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Inside Drones

Inside Drones (Nov 18th, 2016)

Drone hammock, Fishing drone, U.K. airport near-misses, Disney drone show, AirSelfie mini quadcopter. 
Popular Mechanics says a working version of a fictional drone hammock featured in a Dutch commercial would be “mankind’s greatest achievement.” The main issue keeping the drone hammock from ferrying you around your backyard in peaceful bliss is the fact that most commercial drones can’t carry more than ten pounds. Also, drones make noise, which might interrupt that backyard reverie. – POPULAR MECHANICS

UK pilots have reported four drone near-misses over a single month. The UK Airprox Board, which records such issues, says one pilot coming into Heathrow was able to identify the brand of the drone that came within 330 feet of his plane “because his son had the... same model.” In an incident at Liverpool airport, a jet missed colliding with a drone that had come within 16 feet of the plane’s wingtip. The pilot in the Liverpool incident says only “chance” averted a collision. – GUARDIAN

Fishing enthusiasts have a new ally in the AguaDrone. The waterproof drone can take off and land on saltwater or fresh, but it's the swappable pods that really impress. One pod is a sonar fish finder that sends images to your smartphone, another is a line casting pod that can carry bait out to where you need it and there’s a sensor pod for determining depth and temperature of a body of water. AguaDrone, which has a Kickstarter up, says delivery is estimated for early 2017. – ENGADGET

A student from Philadelphia’s Drexel University was arrested for flying a drone over an anti-Trump protest in the area’s Center City. Joseph Roselli, 20, was charged with aggravated assault, causing/risking catastrophe, simple assault, and reckless endangerment. Roselli had piloted his drone from the rooftop of his apartment building, over the heads of 300 protesters. Chief Inspector Joseph Sullivan says the drone had multiple close calls with one of their helicopters on the scene. Helicopter pilots have expressed concern in the past that a drone might damage a copter’s essential rear rotor, without which the pilot has no directional control. – ABC

Disney has revealed that their rumored drone light show will be part of the “Starbright Holidays” spectacular at the company's Orlando Disney World park. The show uses 300 of Intel’s Shooting Star quadcopter drones. Intel and Disney have been working on the project for five months, and Disney had to arrange for special permission from the FAA. Disney has released some preview imagery from the show. – WIRED

The AirSelfie drone is a tiny, slim quadcopter that can fit into a custom phone case. The drone is only capable of about three minutes in the air, which is enough to take a group selfie from a distance that arms or selfie sticks can’t manage. The drone is flown with one hand until the perfect framing is found, at which point the AirSelfie will hover autonomously in place while the photo is snapped. Once returned to the case, the AirSelfie recharges in about 30 minutes.  – DIGITALTRENDS

A minor international incident arose recently when Israel’s agricultural minister Uri Ariel spontaneously gifted Russian Prime Minster Dmitry Medvedev with a $51,000 Volcani agricultural drone. It turns out, the drone wasn’t Ariel’s to give, and Volcani worried that the gifting of the drone might have compromised the whole of their research. Worse, the drone may have contained U.S. technology, which would throw a wrench into diplomacy between the three nations. – VICE


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At the Drones sub-reddit, user Reposts4Days wants to get his dad a drone for his birthday, and doesn't want to spend much more than $100. 

Qazme writes, "Best bang for your buck cheap drone that most people seem to be suggesting is the Syma X5C. Runs ~$50 at Amazon. There's a lot of variations on it."

Xanatos451 votes for the Hubsan X4 H107L, which is around $30. Ecopilot adds to this, saying "Agreed. Use the extra funds to get lots and lots of extra batteries and a multi-port charger."

Dronatic amends the Hubsan recommendation, saying to go for the Hubsan 502 "because it has GPS." 

Elsewhere, Bigjon84 shares some glorious footage of Washington State he shot with his DJU Inspire 1. 

Member IvorFreyrsson says, "Abso-frickin-lutely gorgeous."
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