Bald eagles, besides being majestic and graceful and standing for freedom and all that, have a pretty cool trick: they can scoop fish straight out of the water. Flying low, they extend their talons and grab the fish from below the surface, carrying it home for a triumphant feast. Now, scientists at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia have made a drone that can imitate this same feat. Watch it in action below:
The Cannes Lions are generally characterized by lavish parties and ad industry people congratulating each other for, well, being ad industry people. But it’s also a meeting of creative, forward-thinking media minds, so perhaps it’s about time someone got wise to the robotics revolution unfolding across the globe right now.
It hasn't nabbed the Sikorsky Prize yet, but it looks like a new world record: the Gamera II team at the University of Maryland flew, with power provided only by the arms and legs of Ph.D. candidate Kyle Gluesenkamp, for 50 seconds. The team is mostly just breaking its own records at this point, having lasted 35 seconds last week. The Sikorsky Prize, more than 30 years old and yet un-awarded, requires that a human-powered helicopter reach a height of three meters while hovering for a full minute--neither requirement met here. Still, they're getting closer! Video after the jump.
Already demolishing the standing world record more than twice over, a massive human-powered quadrotor designed by students at the University of Maryland is poised to make aviation history today. The Gamera II helicopter is shooting for the Sikorsky Prize, one of aviation’s last great challenges, by hovering for one full minute under human power only. Their first attempt Wednesday morning lasted 35 seconds!
Art imitates life they say, and every now and then life imitates art. Which is only slightly terrifying when the art being imitated is a Call of Duty title and the real-world entity doing the imitating is the Pentagon. A fictional drone from a video game that hasn’t even been released yet has inspired a DoD office to consider pursuing the same drone in real life, Brookings Institute 21st Century Defense Initiative director and all-around drones guru Peter Singer tells Innovation News Daily.
Regular readers of this page are all pretty familiar with the latest generation of flying robots, from tennis-playing quadcopters to surveillance hummingbirds. But zebras, it’s fair to say, are not. So what happens when a drone buzzes a herd?
The German surveillance bot maker Microdrones took one of their md4-1000 quadcopters to the Masai Mara region of the Serengeti, and used it to capture video of all sorts of African wildlife. Here’s a preview of what their drone saw.
MIT's Robust Robotics Group seems to be as thrilled with the Kinect and the hacking possibilities that emanate therefrom as we are. They've attached a Kinect to a quadrocopter, which enables completely autonomous 3-D mapping and flight--even the processing is done on board.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.