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

June 15

Chinese drone-maker DJI just sent out an invitation to the press to come and “See The Bigger Picture” on July 18th at 10 am in New York. The invitation was sent by email and contained a top-down aerial photo that seems to show a mountainous area with trees, a river and possibly a lake in the center. Toward the outer edges of the circular image you see clouds and then it fades into black. There is no indication if this photo is from an actual location and/or how much of it may be photoshopped. The image also has a resemblance of an eye (iris and pupil), which nicely ties back into their slogan: “See The Bigger Picture”, which is superimposed over the photo. Like with previous announcements from DJI, it is hard to get much information out it, but I think it is safe to say that DJI will almost certainly be announcing a new consumer drone this summer with an emphasis on image quality. Possibly the new Mavic Pro 2 drone.

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Good morning, here are yesterday’s headlines with a new drone video of the Kilauea Summit, and real/fake drone catch in the pool and a DJI Go 4 app update for iOS. Today’s video shows the “Oasis of America” in the middle of a Peruvian desert. Enjoy!

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June 14

Yesterday the U.S. Geological Services (USGS) took a drone to the top of Kilauea Summit to show a dramatic drop and cracks running through the ground at the south side of the crater. Steve Brantley, a scientist from the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory talks about the 300ft subsidence of the Halema‘uma‘u crater floor in the drone video below.

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She saves the drone from landing in the pool! Or did she?

Have you ever been in this situation when all of a sudden you get this last ‘low battery’ warning before your DJI drone starts to return to its home point? Well, apparently this group was trying to get some drone footage of themselves while having a good time in the pool and then the battery ran out. The drone warns that it will return home and initiates a descent right above the pool. The guy in the group starts swimming to the ladder presumingly to get the controller and bring the drone back to safety, but there was no time for that. One of the girls has a better idea and simply catches the drone by hand before it would have hit the water.

Time to update your DJI GO 4 app to version 4.2.21 for iOS if you (or your phone) haven’t done so already. This time around there isn’t much new going on. DJI only mentions “fixed occasional DJI GO 4 crash issues” and “general bug fixes and improvements.”

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Good morning, here are the headlines from yesterday about an inventor from Kenya who has built the first passenger drone in Africa. Furthermore, we have news on a partnership between DJI and South Korean Telecom provider, SK Telecom. We also stumbled upon this gem of a drone video of Newport, RI. Definitely worth checking out!

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June 13

A new drone video shows a slow-moving landslide on Yakima’s Rattlesnake Ridge. According to the Washington Department of Natural Resources to slide spans roughly 20 acres of land moving at a speed of 1 and 1/2 feet per week. The landslide slowly travels South near Union Gap which is about 3 miles south of Yakima. Geologists use a drone to closely monitor the event by stitching together drone images to create a 3D model of the slide’s progress.

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Morris Mbetsa, a mostly self-taught inventor and electrical engineer, has built the first passenger drone in Africa. Inspired by companies like Uber and Volocopter, Morris set out to create this prototype to show the world that the people in Africa have the brain power to develop passenger drones, and ultimately to be the first nation in the world with flying taxis

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On June 11th, South Korean telecom service provider SK Telecom announced that it had signed a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ with the Chinese drone manufacturer DJI to develop drone-based video streaming products and solutions using their mobile communications network.

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Good morning, lots of news today about the U.S. Government wanting powers to destroy drones, Yuneec with their new Tyhpoon H Plus drone, a Congressional report that says the FAA is too strict and much more other news. We also have an amazing drone video of dolphins that are showing local surfers who really rule the waves. A must watch. Enjoy!

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June 12

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is asking Congress to pass new legislation that would allow the agency to surveil, research, seize and destroy airborne drones or unmanned aerial systems in the National Airspace. In a written testimony, Hayley Chang, DHS Deputy General Counsel said that today the U.S. Government is: “unable to effectively counter malicious use of drones because we are hampered by federal laws enacted years before UAS technology was available for commercial and consumer use.”

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Aimed at aerial photographers, creative professionals, and small drone service providers, Yuneec introduces an upgraded version with some new features of their Typhoon H Plus drone withIntel® RealSense™. The new version should have much better low light capabilities due to a larger one-inch 20MP sensor with a wider aperture and an extended ISO range that captures 4K video footage at 60fps. It comes with a redesigned six-rotor hex airframe that is 40% quieter than previous models. And, it will now include the Intel® RealSense™ Technology for superior collision avoidance. The Typhoon H Plus with Intel® RealSense™ Technology will be available at Best Buy stores around the country as of July 1st for $1,899.99.

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According to the report, mandated by Congress, the FAA’s rules for commercial drone operations are too strict, preventing the society to benefit from the life-saving potential unmanned aerial systems (UAS) offer. Instead of adhering to a near-zero risk tolerance, the agency should balance the risks associated with drones with their potential advantages. The report urges the FAA to compare the risk posed by small drones to other risks the public is willing to accept such as driving a car, crossing a street or swimming in the ocean.

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June 11

Immediately after the G7 meeting in Canada, president Trump flew to Singapore where he arrived yesterday for what some newspapers call a historic meeting between the US and North Korea, also referred to as the Trump-Kim Singapore Summit. This short drone video shows us the Capella Resort on Sentosa Island where the actual meeting will take place.

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Earlier today SenSat, the UK’s largest drone data provider, broke the country’s record for the longest beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) drone flight as their fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicle flew more than 7.5 miles (12km’s) over land. The UK’s Civilian Aviation Authority (CAA) had created a temporary danger zone, which is an airspace that other aircraft are not allowed to enter, to safely conduct this record-breaking test.

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We have reported before how the Israeli Defence Forces you drones to drop tear gas canisters over protesting Palestinians along the Gaza border and how the IDF use small racing drones to take down so-called ‘fire kites’. These kites are outfitted with smoldering coals or Molotov cocktails to start wildfires in farmland and forests on the Israeli side of the border. Recently one kite was found with what the IDF believes to be small explosives. Today we get to see some onboard video footage from racing drones as they take down the kites.

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Good morning, here are the headlines you may have missed over the weekend. We have news on DJI promotions and we have compared the specs of the new Parrot Anafi drone with the two biggest competitors from DJI, the Mavic Pro, and the Mavic Air. Let us know what you think by taking this little poll.

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Time to update your DJI GO 4 app to version 4.2.20 for Android if you (or your phone) haven’t done so already. DJI has improved the GEO Zone database upgrade process for Wi-Fi connected devices such as Spark and Mavic Air. Furthermore, they . have added Spanish as a new language to the app.

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June 8

Last Wednesday, French drone maker Parrot, introduced their latest drone the Anafi. It is a very lightweight, portable, foldable drone that shoots 4K HDR videos and 21MP photos with its Sony CMOS sensor. It is also priced very aggressively at $699.99, competing head-on with the likes of the Mavic Air and Mavic Pro from Chinese drone manufacturer, DJI. So how do these drones compare? We’ve put the most important specifications next to each other to provide you with an overview.

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Chinese drone maker, DJI just started a series of promotions around the world to celebrate things like Father’s Day, Mid-Year and Summer. Or, instead of celebrating, what they are really are trying to do is to get rid off their old inventory ahead of any upcoming new drones. Mavic Pro 2 and Phantom 5, anyone?

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