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Billy Kyle

September 18

GET (Global Energy Transmission), a US C-corporation with an engineering center in Russia has developed an inductive charging system that powers up drone batteries mid-flight, allowing them to stay in the air for an indefinite amount of time. Although this appears to be in the early stages of development, it works really well delivering 25 minutes of flight in 6 minutes.

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September 14

There are a ton of new features, both hardware and software, that DJI has baked into the new Mavic 2 and some are getting a lot more attention than others. New Quickshots like hyperlapse and flight features like Activetrack 2.0 have been covered a countless number of times by pilots on YouTube, but there is plenty more to discuss. With that being said, here are six underrated features that make the Mavic 2 one of the greatest drones you can buy right now. expand full story

September 13

Any drone pilot knows that navigating through tight spaces is tough. Consumer grade drones developed by companies like Skydio and DJI now have the sensors and software that make it possible for their aircraft to dodge obstacles while following a subject, but the team behind the GapFlyt project is upping the ante.

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September 11

At Pasco-Hernando State College located in Pasco County, Florida is offering a brand new degree for drone pilots looking to turn their hobby into a profession. According to ABC Action News, WFTS Tampa Bay, this program is the first of its kind in the state of Florida. As a current student attending a university with a major in communications who loves flying drones, I am tempted to make the transfer down south.

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September 10

The Army is looking to solve one of the biggest problems regarding drones: flight time. Drones of all shapes and sizes have different flight times; some can fly for minutes while others can fly for weeks. According to the New Scientist [paywall], The United States Army is looking to power their drones via lasers to keep them flying indefinitely.

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September 8

Nothing is better than a nice relaxing day on the golf course, playing with friends and family, trying not to make a fool of yourself at the tee box. With that said, there is also nothing worse than being held up by a group in front of you or a pesky cart girl carrying drinks, awkwardly creeping up from behind as you try to concentrate on the game. A company by the name of Flytrex wants to take carts carrying food out of the mix and deliver food to golfers via drones.

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September 5

The DJI Mavic 2 Zoom features a brand new camera that is able to optically zoom between 24-48mm opening the door for a wide variety of brand new aerial shots. This zoom feature produces lossless quality. This is a major plus for video creators who want to save every pixel in their footage.

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Three new photos surfaced today on Twitter, that appear to be prototype models of a new Phantom 5 drone. These same drones have popped up before in these older images, which were denied by DJI. But this new round of leaks gives us a different look at the aircraft and camera assembly. If this is, in fact, the next version of the Phantom, it doesn’t look like many exterior changes have been made.

Update: DJI reaffirms that these photos are not a Phantom 5 Prototype. expand full story

September 2

The DJI Mavic 2 series introduces two brand new cameras that not only shoot better images than the original Mavic Pro, but also have their own special characteristics. The Mavic 2 Pro carries a 1-inch sensor that can take 20mp photos while the Mavic 2 Zoom carries a 24mm-48mm camera that can optically zoom in two times without losing any quality. Here’s something I bet you don’t know: the gimbal can pan.

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August 30

Have you ever felt brave enough to take part your brand new drone as soon as you take it out of the box? Me neither. Luckily, TronicsFix LLC on YouTube has the skills and knowledge to do this properly so that all of us can check out what’s inside the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom. Check out their teardown video below!

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Drone inspections are nothing new, but Ford Motor Company is doing things differently than the rest. Drone flight is typically conducted outdoors where pilots have much more room to maneuver around structures taking various images. Employees at Ford instead are flying drones inside of their plant to keep workers safe. expand full story

In just four months a new drone policy in India passed by the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will go into effect. Currently, permission is required to operate an unmanned aircraft in India and punishments including jail time are given out to those who fly without consent. As of December 1st, 2018, India’s drone laws will resemble those that pilots must follow in the United States. Here is everything you need to know about what flying a drone in India will be like once these policies go into effect.

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August 29

With the release of the new Mavic 2 Pro, DJI has single-handedly jeopardized sales of the Phantom 4 series as they introduced a new folding drone that carries a 1-inch sensor. Professional photographers and videographers gravitated towards the Phantom 4 Pro as it featured a camera with a 1-inch sensor and was easy to travel with. Now that they have included a similar camera in a much smaller drone, what’s next for DJI’s Phantom series? expand full story

August 26

With Hurricane Lane making landfall in Hawaii this weekend, Verizon and AT&T are putting drones in the sky to deliver cellular and wireless connections to first responders and victims. With damage done to cellular towers, these drones can temporarily restore connections to those affected by natural disasters.

How do these drones work?

Currently, Verizon is in the testing phases with their cellular drones, but claims they will be ready to go this hurricane season. AT&T, on the other hand, has multiple iterations of their cellular drones known as “COW’ or “Cellular on Wings.” Some of their drones use eight motors while others use a single motor resembling a helicopter. Remote radio heads are mounted to the bottom of the aircraft that stay tethered to the ground through a fiber optic cable. This connects to larger units stationed on the ground, so in this case, the drone acts as an antenna that can hover at high altitudes to blast out a signal. In an interview with CNBC, Michael Haberman, Verizon Network’s Vice President stated the following:

“If a site goes down and you have people trapped, they have cell phones but they can’t use them because if there’s a problem with the local tower you can bring this drone in and bring connectivity and we all know how helpful that can be for rescuers.”

Unlike other aircraft, these drones don’t need to be agile or fast. Instead, they need to have long endurance so they can stay in the air for long amounts of time, providing uninterrupted service to dead zones. Check out the video below that CNBC put together with some clips of AT&T and Verizon’s drones in action:

AT&T and Verizon have drones that could provide cell service and save lives this hurricane season from CNBC.

Future applications

These drones will provide invaluable support with future natural disasters down the road and have already proven themselves with the hurricanes that devastated Puerto Rico. After 90% of their cell towers went down, the FAA granted AT&T the ability to use their drones to temporarily provide connection to those affected.

It’s exciting to see drones being used to deliver cellular and wireless signals to those on the ground, but currently, the technology is in its beginning stages. With drones being tethered to the ground, it creates a lot of possible problems with the main one being portability. These drones have no freedom to fly long distances. With larger, high altitude drones like Airbus’ Zephyr, the internet could one day come from 70,000 feet above our heads. This seems to be a much more promising option than smaller helicopters.

What do you think about AT&T and Verizon’s cellular drones? Let us know in the comments below.

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Photo credit: RCR Wireless

With drones being such a widespread piece of aviation technology, they prove to be beneficial to many industries. Despite their potential, drones pose a serious threat to manned aircraft flying throughout the sky because of their small size. This raises the question; what would happen if a drone was sucked into a jet engine?

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In Belmar, New Jersey, lifeguards are conducting tests using drones to assist them in helping swimmers back to land. According to CBS 3 Philly, the town of Belmar is looking to Rutgers University for help in a partnership to figure out how these rescues will work.

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In a patent filed by IBM, drones could one day deliver coffee to thirsty individuals or those that just need a pick-me-up. According to USA Today, the paperwork filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office allows the delivery of beverages in multiple settings like an office, cafe, or public event when one is ordered. Here’s the interesting part: these drones can also deliver coffee to those who are in need of a caffeine boost based off of a prediction. Let’s explain how this all works.

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August 22

The DJI Inspire 2 is an aerial cinematographers dream drone with its seemingly endless versatility in the air and unmatched performance. My drone of choice has been the Phantom 4 Pro for the past 2 years but since upgrading to the Inspire series I haven’t looked back. The Inspire 2 aircraft is sold separately from the various cameras DJI sells so while I won’t be showcasing any footage today, I certainly will be focusing on what makes this one of the most powerful drones DJI has produced.

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Military drones are becoming more prevalent in the evolving age of warfare and they come in all shapes and sizes. UAV’s, like the FLIR Black Hornet, look like a toy helicopter while the Reaper MQ-9 can pass as full-sized, manned aircraft. Matrix UAV, a Ukrainian firm, has created the perfect drone of death called “Demon” that carries weaponized payloads capable of taking on various strike missions.

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August 20

If you asked me what is the best drone on the market right now my response would be the DJI Phantom 4 Pro. Sure, there are drones like the Inspire 2 that are better equipped, but they have their own set of downfalls. The Phantom series offers the perfect blend of performance, quality, and portability at a reasonable cost which makes the Phantom 4 Pro my all-time favorite drone to use.

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