The Drone Racing League raises $1M

12 Aug , 2015  


It seems like Drone racing is on its way to becoming a legitimate sport, or at least more mainstream. The Wall Street Journal reports that the owner of the Miami Dolphins, Stephen Ross, invested $1M in The Drone Racing League.

RSE Ventures, a venture-capital firm co-founded by Mr. Ross, is providing $1 million to the first round of funding for the Drone Racing League, a New York startup that is planning its first public race later this year. The League intends to make money through sponsorships, media and ticket sales.

One of the challenges, is to provide spectators with live streams and more data, but it seems like they’ve got that pretty much figured out, from The Verge:

The firm has already developed a service named FanVision that gives NASCAR spectators access to live video feeds from race cars on their smartphones. Using this technology to offer drone racing fans access to pilots’ video feeds could help the would-be sport attract interest on the ground, as well as online.

What do you think? Do you think this will help change people’s perceptions about drones? What about the legal aspect? It will be interesting to see how this all pans out.


The potential of UAVs

23 Jul , 2015  


It seems like the media love to focus on how “drones” will start delivering our Amazon Prime packages in the future (and others discuss the legality of shooting a drone that flies over their property) but there are many other reasons why the emerging UAV technology will improve many aspects of our lives. Faine Greenwood over at Slate, discusses why the media is so focused on deliveries:

Both the general public and defense analysts need to be careful about focusing on blue-sky ideas about package delivery and weapons-packing drones to the exclusion of imagining what impact democratized aerial data may have on our societies and our security. Drones are doing all kinds of handy things for humanity, even in the infancy of the technology. They’re being used to protect indigenous land rights, improve agricultural yields, create impressive works of video art, and more, and these applications are only going to expand in the very near future.

Head on over to Slate to read the entire, well-though our article. It will open your eyes.

Slate – Who Cares About Amazon Prime Air?


Episode 4: Episode 4: Drones over Paris, The FAA harrassing a UAV enthusiast and his Youtube channel, DJI and 3D Robotics raising venture capital and UAviators.org

13 Mar , 2015  


In this episode of the podcast, I break down “drones over Paris” incidents with a timeline of the events. I explore the media frenzy over a letter that a UAV hobbyist received from the FAA where they equate his monetized YouTube videos as a commercial endeavor. I interview the aforementioned hobbyist Jayson Hanes to get a first-person account of what really happened.



CNN signs a research agreement with the FAA

14 Jan , 2015  


CNN, everyone’s favorite cable news network (*cough, sarcash *couch) released a press release where they state they they’ve entered a UAV research agreement with the FAA. Its a really short press release, only 4 paragraphs, but the last two paragraphs, which are quoted, are very revealing.

“Our aim is to get beyond hobby-grade equipment and to establish what options are available and workable to produce high quality video journalism using various types of UAVs and camera setups,” said CNN Senior Vice President David Vigilante. “Our hope is that these efforts contribute to the development of a vibrant ecosystem where operators of various types and sizes can safely operate in the US airspace.”

“Unmanned aircraft offer news organizations significant opportunities,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “We hope this agreement with CNN and the work we are doing with other news organizations and associations will help safely integrate unmanned newsgathering technology and operating procedures into the National Airspace System.”

Anyone care to speculate?

[CNN] via [Politico]


3D Robotics CEO Chris Anderson’s interview with TechCrunch

14 Jan , 2015  


Chris Anderson, the CEO of 3D Robotics, creators of the APM line of flight controllers the IRIS line of multirotors, was interview by TechCrunch at CES 2015. Check out the video below.

Talking Drones With 3D Robotics CEO Chris Anderson | TechCrunch.


California Police Agency finally gets UAVs

4 Dec , 2014  


The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office just got delivery of 2 brand spankin’ multirotors, more specifically the AirCover QuadRotor QR425, but won’t start flying them until they get approval from the FAA. About the capabilities of this UAV:

AirCover’s website, however, specifically states that this model has the capability to be used for surveillance purposes, touting the fact that this model is “designed for perch mode operations in order to monitor areas for up to several hours of full motion video in EO, IR, and HD modes.”

The sheriff noted that the ACSO had purchased a FLIR infrared camera to attach to the drone.

“We have data retention where it tracks the flight of the unit and it is given a mission number and refers back to that,” he told reporters. “It has capability to attach other devices, it’s light enough to meet requirements of the FAA and already has been approved in other areas of the country.”

Check out the full article below for all the details.

County sheriff finally gets the drone he wanted, ignores privacy concerns | Ars Technica.


What do you get when you cross and RC car and a quad?

7 Nov , 2014   Video

What do you get when you cross and RC car and a quad? You get this Kickstarter project, the B Flying car. The project is still far from their £25,000 goal (about $40,000 USD) but you still have until December 3rd 2014 to pledge your support. For around $700 USD, and if the funding is successful, you *could expect the own B Flying car by Mar 2015. So, what are you waiting for?


Check out the project and if it tickles your fancy, whip out that credit card.

[B Flying Car – Kickstarter Page]


3D Printed, Sparky-powered, Gimbal equiped Quadcopter

7 Nov , 2014  


Check out this impressive project by James C, a self-designed and 3d printed quad copter frame that uses the Sparky2 board for a flight controller with an integrated Mobius camera gimbal. He details everything about the project and he even made the STL files available for free from Thingiverse so that anyone can print his frame.



Hawk Attacks Quadcopter! – YouTube

10 Oct , 2014   Video

What happens when you invade the space of a hawk? Well, you get attacked. Pretty crazy video of a hawk attaching a quadcopter


Vertical Take-Off Addon for your UAV

21 Apr , 2014   Video

Arcturus UAV revealed today JUMP, their bolt-on system for their T-16 and T-20, which give their glider-type UAVs into vertical take-off capabilities.

For their website:

“Booms fitted with vertical lift motors and rotors are mounted to each wing to provide vertical lift for takeoff and landing. Vertical lift motors are shut off for winged flight and rotors are feathered longitudinally for minimum drag. Seamless transition to winged flight is achieved by the Piccolo autopilot using Latitude Engineering’s Hybrid-Quadrotor technology. All flight control is fully autonomous.”

[Source – Gizmodo]