Updated comparison of “the phantoms” from DJI, including the Phantom 2 Vision+

DJI Innovations, based in Hong Kong, started shipping the newest addition to their Phantom line of quadcopter drones this month. The new model is the most advanced yet. The Phantom 2 Vision+ (note the plus) builds on the Phantom 2 Vision from November 2013, adding a 3-axis gimbal to a

Why stream movies if you can get them delivered by drone?

We are in an expectation bubble right now when it comes to commercial use of drones: Use a drone in a marketing video and it is guaranteed to go viral. Amazon did it (14m views), the Lakemaid brewery did it (500k views) and now Netflix adds their fun take on a cargo cult future with o

100,000 US drone related jobs in 2025

The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) published an economic impact report last year focused on mapping the estimated job and economic potential of regulation that allowed integration of unmanned aircraft into the US airspace. In total, the estimate was a p

Three drones per car sound about right

Last month, Frog Design suggested drones could be useful for cyclists. Renault, a French car company, made quite a stir this week when they shared their thinking behind a concept car that sports a drone. Unveiled at the Delhi Auto Expo, the Kwid concept depicts a two-wheel drive with

The $23m Flying Donkey Challenge

What are you up to between 8 and 16 November 2014? If you haven’t made plans for that week yet, perhaps you should consider taking your autonomous drone to the foot of Mount Kenya to compete in the Flying Donkey Challenge. The Flying Donkey Challenge is a multi-year programme de

Above the surf

Two amazing videos are making it around the internet. Both feature ocean, big waves and surfers. Both were captured from a drone. Both were made by somebody named Eric. Eric Sterman shot his video off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii.   Eric Cheng shot his video at Santa Cruz, Californi

Rubbernecking drones in Norway fire

A tragic fire ravaged Lærdalsøyri Saturday night, a village of some 1,200 inhabitants in Norway, halfway between Oslo and Bergen. 90 people were taken to hospital and many buildings were reported destroyed, including one or more of Lærdal’s unique protected wooden buildings from

Drones in Davos

In three days, the political leaders of the world, top executives and thought leaders will convene in Davos for the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum. The front page of the WEF website features an aerial photo of the Swiss mountain town of Davos. The angle of the photo and th

In the future, “you’ll think of drones as farm equipment”

The BBC aired an interview with Chris Anderson, of DIY Drones and 3D Robotics, about how drones can help with increase crop yields and target application of pesticides. There is a remarkable statement towards the end when Chris Anderson says “Tomorrow, you’ll think of dron

Emergency delivery of human organs for transplant?

When Amazon announced their ‘Prime Air’ plans to deliver packages in 30 minutes by using unmanned aerial vehicles it excited our inner gadget freaks that there was a possible future where we wouldn’t have to wait two days for a new mobile phone case. While commercial

Smaller and smaller personal drones

On the DIY Drones blog I spotted a description of the Pocket Drone, a project currently up for funding on Kickstarter. At the time of this post, the project has received pledges for more than 70% of their relatively modest $35k goal. The world of personal drones may look quite differe

In the US, the FAA announces six drone test sites

Today, the FAA announced six test sites for unmanned aircraft systems: University of Alaska State of Nevada New York’s Griffiss International Airport North Dakota Department of Commerce Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Vir

Is the US behind on airspace regulation for drones?

In May 2000 the US government switched off encryption (known as selective availability) of signals from GPS satellites. The move spawned increased civilian use of GPS and an accelerated market for GPS enabled devices, with the associated jobs and revenues. Are we approaching a similar

Climbing the Devil’s Needle – bring your drone

Take a national park outside Rio de Janairo, the Serra dos Orgãos, and take two skilled climbers, then add a drone with a video camera. The footage is truly stunning. The climbers Deyvisson Bastos S. and Marcelo Vieira ascend “The Devil’s Needle” and I’m in awe

Why I bought a quadcopter drone

I bought a quadcopter drone so I could learn more about an interesting and possibly disruptive technology that is only in its infancy. More specifically: To acquaint myself with how easy a 2013 model quadcopter is to fly. To elevate my other hobby, photography, by taking photos from n