drone Stories April 16
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 …
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 …
drone Stories September 28, 2017
“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 …
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.
drone Stories February 23, 2017
I’ve been keeping a watching brief on drones for some time. They had immediate and obvious gadget appeal. I mean, proper drones are both radio-controlled flying vehicles and high-end cameras – what’s not to love?
But decent ones are expensive, and I feared that they might be one of those things I’d find fun for a short time before the novelty wore off. I didn’t want to spend a four-figure sum on something that would soon be relegated to a cupboard.
Then a few family members got together to buy my father a DJI Phantom for his birthday, which gave me some hands-on experience. I was starting to get the itch, but still resisting. After all, what would I actually do with it?
Travel was the only situation I could think of where I might make use of one, but small ones were poor quality and high quality ones weren’t exactly compatible with my handbaggage-only approach to travel. Then along came the DJI Mavic Pro – a folding drone whose spec was virtually identical to the Phantom 4 but with a folded size so small it was almost pocketable …