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 a limited edition range of hand-finished, individually numbered battle drones for collectors based on actual aerial vehicles from the Star Wars movies.star 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. 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 inaugural 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  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 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 Francisco’s Roxie Cinema on Thursday, 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 the 2017 festival are now being accepted, 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 on 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.

“We’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 deliver 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

Iceland now has a drone delivery service to deliver food via Flytrex

Drone delivery has arrived in Iceland.

Tel Aviv-based brone delivery company Flytrex has partnered with e-commerce site AHA to deliver its products to customers in Iceland, via drone of course. AHA sells everything from consumer products to groceries and even hot food.

Flytrex’s drones are currently flying one route — from the AHA headquarters, across a large bay to a point just outside the Grafarvogur suburb, which is a suburb of Reykjavik, Iceland.  An AHA courier handles the packages between that drop-off point and the customer’s house, filling in the “last mile.”

Courtesy Flytrex

The drone flight isn’t actually that far as the crow flies — just a four minute flight and two mile distance — but a Flytrex spokesperson says it would take a lot longer to get deliveries without a drone.

During peak traffic hours, crossing the water could mean a 25-minute drive.

Currently, drone delivery is available to anyone who places an order with AHA in the Grafarvogur suburb of Iceland, and getting a delivery via drone won’t cost any more than getting it shipped by traditional means. Continue reading Iceland now has a drone delivery service to deliver food via Flytrex

DJI now offering drone education discount to students and teachers with additional Spark deals

Are you a student, a teacher, or academic researcher?

DJI has a drone education discount program — and the deals are incredible.

The DJI Educational Discount allows customers with a “.edu” email address and who successfully fill out DJI’s online form to get a 10% discount on a select group of items.  The items available for purchase include everything from drones like the Mavic Pro, accessories like DJI Goggles and –for those who prefer shooting from the ground — the Osmo Mobile.

Related read: DJI Mavic Pro review: everything a flawless drone should be

And from now until Aug. 24, shoppers who apply online can get an additional discount on the Spark Fly More Combo.

The Spark Fly More Combo is typically $699, but can be purchased with the student discount for $629, and between Aug. 22 and 24 for just $615.

Here’s how it works:

 

 

 

 

Here are some other items you can get with the student discount:

Check out the full deals on DJI’s Education Page here.

Drone Girl to talk privacy with Intel and PrecisionHawk at InterDrone 2017

InterDrone 2017 is nearly upon us, and you can catch Drone Girl talking privacy this year.

InterDrone is one of the largest drone conferences, and takes place from Sept. 6-8 in Las Vegas.

I’ll be speaking alongside Diana Cooper, Senior Vice President of Policy and Strategy at PrecisionHawk, and Lisa Malloy, Intel Corp.’s director of government relations, on the panel “Privacy Issues Related to Expanded UAS Operations,” which will be moderated by DLA Piper’s Matthew Grosack.

We’ll dissect whether or not drones are compatible with privacy concepts based on two dimensional vantage points as three dimensional observation of persons and property (where height is no longer a restricting factor) soon become the norm.

The panel will take place on Friday, Sept. 8 from 8:45 to 9:30 a.m.

And while of course you should check out this panel, here are some other things you’ll want to check out while at InterDrone:

 

Finally, a drone that can swim AND fly (and it’s doing bridge inspections)

There are flying drones. There are (recently) more swimming drones. And finally, there’s a drone that can do both — in the same flight.

The Applied Fluids Lab at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, under the direction of Professor F. Javier Diez, developed a drone called the Naviator. It’s a submersible drone, meaning it is part submarine, part aircraft, and completely agile under water and in the air. The Naviator is funded by a grant from the Office of Naval Research, and it has been inthe public eye as a prototype as early as 2015.

rutgers naviator underwater drone

The drone appears much like a traditional quad copter, though it has four arms with a propeller on the top and bottom of each arm, meaning it actually has eight propellers.

Watch it in action here: Continue reading Finally, a drone that can swim AND fly (and it’s doing bridge inspections)

Drone Girl

Reporting on drones, sometimes with drones