Just like cameras, the best drone is the one you have with you. Most of them tend to be sitting at home due to the lack of portability. While DJI has made strides with their Spark, the controller is another item you have to lug around. While I am pretty confident that if I could fast forward a few more years the technology will be better, smaller, and cheaper. For now we have just a few high quality smaller options. The latest GDU quadcopter, the

Watch out DJI, there is a new kid on the block. The new kid is Skydio and their autonomous flying camera is the R1 ($2,500). The Skydio R1 flies all by itself with no remote control. It is powered by an Nvidia Jetson AI chip, has 12 navigation cameras for obstacle avoidance, and a main 4k camera for tracking a target. the body is made of carbon fiber and aluminum. One of the best parts is that it is...

EHANG 184 Electric Helicopter

Take a DJI drone and make it larger, much larger, add a seat and you have the EHANG 184. While it isn’t that simple, it isn’t that far off. This replacement car of the future is a personal helicopter. Much of the flight systems are automated (like the DJI’s). In recent testing of the EHANG 184 they have flown up to 984-feet high with over 500-pounds, recorded a distance of 9.3-miles with a top speed of 80.7 MPH, and logged 1000’s of manned flights. While I am sure it is safe and will only improve with time, I would like to see an 0h-shit parachute added before I hop inside. More pictures and video of the EHANG 184 after the break. (more…)

  Update as of 1/12/2017. After raising nearly $34-million in funding and pre-orders the Lily Drone Project is dead. Refunds to come for those who placed pre-orders. As much fun as it is flying/controlling your own quadcopter/drone there are times when “follow me” technology is the way to go. I think that is one of the biggest downfalls of the other quadcopter in the market that don’t offer this tech, like the new DJI Phantom 3. The Lily...

Another day, another drone (quadcopter technically). This latest attempt to join the remote control quadcopter game is from a new group and is currently living on Kickstarter.Shift Drone ($790 pre-order at Kickstarter) The  takes a new approach to the game with an interesting control system. Flying is done with a stick shaped box and a special ring worn on your thumb. The ring is made to float above the sensors...

GoPro has had a tough year, or two, as more and more competitors have been coming out with solid action cameras. Things look to have just turned around for GoPro. It looks like they have been quietly working hard on their latest GoPro 5 camera and an entirely new Drone dubbed the Karma. When I saw that GoPro was getting into the “drone” business my first reaction was “not another drone”. After lifting the covers, I am quite impressed. It looks like GoPro did...

Xiaomi is known for making inexpensive smartphones and sells quite a few of them in China. Now they are throwing their hat in the drone arena with their latest product, an affordable drone. The Xiaomi Mi Drone might be full of the latest technology but we will have to wait for more details. One thing that is obvious, is that they copied plenty of design cues from DJI and Yuneec. The Mi Drone will...

On the same day that our “government” decides that everyone has to register their “drones” an R2-D2 drone hits the skies. The FAA is making it a requirement for people to register their unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). Ridiculous in my opinion. I will rant alone loudly in my office about this while planning my move to another less repressive regulated country. The R2-D2 quadcopter on the other hand is pretty damn...

In more irrational drone fear, Tokyo is joining the shenanigans with a drone that can catch/snag other drones. Basically they are flying what looks like DJI Spreading Wings 900 which carries a 3 x 2 meter net. And no, this isn’t a joke. It should be, but it isn’t. Tokyo law enforcement officials will have a fleet of 10 of these netted hexacopters ready to protect government buildings by this February. Sounds good in theory but there is no way they would be able...

The market for out-of-the-box fully capable quadcopter just got pretty crowded. This is great news for the consumers of these gadgets as the pricing is starting to get more reasonable. Or at least the feature sets are matching the prices. The latest announcement in the video camera quadcopter arena comes from 3D Robotics (3DR) with their Solo Quadcopter. The 3DR Solo ($999) wants to give you a fully loaded platform that is simple to use. The Solo includes a video game styled transmitter, a 3-axis gimbal, GPS flight management, clever...