Sony and ZMP Team Up to Offer Commercial Drone Services

In 2016, Aerosense, jointly owned by Sony and robotics firm ZMP, plans to launch a commercial drone service targeting construction, logistics and agriculture industries. A prototype of an airplane-shaped drone was unveiled this week. The drones, which will be capable of capturing HD images and transmitting them to the cloud, will rely in part on the mobile phone and digital camera technologies developed for Sony’s Xperia smartphones. Analysts believe the unmanned aircraft industry may be worth $82 billion in the U.S. by 2025. Continue reading Sony and ZMP Team Up to Offer Commercial Drone Services

Tethered Drones Offer Longer Flight Times and Better Control

Since most UAVs are limited by short battery lives and face the possibility of flying into other aircraft, some companies have introduced tethered drones that are connected to the ground by ultrastrong, lightweight cables. These drones offer longer flight times, more control, and faster data transmission. Several industries have plans for these drones: CNN plans to use them for news coverage, the military for surveillance, and industries such as construction and agriculture for data gathering on their operations. Continue reading Tethered Drones Offer Longer Flight Times and Better Control

Parrot Plans to Launch Five New MiniDrone Toys in September

Parrot is introducing five new smartphone-controlled MiniDrone toys, ranging from $99 to $189, targeting consumers who cannot afford the larger, more expensive UAVs such as Parrot’s AR and Bebop Drones. Based on the Rolling Spider quadcopter and the two-wheeled Jumping Sumo, which have sold 600,000 units combined since last year’s launches, the new models will initially be made available in the U.S. and France this September. The new models include drones that skim across water, fly at night guided by LED lights, feature live streaming cameras and more. Continue reading Parrot Plans to Launch Five New MiniDrone Toys in September

Canon’s New XC10 Camera Shoots Still Photos and 4K Video

Canon has released one of the first “convergence” cameras that can take both high resolution photos and videos. The XC10 can take 12 megapixel stills or 4K video with a one-inch CMOS sensor. The XC10 can also shoot video in 1080p and 8MP still photos can be taken from the video. The photos and video save to an internal CFast card, and the built-in Wi-Fi makes it easy to get photos off the device. Canon is marketing the product to journalists and other multimedia professionals who need different types of media. Continue reading Canon’s New XC10 Camera Shoots Still Photos and 4K Video

Augmented Reality: 3D Virtual Tech Being Developed for Drones

French company Sysveo is developing software that will enable drones to see and record virtual 3D images in the videos they shoot while in flight. The technology would work so that a drone could be programmed to display the specific blueprints of a building or home for example, against the background of a location such as a neighborhood or city. The project, which is currently in an early stage, is being developed on a patent from France’s CNES space agency and funding from the European Space Agency. Continue reading Augmented Reality: 3D Virtual Tech Being Developed for Drones

Facebook Hopes Drones Will Expand Global Internet Connectivity

Facebook has long expressed its goal to connect as many people as possible. The company already has a reported 1.4 billion users, but has plans to expand well beyond these numbers by launching drones that can provide high-speed connectivity to even the most remote areas of the world. The drones would resemble a Boeing 767 in width, weigh less than a small vehicle and help Facebook connect with the roughly 5 billion people that it does not already reach on a global scale.  Continue reading Facebook Hopes Drones Will Expand Global Internet Connectivity

Amazon Receives FAA Approval to Test Drones in Open Spaces

The Federal Aviation Administration has approved Amazon’s request to test drones outdoors. The FAA is stipulating that the tests be conducted only during the day and no higher than 400 feet off the ground. Amazon is hoping that unmanned aerial vehicles may be used for a future 30-minute package delivery service, and the open-space testing would help in its development efforts. During testing, Amazon will report to the FAA regarding the number of flights, any software issues and related data. Continue reading Amazon Receives FAA Approval to Test Drones in Open Spaces

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