Tag: UAV

Deutsche Bahn not allowed to fly anti-graffiti drone during nighttime

Deutsche Bahn not allowed to fly anti-graffiti drone during nighttime

December 1, 2013 12:00 | By | Add a Comment

Deutsche Bahn (German Railways) recently bought several commercial multicopter equipped with night vision cameras for the purpose of detecting graffiti sprayers during the night. What sounds like a fun pasttime for troubled youth actually causes damages of up to 7.6 million Euros each year for Deutsche Bahn alone. Keeping that price tag in mind, spending EUR 50,000.- per drone sounds like peanuts in comparison.

Turns out it was all for naught, as german Aviation Safety Authority put a stop to this endeavor, forcing the railway company to stop all flights during night time. Unfortunately this makes the whole thing pointless, as graffiti sprayers mostly come out at night. Mostly.

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Face-detecting drones react to voice and gesture commands

Face-detecting drones react to voice and gesture commands

November 28, 2013 14:00 | By | Add a Comment

If you like SciFi, Vancouver’s Simon Frasier University sounds like the place to be. They recently showed off a project involving several modified AR.Drones that react to human faces along with contextual voice and gesture commands. The are able to command drones individually as well as assign them into groups and have them execute commands adressed at the group.

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This results in nifty commands like “You three, take off!” with the command  “Not you!” separating a targeted drone from the group. There’s obviously still a way to go until we get sentient hovering companions like in the beginning of the recent Superman movie, but their research paper is interesting to read nonetheless.

Video demonstration below.

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Drones fill in the blanks for OpenStreetMap

Drones fill in the blanks for OpenStreetMap

November 21, 2013 9:38 | By | Add a Comment

US company Mapbox recently used RC technology to automatically create aerial photos and vector data for the OpenStreetMap project, filling in the white spot of a wine field. In 40 minutes, the drone took over 200 pictures with its 16 Megapixel camera, which were then stitched together and analyzed with Mapbox’ own map tile processing tools.

The drone, an e-bee, is basically just a foam wing with a brushless pusher motor. Its ground control software is proprietary but looks a lot like APM. The e-bee is a turnkey UAV product that weighs 700 grams and can stay airborne for 45 minutes. And if you are interested in price, you probably can’t afford it: USD $12.000.-

Looking at that pricetag, getting an Ardupilot for a hundred bucks sounds like the steal it is.

Video and map after the break.

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X-47B completes autonomous carrier tests

X-47B completes autonomous carrier tests

November 21, 2013 1:47 | By | Add a Comment

The X-47B is the Navy’s Unmanned Combat Air Systems Demonstrator, and it recently completed a series of tests of automated catapult starts, touch and go’s, landings and other flight procedures on the USS Theodore Roosevelt. Aside from the GPS autoland function and other systems enabling autonomous flight, the main focus of the tests was to see how such self-piloting drones integrate with normal carrier operations and how they fit in the military airspace.

This is all part of the ongoing effort to move from piloted jet fighters towards unmanned drones that are capable of carrier operations and actual air combat. And judging from the successful carrier operations tests, the times of human pilots having to manually remote-control drones may soon be a thing of the past. Whether that’s a good thing or not is another matter.

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Former Multirotor company now called Service-Drone, caters to the wealthy professional

Former Multirotor company now called Service-Drone, caters to the wealthy professional

November 19, 2013 10:22 | By | Add a Comment

Service-Drone which aquired the Multirotor-brand back in early 2013, is now offering the fourth generation of Octocopter craft for heavy camera loads. Featuring two 32-bit processors they claim unparalleled flight performance and stability.

Although they vehemently state that none of the original Microcopter-electronics remains, their setup still looks a lot like the old boards. But looks can be deceiving of course.

Their cheapest kit can be yours for the low low price of EUR 8.900.-, while a complete set can run up to EUR 24.000.- and higher.

“Black Hornet” mini-drone wows people who never taped a keychain cam to a RC helicopter

“Black Hornet” mini-drone wows people who never taped a keychain cam to a RC helicopter

February 5, 2013 20:20 | By | Add a Comment

Is it a toy? Is it a RC model? No, it’s a $200.000 drone for the military! Read on how these ebay toys suddenly look like even more of a steal.
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