Collaborating Authors


DJI unveils the Air 2S drone with 20-megapixel camera


It's barely been a month since DJI unveiled a new drone, and the company already has another to show. Note the absence of the Mavic branding, indicating we might be seeing more of a shift in how the company pitches each level of quadcopter it offers. It's not clear if the "S" branding here is an Apple-style upgrade to the previous model, but the Air 2S certainly looks like someone gave the previous model a light facelift. The design seems near-identical bar a few smoother lines and an extra pair of front obstacle avoidance cameras. But what's important here is the camera it seems.

Microwave weapon could disable a swarm of military attack drones

New Scientist

Military drones can resist radio-jamming anti-drone devices, but a microwave weapon could take down a whole swarm at once, or disable just one with sniper-like precision

Here's What It Takes to Fly a Drone on Mount Everest


On the morning of July 10, 2018, a cook at K2 Base Camp in Pakistan was looking through his binoculars toward Broad Peak when he spotted something that looked like a body about 2,000 feet below the summit. The cook shared his discovery with Bartek Bargiel and his brother Andrzrej, members of a Polish expedition hoping to make the first ski descent of K2, the world's second-highest mountain. At first, the Poles thought they were looking at a corpse. But after more careful study they realized that it was a man in distress, clinging to the side of the mountain with an ice axe. There was no communication between the teams in the two separate base camps, so the Poles immediately dispatched one of their teammates, who took off running to the other camp, which was five miles down-glacier.

NASA is about to fly a helicopter on another planet for the first time

New Scientist

NASA's Ingenuity Mars helicopter photographed by the Perseverance rover on 5 April The first drone on another world is ready to fly. The Ingenuity helicopter is primed to lift off from the surface of Mars on 12 April, which will be the first powered flight on another planet. NASA's Perseverance rover, which launched in July 2020 and arrived on Mars on 18 February, carried the Ingenuity helicopter folded up in its belly. After the rover landed, it dropped Ingenuity onto the ground and drove off so the drone could ready itself for its first flight. "It has survived launch, it has survived the journey through space, the vacuum and radiation, it has survived the entry and descent and landing onto the surface on the bottom of the Perseverance rover," said Bob Balaram at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Ingenuity's chief engineer, during a 23 March press conference.

Why flying a helicopter on Mars is so damn hard


On Earth, humans put more than a century of work into the art of flying. On Mars, we're just getting started. NASA's four-pound helicopter, Ingenuity, touched down on the the surface of Mars on April 3 and will begin test flights in early April. It will be the first time humans have flown anything on another planet. In a nod to the Wright brothers' first flight, it's carrying a tiny piece of the plane that flew at Kitty Hawk.

Best photography drone in 2021


Increasingly the line between the two is blurring, with prosumer and sub-$4,000 drones delivering commercial-level quality and advanced flying features that just a few years ago were exclusive to the highest-end equipment. The best aerial hardware and technology stacks for keeping an eye on operations, individuals, and valued assets from above. It can be daunting wading into the deep roster of drones designed for enterprise photography and video. Sure, DJI, long the market leader, makes some truly fantastic devices, but before you go out to buy the first Mavic you come across for your business photography needs, take a moment to appreciate the nuanced diversity of UAV hardware out there and understand the strengths and weaknesses of the current offerings across a variety of applications and budgets. To help, we reached out to video and photography professionals to hear what they had to say.

Best surveillance drone in 2021


Security and surveillance are one of the biggest growth areas in the ever-expanding UAV sector. While it's a relatively recent addition to enterprise toolkits in many industries, the use of drones to provide aerial assessments of activities on the ground is actually a return to form for the technology, which has seen some of its most ambitious development in defense applications. A lineup of aerial hardware stacks to fit a variety of enterprise photography and video use cases. Aerial vehicles can cover vastly more terrain than slower, clumsier ground-based surveillance systems -- which is why they've been a key component of military and law enforcement applications for decades. But drones, which are smaller, cheaper, and more efficient than manned-aircraft like helicopters, have very quickly democratized access to aerial security and surveillance and opened up the skies to companies of all sizes across sectors.

Genesis broke a world record for the most drones in the sky


Drone shows are quickly becoming the tool of choice for people and companies that want to grab your attention, and Genesis knows that all too well. The Hyundai-owned car brand marked its entrance into China by breaking the Guinness World Record for the most Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in the air at the same time, using 3,281 drones to display its logo and otherwise advertise over Shanghai on March 29th. The company flew'just' 3,051 drones in September 2020. That, in turn, smashed a record set by a 2,200-drone performance in Russia just days earlier. Intel, which has a reputation for drone light shows, last claimed the record with 2,066 drones flying over Folsom, California in July 2018.

Artificial intelligence software detects ocean plastics from the air


As millions of tons of plastic wash into the ocean everyday, scientists have their work cut out for them in trying to keep tabs on its whereabouts, but they may soon have a useful new tool at the their disposal. Researchers at the University of Barcelona have developed an algorithm that can detect and quantify marine litter through aerial imagery, something they hope can work with drones to autonomously scan the seas and assess the damage. Taking stock of our plastic pollution problem is a tall order, with so much of it entering the ocean each day and being broken down into smaller fragments that are difficult to trace. The University of Barcelona team has taken aim at those pieces floating on the surface, hoping to improve on current methods of tracking their distribution, which involve surveying the damage from planes and boats. An interesting example of this is the work carried out by The Ocean Cleanup Project, which has ventured into the Great Pacific Garbage Patch with research vessels and flown over the top of it with aircraft fitted out with sensors and imaging systems.

Samsung will use drone deliveries for Galaxy products in Ireland


Some Samsung customers in Ireland will receive their orders through a courier that can take to the skies and reach them within a few minutes. The tech giant has teamed up with Manna Drone Delivery to make, well, drone delivery an option for Irish customers, so long as they're purchasing the latest Galaxy devices. Eligible models include the S21 Ultra, the Galaxy Buds Pro, the Galaxy Tab S7, the Galaxy Watch 3 and the Galaxy A Series. In addition, orders must be placed via Samsung's Irish website, and the option only available for customers based in a town called Oranmore at the moment. Manna uses customized aerospace grade drones that can fly at an altitude of 164 to 262 feet and at speeds exceeding 60 kph (37 mph).