Category Archives: News

What’s the best thermal camera and drone for hog hunting?

Next up in our “Ask Drone Girl” series is about drones, thermal cameras and hog hunting! If you have a question for Drone Girl, contact her here.

What affordable drone and thermal camera set up would you recommend for a beginner to use for hog hunting?

Welcome to the drone world! While I am vegetarian, I can endorse your efforts for wanting to use a drone for hog hunting!

Wild hogs are an invasive species, wreaking havoc on the environment, especially in the southern portion of the United States. The 200-pound animals are destructive, damaging livestock, hurting the ecosystem and competing with native species. Couple that with their impressive fertility and high adaptability, and wild hogs cost the U.S. $1.5 billion each year.

Using drones to hunt wild hogs is an excellent use case. Add a thermal camera, and they are easier to spot. Using drones to hunt hogs has been a common practice for many years, but it used to be extremely expensive; Hunters in the past have used $15,000+ rigs to make it happen.

Now drones with thermal cameras are cheaper than ever before — and extremely easy to fly.

If you’re looking for value, your best bet is the FLIR Duo camera, which combines a thermal camera vs. a “traditional” visible light camera into one drone. It’s the same size as the GoPro Hero camera, so it will fit on any drone designed to carry a GoPro Hero (which is many of them!).

That camera runs for $999 on B&H Photo. B&H also does not charge sales tax in all states except NJ and NY, and will give you free shipping.

The easiest way to fly it is on a drone designed to mount a GoPro. I recommend the DJI Phantom 2, which runs for $500 on Amazon. The drone is incredibly easy to learn how to fly. Another option is the 3D Robotics Solo drone.

One of my favorite YouTube dronies, the Roswell Flight Test Crew, shows how it works: Continue reading What’s the best thermal camera and drone for hog hunting?

Kespry raises $33 million in Series C funding round

Silicon Valley-based drone solutions provider Kespry today announced that it raised $33 million in a Series C funding round, led by G2VP. Shell Technology Ventures, ABB Ventures and Cisco Investments also joined as new investors in the company.

With the new funding, Kespry intends to expand internationally and in the energy utility sector.

Kespry builds drones for primarily industrial use-cases, with clients  including John Deere, Hancock Claims Consultants, Catastrophe Response Unit (CRU), Fluor, Lehigh Hanson/Heidelberg, and Colas USA. Its drones have been used in a range of situations including to carry out roof inspections in the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Continue reading Kespry raises $33 million in Series C funding round

Applications for the FAA’s drone pilot program are due tomorrow

Want your company or local government to be involved in the FAA’s drone pilot program? You have one more day to make it happen.

The FAA’s drone pilot program, formally called the UAS Integration Pilot Program, was announced in October by U.S. President Donald Trump and .S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao. The premise of the program is that the government will select five local governments who have partnered with the private sector to test drone operations that are currently illegal, and to test and weigh in on how to legalize them.

Those types of flights that are currently illegal include night flights, flights over people and flying drones beyond visual line of sight. Continue reading Applications for the FAA’s drone pilot program are due tomorrow

DJI Goggles just got a big upgrade that should make drone racers pretty happy

DJI Goggles just got a new look — designed with FPV drone racers in mind.

DJI this week launched a new version of its DJI Goggles called the DJI Goggles RE (Racing Edition). The new redesign includes a metallic matte black visor and headband with red leather padding.

The DJI Goggles are designed to integrate with DJI’s OcuSync video transmission module and a high-performance camera module, which can transmit digital video signal from up to 7 km away with latency as low as 50 ms, in addition to analog signal.

The primary difference between the DJI Goggles RE and the original DJI Goggles (other than the new aesthetic) comes down to analog transmitter signals. Where the former DJI Goggles worked with OccuSync, the DJI Goggles RE comes with the ability to receive signals from analog transmitters — something essential to most drone racers. Continue reading DJI Goggles just got a big upgrade that should make drone racers pretty happy

What’s faster: a Google-funded drone or a human pilot? NASA put it to the test.

Who is the better drone pilot? Human or machine?

Researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California put it to the test via a drone race — and the results may surprise you.

One competitor in NASA’s race was not a human, but rather a Google-funded drone controlled by artificial intelligence.  The other was world-class drone pilot Ken Loo, known by many in the drone community as ‘FlyingBear.’

The two drone “pilots” raced through a twisting obstacle course. For the non-human drone, A.I. was used on three custom drones flown via algorithms that were integrated with Google’s Tango technology. Continue reading What’s faster: a Google-funded drone or a human pilot? NASA put it to the test.

New FAA data on drone registrations reveals surprising insights on America’s drone owners

Where are America’s drones flying? If you guessed techie or art hubs like San Francisco, Los Angeles or New York, you’re wrong.

The Federal Aviation Administration made its drone registration database publicly available earlier this month — and the data mined from it is pretty surprising.

States with low population densities are more likely to have high rates of registered drones — which makes sense when considering that drones are easiest to fly in open, non-crowded areas.

The Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College released an analysis of the FAA’s drone registration database this week. The database includes every drone registration through Oct. 31, 2017.

Here are some of the report’s most interesting findings:

The most popular non-hobbyist drone is the DJI Phantom 4, followed by the Phantom 3, Mavic and Inspire. All of those drones are made by DJI.top 30 non-hobbyist drones

70% of all drones registered are made by DJI. Next in line is Intel, though that could be attributed to Intel-made drones that are also flown by Intel. 6,638 Intel Shooting Star and Shooting Star 2 drones are registered in Mountain View, Calif., which is the headquarters of Intel. Intel uses the drones for aerial light shows, including a recent show to promote the Wonder Woman movie and a widely-viewed show during the Super Bowl.

Top non-hobbyist drone manufacturers

Which zip codes have the most non-hobbyist drones? Continue reading New FAA data on drone registrations reveals surprising insights on America’s drone owners

39% of cell sites are still out of service in Puerto Rico post-hurricane. AT&T’s drones are fixing that.

More than two months after Hurricane Maria, much of Puerto Rico still does not have cell service.

Drones could fix that. The Federal Aviation Administration today announced that it had approved the use of AT&T’s Flying COW drones to help restore cellular service. The Flying COW drones — which stands for cell on wings — functions like a cell tower in the sky, to provide voice, data and internet service. The drones can fly up to feet above the ground and cover 40 square miles.

AT&T says it is using the drones as a temporary cell service solution while it rebuilds the permanent infrastructure on the island.  The company had previously touted the drones as a lifesaver for getting those Snapchats and tweets in while service is overloaded at crowded music festivals and sporting events.

But the drones are proving to serve a real humanitarian need. Continue reading 39% of cell sites are still out of service in Puerto Rico post-hurricane. AT&T’s drones are fixing that.

DJI just launched a limited edition Mavic Pro Alpine White drone — but only at these two stores

Want a DJI Mavic Pro that stands out from everyone else’s? This new version has something in common with the drone that put DJI on the drone map — the Phantom.

DJI today announced its limited edition Mavic Pro Alpine White. The drone will only be available at two retailers —  the Apple Store and at DJI Flagship stores. It will also be available on both Apple’s website and on DJI’s website.

DJI’s Flagship stores are located in places including Shenzhen, China and Hong Kong.

The Mavic Pro Alpine White will be offered as a Holiday Combo which includes a remote controller, two extra Intelligent Flight Batteries, two additional pairs of propellers and an aircraft sleeve, at a  retail price of $1,049 US.

The DJI Mavic Pro still remains The Drone Girl’s favorite drone to date. The DJI Mavic  Pro offers a 12-megapixel camera and shoots 4K video at 30 frames per second, and a maximum flight time of 27 minutes.

Related read: DJI Mavic Pro vs. Spark: which is better?

DJI is also offering its Care Refresh plan for the new DJI Mavic Pro Alpine White for $99.