Tag Archives | Drones

Facebook to start testing internet beaming drones in 2015

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via Gizmag:

There was an understandable amount of skepticism when Amazon announced its grand plans for delivery drones last year. But if the last twelve months are any indication, Jeff Bezos and his fellow tech heavyweights are actually kinda serious about the potential of unmanned aerial vehicles. Speaking at the Social Good Summit in New York on Monday, engineering director at Facebook Connectivity Lab, Yael Maguire, has further detailed the company’s vision of internet-carrying drones, with plans to begin testing in 2015.

Mark Zuckerberg unveiled Facebook’s Connectivity Lab and its partnership with the Internet.org project in March this year. The initiative ultimately seeks to use solar-powered UAVs to beam internet down to the two thirds of the global population who aren’t yet connected. But to achieve this, Facebook’s Connectivity Lab and other Internet.org partners must first develop solar-powered aircraft with the ability to fly at high altitudes for long periods of time.

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Watch a Robot Ride a Hovercycle

Screenshot from video below.

Screenshot from video below.

A lot of robot talk today, but this video is worth checking out.

via Popsci:

A white plastic robot zooms a hoverbike over the English countryside, grains blowing beneath the bike’s four fans. The robot’s 3-D printed body is lightweight, and where its face would be there’s a GoPro camera instead, filming the flight. This isn’t a scene from a dystopian science fiction movie; The bike is less than four feet long, and combined robot and bike weighs a maximum of 15.4 pounds. Created by Malloy Aeronautics, the Drone 3 hoverbike is a 1/3rd scale model of the version ultimately intended for human pilots and passengers.

The hoverbike is available as a reward for Kickstarter backers pledging just shy of $1000 USD. The campaign, which concludes on August 31st has already surpassed its goal. Making and selling Drone 3 is just the first part of the plan for Malloy Aeronautics.

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Kickstart An Aerial Drone That Films And Follows You

Or just let the government do it for free. Missile not included. Yet.

HEXO+ is an autonomous aerial drone by Squadrone System that films and follows users based on preset parameters. Users frame their shots via a smartphone app that calculates angles and height and distance. Once set, the drone continues to follow these parameters as the user begins moving so that it can continue to capture aerial footage of the same subject in the same way. Squadrone System is currently raising funds to make the jump to industrial production from working prototype via a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign.

via HEXO+, An Autonomous Aerial Drone That Films and Follows Users Based on Preset Parameters.

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Contrail-Streaking ‘Mystery Planes’ Spotted Over Amarillo, Texas

PIC: Dean Muskett (C)

PIC: Dean Muskett (C)

A group of aviation enthusiasts managed to capture photos of three mysterious aircraft streaking across the Texas sky. No one seems able to identify them.

Via Fox News:

Douglass and his group, armed with cameras and binoculars, met on March 10 at the Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport. The airport is a perfect venue because it offers expansive views of Texas’ big sky and a steady stream of military air traffic. On a good day, the group can see various military jets, and even the elusive F-22 Raptor.

It was a clear day, and the group was alerted to three aircraft flying across the southwest skies. Douglass estimated that the planes got within 20 miles of the group and they started taking pictures with their 300mm zoom cameras. They looked at the photos, and saw that one appeared to be a silver-grey B-2 bomber.

The prospects of spotting a B-2 bomber was exciting, and Douglass said he got home to observe his photos when he noticed the aircraft in his picture had a smooth backside.

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Why Is The US Military Performing Brain Surgery On Bees?

English: Female Augochlorella aurata (sweat be...

Female Augochlorella aurata (sweat bee in the Halictidae family). Photo taken in Concord, NH. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Researchers perform ultra precise brain surgery on bees in hopes of developing drones/mavs with advanced nighttime navigation.

via NAUTILUS

A surgeon wielding a micro-scalpel cuts through the head capsule of her subject, the nocturnal sweat bee Megalopta genalis, in a lab at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama.  The surgeon, a researcher working under Dr. Eric Warrant, of Lund University in Sweden, inserts a glass electrode thinner than a micrometer into the bee’s brain. She is trying to pierce something very small—a monopolar cell in a layer at the top of the brain called the lamina. Warrant believes these cells are responsible for a trick called neural summation, which helps the bees maximize the use of light photons to see in their dark habitat—the dense tangled undergrowth of the nighttime Panamanian rainforest.

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Prototype Drone Can Shock You With 80,000 Volts

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It’s called Cupid. Look for it in a sky near you.

Via Information Liberation:

Cupid was revealed at the SXSW Interactive Festival in Austin Texas as a concept for how security might be implemented in the future.

“The drone can be deployed when an alarm is triggered. It can find a subject and send live video to the owners phone and ask if you want to authorize the subject or detain them. If you detain them, it drops into fully autonomous mode to detain them until police arrive. If need be stunning them with 80,000 volts of electricity to render them incapacitated,” the firm said in a statement.

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Hoaxers Plan Global UFO Prank

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PIC: Halftermeyer (CC)

Watch the skies on April 5. You might be lucky enough to see a “UFO.” The current crop of UFOlogists might not find this funny, but I can’t help but think that infamous characters like Gray Barker would have been amused.

Via Yahoo News:

Dozens of volunteers around the world have signed up for what may be the biggest prank in history – using decades of knowledge of ‘UFO sightings’ to time the launch perfectly.

The ‘aliens’ will be strips of LED lights, on remote-controlled multi-rotor drone aircraft – launched at 8pm, so there are plenty of people to see the ‘invaders’, and held at a distance where it’s difficult to see what’s behind the glowing lights.

Nigel Watson, author of the Haynes UFO Investigations manual found plans to “cause a wave of UFO sightings around the world and an apocalypse-like idea in the media,” on forums frequented by drone fans.

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