Drone challenge: 2016’s top models get put to the test

Drones have emerged as one of the hottest sectors in tech.

The BBC’s Rory Cellan-Jones and the filmmaker Philip Bloom put four of 2016’s top models through their paces – not all of them survived in one piece.

View the original article here

Advertisements

UK revises safe flying drone code

Drone with aircraft in background Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The Civil Aviation Authority said the use of drones had increased significantly in recent years The UK’s drone code has been revised and updated to help pilots of the unmanned craft ensure they fly the gadgets safely.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said it wanted to raise awareness among people who may get a drone as a gift.

Research carried out by the CAA suggests about 39% of owners know about the safe-flying regulations.

The update comes after four near-misses between between drones and civil aircraft were reported in October.

“Drones are an incredible, inspiring technology but it’s vital that people are using them safely,” said Andrew Sage from air traffic control body NATS in a statement.

“With the number of reported drone incidents on the rise, it’s important that people understand their legal obligations and fly safe,” he said.

The revised code turns the five main safety tips into a mnemonic, spelling drone, to make it easier to remember.

Don’t fly near airports or airfieldsRemember to stay below 120m (400ft) and at least 50m (150ft) away from peopleObserve your drone at all times Never fly near aircraftEnjoy responsibly

The CAA has also updated it dronesafe website which collects information about how to operate the unmanned craft safely.

The CAA and NATS are also working with online and high street retailers to ensure that customers are told about their responsibilities when they buy a drone.

CAA research suggests that only 36% of drone buyers get guidance about safe flying at the point of sale.

The UK Airprox Board reported four separate near-miss incidents in October involving drones. One took place near Liverpool Airport and the other three happened on consecutive days at Heathrow.

The Airprox board said 56 near-miss incidents had been recorded so far in 2016 compared to 29 in 2015.

Some European bodies are pushing for drone makers to include “geo-fencing” systems that automatically stop the craft being flown into danger areas such as airfields.

View the original article here

How wireless power charging could recharge a flying drone

Researchers at Imperial College London have demonstrated that they can wirelessly power a drone while it is flying.

The breakthrough the team has made is being able to transfer power wirelessly over much larger distances than mobile phones or electric toothbrushes.

Battery power has often been a limiting factor on drones’ operating distance and duration, but the wireless power transfer technology could eventually allow drones to be re-charged while they are still in the air.

The team also hope that in the future the wireless charging technology could be used to recharge medical implants which currently require a wire through the skin to supply power.

BBC Click’s Spencer Kelly reports.

More at BBC.com/Click and @BBCClick.

View the original article here

GoPro makes cutbacks after drone crashes

Nick Woodman Image copyright Getty Images Image caption GoPro’s chief executive, Nick Woodman, had previously forecast the company would return to profit in early 2017 Action camera-maker GoPro is cutting 200 jobs and shutting down some of its services.

The announcement follows a series of drone crashes that made the company recall its much anticipated Karma aircraft.

In addition, the US company said its president, Anthony Bates, would quit his post at the end of the year after three years in the job.

GoPro said that consumer demand for its products remained “solid”.

However, the company has posted a loss in each of its past four quarters.

At the start of this month it also revealed its cash reserves had fallen to $132m (£106m) – less than half the amount at the start of the year.

“I knew they were in trouble, but I didn’t expect them to have such a dramatic fall from grace,” Tom Morrod, director of consumer electronics at the IHS consultancy, told the BBC.

“The Karma drones were their recover strategy, and when they had to be recalled it faltered. This is the result.

“GoPro was struggling as an action cam specialist, which is why it needed an alternative market. The fact that the device was unsalable has damaged its prospects, at least temporarily.”

Media captionWatch: Dave Lee gets hands on with GoPro’s Karma quadcopter

The job cuts represent 15% of the California-based company’s workforce.

The move reflects the fact that even if the fold-up Karma drone returns to sale, GoPro will probably have missed out on the Christmas shopping season.

It had sold about 2,500 of the drones in the 16 days they were on the market.

A problem with the machines caused a number of them to lose power mid-flight, causing them to fall uncontrolled out of the air.

One video of an accident showed the drone diving on to a beach on which people were walking.

There have been no reports of injuries. However, the company is being sued over claims it misled investors about demand for the product and took too long to alert the public to its power supply flaw.

Reviews for GoPro’s new Hero 5 cameras have generally been positive. The new devices introduced voice control, electronic image stabilisation and built-in water resistance.

However, some technology blogs doubted whether the features were enough to convince existing owners to upgrade.

And the company faces increased competition from rival action cams and the improved quality of smartphone cameras, many of which now also offer protection against water.

As part of its cutbacks GoPro is also closing its entertainment division.

The operation was announced in July 2015 and offered owners thousands of dollars for videos they had filmed using its equipment.

Image copyright GoPro Image caption GoPro’s licensing portal does not appear to have proven popular

In return it wanted the right to promote their content through its social media accounts.

It also sought to sell the rights to the material to advertising agencies and split the proceeds.

The company described it as a “no-brainer” for creative professionals at the time.

GoPro’s shares were trading 2.5% up on the day by early afternoon in New York, but they remain down on their value at the start of the year.

View the original article here

UK revises safe flying drone code

Drone with aircraft in background Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The Civil Aviation Authority said the use of drones had increased significantly in recent years The UK’s drone code has been revised and updated to help pilots of the unmanned craft ensure they fly the gadgets safely.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said it wanted to raise awareness among people who may get a drone as a gift.

Research carried out by the CAA suggests about 39% of owners know about the safe-flying regulations.

The update comes after four near-misses between between drones and civil aircraft were reported in October.

“Drones are an incredible, inspiring technology but it’s vital that people are using them safely,” said Andrew Sage from air traffic control body NATS in a statement.

“With the number of reported drone incidents on the rise, it’s important that people understand their legal obligations and fly safe,” he said.

The revised code turns the five main safety tips into a mnemonic, spelling drone, to make it easier to remember.

Don’t fly near airports or airfieldsRemember to stay below 120m (400ft) and at least 50m (150ft) away from peopleObserve your drone at all times Never fly near aircraftEnjoy responsibly

The CAA has also updated it dronesafe website which collects information about how to operate the unmanned craft safely.

The CAA and NATS are also working with online and high street retailers to ensure that customers are told about their responsibilities when they buy a drone.

CAA research suggests that only 36% of drone buyers get guidance about safe flying at the point of sale.

The UK Airprox Board reported four separate near-miss incidents in October involving drones. One took place near Liverpool Airport and the other three happened on consecutive days at Heathrow.

The Airprox board said 56 near-miss incidents had been recorded so far in 2016 compared to 29 in 2015.

Some European bodies are pushing for drone makers to include “geo-fencing” systems that automatically stop the craft being flown into danger areas such as airfields.

View the original article here

This may be the world’s smallest camera drone, but it packs some serious flying power

skeye nano 2 fpv drone

If James Bond ever needed a drone to do some serious under-the-radar spying, he’d undoubtedly have to consider using the SKEYE Nano 2 FPV Drone.

At just over an inch-and-a-half across, less than an inch high, and weighing less than half an ounce, the Nano 2 is the world’s smallest camera-packing drone. And right now, we’re dropping the price from its $129 MSRP to just $99, via TNW Deals.

The Nano 2 is simple to fly — just push the button for takeoff and you can take it from there with the included controller — or sync it up to your smartphone via Wi-Fi. Its compact and lightweight design enables precision flying, thanks to its 6-axis flight control system with adjustable gyro sensitivity. Regardless of your flight experience, it won’t be long before you’re performing acrobatic flip moves and crazy spins like a pro.

Even with its tiny frame, the Nano 2 still houses an HD-capable, Wi-Fi-controlled camera able to feed back amazing first-person-view video in real time. You can even record your aerobatic feats to show your friends later… as prove of your mastery, of course.

The SKEYE Nano 2 FPV Drone ships anywhere for free and is a can’t-miss holiday gift idea. Pick one up for $30 off from TNW Deals.

Read next: Watch the OnePlus 3T get unboxed in a fighter jet for some reason

Hot deals courtesy of The Next Web.

Shh. Here’s some distraction

View the original article here