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Even drone newbies can pull off cinematic shots with Skydio's new mode

Mashable

Flying up and forward was hard enough for me as a first-time camera drone pilot, so when Skydio, a consumer autonomous flying drone company based in the Bay Area, reps suggested I could take movie-like shots I laughed it off. But with the recently released Skydio 2 drone, it actually is possible for an unskilled pilot like myself to pull off an advanced shot. At the CES tech show earlier this month Skydio unveiled KeyFrame, which automates one of the more mind-bending challenges in drone photography: nailing your chosen spots and angles in three-dimensional space with cinematic flourish. I tried out this new skill, and while I didn't capture the most riveting content while learning the ropes, I saw how it makes flying between different shots possible. Before KeyFrame, even the most skilled pilot would struggle to direct the drone to the exact same vantage spot or fly smoothly in reverse the same way it had previously flown.


Which consumer drone should you buy? (September 2021)

ZDNet

I have a number of drones, and I've put a fair few miles and hours of flight on them -- over 125 miles and 22 hours in total. As much as I've tried to not end up with a favorite, I definitely do have a favorite. And it's not the drone I expected it to me. First, let me introduce you to the fleet. Note that the black patches are velcro for attaching a strobe.


Amazon's Latest Gimmicks Are Pushing the Limits of Privacy

WIRED

At the end of September, amidst its usual flurry of fall hardware announcements, Amazon debuted two especially futuristic products within five days of each other. The first is a small autonomous surveillance drone, Ring Always Home Cam, that waits patiently inside a charging dock to eventually rise up and fly around your house, checking whether you left the stove on or investigating potential burglaries. The second is a palm recognition scanner, Amazon One, that the company is piloting at two of its grocery stores in Seattle as a mechanism for faster entry and checkout. Both products aim to make security and authentication more convenient--but for privacy-conscious consumers, they also raise red flags. Amazon's latest data-hungry innovations are not launching in a vacuum.


Drones retain their buzz at Japanese trade show, with industrial uses expected to bolster growth

The Japan Times

CHIBA - With the market for business-use unmanned aircraft looking promising in coming years, a large-scale drone expo that kicked off Wednesday showed more companies are eager to get involved with the trend. Companies ranging from the small to the powerful are showing off their business solutions using drones at Japan Drone, an annual exhibition at Makuhari Messe in Chiba that features more than 200 firms and runs until Friday. Telecom giant KDDI Corp. is showcasing its "smart" drone platform connected to KDDI's mobile communication networks across the country, which allows a drone to navigate a wider swath of territory via remote control. "One merit of using our service is that drones can be remote controlled through our communication networks anywhere in Japan, unlike most drones exhibited at this event, which tap Wi-Fi networks with limited coverage," said So Yamazaki, a KDDI official. KDDI will launch the service to corporate customers in June and lists surveillance, inspection, land survey and analysis as the envisioned applications.


Hover Camera Passport Self-Flying Drone, 4k Video & 13MP Photography, Auto-Follow, & Facial Recognition

#artificialintelligence

Auto-Follow: Using face and body detection technology, the Hover Camera can accompany your journey hands-free with video recording and photo taking while cycling, running, surfing, or even hang-gliding No FAA Registration Required: Fly confidently and right out of the box without having FAA limitations and restrictions like other drones and operating temperature is 5 degree Celsius-35 degree Celsius (41 degree Fahrenheit-95 degree Fahrenheit) Carbon Fiber Cage: Hover Camera is crafted out of carbon fiber making it extra durable to falls and accidents; The Passport's propellers are enclosed in a cage providing the highest standard of safety Gesture Control Owner Mode: With owner mode you just scan your face into the app and the Passport will automatically find, follow, and record you. Carbon Fiber Cage: Hover Camera is crafted out of carbon fiber making it extra durable to falls and accidents; The Passport's propellers are enclosed in a cage providing the highest standard of safety Gesture Control Owner Mode: With owner mode you just scan your face into the app and the Passport will automatically find, follow, and record you.


How Drones Will Impact Society: From Fighting War to Forecasting Weather, UAVs Change Everything

#artificialintelligence

UAVs are tackling everything from disease control to vacuuming up ocean waste to delivering pizza, and more. Drone technology has been used by defense organizations and tech-savvy consumers for quite some time. However, the benefits of this technology extends well beyond just these sectors. With the rising accessibility of drones, many of the most dangerous and high-paying jobs within the commercial sector are ripe for displacement by drone technology. The use cases for safe, cost-effective solutions range from data collection to delivery. And as autonomy and collision-avoidance technologies improve, so too will drones' ability to perform increasingly complex tasks. According to forecasts, the emerging global market for business services using drones is valued at over $127B. As more companies look to capitalize on these commercial opportunities, investment into the drone space continues to grow. A drone or a UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) typically refers to a pilotless aircraft that operates through a combination of technologies, including computer vision, artificial intelligence, object avoidance tech, and others. But drones can also be ground or sea vehicles that operate autonomously.


The Skydio R1 autonomous drone is an action sport enthusiast's dream come true

#artificialintelligence

The purpose of a consumer drone remains nebulous these days. Depending on who you ask, you'll get a different answer. Drones are great for sophisticated aerial photography and video, but they're also adept at surveying empty lots of land and crowded real estate, or measuring agricultural yield and helping climate model the Arctic. Even as drones get more sophisticated, cheaper, and smaller, there isn't an easy answer beyond the fact that unmanned aerial vehicles are cool gadgets and fun to fly -- granted, where and when the Federal Aviation Administration deems it legal to do so. But what if a drone was smart enough to handle itself, in any and all situations?


Drones that dodge obstacles without guidance can pursue you like paparazzi

MIT Technology Review

Artificially intelligent drones are coming--and they're going to shoot some really sick snowboarding videos along the way.


From Energy To Telecom: 30 Big Industries Drones Could Disrupt

#artificialintelligence

Energy, insurance, telecommunications, and many other industries could also have drones in their future.


Visual Object Tracking for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: A Benchmark and New Motion Models

AAAI Conferences

Despite recent advances in the visual tracking community, most studies so far have focused on the observation model. As another important component in the tracking system, the motion model is much less well-explored especially for some extreme scenarios. In this paper, we consider one such scenario in which the camera is mounted on an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or drone. We build a benchmark dataset of high diversity, consisting of 70 videos captured by drone cameras. To address the challenging issue of severe camera motion, we devise simple baselines to model the camera motion by geometric transformation based on background feature points. An extensive comparison of recent state-of-the-art trackers and their motion model variants on our drone tracking dataset validates both the necessity of the dataset and the effectiveness of the proposed methods. Our aim for this work is to lay the foundation for further research in the UAV tracking area.