drone Stories August 23

If you’re a fan of stunning aerial footage around Apple Park, DJI just made it easier to capture your own with the Mavic 2. Our sister-site DroneDJ is on location at DJI’s latest product unveiling in New York City where the drone maker is launching two new consumer quadcopters with some serious specs.

Mavic 2 Zoom (DJI, Amazon) packs a 2x optical zoom lens for capturing hard-to-reach scenes from the sky. If optics are your focus, Mavic 2 Pro (DJI, Amazon) touts an onboard Hasselblad L1D-20c camera with a 20 MP shooter and 10-bit HDR video capture.

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drone Stories April 16

A drone pilot who has been making regular flights over Apple Park says he believes that the company is tracking all flights over the campus, and thinks it’s only a matter of time before counter-measures are used to block future flights …

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drone Stories March 30

iPhones are significantly cheaper in Hong Kong than mainland China, and it’s not unusual to find people smuggling them across the border. But while the record for smuggling them under clothing is around $150k, that’s nothing compared to the $79.8M worth transported with the help of drones …

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drone Stories February 2

One of the downsides of living in a city is that opportunities to fly your drone tend to be limited. Where I live is well inside the massive chunk of drone-free air over London. Indeed, I’m inside both controlled airspace for my nearest airport (London City, less than five miles away) and a separate Restricted Area above central London.

So if I want to reach clear airspace, it’s either a car ride or train journey away – which means I only really do it when I have a specific reason or project in mind. That makes it hard to build on, or even maintain, my flying skills.

DJI of course has its own drone simulator built into the DJI Go app, but it’s more of a conceptual implementation than an accurate simulation of real-world physics. Which is why I decided to try Zephyr, a simulator for the Mac and Windows that claims to accurately model the actual flight characteristics of the drones it covers …

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drone Stories September 28, 2017

An augmented reality drone simulator powered by Apple’s ARKit allows users to fly a virtual quadrocopter wherever they are.

“ARKit is a game-changer,” says Taylor Moore, co-founder of CircleSquare Entertainment. “We were actually working very hard on a drone racing game – but dropped everything when we realized that we could offer iOS users the kind of augmented reality no one has ever seen before. DroneTopolis AR is like having a Drone in your Pocket.”

You can fly your virtual drone in places the real thing wouldn’t be allowed, fly through virtual ‘hoops’ and record and stream your flights to share with friends …

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drone Stories March 15, 2017

Flying a drone manually is fun, but there are some manoeuvres that are virtually impossible to fly smoothly. Circling an object or person, for example. You’d need to constantly change the balance of forward/backward and left/right inputs to fly the circle in the first place, then simultaneously keep rotating the camera by just the right amount to keep it pointed at the centre of the circle. Anyone who can do that perfectly is either a drone genius or has way more than the usual number of hands.

The DJI Go app offers a range of intelligent flight modes – aka autonomous flying. But a third-party app, Litchi, goes even further: it allows you to program your flight path in Google Earth before you even leave home. As soon as you arrive on site, just load the pre-programmed flight and hit Start.

I decided to give it a go with my ultraportable drone, the DJI Mavic Pro I reviewed last month

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