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

February 16

A drone may have been involved in a helicopter’s crash landing in South Carolina earlier this week. This would make it the first drone-related aircraft crash in the United States. The incident happened on Wednesday around 2 pm as a student pilot was practicing low-altitude hovering in a remote area, according to Charleston Police Department report. Luckily both the student and the helicopter instructor were uninjured.

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This morning we woke up to newly leaked information from a source, who has proven to be very accurate in the past. The DJI Mavic Pro II (or Mavic Pro 2) is rumored to arrive late in March so it makes sense that more details are coming out as we approach that deadline. Today we learn that the original foldable drone from DJI may actually grow in size. Indeed the new DJI Mavic Pro II may become a monster drone.

 

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Good morning, a little later than usual, so quickly grab your coffee and follow along as we watch the DJI Spark fly at great heights in the Himalayas in Nepal.

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February 15

The drone industry is buzzing with talk of the amazing obstacle avoidance and tracking capability of the new Skydio R1 drone. The video that the company used to show off the drone’s skills is great but another video surfaced from the marketing manager of Skydio, Pat Stahl. Pat took the R1 with him on a snowboarding trip and I think this video does an even better job of showing how well the obstacle avoidance and tracking work on this autonomously flying drone. Just watch how the drone follows Pat when he snowboards through the trees.

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After launching the Knowledge Quiz for drone pilots in the U.S. and U.K. last year, DJI introduced the quiz in Australia and that is a good thing. Many hobbyist drone pilots do not have a sufficient level of understanding of the rules and regulations that apply as soon as they launch their unmanned aerial vehicles into the air. The lack of understanding is supported by the recent FAA ASSURE study that pointed out the importance of education and safety regulation for drones and drone pilots. It was also painfully made clear when the drone pilot who flew his Phantom 4 into an Army helicopter over Staten Island showed only a “general cursory awareness of regulations and good operating practices.” There are only a handful of really important rules that one needs to understand before flying a drone. Please take the time to learn the rules that apply in the country in which you are flying your drone. It will go a long way to increase the safety of people onboard manned aircraft and it will keep you out of trouble.

The rules that apply to drone pilots differ from country to country. For the U.S. you can find them here.

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Good morning, We have a number of news items you may have missed this morning. Starting with what is maybe the best commercial DJI has ever made. If you haven’t seen it yet, get a cup of coffee and sit down for this one. It is really nice.

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February 14

Today Chinese drone manufacturer DJI, surprised us with their latest and it seems in the eyes of many people, their very best DJI Mavic Air commercial.

If you have three minutes of your time, grab a tea or coffee and sit down to watch this. I think you will appreciate it.

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New research shows that delivery drones can lessen the burden on the environment and deliver certain packages faster than trucks, which are responsible for about 20 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. As you’d expect, there are a few caveats though. expand full story

Drone deliveries may become a reality sooner than expected now that Drone Delivery Canada Corp. received a compliance certificate from the federal government last week.

The Compliant UAV Operator Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) that the Vaughan-based company received from Transport Canada, allows for beyond “line-of-sight” drone operations, which is crucial in commercial drone deliveries.

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Europe’s largest city, London is not ready for drone deliveries, autonomous vehicles or car sharing apps, like Uber, the transport committee of the London Assembly said in a report on Tuesday.

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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the state Department of Land and Natural Resources have started an investigation into a report that a drone struck a Kauai tour helicopter.

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Good morning and Happy Valentine’s day! Yesterday Skydio launched the drone they have been working on for 4 years, the R1. The R1 is a very special drone with next level obstacle avoidance as you will see in the video below.

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February 13

The Skydio R1 drone has been years in the making but it is here now! Our sister site, Electrek, first wrote about it when one of the senior engineers left Tesla to join the then start-up drone company.

What makes the R1 drone unlike any other drone you’ve seen, is its advanced obstacle avoidance system, the Skydio Autonomy Engine. With 12 cameras, the R1 creates a 3D map of its surroundings and tries to predict the movements of its subject, i.e. a skier, runner, biker, up to 4 seconds into the future so that it can follow the subject while keeping it in the center of the frame and avoiding obstacles at the same time. Impossible you say? Wait until you watch the video below. This is obstacle avoidance at a whole new level. Sorry guys, but the bar has been raised with the R1 drone from Skydio.

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The guys from RC Geeks have taken apart the DJI Mavic Air, the latest drone of the market-leading Chinese drone manufacturer. As you can see in the selection of photos we published on our site, it is a precision job. If you decide to take apart your Mavic Air, do so at your own risk. expand full story

The footage is simply amazing. Robert McIntosh shot this short film ‘Muscle-Up’ all in one take with the “world’s smallest HD drone.” His video recently made the news again when it was announced that this short film won in two categories, ‘Made in LA’ and ‘Best in Show’, at the Los Angeles Drone Film Festival in December. According to a friend McIntosh received a $23,000 drone for the prize.

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During the Singapore Airshow last week, a top official of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) stated that the regulator is planning to craft rules by this year to make it easier to identify drones and their pilots. The rapid growth of the drone market and the rising number of incidents involving these unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s) are the main drivers behind the need for increased drone regulation.

To draft the new rules, the FAA is working closely together with other agencies and industry partners, said Carl Burleson, acting deputy administrator of the regulator, during a panel discussion. Adam Welsh, DJI’s head of public policy for Asia-Pacific was on the same panel and also weighed in, pleading for a global set of rules that would save time and could be implemented faster.

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Good morning, We have some exciting news. Yesterday, DroneDJ was officially accepted to the Google News section, which is kind of a big deal for us as it means recognition for our hard work. More importantly, however, this means that more people will be able to find our articles and it will be easier for Android users to access our information. So we are pretty excited about this! Now let’s get back to drone news.

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February 12

A Florida woman shouted to the police: “Just kill me! Just kill me!” Instead, the police used drones to help end a 4-hour-long standoff. The 57-year-old woman had parked her Kia sedan right in front of a semi-truck at a Walmart parking lot on Dec 8.

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Back in 2015 DJI acquired a minority stake in Hasselblad, the famous Swedish medium-format camera company. Early in 2017, DJI increased their share to a majority interest, although how much the drone manufacturer exactly owns has never been made public. DJI’s recent efforts to increase the global online sales of their products received a boost due to a new partnership with Worldpay, so it should not come as a surprise that Hasselblad now opens their virtual doors with a new online store. To celebrate the Grand Opening, you can now receive a 10% discount on all the Hasselblad cameras and lenses. Keep in mind the discount is for a limited time only, starting today until the 18th of February.

Note: The online store is only available to German customers for the moment. Hopefully, that will change soon.

Update: We have contacted Hasselblad and the U.S. online store will open in March and will have a Grand Opening Promotion as well. Details will follow.

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With drone sales growing rapidly around the world, DJI has partnered with Worldpay to improve online payments and increase their eCommerce part of the business. DJI’s goal is to make it easier for their customers to buy their products through the DJI online store, especially in Europe and Asia-Pacific. A partnership with Worldpay makes sense, as it also facilitates country-specific online payment methods, such as iDeal in The Netherlands and SOFORT in Germany. You can read the official press release below.

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