About the Author

David MacQuarrie

David MacQuarrie is a 35 year+ veteran of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He worked in St. John’s, Ottawa, Toronto and Beijing where he worked as a news writer,reporter, producer for the national and local television and radio networks. His stories on science and technology won ACTRA and Columbus awards. Before retiring he was the show writer for CBC Radio’s The Current.

November 24

Researchers at UNSW Canberra in Australia believe they have cracked one of the secrets that allow the ungainly bumblebee to fly so dexterously. And they think that may have an application to the next generation of drones.

Bumblebees apparently have a keen sense of their own size. And that allows them to fly through complex and cluttered environments without crashing or wrecking their delicate wings. It’s a possible learning moment for an autonomous drone.

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November 14

Thanks to COVID-19, not only is the 2020 Masters Golf Tournament late this year, there’s no polite applause from spectators — because there are no spectators.

Nevertheless, fans are seeing the game in a way they’ve never seen it before: from a golf ball’s perspective, thanks to drones.

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November 12

The 1960s animated cartoon series The Jetsons is best remembered for its depiction of a future that just never seems to get any closer (apart from video phones). And nothing about this future is more lamented than the prolonged absence of George Jetson’s flying electric car.

The bad news: There are still no flying electric cars. The good news: Florida is building a place to park them.

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November 11

Drone pilots don’t need to be told about the wonders of electric flight.  But Scientific American believes electric aviation for passengers may be here sooner than we think as the industry struggles to decarbonize.

It’s one of the top ten emerging technologies the magazine highlights in its most recent issue.

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November 10

This month, mysterious lights startled some people looking to the skies in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Readers of this website will already know there is no mystery; the UFO lights at Maier Festival Park were just drones practicing for a Christmas Pageant light show.

But there’s a long history of alarming lights in the sky and earthlings assuming it just can’t be good.

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November 5

There’s a reason hobbyist drones come with a few extra sets of propellers. Even the most careful fliers still manage to steer their drones into surprise trees and unexpected walls. Propeller guards protect against many kinds of bruisings. But what about protection for the entire drone? What about protecting the drone against high speed crashes against concrete barriers? What about that?

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November 4

DJI has finally dropped – if that’s the right word – its latest drone, the Mini 2, an improvement over the popular Mavic Mini. Its Fly More Combo sells for $599 compared to $499 for the older drone combo. What do you get for the extra cash? We have a few of the latest specs from DJI. Let’s take a look:

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As an early drone adopter, my heart broke often. My first drone was a toy helicopter that took one fuzzy shot of me from about 40 feet up before I lost control and it hit the ground never to fly again. Then a series of mostly “toy” quadcopters, one of which was monstered by my niece’s dog. But last month, DJI loaned us a Mavic Mini (now discounted) and then the just-released Mini 2. I flew both for the first time within days of one another.

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October 14

Most hobbyists consider their drone to be a terrific tool — a lot less dangerous than a hammer and way more fun.

But there are times when we wonder about the drone’s dark potential. What could it do in the wrong hands? Out of a sense of good citizenship, though, most drone users are unlikely to share those thoughts in public.

Well, feel free to vent because the Association of the United States Army voiced your worst fears.

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October 8

If you’re like most of us, one of your first drone flights was over the top of a friend’s house or your own. It’s strangely thrilling seeing the familiar in such an unfamiliar way. Chances are you never did it again, though; it’s only a novelty if it’s novel. Now, would someone please tell Hollywood?

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