All items tagged with "drones"

An Apple drone? One man dares to dream

The Apple Drone is one man's unauthorized concept. But he seemed to get the design right. Photo: Eric Huisman

The Apple Drone is an unauthorized concept, but the design looks right. Photo: Eric Huisman

We have Apple products atop our desks, in our pockets and, soon, on our wrists. As if there aren’t enough Apples in our airspace, one man is nudging his favorite company to design a quadrocopter. He’s even taken a stab at designing his dream Apple drone — and was careful to remain faithful to the Jony Ive aesthetic.

Eric Huisman presents his Apple drone concept like a classic Apple ad, with the product photographed on a seamless white background, perfectly lit, with a subtle shadow.

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NoFlyZone lets you control your air space

NoFlyZone allows property owners to register their addresses to alert drone operators to fly in their air space. Photo: DJI

NoFlyZone allows property owners to register their addresses to alert drone operators to not fly in their air space. Photo: DJI

Ben Marcus attracts attention whenever he flies his quadcopter and sometimes he lets the curious take the controls.

During those exchanges, many say this: That’s cool, but what about the privacy issues?

Marcus sensed that the concern about camera-outfitted drones unknowingly hovering over our lives was real enough that it could stunt the potential applications of drones.

So he started a company that will let people restrict their own air space.

NoFlyZone launched on Feb. 10 and already has more than 20,000 homeowners signed up to request drone pilots steer clear of their property.

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Alibaba one-ups Amazon with drone-delivered tea

The Alibaba Group began testing drone delivery through its e-commerce site Taobao, bring tea to 450 doorsteps within an hour. Photo: Taobao.com

The Alibaba Group began testing drone delivery through its e-commerce site Taobao, bring tea to 450 doorsteps within an hour. Photo: Taobao.com

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is redefining high tea.

Drones are taking to the skies in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou to deliver tea to a test group of 450 shoppers using Alibaba’s website Taobao. The three-day trial of drone delivery service in the Chinese cities ends Friday as Alibaba continues to push its might across the globe.

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Hexo+ is the high-flying selfie drone of our dreams

Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

The Hexo+ flies high for stunning aerial photography. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

LAS VEGAS — Drones are everywhere at the International CES show. You can’t walk though the South Hall without hearing the feverish buzz of quadrocopter wings luring people to their booths.

Cult_of_Mac_CES_2015 Most of the new drones we’ve seen are either too expensive for normal people, or they’re cheap and lack compelling features. But after hours of searching we’ve found the one drone you should pay attention to in 2015: The Hexo+.

On the outside, Hexo+ doesn’t look too different from other drones, but it packs a killer “auto-follow” feature that will allow budding drone photographers to capture epic aerial videos without needing a dedicated pilot to frame each shot.

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The Internet of Things and high-powered rifles converge at last

TrackingPoint’s Internet-connected rifles promise accuracy and "social" hunting. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

TrackingPoint’s Internet-connected rifles promise accuracy and “social” hunting. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

LAS VEGAS — I hate hunting. Not because I’m morally opposed to needlessly slaughtering animals, but because I’m a horrible shot.

Cult_of_Mac_CES_2015 I couldn’t hit a deer even if it was only 100 yards away, which is why I need TrackingPoint’s Internet-connected rifles. They boast the same type of precision-guided technology that fighter jets use to blast targets from miles away, while letting your family and friends watch the slaughter from the comfort of their couches.

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Drone tool could throw life rings to swimmers in trouble

The Ryptide would carry an automatically inflating life ring to a swimmer in distress. (Photo courtesy of Bill Pierda)

The Ryptide would carry an automatically inflating life ring to a swimmer in distress. Photo courtesy Bill Pierda

The buff and beautiful lifeguard runs in slow motion down the beach, unseen winds blowing their hair in a Hollywood-made rescue fantasy. But hey, you’re drowning, there’s no time for that.

Your savior could be a group of Connecticut high school students who have developed a drone accessory that deploys an automatically inflating life ring to a swimmer in distress in under 30 seconds.

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This bizarre drone decomposes upon impact

Photo: CNASA/Ames

This drone will decompose in T-minus 10, 9, 8 … Photo: NASA Ames Research Center

While we wait for Amazon to figure out how to drone-deliver our next order of energy drinks or iPhone cases, NASA has been busy coming up with a way to make sure when a quadcopter crash-lands somewhere there will no need to panic about the environmental impact.

That’s because they have made a drone from fungus.

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Drone geeks get a blast of Star Wars speed in this new sport

That blur there is a quad-copter, racing through a sweet forest obstacle course. Screengrab: New Scientist

That blur there is a quad-copter, racing through a sweet forest obstacle course. Screengrab: New Scientist

It may be hard to tell from the image above, but that’s a hot-rodding quadcopter speeding through the forest at about 100 miles an hour. The drone is taking part in the first large-scale first-person video drone race ever in the United States, held last week in Los Angeles.

For the operators, staring at video screens or wearing virtual reality goggles while their drones record the high-speed chase via tiny mounted cameras, the experience is not unlike the best part of the prequel Star Wars movies — the podracing scene.

Check out the video below for a better sense of what these guys are doing.

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Gadget Watch: Keyboards, skateboards, duck heads and drones

Kites trump drones for aerial-photography bliss

Go fly a kite. Marketing exec Pierre Lesage finds the practice relaxing after a busy week overseeing operations at eight hotels. It’s also perfect for shooting photos.

“Since the drones came out a few years ago, kite aerial photography lost interest for a few photographers that are just looking for photographic results,” says Lesage. “I am also looking for results but I need that poetic aspect of doing it with a kite, and as long as there is wind I never have problem with batteries.”

Quadcopters are a thrill but flying kites is the zen alternative — and the photographic results are postcard perfect. It’s a way to mix tinkering with fresh air and can be as easy as picking up a prefab rig or as complicated as diving into the world of schematics and solder.

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