DJI is by far the leading drone brand in the world. As such, its annual DJI AirWorks conference draws a large crowd from the professional drone industry — from construction inspection firms to law enforcement who use drones in first responder work. Expand Expanding Close
None of DJI’s consumer drones are designed to carry anything other than the cameras that they come with. But with social distancing, and general boredom, a lot of people have experimented with tying cargo like donuts or beer bottles to the bottom of their drone and making deliveries. Which begs the question: How much weight can a drone like the Mavic Air 2 lift? Expand Expanding Close
Unlike 7-Eleven or Domino’s, the food chain formerly known as Dunkin’ Donuts has not formally joined any drone delivery trial projects. But Dunkin’, as it’s now called, has been happy to promote a donut delivery mission by a Boston-area man. Expand Expanding Close
On Friday, alarms went off in the media after an investigative journalist spotted a US Predator drone flying a loop over riot-ravaged Minneapolis. Predators are associated with deadly combat missions in places like Afghanistan, not in the airspace above American cities. Expand Expanding Close
California-based Skydio makes one of the most talked-about but least seen drones on the market today. The Skydio 2 stands out for its impressive subject tracking, which basically allows it to fly autonomously while filming the subject of a video.
But the drone has been elusive. For one, the company has been overwhelmed with orders. It was already contending with a production backlog before the coronavirus hit. With the lockdowns that took effect in California in March, Skydio’s domestic production has been shuttered.
Here’s another story of police doing something they probably couldn’t have done without a drone. In Irvine, California, police used a drone to quickly spot an arson suspect they were looking for. Expand Expanding Close
An unarmed Predator drone owned by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) was spotted flying a loop around Minneapolis on Friday morning, in the aftermath of violent protests over the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers. It was presumably surveying for further unrest. Expand Expanding Close
Today we have a lot of deliveries by vans in the US and a small but growing smattering of deliveries by drones, such as new trials by Wing, Zipline, and Flirty. Researchers at MIT have proposed
marrying the two technologies: deploying vans to neighborhoods that would launch drones to make the last part of the delivery.
In all the exciting drone news of the past month, an important milestone slipped under the radar. On May 16, Minnesota’s governor signed into law a sweeping set of regulations and restrictions on police use of drones. The law takes effect on August 1. Expand Expanding Close
Minneapolis went up in flames on Wednesday when protests over the death of George Floyd turned violent. Drones captured the aftermath of the Minneapolis riot on Thursday morning, in which at least 16 structures went up in flames. Expand Expanding Close
Coronavirus lockdown videos have become a genre unto themselves. By now we’ve seen so many hauntingly empty vistas of great cities like Paris, London, New York, and Rome. Yet a fresh New York lockdown drone video by YouTuber DroneFanatic shows more of the city than you would expect, and from fantastic heights and angles. Expand Expanding Close
DJI has an amazing assortment of drones and other photo gear that makes it onto many people’s wish lists. If you have such a list, see if you can hold onto it a little longer. Because the DJI Father’s Day sale, from June 12 to 21, is going to be a doozy. Expand Expanding Close
China’s rural population is diminishing and aging as young people move to the cities for better opportunities. That leaves a potential labor shortage for traditional agriculture such as rice planting. Now drone maker XAG claims it has a solution. Expand Expanding Close
Drones have made multiple close flybys of the LA home of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in recent weeks. The couple and their young son Archie are the subjects of intense press attention that has the family on edge. They also fear more nefarious intentions of the drone operators.
There are perhaps 100 million unexploded munitions such as landmines strewn about the countryside in conflict regions such as Afghanistan. Now a marriage of drones and AI offers new prospects to detect landmines and save lives. Expand Expanding Close
Drones, like other high-tech products, change often. With every new model, there’s some incentive to upgrade. And selling your current drone is a good way to gather up some scratch to buy that new model. Expand Expanding Close
There’s been a lot of animosity towards police use of drones during the coronavirus pandemic. Citizens and civil rights groups fear that authorities have gone too far by observing people throughout public spaces to see if they are following social distancing rules. Expand Expanding Close
It can take six hours to get from a hospital in Oban, Scotland, to one on the nearby Isle of Mull, just 10 miles away. But a drone delivery can cover the distance in only 15 minutes, allowing it to bring urgently needed medical supplies on demand. Expand Expanding Close
Wing, owned by Google parent company Alphabet, is doing a brisk drone delivery business around the world. The company operates in Australia, Finland, and Virginia in the US, and has seen its deliveries double month after month globally. Expand Expanding Close
Volcanos are most interesting when they are most active. But that’s also when they are most dangerous. Now volcanologists are using drones to get close-up views of volcanos without putting themselves at risk. Expand Expanding Close
Some people who purchased the DJI Mavic Air 2 Fly More Combo have experienced problems with batteries that cannot be activated. DJI has now published instructions to resolve the issue on its user forum. Expand Expanding Close
DJI’s Mavic Air 2 is the hot new drone on the market right now. And with so many going up in the air, a few are likely to come down a bit harder than their owners had meant. For these mishaps, a new Mavic Air 2 teardown shows that the drone is fairly easy to fix, with some caveats. Expand Expanding Close