About the Author

Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Main Writer at DroneDJ, where he covers all drone-related news and writes product reviews. He also contributes to the other sites in the 9to5Mac group such as; 9to5Mac, 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, and Electrek.

Haye can be reached at haye@dronedj.com or @hayekesteloo


Haye Kesteloo's Favorite Gear

December 14

DJI recently launched what seems to be a massive agriculture drone in China. It is called the T16 and the video below explains everything in great detail to anybody who can understand Chinese. Unfortunately, that does not include me. However, there are a few things that become clear as you watch the video.

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Ryanair Boeing 737 passenger jet comes within 50 feet of drone

Just as I was researching the possible drone collision with this Boeing 737, I came across another close call. A Ryanair Boeing 737 passenger jet apparently came within 50 feet of hitting a drone as it approached Stansted airport in England.

Crew members said that they heard a “pretty loud bang” shortly before landing. In photos from the local press, significant damage to the nose of the Boeing 737 passenger jet is visible. Grupo Aeromexico SAB started an investigation whether a drone had indeed collided with the passenger jet as it was approaching its destination in Tijuana, Mexico.

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December 13

DJI Enterprise sent out a tweet today announcing the introduction of something new on December 17th, at 9 am EST. The accompanying image shows what seems to be a hot cup of coffee, taken with a thermal or infrared camera. There is also a bit of a cryptic message saying: “It’s going to be 🔥” Will it be a thermal camera for the Mavic 2 Enterprise?

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The Irving Police Department just launched their new drone program. 22 police officers in Irving, Texas will be fully trained Part 107 drone pilots. At least four officers will have a drone ready to fly, in their vehicles during their shift at all times. The drones will be used during searches for missing persons, suspects, to investigate crime scenes and more. The drone program was paid for in part by a city grand.

Less than two weeks ago we reported on the NYPD adding 14 drones to their police force. expand full story

December 12

DJI is shipping the Osmo Pocket. Some of our readers have informed us that their order status has changed to ‘shipped’. Late yesterday, we also learned that an updated version of the Mimo app is now available for download at the iTunes app store and Google Play store. The new firmware for the DJI Osmo Pocket delivers better auto-focus, improved audio and 120 fps at 1080p for slow-motion. Check it out!

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Gun-wielding Point Sur Lighthouse trespasser caught with help of drone

Law enforcement officials in California used a drone to catch a gun-wielding trespasser. After he had broken into the Point Sur Lighthouse, the man fled. He had been classed as a danger to the public and a drone was sent into the air to try and locate the trespasser. The Point Sur Lighthouse trespasser was successfully apprehended soon after. This is not the first time we have seen law enforcement officials using a drone to make an arrest.

Cameras mounted on FPV racing drones are quickly becoming the way to bring viewers close to the action. Over the last twelve months, we have seen many examples of jaw-dropping drone video footage of skiers, mountain bikers, rhinos, and cars drifting that was captured with a racing drone and an action camera, such as a GoPro Hero 7. This video, Drift Hard, is the latest example of how amazing such footage can be. Jump right in.

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December 11

Sec. Chao to discuss the future of mobility and DOT initiatives on drones and self-driving technology in a keynote at CES 2019.

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Less than one week ago, we posted this article about how drone design takes inspiration from birds (and even insects) when it comes to designing the aircraft. This latest drone study from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) in collaboration with ISAE-Supaéro takes it even a step further. The bird-like drone would have flapping wings and sense gusts and thermals to help it gain speed and altitude. Just like real birds.

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Today, Skydio announces more new features for their fully autonomous R1 drone. As the company keeps improving their software, they are now adding the ability for the R1 to fly over large bodies of water. Previously you were restricted to flying over smaller ponds or streams. Not anymore. Skydio suggests that you can now use the R1 to obtain footage of yourself wakeboarding, fishing or even when you’re out on a jetski. That sounds really cool, but keep in mind this is one expensive drone to see going down in the drink. Another new feature that was added in the latest release is a Hyperlapse mode and improved Car Follow shots. Check out the video below to get an idea of the kind of footage you can now get with the SKydio R1 drone. You can get the Skydio R1 on Amazon for $1,999.

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December 10

Loc8 software can analyze drone photos to help locate missing people

Drones have helped to save people’s lives in many cases. Earlier this year DJI reported that in 2017, 65 people had been rescued with the help of drones and that 124 people around the world were saved with drone assistence. These numbers are undoubtedly even higher now. Search and rescue drones are often outfitted with infra-red or thermal cameras to help find missing people. However, that is not always the case. Often times, the drones use their regular cameras to take photos or a large area in which people have gotten lost. The challenge then becomes, how do you sift through thousands and thousands of aerial photos looking for that one missing individual? This is where Loc8’s software comes into play.  Loc8 software can go through thousands of images, much faster than is humanly possible, to locate the few pixels that might represent a missing person. This could be very exciting software indeed and may go a long to way to help find missing persons faster.

Just like last year, DJI launches their Winter Holiday Sale with up to 30% discounts. Unfortunately, many of the discounts are not for the newest and hottest DJI products, such as the DJI Osmo Pocket or the DJI Mavic 2 Pro/Zoom. Instead, the discounts seem to be focussed on older products such as the Mavic Pro and Spark and accessories instead.  expand full story

We have seen it before in official DJI photos and videos (here, here and here). We know it is coming. And, now we know when. A source has shared with DroneDJ that DJI is planning to release the mystery remote controller soon. The same source also informed us that it is indeed for the Mavic 2 line of drones. The new DJI Mavic 2 Remote Controller with built-in display is set to be launched on Tuesday, January 8th during CES 2019.

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December 8

Engineers in Scotland used a drone to restore communications after a massive landslide cut off a remote Highland community. A road outside Kinloch Hourn was completely destroyed after a landslide dumped 9,000 tons of soil and rock on it from 2,500 ft.

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December 7

Humans took inspiration from birds to design drones

Humans took inspiration from birds to design drones, but now the birds are fighting back according to the Atlantic. The article talks about how innovators have looked to birds to help them design their drones, but it also covers the Chinese government disguising drones as doves to avoid being detected by the people they spy on. The Australian wedge-tail eagles who attack drones mid-air and governments, such as the Dutch, that have experimented with eagles to take drones out of the sky.

Trumbull Unmanned’s CEO Dyan Gibbens attributes success to mentors

Trumbull Unmanned‘s founder and CEO, Dyan Gibbens attributes her success in the drone industry to seeking out expert and peer mentors. Asking mentors for help is not a sign of weakness but a sign of strength, she says in Entrepreneur. Dyan Gibbens is a former member of the U.S. Air Force Parachute Team, a mom, an entrepreneur, Latina, and a drone pilot.

Former Evernote executive and Sunflower Labs CEO Alex Pachikov showcases the Sunflower drone security system at his own house in San Carlos, California. The system consists of ‘Sunflowers’, a ‘Bee’ and a ‘Hive’. And as you might have guessed, the Bee is the drone in this home surveillance system. Even though there are some challenges to overcome before drones can be as part of fully autonomous home surveillance systems, it is good to see companies working on new drone applications. Let’s take a closer look at the Sunflower drone security system and how they plan to put drones to work.

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December 5

Like last year, drones are expected to be a hot seller this holiday shopping season. And many of the recipients will be children. So, in anticipation of this, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) launched a new campaign: “Buzzy the Drone“. In a YouTube video, we are introduced to the ‘cute’ animated drone. The video is accompanied by a little rhyme that warns young drone pilots to keep the drone in sight and also check out some of the other rules that apply. The video seems to be somewhat childish, but as we know from research in Germany education goes a long way to preventing drone incidents. So, the FAA must have thought, better start them young! Nothing wrong with that, I suppose.

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December 4

Today the New York Police or NYPD announced that they will start using 14 DJI drones. The aircraft are to be used for reconstructing traffic crashes, crime scenes, securing large events and search-and-rescue operations. Some people fear however that ‘mission creep’ may set in and worry that the drones might be used to spy on law-abiding citizens. During a demonstration today, the NYPD denied the drones would be used for that purpose.

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