In a splashy reveal at Grand Central Station on Wednesday, DJI announced the Spark, a pint-sized camera drone that's been rumoured for weeks. The company says it's about the size and weight of a soft drink can. You can also control it with the wave of a hand.
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It's drone season! It's gorgeous out there and the world is full of beautiful scenes that need recording with a drone that buzzes through the air like a cloud of angry bees. Whether you're an aspiring aerial photographer or a thrill-seeking life-caster, there have never been more options on the market for excellent quadcopters. Two of the best drones are so flexible you can fold them up and fit them in a backpack. We're here to help you figure out which one might be for you.
Toyota wants you to stop calling it boring, and dang it, Toyota is going to give some hipster kids money to build a flying car in order to prove its coolness. The goal is to get a prototype in the air by next year, with four rotors helping lift it off of the ground. But wait, no, this actually sounds like a drone.
Drones are super cool, but they're also intimidatingly expensive. If you break them, you're up for a lot of cash for repairs. And the learning curve is steep, so breaking them is even more likely when you're new to the art. If you're looking for an easy to fly, entry level drone then eHang's GhostDrone 2.0 and its virtual reality headset are far more forgiving to a newbie than its competitors.
Advertisers have found ways to bombard us with promotions no matter what we're doing: watching TV, checking social media, and even when streaming music. But the future of advertising could be even more invasive when the next public event you attend is full of flying video drones projecting inescapable video everywhere you look.
DJI, the world's largest consumer drone manufacturer, has a problem. ISIS, the terrorist organisation, has been turning off-the-shelf drones into flying bombs and making headlines in the process. So what's DJI doing about this? The company very quietly created no-fly zones over large parts of Iraq and Syria.
Instead of propping up a camera on a tripod for an entire year to capture a timelapse of the seasons changing, Will Strathmann piloted his drone over some amazingly scenic landscapes in the spring, summer, fall, and winter, recreating the same flight path as closely as possible each time.
Video: Tom Scott took a pair of DJI Phantom 3 drones to the University of Manchester's High Voltage Laboratory, where they can manufacture lightning strikes measuring over a million volts. The goal was to see what happens to a drone were it to get struck by lightning while flown in a storm, and the results will probably surprise no one.
Video: It isn't just the intense heat that makes it hard for researchers to closely study an active volcano, there's also a potpourri of noxious gases that are less than ideal to inhale. But at the controls of a sensor-laden drone, scientists from the University of Cambridge have been able to capture amazing close-up footage of Guatemalan eruptions.
Video: Alongside games like Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja was one of the early iPhone hits that we all eventually got tired of and buried in a folder somewhere. But YouTuber Giaco Whatever came up with an incredibly dangerous way to make the game interesting again: Try it in real life with a flying razor blade.
Video: For the past couple of years, mediocre drone videos of dramatic landscapes have littered the internet. Like, we get it, drone pilots. Your camera flies and stuff looks pretty from the sky and the whole conceit is pretty trite at this point. And then I saw these four minutes of magic, filmed in South Africa.
If lawmakers have their way, police in one US state could soon be using drones as lethal weapons against the citizens they're supposed to protect. On Thursday, Connecticut's judiciary committee approved a new drone regulation bill that, if passed, would make it the first US state to let cops use deadly drones later this year.
A proper Steadicam rig that can capture smooth tracking and chase shots usually requires thousands of dollars (not including the camera) and a highly-skilled operator. As a cheaper workaround, these filmmakers used a gyro-stabilised camera drone that they held in front of them like a traditional film camera.