Category Archives: News

Peek inside the epic new DJI headquarters — including a robot fighting ring and theater

DJI is about to get an epic new headquarters office in Shenzhen, China.

Architectural firm Foster + Partners released a video showcasing designs for the DJI headquarters, which will be an interconnected pair of towers. See the concept video taking you through the headquarters, as published first by Architects Journal: Continue reading Peek inside the epic new DJI headquarters — including a robot fighting ring and theater

FlightWave’s Callie Mortimer knows the secret to making drones better for the environment

Callie Mortimer knows a thing or two about the value of natural resources.

She was born and grew up in South Africa, where she experienced droughts and times when the lights would go off because the energy grid had reached capacity.

As an adult, she spent time working in the oil and gas company. And now, she’s transitioned to the drone industry, where she’s working to make drones more environmentally friendly by way of hydrogen fuel cells.

Callie MortimerMortimer works as Director of Business Development at FlightWave Aerospace Systems, which builds an enterprise-grade drone powered by hydrogen fuel cells. Prior to that, she worked as an account manager at Intelligent Energy, which provides the power pack that allows the FlightWave’s Jupiter drone to fly.

Drone Girl: Why hydrogen fuel cells? What are the benefits for drones? Continue reading FlightWave’s Callie Mortimer knows the secret to making drones better for the environment

U.S. finally approves certain companies to test drone delivery, but Amazon wasn’t chosen

This is an excerpt of a piece originally written for MarketWatch.com. Read the full version here.

More than four years ago, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos promised in an interview that aired on “60 Minutes” that drones would be delivering small items to people’s homes within a half hour of the order being placed.

“I know this looks like science fiction,” he said. “It’s not.”

At the time, he said drone deliveries could happen as early as 2015, but more realistically within four to five years (which would have been 2017 or 2018).

More than four years later, the thought of Amazon drones landing at your doorstep is still a lot more like science fiction than reality.

The U.S. Department of Transportation this week announced the names of the 10 state and local governments that it has selected to conduct flight tests as part of its new Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program. The program pairs governments up with private companies to test types of drone flights that are currently banned in the U.S., including flying drones at night, flying over people and, yes, package delivery. Continue reading U.S. finally approves certain companies to test drone delivery, but Amazon wasn’t chosen

Everything you need to know about the FAA’s drone pilot program, including Uber, Google and lots of drone delivery

The Federal Aviation Administration today announced the 10 state, local and tribal governments it has selected to be a part of its Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program. — and it is set to involve high-profile companies including Google and Uber.

The drone pilot program pairs governments up with private companies to test types of drone flights that are currently banned in the U.S., including flying drones at night, flying over people and package delivery.

The FAA’s drone pilot program, formally called the UAS Integration Pilot Program, was announced in October by U.S. President Donald Trump and Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao. Originally, only five sites were going to be chosen, though ultimately 10 were picked. About 150 sites applied to be a part of the program, according to the FAA. Continue reading Everything you need to know about the FAA’s drone pilot program, including Uber, Google and lots of drone delivery

DJI and Microsoft partner to build SDK for Windows 10

A software development kit for DJI drones is coming to Microsoft’s Windows 10.

DJI today announced a partnership with Microsoft in an effort to allow drone users to build native Windows applications that can remotely control DJI drones including autonomous flight and real-time data streaming.

The SDK will also allow the Windows developer community to integrate and control third-party payloads like multispectral sensors, robotic components like custom actuators, and more, exponentially increasing the ways drones can be used in the enterprise, according to DJI. Continue reading DJI and Microsoft partner to build SDK for Windows 10

How to build your own drone for $99

The following is a guest post by Jake Carter, a drone Enthusiast and writer at RC Hobby Review. Follow him on Facebook at RCHOBBYREVIEW.

Think you need several hundreds of dollars to buy a drone? You can build your own drone for as little as $99. For such complicated machines, drones have very few parts and don’t take fancy engineering to build one. Here’s exactly what you need to know to build your own drone

Choose a Quadcopter Frame Design

Quadcopters are the most common type of drone — recognizable for their “X” shape with a propeller on each tip of the frame. Frames also come in tricopter (three propellers), hexacopter (six propellers), and octocopter (eight propellers) designs. Hexacopters are great for redundancy; if one motor fails you still have some stability. Since they are so large, octocopters are typically reserved for flyers looking to carry a payload.

But if you’re looking to cut costs, a quadcopter is typically the best to get started with given its lower costs.

Buy a Carbon Fiber Frame

Carbon fiber is slightly more expensive than other frame options, but it’s lightweight and durable. It will last you much longer should you keep the drone for several years. The cheapest frame option is wood, but wood warps in the rain.

Plastic is commonly used, and it’s durable. If you have a 3D printer, you can even make your own plastic frame. Aluminum frames are also used given their light weight, but they are not as durable.

If you have a few extra dollars to spare, choose carbon fiber. If money is an issue, the next best option is plastic. Wood should only be used for beginner drones that you expect to be replaced.

The Martain II 220 mm and Lisam 210 mm are two quality carbon fiber frames at affordable prices. Continue reading How to build your own drone for $99

The end of Lipo batteries? Hydrogen fuel cells take the spotlight at AUVSI

As drone manufacturers search for power sources that will enable drones to fly for multiple hours — and without fears of potentially dangerous Lipo batteries —  drone companies are capitalizing on the rise of hydrogen fuel cells.

Hydrogen fuel cells, which have recently rose to the mainstream vernacular for their increased testing in consumer products such as cars, are looking to make their way into more drones.

Hydrogen fuel cells are a pollution-free form of power, converting hydrogen to electricity while leaving behind nothing but water and heat. They’re environmentally friendly, allow for long flight times and can last a longer lifespan than traditional batteries, which has commercial-grade drone companies hopping on the wagon.

“Typically the energy density of hydrogen fuel cells compared to a battery is 3-4x the amount of flight time compared to Lipo batteries,” said Callie Mortimer, Director of Business Development at FlightWave Aerospace Systems. “The longer drones can fly, it makes a massive difference to what many companies are trying to achieve.”hydrogen fuel cells intelligent energy flightwave uas drones

Related read: 15 things every Lipo battery user should know

That means drones can not only fly longer distances, but also fly in rural areas where it is otherwise difficult to charge batteries.

FlightWave Aerospace Systems, Inc displayed its Jupiter drone, which uses a lightweight 650-W Fuel Cell Power Module, prominently at the AUVSI 2018 conference this week in Colorado. Continue reading The end of Lipo batteries? Hydrogen fuel cells take the spotlight at AUVSI

LAANC testing rolls out this week in South Central USA

If you’re a drone pilot in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana or New Mexico, it just got a whole lot easier to fly a drone.

This week marked the first roll-out of the Federal Aviation Administration’s multiphase plan to test Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC).

The LAANC program allows drone operators to use an interface (designed by FAA-selected private companies) to request approval to fly in restricted airspace. Operators will then receive approval almost instantly. That instantly speeds up the ability to legally fly in controlled airspace such as near airports — a cumbersome process that had previously required individual applications and took months.

The expansion officially started on Monday with facilities in the South Central USA. Here’s a list of all the spots participating in the first wave of the LAANC program. Continue reading LAANC testing rolls out this week in South Central USA