performed way better than planned," Facebook Vice President of Engineering Jay Parikh said on Monday from a conference in Barcelona, Spain, according to Bloomberg. "But we need to fly a lot more.”

SEE ALSO: Facebook's image recognition can now tell what you're wearing

The plan is to start flying a few times a month. Facebook's ultimate goal is to use these drones with massive wingspans to bring internet connectivity to areas without regular online access. Think of them as traveling, solar-powered internet hubs.  Read more...

More about Crash, Flight, Solar Energy, Drones, and Facebook

Predator drones will no longer rain hellfire missiles from the sky

February 28, 2017 - 2:30pm
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Predator drones will no longer haunt the sky above parts of the Middle East and Africa, though another type of drone will take their place.

MQ-1 predators and other military drones have launched hellfire missiles in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and other nations. The predator's been around for more than two decades.

SEE ALSO: Video of 'chubby' tigers taking down a drone may be way darker than you think

The reaper drones that will take its place are faster, have better sensors and can carry more explosive power, according to the Defense Department. Reapers have been used in tandem with predators for a decade, but next year predators will give way to their more advanced counterparts entirely, allowing the military to eliminate training costs for the lesser of the two types of drones. Read more...

More about Military, Drones, Reaper, Predator Drones, and Tech

Drone crashes through woman's apartment window

February 27, 2017 - 2:40pm
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Drone fails aren't new (especially around the holidays when no one knows how to properly control their newly purchased flying device), but having one crash through your apartment window is still shocking.

SEE ALSO: This pocket-sized selfie drone may change the way you take pictures

A woman in New York City was jolted to attention on Sunday evening when a GoPro camera drone crashed into her high-rise apartment window, according to local news reports

The drone smashed through the glass of the 27th-floor window in Manhattan, missing the 66-year-old woman by just four feet, according to the New York Post. A neighbor who lives in the floor above thought someone had jumped out of the window.  Read more...

More about Device, Crash, New York City, Gopro, and Drones

Up close with the powerful DJI drone that could change business

February 26, 2017 - 7:45am
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Drones are becoming big business. Now they’re on the precipice of becoming part of business big and small.

DJI — a company that has built drones for entry-level fliers (the Mavic Pro), prosumers (the Phantom line) and  photo and cinematography professionals (Inspire) — is hoping to ignite the drone-in-business revolution with its first business-class drone, the M200. 

SEE ALSO: Forget taxis; Dubai wants to fly you around in passenger drones

The company unveiled its new M200 line of enterprise-class drones at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain on Sunday. However, DJI gave Mashable a tabletop preview of the drone weeks earlier at its offices in Manhattan.  Read more...

More about Dji, Drone, Drones, Tech, and Gadgets

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