If dreams really do come true, there’s going to be a LEGO set of a drone racing circuit.
A (presumably) major drone fan who goes by the username Gautier designed three LEGO sets involving drones for LEGO’s Ideas site, and one of them is a model of a drone racing course.
LEGO Ideas allows fans to create models of projects, and other users can vote for projects they likes. Projects with 10,000 supporters qualify for review from LEGO’s set of designers to evaluate making projects a reality.
And one of those projects is an incredible drone racing circuit. It comes with its gates, tunnels and obstacles as well as with the racing drones, the pilots, the flight line director, a trophy and a bottle of “Drone Racing Bubbles” for the victorious team! The pilots are all equipped with a radio remote control unit. Continue reading You have to see this LEGO drone racing circuit→
LiPo batteries can be highly dangerous, and many people have no idea!
For years, lithium polymer batteries (LiPos) have been known to be dangerous and unpredictable. Dropping, denting or crushing can shorten the life of the battery and even cause an internal short — a recipe for fire. There are a myriad of guidelines for storing, charging and transporting them. Even among experienced RC users, they have led to fires.
I chatted with Toppilot, the creators of a brand-new battery line specifically designed to sponsor FPV racing competitions. The professional battery manufacturer knows what it means to need a good battery for competition — not only so it works properly but so it stays safe.
Of course, the #1 tip is to never leave a LiPo battery unattended during the charging or discharging process.
Beyond that, here are Toppilot’s tips for taking care of your batteries:
Before Charging LiPo Batteries
The #1 tip here is: RTFM (Read the Freaking Manual!)
Always check the voltage of batteries before each charge session in order to ensure they are at or above the minimum safe starting voltage. If their starting voltage is below recommended levels then your batteries have been over-discharged or have experienced a failure and should NOT be charged.
Always check the battery before charging for any type of damage. Check the battery packaging, wires and connectors for defects, which may cause a short circuit and eventual battery failure.
If you fly FPV but don’t have a good way to store all your gear, Lowepro just came up with a solution.
The camera bag maker introduced a QuadGuard Kit, which costs $99.95. It’s a 2-in-1 case intended to hold one FPV 250 class racing drone or quadcopter plus parts and accessories, including a transmitter, spare blades, goggles, batteries, charger, manual, etc.
One side is definitely more suited to holding the controller.
This week’s Drone Girl profile highlights a mother-daughter photography duo. Kim and Makalya Wheeler go by 2Drone_Gals on the internet, and in real life they can generally be found flying around the Space Coast of Florida capturing photos and videos.
Kim, the mother half of the duo, got into photography in high school via her cousin’s Canon AE-1. Makayla, now 18, started shooting with an Olympus C-740 and won her first photography contest at age 10 and at that age already had her photos published in an international nature magazine.
Drone Girl: You have photography backgrounds. How did drones enter your life?
Kim and Makalya: Makayla’s gift in the visual arts quickly transitioned into the video production realm when she began shooting horse chase sequences out on the trails with her iPod Nano and edited them to music. This led to shooting promotional videos, nature documentaries and short films. The interest in drones developed out of a need for epic aerial cinematography for these types of video projects. Makayla bought her first drone at age 15 when one of her projects won a national video contest. She sold the Grand Prize to purchase the drone, which was the original DJI Phantom 1.
AT&T’s drone program director, Art Pregler, knows what it’s like when you’re at a concert or sporting event and the cell service sucks.
But the telecommunications giant has a solution for that, which naturally, involves a drone.
AT&T says it will start a project to provide LTE wireless coverage at crowded venues, like concerts and baseball games, by using a drone that is tethered to the ground but hovering in the air nearby.
AT&T has dubbed the drones “Flying COWs” — the COW stands for “Cell on Wings.” The drones would boost LTE coverage to areas in need of it during occasional large events. They would be tethered to the ground to prevent them from going rogue and flying away.