Blog : News

3D Robotics Inc. rolled out new Drones at Best Buy Co

3D Robotics Inc. rolled out new Drones at Best Buy Co

(Source: The Market Business – Shauna Lehner

Largest manufacture of Drone Aircrafts: 3D Robotics Inc. has built new aircraft named “Solo” with Linux processors and new functions which will be sold next month at Best Buy Co. stores.

In many ways, 3D Robotics is vying to take on DJI with its new model, which it calls the “world’s first smart drone.” Just last week, the Chinese technology company DJI unveiled its ubiquitous Phantom series of drones, featuring a 4K video version. And only days later, we have 3D Robotics upping the ante with Solo, a more aesthetically appealing and stylish “ready-to-fly” quadcopter that directly faces up to the Phantom, in particular on the “flying” side of things.

Topping the spec sheet in the 3DR Solo are twin 1GHz Linux computers, one fitted in the remote controller and the other in the drone. The idea is that the new device has considerable power and space for “smart” features, without taxing the core flight computer. Of other important features, the drone will be able to offer live HD (720p) streaming of recording, direct from a GoPro Inc (NASDAQ:GPRO) camera onto your phone. Other key features include comprehensive autopilot features, numerous cinematic flight modes, and a swappable/modular accessory bay.

The Solo’s Linux function in the controller makes flying the quadcopter much simpler, executives said. The autopilot feature in the drone will assist in keeping the device stable in the air, while also equipped for carrying the GoPro HD cameras aloft. The Linux features, coupled with the controller, will align together to simplify both the flying of the drone and aerial photography from the camera.

The technology can also be programmed to orbit a specified object in the air or to follow a specific flight path. The new rollout is expected to gain traction among hobbyists. Also, it has numerous commercial applications and uses such as in construction and agriculture.

Historically, 3D Robotics has always marketed and sold its technologies and devices to its end consumers through online sources. The Iris+, for instance, is available at $750 apiece at Amazon.com. In a telephonic interview yesterday, 3D Robotics Chief Executive Chris Anderson announced that the drones will go on sale at 400 of Best Buy’s locations countrywide, which a spokesperson for the retailer, Ryan Stanzel, affirmed in an e-mail.

 

Continue reading at The Market Business

Smart drones that think and learn like us to launch this year

Smart drones that think and learn like us to launch this year

(Source: New Scientist – David Hambling)

THAT drone buzzing round your head might be smarter than you think. Small drones with neural hardware resembling brains will soon share airspace with other aircraft, seeing and avoiding potential hazards autonomously. The ability will help drones take on a host of new roles.

Big firms like Amazon, DHL and Google are developing their own drone fleets for rapid delivery of consumer goods, fast food and pharmaceuticals. However, current rules restrict drones to flying within visual range of a human operator because of the risk of collision. Drones need an automatic “sense-and-avoid” capacity before they will be able to make deliveries on their own.

Computers capable of recognising objects in video and responding in real time are too big and too power-hungry for small drones. That means drones have to rely on short-range sensors like radar, which may not give enough warning to avoid a collision.

The key may be to mimic how animal brains work; our brains are poor at number-crunching but can process complex sensory input faster than digital systems.

Bio Inspired Technologies of Boise, Idaho, is doing just that. It is building a sense-and-avoid system using a memristor, a resistor with a memory. Like the synapse in a biological brain, the memristor changes when impulses pass through it. Crucially, it is able to remember the impulse after it has stopped.

This capability forms the basis of a learning system that mimics neurons and the connections between them. A chip-sized neural system linked to the drone’s existing camera can be trained to recognise aircraft and other hazards at long range. Bio Inspired’s drone should be ready for its first flight later this year.

Continue reading at New Scientist