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Quadcopter records itself saved from drowning

Zwier Spanjer bought himself a shiny new drone aircraft recently, and on his very first day playing with his new toy, disaster struck. While flying the DJI Phantom 2, Spanjer apparently neglected to keep track of the battery level, which caused the drone to lose power and go into emergency landing mode. Unfortunately, the location it chose for landing happened to be a small pond.

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Dromida Ominus quadcopter review

This thing is so much fun! You can fly it outside too if there is no wind. It has multiple flight modes and can even fly upside down. In the beginner mode its nice and steady. This thing can take a beating too. Its bigger than some other indoor models and can fly pretty fast. I have some other indoor RC toys and this one is the best so far. Wish it had a little camera. Comes with the quad, radio, lipo with USB charger and an extra set of blades. Note that the blade shafts don’t connect directly to the motors but instead use a brass gear that meshes with what appears to be a plastic gear. I can see that if you bounce this thing off of walls you might strip out one of the motor gears. Maybe. This thing is built pretty tough though. I wouldn’t suggest it for little kids. Its not as easy to fly as those little dual prop helicopters. Continue reading Dromida Ominus quadcopter review

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Drones for Sale: US to Export Armed UAVs

The State Department announced Tuesday that the US will sell armed drones for sale to foreign countries. Meant to empower American allies, many fear exports will spread the deadly technology to countries unfit to handle it.

On Tuesday, the State Department announced that the US would begin accepting applications by foreign states seeking to purchase American-made, armed Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs, or “drones for sale”).

The US has pioneered the development and implementation of drones for sale as weapons of war, but it has long been reluctant to sell them.

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What is a Quadcopter?

what-is-a-quadcopterQuadcopter is basically Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) as a most general description. Quadcopters have many multiple uses these days and different customers buy it for different purposes. They are used by certain law enforcers, aerial photographers, scientific researchers and hobbyists. Most of the recent quadcopters come with a built-in camera and therefore are put to many professional uses. You can check our Quadcopters with Camera for category for detailed investigation. A quadcopter can hover at a decent height above the ground and this is the reason why it’s preferred over a remote controlled plane.
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Indian Surveillance Drones explained

Click here to watch Indian Surveillance Drone Chase Scene.

The movie Interstellar (2014), starts with a scene where main characters run after an unmanned flying vehicle. After catching, it revealed as Indian Surveillance Drone. Here is idea behind this explained :

A few things to consider:
1) There’s a line in the movie about 6 billion people all wanting the same standard of living, presumably as in developed countries. Meaning people in India and China have stepped it up and are now producing more world class professionals (read: engineers) than anywhere else. Continue reading Indian Surveillance Drones explained

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Best Aerial Video & Photography Drones

Have a good feeling for the basics and want to buy a drone that packs a little more punch? Below are a few of the most well-received quadcopter units used by aerial photographers:

Parrot AR 2.0 – not only does the Parrot AR 2.0 boast a durable (and light) styrofoam frame, but you can also pilot it with a smartphone or tablet

DJI Phantom 1 for GoPro – an undisputed market leader, DJI offers this model as their most affordable option, built specifically to house a GoPro camera (read my DJI quadcopter review here)

Parrot Bebop Drone – another exciting innovation from the Parrot crew, the Bebop drone sports a 14 Mpx “fisheye” camera, user-controlled 180 degree vision, and a built-in GPS (read this parrot bebop review from QuadHangar)

Walkera QR X350 PRO – ready-to-fly and includes extra batteries, a brushless gimbal and first-person-view (FPV) system; fantastic out-of-the box unit for professional aerial videographers

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Anyone wants hydrogen powered drones?

The Pentagon spent millions developing a humongous hydrogen-fueled drone that, it hoped, could fly at soaring altitudes for a week at a time. Now the drone is all on its lonesome, because no one wants to buy it.

Built by drone manufacturer AeroVironment, the Global Observer is a 70-foot-long jumbo drone with a wingspan nearly as long as one of the Air Force’s B-52 bombers. Powered by liquid-hydrogen fuel cells, it was billed as a persistent eye-in-the-sky capable of loitering at 65,000 feet for a week a time without spewing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The Pentagon also envisioned many missions. The drone’s 380-pound payload of spy cameras and sensors could stare at a diameter of 600 miles of earth at once, while doubling as a communications relay. It could patrol the oceans and possibly track hurricanes — the Department of Homeland Security was interested in it too.

But now no one wants the giant drone. “Currently, no service or defense agency has advocated for it to be a program,” Pentagon spokeswoman Maureen Schumann told InsideDefense (subscription only) in April. This was after spending $27.9 million developing the drone since 2007, which came to an end in December when the Pentagon closed down its development contract, the trade journal reports.

When emailed by Danger Room, the Pentagon didn’t elaborate on the reasons why. “Global Observer was a technology demonstration, not a program,” spokesperson Maureen Schumann wrote. But the Global Observer had run into danger before.

The first prototype, the GO-1, was destroyed in a crash during a test flight — its ninth test — at Edwards Air Force Base in April 2011. (The cause hasn’t been revealed.) The Pentagon had also ordered a second prototype called the GO-2 before the first prototype’s crash, but then renegotiated with the company to buy back the drone before it was completed. It also had a litany of now-former sponsors: the Army, Air Force, Coast Guard and U.S. Special Operations Command — and the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Strategic Command and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

So AeroVironment is stuck with it. “Our production facility has the ability to produce up to five air vehicles per year, our core team is intact and our strategic supply chain ready to move forward when we secure the commitment to do so,” company spokesman Steven Gitlin told InsideDefense in a statement. If all else fails, another option would be for the company itself to fly the GO-2 and “sell the information or service it provides.” But that’s an open question.
Nor is the Global Observer the only giant hydrogen-powered spy drone on the market.

Boeing wants to sell the military on its Phantom Eye drone, which has similar specs and size to the Global Observer. In April, the company took a scale model of its competitor to the Navy’s Sea Air Space Convention, marketing it as a flying communications relay hub for a Navy that’s been trying to better network its warships together. But Boeing’s drone has to overcome a checkered history as well, including a failed attempt by the Missile Defense Agency to stick a laser on it, and technical problems that delayed its first test flight. When it did take to the skies, a landing accident broke the Phantom Eye’s nose landing gear.

A recent flight test for Phantom Eye — it’s third — on April 20 at Edwards Air Force Base had better results. “Phantom Eye climbed to 10,000 feet and remained aloft for 2 hours and 15 minutes –- a dramatic increase from the Feb. 25, flight test when the demonstrator aircraft reached 8,000 feet during that 67-minute flight,” Deborah VanNierop, a spokesperson with the Boeing Phantom Works division tells Danger Room. “We do not have a date scheduled at this time for the next flight, but our goal is to continue routine flight testing until Phantom Eye reaches its maximum planned altitude of up to 65,000 feet.”

Both of these giant drones were also going up against Northrop Grumman’s unarmed Global Hawk, which has already flown thousands of hours of missions for the Air Force over Afghanistan to Libya. Though it’s not certain whether the Air Force will keep the Global Hawk over long term, as it recently sliced off more than $100 million in research spending for the program, and has stopped buying more of them.

It’ll be a tougher job convincing the military to buy a whole other new surveillance drone. Which means the Global Observer’s fate looks like a glum and lonely one.

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