Here is the world’s first drone that can carry a human inside it

Human carrying drone

Meet the world’s first drone with enough space to accommodate a human being

For the longest time, we have heard of drones being controlled remotely, but thanks to the efforts of a Chinese company called Ehang, all that is about to change. The company unveiled the world’s first drone that can carry a human being inside it and the flying machine was shown off at CES 2016. The name of the drone is Ehang 184 and has four doubled propellers spinning parallel to the ground, which is similar to the functionality of other drones. The drone will require electricity to function, and can be completely charged in two hours. However, you must be wondering what is the maximum weight this drone can carry?

Chinese drone maker unveils human-carrying drone

Turns out quite a bit because Ehang 184 can carry up to 220 pounds of additional weight and fly for 23 minutes at sea level, according to the company. The drone can only accommodate one passenger, but has additional space to fit in a small backpack and even has its own air conditioning and a reading light. With its propellers folded up, the aerial machine has been designed to easily fit in a single parking spot. However, the drone will still function on commands because as soon as the individual sits inside it, he will have to take control of the drone through voice recognition functionality which involves two commands: ‘take off’ and ‘land’.

Chinese drone maker unveils human-carrying drone

Its top speed is 63 miles per hour and has been designed to fly about 1,000 to 1,650 feet off the ground with a maximum altitude of 11,500 feet. While this is a major breakthrough in technology, this piece of hardware will definitely not go under the nose of U.S. authorities, who will probably decide later on if the drone will be able to fly with a human being present inside it, in the country’s own airspace. According to the co-founder and CFO of the company, Shang Hsiao, Ehang 184 is being aimed to sell at a price range of $200,000-$300,000 at the start of this year.

Now here is where the scary part starts. The passenger will have no control over the aerial machine and in case there is a problem, a backup will be in the form of a remote control center that would take over the vehicle and ensure that it lands safely. While a passenger who will sit inside the vehicle for the first time will be nervous knowing that he or she will not be able to control the vehicle, Chief Marketing Officer Derrick Xiong has provided some sort of comfort by saying that the drone has been flown more than a 100 times at low altitudes and that too in a forested area in Guangzhou, China.

While this is comforting to know, the company will have to release various number of footages before passengers start feeling remotely safe over their maiden aerial voyage.

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World’s ‘safest’ drone Fleye launches on Kickstarter

World's 'safest' drone Fleye launches on Kickstarter

The Fleye Project will bring the world of science fiction closer to our world

Fleye, a new Kickstarter project, wants to make the world’s safest drone in the form of a spherical flying machine with a camera, with blades covered in the plastic exterior.

Drones are cool, but they can also be pretty scary up close. Don’t believe me? Just imagine four powerful propellers flying straight at your face at full speed. That’s what inspired Laurent Eschenauer, a lifelong tinkerer and professional electrical engineer, to invent Fleye.
The Fleye will be controlled via an iOS or Android app with four flying modes including selfie, panorama, hover and manual. In selfie mode, the drone will record 1080p video (30 fps) while flying toward you. In manual, you can program a route and the drone will fly it autonomously. It’s even smart enough to react to and avoid obstacles it may encounter along the path.

This little drone is able to accomplish these feats by relying on its Linux-powered, dual-core ARM A9 CPU with 512MB of RAM. It also features two GPUs. The whole 9-inch package weighs 16 ounces. A special, developer edition will also be available with a quad-core CPU and 1GB of RAM for about $1,060.

The Fleye should offer 10 minutes of flying time with a maximum speed of 10 miles per hour, thanks to the 1500-mAh battery. Inside, the ball features a 3-axis accelerometer, a gyrometer and magnetometer. Other sensors included are a pressure based altimeter, GPS and sonar that can track ground distance at up to 10 feet.

The company is making the SDK open to developers, hoping other folks will find specific uses for this camera ball. If the timeline on Kickstarter holds true, units will start shipping in September of next year. If you wait until then, the Fleye may cost $1,270.

here is the demonstration of hover mode.

source: Kickstarter

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Meet Lily, the world’s first throw and shoot camera drone that can capture everything you do

Meet Lily, the world's first throw and shoot camera drone that can capture everything you do

Lily is the world’s first throw and shoot camera drone that is always following you no matter where you go.

Set to diversify action filmmaking away from POV shots, the self-flying Lily Camera is initiated with a simple toss in the air. All you have to do is throw it in the air to start shooting. It is designed mainly for sport enthusiasts. The Lily Camera can have a lot of uses other than recording. It then follows its owner, capturing HD footage at 1080p/60fps or 720p/120fps and 12 MP images at up to 25mph. It has waterproof synced audio through the tracking device; this buzz requires very little user control, perfect for filmmakers who often find themselves in front of the camera. The only thing you’ll need to do is make sure you stay away from trees, buildings and other obstacles because, like the 90s song, the Lily will go wherever you will go.

Perhaps only reading about it is not convincing enough, but when you’ll watch the video you will realize that this could be one of the coolest gadgets that you could ever own. The self flying drone that can capture everything you do is designed to follow you outdoors with the help of complex software and a GPS tracker.

It can fly at a minimum altitude above your head of 5 ft (1.75m) and a max of 50 ft (15m). It has a 20 min flight autonomy provided by a Built-in Lithium-Ion Battery that needs 2 hours to be fully charged. It weights 2.8 lbs (1.3kg) and it’s 10.29in x 10.29in (26×26 cm).

The initial price is really amazing, costing only $499 until the 15th of June. If you order it now you will obtain it in February 2016. You will have to pay the full retail price of $999 if you decide to wait until the official launching. Additional accessories such as propellers, cases, etc. will be available for purchase online. Buying it now and changing your mind afterwards comes with no penalties, as your money will be fully refunded.

This project started in September 2013 when Antoine Balaresque and Henry Bradlow built the first prototype of Lily in the basement of the UC Berkeley robotics lab.

Now totally free from having to hold or maneuver a camera, the Lily owner can be featured and included in all shots from casual outdoor activities to travel, snow, surf, golf, hiking, boating, and family adventures.

“Point-and-shoot devices, action cameras, camcorders, and DSLRs have served us well on the ground and attached to drones, but we’ve always wanted a richer, more contextual point-of-view,” said Antoine Balaresque, CEO and co-founder of Lily. “Lily automatically creates exciting close range photos and wide, cinematic shots previously reserved for professional filmmakers.”

The Lily Camera is tough enough to endure challenging winds and water. “Home base” to Lily is the owner’s hand. Through the tracking device, the owner commands Lily to make a graceful palm landing. That same tracking device also enables audio recording which is automatically synchronized with the camera’s footage, an option not offered on drones that carry a separate camera.

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‘Cicada’ U.S. military’s new swarm of mini drones for spying

'Cicada' U.S. military's new swarm of mini drones for spying

“Cicadas” are U.S. military’s ‘Robotic carrier pigeon’, these mini drones can be used for eavesdropping and picking up details of the enemy submarine during war front.

A new miniature drone that fits into the palm of a hand has been invented by the U.S. military researchers. This tiny drone is named “Cicada” and it can be used for a myriad of purposes in civil missions as well as on the war fronts. In addition, the drone can also be used as a spy to eavesdrop on the enemy troops and even pick up details of enemy submarine.

The “Cicada” aka Covert Autonomous Disposable Aircraft, actually is a “micro air vehicle” that has been specifically created to carry out missions in remote battlefield and hence it is much smaller, cheaper and designed to be simplistic in comparison with other robotic aircrafts.

For a long time U.S. military researchers have been engaged in creating drones of various sizes and Cicada is one of the tiniest creations ever.

The mini drone has received its name from an insect “Cicada” as the researchers were inspired by the unique profile of these insects.

The insect Cicada has an unique life cycle and are known to live underground for a major period of their lives till they attain their adult stage. Once they achieve adulthood they emerge in great swarms, undergo reproduction and finally the newly hatched nymphs drop to the ground and the next cycle would begin, on the other hand the adult Cicada lays dead on the ground.

Aaron Kahn of the Naval Research Laboratory told AFP: “The idea was why can’t we make UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) that have the same sort of profile.”

He added: “We will put so many out there, it will be impossible for the enemy to pick them all up.”

Cicada is made up of only 10 parts and it resembles a toy airplane with circuit board.

'Cicada' U.S. military's new swarm of mini drones for spying

Kahn, also mentioned that the cost of the prototype was only few thousand dollars and in future a single mini drone would cost about $250, hence these minuscule drones are much cost effective.

Researchers, further mentioned that these Cicadas aka micro disposable air vehicles are configured to GPS (Global Positioning Systems) programs. Thus it was confirmed that these drones would be controlled by some engineer located at the naval lab indicating that it is not a fully automated drone.

Hence, when the Cicadas are dropped from an  aircraft or a balloon or larger drones they can glide like birds under controlled supervision.

Way back in 2012, a ‘flight test’ was carried out in Yuma, Arizona wherein Cicada drones were dropped from a height of about 17,500 meters which is almost 57,600 feet. The tiny drones dropped at the rate of 11 miles and landed within 15 feet of its target.

Researchers further mention that the drone can fly at a speed of 75 kph which is roughly 46 miles. Since there are no motors or propellers, the mini drone’s flight is noise less.

Daniel Edwards, an aerospace engineer at the Naval Research Laboratory, said: It looks like a bird flying down.  he added : “the drone is very difficult to see.”

During the flight test, the Cicadas were equipped with sensors which recorded the weather readings for temperature, air pressure and humidity.

Researchers feel that besides war front, the mini drones could also be used for a variety of myriad missions such as monitoring traffic, forecasting weather, even during some natural calamities.

Edwards said: “They are robotic carrier pigeons. You tell them where to go, and they will go there.”

These mini drones could be equipped with light weight sensors like microphones that can help in eavesdropping the enemy troops.

Kahn said: “You equip these with a microphone or a seismic detector, drop them on that road, and it will tell you ‘I heard a truck or a car travel along that road.’ You know how fast and which direction they’re traveling.”

One more possibility is to outfit the mini drones with magnetic sensors so as to pick up details of the enemy submarines.

For now researchers feel that the drones cannot be deployed to take video feeds due to its shortcomings in regards to bandwidth.

The researchers say that the tiny Cicadas are surprisingly robust.

Edwards said: “You can throw them out of a Cessna or a C-130. They’ve flown through trees. They’ve hit asphalt runways. They have tumbled in gravel. They’ve had sand in them. They only thing that we found that killed them was desert shrubbery.”

As per the researchers, Cicada program has succeeding in creating great interest among every branch of the U.S. government including some intelligence agencies after it was on display at the Pentagon’s “lab day” this week.

Edwards said:Everyone is interested. Everyone!

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Meet ‘SKEYE’ the ‘world’s smallest’ drone that can easily fit in a matchbox

Meet 'SKEYE' the 'world's smallest' drone that can easily fit in a matchbox

SKEYE Nano Drone : The worlds smallest drone which fits on your fingertips, Priced $60 (Rs.3700.00)

Drones and Internet of Things are two sectors of technology which are just taking off with many new advances coming to us every day. Drones are now a days used in pretty much every thing from delivering pizzas to taking selfies, these small unmanned aerial vehicles are slowly taking over the world by storm. They vary in shape, sizes, and features. But have you seen one which can fit on your fingertips?

Skeye has come up with a NANO drone of just the size which can easily fit into your pocket. With dimensions measuring less than 2-inches at 1.57″ x 1.57″ x 0.87″, the Skeye Nano Drone is the world’s smallest precision-controlled quadcopter which is perfect for airborne stunts like figure 8s, banking turns, flips, etc, both indoors and out.

Skeye is listed on StackSocial and weighs just 11.9 grams and has responsive controls which give it good stability and maneuverability. It comes with a 100mAh battery that takes about 30 minutes to charge and offers a standard flight time of 7-8 minutes.

It comes with a RTF (ready to fly) technology; has 6-axis flight control system w/ adjustable gyro sensitivity; is extremely portable and can be operated in three distinct flight modes- beginner, advanced pilots, and seasoned flight veterans. It also has an aerobatic ‘flip’ capability and LED lights for night flights.

Sneak peek at Skeye nano drone specifications :

  • RTF (ready to fly) technology
  • 6-axis flight control system w/ adjustable gyro sensitivity
  • Extreme portability
  • 3 distinct flight modes: beginner, advanced pilots, and seasoned flight veterans
  • Stable & easy to fly
  • Aerobatic “flip” capability
  • LED lights for night flights

The Skeye Nano Drone is listed at $60 but is currently selling at a promo price of $34.99 (Rs.2200.00). so you can order Skeye nano drone from here US Citizens). The company offers free shipping to anywhere in the world. To order for a international location including India kindly visit here.

Also Read : World’s first Ubuntu powered Drone launched

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World’s first Ubuntu powered Drone launched

World's first Ubuntu powered Drone launched

Erle Robotics launches the first Ubuntu powered drone

It seems world is slowly and steadily moving towards Linux powered devices. After Linux was used to power destroyers for US Navy, now Erle Robotics has used Ubuntu to power a drone.

Erle Robotics, a Spanish company, has been at the forefront of using Linux in devices and had introduced the Erle-Copter drone powered by Ubuntu Snappy Core back in February 2015, has launched the world’s first Ubuntu powered Drone on 3rd May.

The Erle-Copter Drone is powered by  Snappy Ubuntu Core and the ROS framework and has a flight time of approximately 20 minutes according to the company. It can also support a payload of up to 2 kgs which means that it can mount cameras for aerial photography.

The Erle-Copter Drone comes with APM Copter and Plane pre-installed as applications with support for utilizing either the 2.4 or 5 GHz frequency bands for Wi-Fi, and 536 MB of free space for user data.

“Erle-Copter Ubuntu Core special edition drone is a Ubuntu-powered quadcopter that includes official support for new app store for drones and robots. It has official ROS support, capable of the different flight modes and ideal for outdoor operations,” says Alejandro Hernández.

The price for Erle-Copter Ubuntu drone starts from €399 ($455/Rs.28,000.00) for the basic version while the fully loaded drone will be available for Rs.€574 ($640/Rs.40,000.00) and will be available worldwide.

According to Hernández is ideal for various outdoor operations and supports the installation of additional apps via a special App Store of Snappy and Snappy-go packages for drones and robots, has official ROS support, supports automatic launching of mavros bridges over WiFi, Telemetry, or USB, and supports different flight modes.

Check out the video of the Erle-Copter Drone in action below.

You can visit Erle Robotics website to know more about the drone.

Also Read: Meet ‘SKEYE’ the ‘world’s smallest’ drone that can easily fit in a matchbox

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ZANO the world’s most sophisticated and palm sized nano Drone available for pre-order for $169.95

ZANO the world's most sophisticated and palm sized nano Drone available for pre-order for $169.95

ZANO meet the world smallest palm sized drone

ZANO is a powerful little drone that can take your selfies to new heights. It can capture images with a 5-megapixel camera.

ZANO is an ultra-portable, personal aerial photography and HD video capture platform; it is so small enough that it can fit in the palm of your hand and it it is intelligent enough to fly all by itself. Zano connects directly to your smart device (iOS or Android) via onboard WiFi and enables you to instantly begin capturing and sharing moments like never before.

ZANO consists of collection of sensors work seamlessly together to allow it to avoid obstacles, hold its position and know exactly where it is in conjunction with your smart device, at all times.

ZANO meet the world smallest palm sized drone

ZANO is designed in such a way it operates on a virtual tether connected to your smart device. Modes of its operation are simple. Tilt your phone or tablet left or right, forward or backward and Zano will follow. (Zano can also be utilised in “Free Flight” mode, using on-screen Joy Sticks). On screen slide bars control rotation and altitude. Zano will hold its position unless instructed otherwise (In both “Capture” mode as well as “Free Flight” mode), which allows for maximum control and creative freedom without the burden of piloting Zano.
ZANO meet the world smallest palm sized drone

It is so smart that if it senses it’s too far from your smart device or is running low on battery, it will automatically return to your smart device.

Zano boasts a ‘Follow Me’ feature, which when activated locks the drone into a certain distance from the user’s smart device to capture all the action.

The drone is light in weight and durable. It is 55 g (1.94 oz) in weight and the battery can either be charged via Micro USB while inside the drone, or externally through a special adapter. The size of the drone is 2.5 x 2.5 in (6.5 x 6.5 cm), which is one of the smallest, drones in the world. Conveniently we can take ZANO with you wherever you may go due to its small and compact size.

Photos are snapped at 5 megapixels, while video is captured at 720p. The company says this is limited by Wi-Fi bandwidth and the Zano is technically capable of 1080p at 60 fps, leaving the door open to higher resolution video by way of future software updates.

This smallest drone also has Instant image and video sharing capability to social networks. Digital Image Stabilisation feature helps in taking clear and precise image and video capture. ZANO can drive motors in either direction. This feature helps him to move in any direction. It can fly continuously for 10 – 15 minute. (Weather dependent). It has a optimal range of 15 – 30 meter with a top speed of 25 mph.

But beside all this features and such small technology a question that will leg ZANO about obstacle avoidance is that how it will compete with those of the infrared sensor that is claimed to already be providing prototypes with adequate obstacle avoidance. Well, the answer is not know now but seeing the company’s confidence it seems that answer will be available shortly..

You can pre-order Zano white here for $169.95, the company promises a delivery by July 2015.

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Drone that can hack your Smartphone and steal your data.

London-based Security Researchers team  at Sensepost Research Labs have developed a drone called”Snoopy” which can steal data and contents from your smartphone without your knowledge.

Drone that can hack your Smartphone and steal your data.
If you are a resident of London and you see a Drone hovering over your head there are chances that your smartphone is being hijacked using Snoopy.  Snoopy is being tested in the London skies for past few days by the security researchers of Senseport and they intend to present their findings next week at the Black Hat Asia cybersecurity conference in Singapore.

The technology embedded in the Drone enables it to look for Smartphone devices with wi-fi settings turned on. most of these Smartphone devices are set with the settings to look for wi-fi networks they have previously connected to and once it finds the Network in the range it Automatically connects with the Network.

“Snoopy” then sends back the signal to the Smartphone and pretends to be the wi-fi Network with which the Mobile device connected earlier. as soon as the Smartphone connects with the device it is hijacked, hackers can then intercept every signal they smartphone sends or receives, including your user login id from email Accounts, social networks, Bank Accounts, text messages, websites you visit and your mobile usage preferences.

Wilkinson who developed the drone with Daniel Cuthbert at Sensepost Research Labs said, He was also able to obtain usernames and passwords for Amazon, PayPal and Yahoo accounts created for the purposes of our reporting so that we could verify the claims without stealing from passersby. 

Collecting metadata, device ids or Network name is not illegal according to the the Electronic Frontier Foundation. but intercepting credit card details, login ids would likely violate wiretapping and identity theft laws. 

Wilkinson said the purpose of this project is to raise awareness of the vulnerabilities of smart devices. 

Drones are Mobile and are often out of sight and reach from the victim, while it carries a threat to privacy if used with wrong intentions it also can help law enforcement agencies to use it for public safety in situation like Riots to find out the looters.
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