Next-gen drones can ride wind currents like birds, researchers say - Manufacturers' Monthly


The next generation of unmanned drones will act more like birds than machines, thanks to new study by researchers from RMIT University in Melbourne and ISAE-Supaéro in Toulouse. The study includes experiments with drones that can sense wind gusts and thermals, then use them to gain speed or altitude, just like birds do. Dr Abdulghani Mohamed, who leads a large research program into bio-inspired technology in RMIT's Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) research team, said the world-first project had exceeded expectations. "The results of our gust soaring system were remarkable and represent a big leap in energy harvesting for drones," Mohamed said. "This technology not only allows a drone to gain kinetic energy to fly faster but also means less work and more efficiency for the propulsion system, potentially enabling the next generation of drones to increase their flight time on limited resources."

Hover 2 foldable drone can look for obstacles as it flies itself


The Hover Camera Passport foldable drone made quite the impression when it first launched a little over two years ago, and then it received a major update in April last year, which added a smartphone-free mode that automatically tracks and records its owner. Save for the rumored Snap acquisition deal (which Zero Zero Robotics still denies today), we had barely heard from the drone maker since then, but today it's back with a surprise announcement: The launch of its second selfie drone, Hover 2. As you'd expect, the Hover 2 has inherited all the best bits of the Passport, especially its small foldable form factor, sturdy carbon fibre cage enclosure, Qualcomm Snapdragon processor (model not specified but it's "four times more powerful than" before), 4K 30fps video capture, face tracking and body tracking. The two drones look similar from afar, though the newer model benefits from more than double the original flight time, jumping from a mere 10 minutes to 19 minutes (but maximum flight time is 23 minutes; more on that later). This may explain the heavier weight of 490 grams or about 1.1 pounds -- almost twice as much as before. When switched on, you'll notice a new major feature on the Hover 2: Its swiveling "Optical Radar" that pops out of the top of the body.

The hidden toll of American drones in Yemen: Civilian deaths

FOX News

This 2018 handout image provided by the Ali family, shows a photo of Ammer Ali, in Yemen. A drone struck a car carrying Ali who was returning to Marib with a relative after dropping his family at a house of relatives. Nearly 70 kilometers from Marib, at 3:00 p.m. the drone struck the car and killed the Ali the other driver survived. This 2018 handout image provided by the Sarima family, shows a photo of Mohammed Abu Sarima, who was killed in a drone strike, in Yemen. The Pentagon confirmed a drone strike on the same day in the province of Bayda, saying they were targeting al-Qaida.

A Yemeni boy gets lost in a land prowled by US drones

FOX News

This July 11, 2018, photo, shows a fragment of a US-made missile fired from a drone that struck a vehicle, killing all seven men inside on Jan. 26, 2018, instantly ending their lives, shredding their bodies into pieces, in Shabwa, Yemen. ATAQ, Yemen – Al-Qaida was giving away motorcycles up in the mountains -- that's what the kids in town were saying the day Abdullah disappeared. Early that morning, Mohsanaa Salem woke her 14-year-old son to go buy vegetables. The sun had just risen above the mountain ridge, and winter light filled the ravine where their mud brick house sat at the foot of a slope. "Let me sleep," Abdullah groaned from a mattress on the floor, surrounded by his brothers and sisters. One word from his father, though, and the boy was up and dressed, trudging out of the house to the market in a neighboring village. Three hours later, when he still hadn't returned, Mohsanaa and her husband began to worry.

Intel extends depth-sensing capabilities of RealSense cameras


Intel on Tuesday is expanding its family of RealSense cameras, extending the depth-sensing capabilities of the D400 series. The new D435i camera includes an inertial measurement unit (IMU), providing developers and engineers with another data point to work with as they build drones, robots and other products. RealSense cameras are used to help products "see" the world around them in 3D by tracking movement and depth. In an image from a depth camera, each pixel has four values: red, green blue and depth. The colors align with the depth of an object in an image -- red objects are farther away, while green images are closer and blue images are closest.

CyPhy Wants to Set Drones Free by Tying Them to the Ground


The whole idea behind drones is that they fly free. Unattached to the traffic-clogged, obstacle-riddled surface, they promise to change the way we move our stuff and even ourselves. So it's strange to hear that one startup thinks the best way to fly drones is by tying them to the ground. In that tether, CyPhy Works sees a different sort of liberty: freedom from short-lived batteries. The typical commercial drone can stay aloft for 20 to 30 minutes.

Drone vulnerability could compromise enterprise data SC Media


Check Point Researchers developed an attack to hijack DJI drone user accounts that may contain the user's sensitive information as well as access to the device itself. Researchers developed an XSS attack that could be posted on a DJI forum that is used by hundreds of thousands of DJI customers, to intercept the identifying token and use it to log in as the customer, according to a Nov. 11 blog post. The attack demonstrates the vulnerability in the drone's cloud network which can be accessed from anywhere by highlighting the need for a two-factor authentication mechanism, better identification mechanisms, and the importance of segmentation for organizations across their IT networks in order to contain and limit the damage inflicted by a potential attack. The attacker enters the web forum, steals the cookie ID and login, then either uses the stolen information to either bypass SeNeo Mobile protection to access a DJI mobile app or to access the full DJI Flight Hub. Once this is done, the threat actor has access to the drone's flight records, photos taken during flight, payment details, real-time access to the drones camera,, and a live view of the drone pilot's camera and location.

China steps up drone race with stealth aircraft

Daily Mail

China is rolling out stealth drones and pilot-less aircraft fitted with deadly weapons, such as AK-47 rifles, onto world markets. Combat drones were among the jet fighters, missiles and other military hardware shown off this week at Airshow China, the country's biggest aerospace industry exhibition. China's automated warplanes are already flying in the Middle East, and the newly unveiled unmanned jets signal Beijing's determination in catching up and eventually rivaling with the United States in the global military drone market. Visitors to the Airshow China take pictures of CH-7, China's newest stealth combat drone Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are in discussions to acquire the Chinese-made Blowfish A2 (pictured). A director from Ziyan, the manufacturer of the helicopter drone, said they could add'whatever' weapons required by clients to the unmanned aircraft One of the most eye-catching drones displayed at the exhibition in Zhuhai was CH-7, or Rainbow-7, China's newest stealth combat drone.

China steps up drone race with stealth aircraft, AK-47-toting chopper drones

The Japan Times

ZHUHAI, CHINA – China is unleashing stealth drones and pilotless aircraft fitted with AK-47 rifles onto world markets, racing to catch up to U.S. technology and adding to a fleet that has already seen combat action in the Middle East. Combat drones were among the jet fighters, missiles and other military hardware shown off this past week at Airshow China, the country's biggest aerospace industry exhibition. A delta-winged stealth drone received much attention, highlighting China's growing production of sophisticated unmanned aerial vehicles seeking to compete with the U.S. military's massive fleet. The CH-7 -- a charcoal-gray UAV unveiled at the air show -- is as long as a tennis court and has a 22-meter (72-feet) wingspan. It can fly at more than 800 kph (500 mph) and at an altitude of 13,000 meters (42,650 feet).

How drones and artificial intelligence can be used together


They went mainstream only a few years ago, but drones are already making a big splash in the market. Thanks to the ability to buy them off of a shelf, drones are being adapted for commercial use. There are only so many human controllers can do though and, future drone models may not see this limitation thanks to the use of AI, freelance blogger Jake Carter tells us more. Artificial Intelligence, or AI, has existed for some time now. If we could develop an AI that could operate drones without humans, what could this mean?