Category Archives: News

DJI introduces new Matrice 600 and Osmo at NAB

This year’s National Association of Broadcasters event in Las Vegas gives both filmmakers and developers who are interested in drones a reason to celebrate.

DJI today announced the Matrice 600 (M600) at NAB in Las Vegas. The Matrice 100 was the Chinese dronemaker’s developer quadcopter.

The M600 integrates DJI’s brand-new A3 flight controller onboard and features advanced Lightbridge 2 video-transmission technology that offers high frame rates and HD live-streaming capability at distances up to five kilometers.

“The M600 is the most-powerful and easiest-to-use professional platform DJI has ever produced,” said Senior Product Manager Paul Pan. “We’ve pre-programmed all M600 platform data and information into the A3 flight controller, remote and transmission system to minimize setup and get you flying as quickly as possible.”

The M600’s retail price, including the integrated A3 controller with Lightbridge 2 and 6 batteries, is $4,599.

And for dronies who aren’t developers but looking to get their hands on new DJI gear — there is this: an Osmo compatible with the Micro Four-Thirds Zenmuse X5R camera.

The new system, known as the Osmo RAW, uses the same technology DJI launched last month on the Inspire 1 RAW aerial to bring unmatched cinematic-quality stabilized video to the skies.

The X5R will attach to existing Osmos via an adaptor. Another new product, the Z-Axis, will sell for $129 and provide stabilization on the fourth vertical axis.

“Now, creators and filmmakers will no longer have to choose between image quality and image stability, no matter from what perspective they’re shooting,” Pan said.

DJI also introduced a new battery for Osmo that offers up to 96 minutes of shooting time at 4K resolution, vs. 66 in the prior battery. It will offer 78 minutes of shooting time for Osmo pro, vs. 60 for the other battery. The four battery charger can charge four batteries in about two hours.

Both the Matrice and Osmo are game changers for people in the film industry, providing integrated video in the air and drone-like video on the ground.

“There are other options out there, but none that integrate a top-class flight controller, video-transmission system like Lightbridge 2 and support for such a range of cameras and gimbals,” said DJI Executive Creative Director Sheldon Schwartz.

Drone Girl featured in Alma Mater’s magazine

While commercial drones are prohibited currently from flying over populated areas out of safety concerns, the Federal Aviation Administration recently released recommendations  from a government-sponsored committee that would make it legal for drones adhering to certain safety standards to fly over crowds for commercial purposes.

One take on the news comes from Vox Magazine, the student run magazine from the Missouri School of Journalism which, coincidentally, offered a drone journalism class that got me hooked on drones in the first place.

Check out this piece from Adrienne Donica, featuring quotes from yours truly.Drone delivery is one step closer to reality   Science   Tech   Vox Magazine.png

Drones are coming to ESPN

This is an excerpt of a story originally written for MarketWatch.com.

What do you get when you mix Formula One auto racing with competitive video gaming with flying robots? A spot on ESPN.

The International Drone Racing Association on Thursday announced it has signed a multiyear deal with ESPN to air drone racing across the network. Drone racing features a series of elaborate courses—like abandoned malls, NFL stadiums and subway tunnels—with miniature drones racing at speeds greater than 80 miles an hour and controlled from afar by pilots wearing “first-person view” goggles that show a live video feed from the drone’s “cockpit.”

The first IDRA race, which will send drones through Governors Island in New York City, will air live on ESPN3 on Aug. 5-7. Another race will be held in October. Both events will be followed by a on-hour TV special on ESPN.

“To go from a first-ever, U.S. national drone race to partnering with ESPN for international distribution in eight months is truly a sign of great things ahead,” Dr. Scot Refsland, Chairman of the IDRA, said in a news release.

Drone racing has been slowly rising in popularity, with IDRA claiming a presence in 35 countries. Another group, the Drone Racing League, announced in January that it raised $8 million in funding, including investment from Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross’s venture-capital firm RSE Ventures. Other investors included Hearst Ventures, CAA Ventures and Muse lead singer Matthew Bellamy, according to a Jan. 21 SEC filing.

Shares of ESPN parent company Walt Disney Co. DIS, -0.85%  are down 5.3% year to date while the S&P 500 is up 0.9% in that time frame.

Ask Drone Girl: Where can I fly?

Got a question for Drone Girl? Ask her here!

Dear Drone Girl,

Perhaps you can point me to someone in San Francisco, my home town. First I’m 64 and just started flying quad copters.  I’m in a public park in San Francisco flying my quad copter and get told I can’t fly there. I go online and can’t find a blog or forum to connect with other quad operators.  Do you know of any active site where I can talk to other ‘flyers’? I’m not real happy since my park has zero people, tons of space and I’m not a safety hazard. Ugh!

-Seeking Out Flying space in SF

Thanks for your question — which seems to actually be twofold. The problem here is 1. you need some flying buddies, and 2. You don’t know how to approach people saying your flying is illegal, or even if it is illegal.

Let’s tackle the second question first. Continue reading Ask Drone Girl: Where can I fly?

DJI just launched a new app that is basically the Tinder/Uber/Meetup for drones

When I first got my original DJI Phantom 1, I was the only person I knew on the planet who was interested in drones.

I did something highly NOT recommended — message random strangers on the Internet who I could tell lived near me and ask if they could give me a drone tutorial. (It worked out for me, and I made some lifelong friends this way, but don’t try this at home!)

But DJI just came up with something a whole lot less creepy. Continue reading DJI just launched a new app that is basically the Tinder/Uber/Meetup for drones

Google hints at what its delivery drones will actually be used for

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

Google X’s delivery drones probably won’t be bringing you champagne anytime soon.

A patent filed in June 2013 and awarded to Google on Tuesday indicates that the company is more interested in using drones for transporting medical equipment.

The patent states that the drone would have a control system configured to provide medical support, such as delivering a defibrillator.
Automated External Defibrillators can cost $2,000 to $3,000 to install, and some laws require multiple AEDs to be placed in a building. AEDs also require periodic maintenance, thus can continue to add up in cost.

But with a number of AED-carrying drones on standby, in a downtown area for example, Google anticipates it would often be able to respond to an emergency much more quickly than it would take for someone to retrieve an AED from the far reaches of a building, according to the patent.

And AEDs maintained by Google would be able to be inspected with greater ease than if they were left in the building.MW-EJ567_Patent_20160405194702_NS

FAA announces recommendations from group saying drones should be able to fly over people. Cue the hysteria?

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Michael B. Thomas/AFP/Getty Images

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

Commercial drones are prohibited currently from flying over populated areas out of safety concerns. But that’s about to change.

The Federal Aviation Administration released recommendations Wednesday from a government-sponsored committee that would make it legal for drones adhering to certain safety standards to fly over crowds for commercial purposes.

Such a move would clear the way for drones to film events and deliver packages — two of the main potential commercial use cases for drones. (It’s currently legal for noncommercial drone owners to fly over people.) And it would come as a big win for drone manufacturers like DJI, who have been increasingly trying to capture the enterprise market with higher-end drones.

The report “recommends common-sense ways to ensure drones used for commercial and organizational purposes can safely fly over people,” according to DJI spokesperson Adam Lisberg.

But not everyone is thrilled.

The Academy of Model Aeronautics, a community group for model aircraft users, says more drones over people’s heads is going to contribute to a culture of drone hysteria.

“We are concerned that allowing some unmanned aircraft to operate over and within close proximity to people will heighten the anxiety of a society that is already hypersensitive to the introduction of drones into our communities,” said Dave Mathewson, executive director of the AMA, in a news release. Continue reading FAA announces recommendations from group saying drones should be able to fly over people. Cue the hysteria?

New drone footage shows close-up footage of Apple’s campus under construction

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

The latest close-up, bird’s-eye view of Apple’s Campus 2 is out, thanks to a drone.

Drone photographer Matthew Roberts photographed Apple’s campus and posted the footage to YouTube. The footage was shot on a DJI Phantom 3 Professional, which retails for $999.

 

Shooting Apple’s campus with a drone is one of the trendiest of trends in the tech world. A different drone photographer shared footage of the campus in January 2016. That footage showed foundations for a 1,000-seat underground auditorium. And an earlier video from November 2015 showed prior progress.