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Quadrotor Drones And Crazy Maneuvers

From the GRASP Lab at the University of Pennsylvania comes a quadrotor that can slide through your open window or stick to a wall with velcro.

While these maneuvers are downright WTF? we want to know if the quadrotor has enough power to free itself from the velcro.

Hat tip to Morgan.

Link via (Gizmodo)


Helicopter Drone Lands UK Police In Hot Water

drone, helicopterMerseyside police in England used a helicopter drone to track down a teenager who had run away from a stolen car.  The robot used thermal imaging cameras and the police did finally catch the suspect.

The problem is that the police were not allowed to use the drone and themselves committed a crime in the process.

The Civilian Air Authority, or CAA, regulates air space in the UK and had changed regulations as of 1/1/2010.  The new regulation states that all UAVs or unmanned aerial vehicles must be licensed before use.  From the Guardian:

The CAA introduced new statutory regulations on 1 January 2010 which requires all UAVs to be licensed by the CAA before use. Since the force has known of the change in regulations all UAV flights have been suspended and will remain so until the appropriate licence has been granted.

I guess the police forgot to get a license before playing with their new toy.

Link via (StatismWatch)


RQ-4 Global Hawk Deployed To Haiti

A RQ-4 Global Hawk UAV (Unmanned Ariel Vehicle) was on the way to Afghanistan and has been re-routed to Haiti.  The Global Hawk is a surveillance aircraft capable of covering up to 40,000 miles a day.

This drone will provide overhead views of the situation in Haiti and the photos will be freely available online. To actually see some these photos you can sign up here.

Colonel Bradley G. Butz who is in charge of the operation told reporters on 1/15:

Yesterday, the Global Hawk shot between 400 and 700 images, and today we’re going after another 1,000 images, which will all be unclassified. SOUTHCOM will provide it to whoever needs it.

If you feel like donating to this terrible tragedy, we are partial to Oxfam and you can donate here.

We hope the photos from  Global Hawk will help with the relief efforts.

Link via (Wired’s Danger Room)


Drones Over Houston

I’m not sure how old this video is.  One commenter states it is 2 years old.

That being said, it seems like the Houston police are using an Insitu ScanEagle to spy on it’s residents.

The news team from KPR2 in Houston followed the drone in a helicopter and was told by the police they were in a restricted area and to leave.  Several calls to the FCC and the FCC new nothing about that area being a restricted area.

I wonder if the FCC will make the Houston police file flight plans 60 days in advance as they are doing to buyers of the Tactical Information Craft drone?

The ScanEagle uses a 1.9 hp 2 stroke engine, has a wingspan of 10.2 feet and is 4.5 ft long.  The drone weighs 28.8 lbs without any extra gear and can add an extra 15 lbs of gear and still lift off.  It can also cruise at a speed of 48 knots and stay aloft over 24 hours.

Click through for some ScanEagle photos.

Link via (Boing Boing)
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Robot iPhone Parrot

Well, it doesn’t look anything like a parrot, but is a  damn cool drone controlled by your iPhone!

Recently unveiled at the CES being currently held in Las Vegas, this drone is designed to fly inside or outside, seems easy to control and comes with 2 augmented reality games.

This drone is really a WiFi enabled helicopter with 4 blades and 2 cameras.  It also comes with a hull that surrounds the blades for indoor flights.  No word yet on pricing or availability.

Click through for a video of the drone in action.

Link via (Forbes)

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