Amazon, Apple, Intel & others hoping to be granted FAA flight exemptions today for experimental flights

Amazon, Apple, Intel, Qualcomm and Airbus are among the companies hoping to be granted permission for a new series of experimental drone flights as part of the U.S. initiative launched by President Trump last year.

The government has opened up applications to companies interested in being able to conduct flights beyond line-of-sight, at night or over people that are not allowed under the current FAA rules.

Continue Reading

Apple Park drone pilot thinks company tracking all flights, planning counter-measures [Video]

A drone pilot who has been making regular flights over Apple Park says he believes that the company is tracking all flights over the campus, and thinks it’s only a matter of time before counter-measures are used to block future flights …

Continue Reading

Chinese authorities catch suspects who used drones to smuggle $80M worth of iPhones from Hong Kong

iPhones are significantly cheaper in Hong Kong than mainland China, and it’s not unusual to find people smuggling them across the border. But while the record for smuggling them under clothing is around $150k, that’s nothing compared to the $79.8M worth transported with the help of drones …

Continue Reading

Latest Apple Park drone footage shows completed outdoor sports courts, bicycles & more

Not long after the city of Cupertino gave Apple permission to move employees into five of the 12 Apple Park sections, the latest drone footage shows that they won’t have any trouble keeping fit.

Among the recently-completed work are the outdoor sports courts, and we can also see bicycles scattered around the campus to provide a convenient and healthy way for staff to move between exterior locations …

Continue Reading

Review: The $129 DJI Osmo Mobile 2 is the best-value phone gadget available right now [Video]

If you’ve got any recent flagship smartphone, you’ve got a great camera – both for still photos and for video. So good, in fact, that many independent filmmakers use the iPhone in particular to shoot both shorts and full-length movies.

But such reports can give a somewhat misleading impression. Very often, the smartphone is the capture device, but it’s coupled to far more expensive supplementary kit like professional lenses, and gimbals to smooth footage.

What DJI has done with its latest gimbal, the Osmo Mobile 2, is to bring smooth mobile shooting – and more – down to a price level that makes it extremely affordable. So much so that, when you consider all the things it can do, I’d say it qualifies as the best-value iPhone accessory on the market at the moment …

Continue Reading

Review: Zephyr’s drone simulator is a great if pricey way to improve your flying skills

One of the downsides of living in a city is that opportunities to fly your drone tend to be limited. Where I live is well inside the massive chunk of drone-free air over London. Indeed, I’m inside both controlled airspace for my nearest airport (London City, less than five miles away) and a separate Restricted Area above central London.

So if I want to reach clear airspace, it’s either a car ride or train journey away – which means I only really do it when I have a specific reason or project in mind. That makes it hard to build on, or even maintain, my flying skills.

DJI of course has its own drone simulator built into the DJI Go app, but it’s more of a conceptual implementation than an accurate simulation of real-world physics. Which is why I decided to try Zephyr, a simulator for the Mac and Windows that claims to accurately model the actual flight characteristics of the drones it covers …

Continue Reading