All posts by Sally French

VSDC Video Editor Pro is giving away free Pro licenses to Drone Girl community

How many of you, guys, use advanced video editing software to fix drone footage? As you record more videos, you might want to have a more serious approach to post-production.

We’ve partnered with VSDC Video Editor PRO – a video editing program for Windows – to show how to improve what you might consider a good shot into a better one.

And there is an even more awesome piece of news! You can get VSDC PRO annual license for free in aĀ special promo arranged exclusively for The Drone Girl community, and it’s valid for a week. Continue reading VSDC Video Editor Pro is giving away free Pro licenses to Drone Girl community

Israeli dronemaker Airobotics raises $32.5 million in funding

Israel-based industrial dronemaker Airobotics this week announced a $32.5 million funding round led by BlueRun Ventures China, as well as Microsoft Ventures and OurCrowd.

The funding is expected to help Airobotics expand its use cases into mining, refineries, seaports and the oil and gas industries.

The company’s existing investors include Waze’s CEO and the former COO of building 8 at Facebook. While Airobotics primarly works in Western countries, investors predict the company’s footprint will grow in Asia.

Airobotics this week also announced its new Homeland Security and Defense division. Defense and industrial drones have been flying high recently; American dronemaker Aerovironment’s stock is up more than 100% over the past 12 months. Continue reading Israeli dronemaker Airobotics raises $32.5 million in funding

Stay tuned for tons of Interdrone news after a hiatus

Hey Dronies!

You may have noticed a small hiatus in my posting. I just spent two weeks in Australia at four different events — two talks at the incredible World of Drones Congress, a Drone Day for young ladies interested in tech in partnership with my friends SheFlies, and a guest lecture for a journalism class at Queensland University of Technology.

It was all crazy busy, educational and tons of fun!

Here were some highlights from the last few weeks:



I’m now en route to Las Vegas for what I like to call “Drone Christmas” aka Interdrone! It’s a big family reunion and packed with drone news.

Stay tuned for more posts, and I apologize for the brief hiatus! Happy flying!


Propel’s Star Wars drones are back and better than ever

Propel’s incredible (and collectible!) Star Wars themed drones are back, and they’re better than ever.

To ring in Force Friday, the drone maker has launched aĀ limited edition range of hand-finished, individually numbered battle drones for collectors based on actual aerial vehicles from the Star Wars wars propel drone tie fighter

The drones are battle drones, meaning not only do they simply fly, but they also are intended for battle combat.Ā They have eye-safe lasers that can be fired at other Star Wars drones. If a drone is hit, it will wobble. If it takes three hits, it will crash land.

Propel has already created a series of Star Wars drones. (Check out my review of Propel’s first version of Star Wars drones in the video below):

But this version is new and improved. Continue reading Propel’s Star Wars drones are back and better than ever

2017’s nine women to watch in drones

Drone360 Magazine and the Women And Drones have revealed the inauguralĀ 2017 Women to Watch in UAS List.

The list is intended to celebrate the success of movers and shakers in the drone world. Some you may recognize (and have been mentioned on the Drone Girl before!), while some are newcomers who are quickly rising to the top of the influencer ranks. Ultimately, nine women from around the world were selected for their work in the drone industry in Ā the first of an annual list designed to highlight exceptional women in drones.

I had the pleasure of serving on the judges panel to select the honorees. We had so many amazing applications and though it was tough to choose, the list we came up with is pretty awe-inspiring.

Here are the honorees, by category: Continue reading 2017’s nine women to watch in drones

The best camera drones with a zoom lens for home inspections

Next up in our ā€œAsk Drone Girlā€ series is about what type of drone to purchase for home inspections (the main requirement is a zoomed lens…no wide aerial video necessary). If you have a question for Drone Girl,Ā contact her here.

I’m starting a home inspection business. I need to be able to take close/detailed pictures of different parts of a house roof, such as the chimney, pipes coming out of the roof, top ridge of the roof. What’s yourĀ opinion for a camera to provide detailed close-up pictures and a stable, slow drone?Ā 

Looking for a drone to use for home inspections?

If you have the budget, DJI’s Zenmuse Z30 is arguably the most powerful zoom camera designed specifically for drones on the market. It has a 30x optical and 6x digital zoom, giving it a total magnification of up to 180x. The camera is being used for inspections of all sorts — cell towers, wind turbines and more. The Zenmuse Z30 is designed for DJI’s Matrice drones. But at just under $9,000 (plus you’ll have to buy the Matrice), it’s not cheap.

The camera is ready to go out of the box, and yes — the Matrice is an incredibly stable drone.

Related read: Need a zoom lens for your drone? This may be it

DJI also has a stellar lineup of lower cost zoom lenses for its drones.

My first pick on the more affordable side of things for a commercial-quality, zoom lens, would be the DJI Zenmuse X5S. Its focal length ranges from 9mm to 45 mm (equivalent to 18 mm-90 mm on a 35mm camera). The camera is compatible with the DJI Inspire 2 (sold separately), which is an incredible drone to fly. It’s stable, and can fly at a variety of speeds — including the slow and controlled speed you are looking for.

At a slightly lower cost, the Zenmuse Z3 gimbal and camera features an optical zoom with 3.5 optical zoom and 2x digital zoom. It can be mounted on the Inspire 1, the Matrice 100 or the Matrice 600. The nice thing about the Zenmuse Z3 is that it is compatiable with the lower cost Inspire 1, vs. the Inspire 2.

Related read: DJI now offers a zoom camera with Zenmuse Z3

However, DJI is not your only option. The Walkera Voyager 4 is also an incredible choice. It has a zoom lens that offers 16x magnification. In fact, it’s zoom is even more than the DJI Zenmuse Z3 camera system. The camera on the Zenmuse Z3 has a zoom range of 22 to 77 mm, while the Voyager 4 has a range of a whopping 10 to 1500mm.

It’s also going to be high quality video, offering a gimbal-stailized, 360-camera, which could be important for the inspections you need to do (it means you can turn the camera around to shoot behind you without needing to turn the drone!).

The market for inspections is growing. Goldman Sachs predicts an $100 billion market opportunity for drones between now and 2020, with the utilities sector generating a total addressable market of $93 million.

Keep in mind that in order to fly a drone commercially, you need to obtain a Part 107 license. Here’s an awesome study guide, here are some frequently asked questions, and here’s my video review of exactly what taking the test is like. I highly recommend studying with Drone Pilot Ground School. Use this link to get $50 off!

Starting a drone business? Here’s what kind of revenue you can expect.

The 3rd annual FRiFF drone film festival is coming this November to San Francisco

The 3rd annual Flying Robot international Film Festival (FRiFF) returns to San Franciscoā€™s Roxie Cinema on Thursday,Ā Nov. 16.

Flying Robot is a short film festival focused on aerial cinema created from the perspective of drones.

Have you got a video worthy of winning? Submissions for theĀ 2017 festivalĀ areĀ now being accepted,Ā and festival participation is open to anyone around the world.

To enter, submit a film that is less than five minutes long by the deadline onĀ Sept. 18. Films should primarily be shot from the perspective of a drone, though they do not need to exclusively contain aerial footage. And of course, the film festival isn’t simply looking for pretty shots, but rather films that tell a story.

“Weā€™re not interested in seeing what your backyard looks like, unless your backyard is full of alligators or kangaroos or something.” according to the organizers. “Judges will shine favorably upon films with a good story.

Continue reading The 3rd annual FRiFF drone film festival is coming this November to San Francisco

Zipline expands medical drone deliveries from Rwanda to Tanzania

On the heels of news that drone deliveries are coming to Iceland, drone delivery startup Zipline announced that it is expanding to Tanzania.

Beginning in the first quarter of 2018, the Tanzanian government will begin using Zipline’s drones to make up to 2,000 deliveries per day to more than 1,000 health facilities, in a move that could serve 10 million people across the country.

Unlike companies like Flytrex, Flirtey or Amazon which promise speedy deliveries on consumer goods and even hot food, Zipline has focused its delivery efforts on medical deliveries.

In Tanzania, Zipline’s drones will deliverĀ blood transfusion supplies, emergency vaccines, HIV medications, antimalarials and othermedical supplies like sutures and IV tubes, via four distribution centers across the country in the capital of Dodomoa as well as near Mwanza, Lake Victoria and Mbeya.

Image Courtesy Zipline

Each of the four distribution centers will be equipped with up to 30 drones which are capable of carrying about three pounds of cargo. Continue reading Zipline expands medical drone deliveries from Rwanda to Tanzania