Articles about drone

A 3D Robotics Solo drone seen in flight. Pic: Ian Hudson

Brit military wants a small-drone-killer system for £20m

Fresh from showing off its gotta-zap-'em-all Dragonfire laser cannon, the Ministry of Defence is now buying a £20m anti-drone system. The "urgent" requirement from the MoD was issued last week, and could be linked to the mischievous Scot who landed his hobby drone aboard aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth in August. "The …
Gareth Corfield, 25 Sep 2017
New Virginia Tech drone test

From the Dept of the Bleedin' Obvious... yes, drones hurt when they hit you in the head

Being hit in the head by a drone won't necessarily end in decapitation. Thanks to aeronautical boffins, we know now that there is a range of possible outcomes. Not content to let the US Federal Aviation Administration ponder drone drubbings – something the agency did in April – researchers from Virginia Tech and State …
Thomas Claburn, 21 Sep 2017
Screengrab Ehang 184 video

Would you get in a one-man quadcopter air taxi?

DSEI 2017 A Chinese company reckons it’s going to test fly a personal drone air taxi in the UK - letting any old bod take to the skies after bonking two buttons in an app. Ehang’s 184 drone is on display at the Defence and Security Exhibition International show in London, as the company’s UK distributors pitch for potential business …
Gareth Corfield, 14 Sep 2017

Drones aren't evil and won't trigger the Rise of the Machines: MoD

The Ministry of Defence has issued a new strategy document for its drones, stating humans will be kept in the decision-making loop – yet critics are unhappy with the questions the doc sidesteps. Joint Doctrine Publication 0-30.2, published at the start of this week, sets out how the British armed forces will use their unmanned …
Gareth Corfield, 14 Sep 2017
A British Army Watchkeeper drone lands at Parc Aberporth. Crown copyright

Yet more British military drones crash, this time into the Irish Sea

Another two Watchkeeper drones crashed in the last year, taking the number of Watchkeepers destroyed in crashes up to four. The two semi-autonomous aircraft, which mainly operate from West Wales Airport at Aberporth, reportedly crashed at some point during the last year, resulting in the 52-strong Watchkeeper fleet being …
Gareth Corfield, 14 Sep 2017
Virgin Galactic's

Brit aviation regulator is hiring a space 'n' drones manager

Fancy a crack at bringing space flight to the UK? The Civil Aviation Authority is hiring an innovation manager charged with that plus helping commercialise drone tech – and more. The job description, as posted on the CAA website, says the successful candidate will be tasked with "creating the regulatory environment to …

Another day, another drone upstart skips the consumer market

A Latvian drone firm taking a punt at both the professional and military markets reckons its new model can stay aloft for five hours and fly for almost 100 miles (160km). Atlas Dynamics, a Riga-based upstart founded two years ago, says its Blue-J drone is "ideally suited for large-scale security and inspection missions" and …
Asian hornet face. Pic: Shutterstock

Thousands of hornets swarm over innocent fire service drone

Rise of the Insects A Jersey-based drone was brutally attacked by a swarm of Asian hornets after disturbing a nest thought to contain thousands of the angry insects. The brave drone was attacked by the hornets while being used by the Jersey Fire and Rescue service to locate the creatures' nest. Asian hornets are an invasive species which feeds on …

China claims to have turbine-powered drone carrying 200kg payload

Comment China has claimed it is developing a gas turbine-powered long-range delivery drone that can carry loads of up to 200kg. The Xinhua news agency, which in its English-language form is little better than a propaganda website along the lines of Russia Today, claims that Chinese online retailer has created a drone with a " …
Gareth Corfield, 30 Aug 2017
PHP, image via Shutterstock

DJI strips out code badness, reveals some GPL odds 'n sods

Chinese drone company DJI has removed hot-patching frameworks discovered in its apps by hackers – and is beginning to reveal GPL-licensed elements in its code. Informed sources told The Register the latest versions of DJI’s Go app, which is the mobile app used for controlling the firm’s drones in flight, have had JSPatch and …
Gareth Corfield, 29 Aug 2017
Nokia sign from Shutterstock

Nokia trademark filing reveals name of upcoming drone brand

Nokia is naming its upcoming consumer drones brand Ovni, according to reports. The brand name was spotted in a patent application by writers for the website Let's Go Digital, who noted that the Ovni trademark application to the EU Intellectual Property Office was filed under the "civilian and military drones" classification. …
Gareth Corfield, 25 Aug 2017

DJI's Spark drones to be bricked by September 1 unless firmware updated

Hackers have boasted that DJI's latest Spark drone firmware update was bypassed in mere hours – including downtime to enjoy the recent solar eclipse. DJI has announced that its popular Spark consumer drones will be bricked by September 1 unless users download the latest firmware update. "If the firmware of either the aircraft …
Gareth Corfield, 22 Aug 2017
A Parrot Bebop 2 drone. File picture

HMS Queen Lizzie impugned by cheeky Scot's drone landing

An amateur photographer has reportedly landed his £475 drone aboard the largest warship ever built for the Royal Navy – without permission and completely unchallenged. The unnamed photographer gave an interview to local paper the Inverness Courier, detailing how he landed his drone aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth in spite of “ …
Gareth Corfield, 11 Aug 2017
Flak guns on a portion of the old Nazi German Atlantic Wall defence network. Pic: Shutterstock

US military gets authority to shoot down citizens' small drones

The US Army issued guidance to its formations a few months ago allowing it to shoot down consumer drones buzzing its units, according to reports. It is illegal to fly a consumer-grade drone within 400ft of a US Army base in April, the US Department of Defence stressed this week. Larger drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles, as …
A 3D Robotics Solo drone seen in flight. Pic: Ian Hudson

3D Robotics open-sources its Solo drone control software

3D Robotics, the American drone company, has thrown open the codebase for its Solo software, in a move interpreted by some as its latest acknowledgement of Chinese rival DJI's dominance. Solo, as 3DR's blog post on the matter makes clear, is "based on the open source ArduPilot software" launched by Chris Anderson (a one-time …
A DJI Phantom 4 with camera detail. Pic: Shutterstock

UAV maker swipes at sponsor of opaque Qinetiq drone study

Drone manufacturer DJI has publicly challenged a pilots' union to release the disputed results of an aircraft collision study it sponsored. Commenting on a Facebook post by the British Airline Pilots' Association (BALPA), DJI's legal veep Brendan Schulman told the trade union to stop using DJI's name in support of its position …
Micro:Bit photo

BBC’s Micro:bit turns out to be an excellent drone hijacking tool

DEF CON The BBC’s Micro:bit computer board may be winning over school kids, but hackers have found its wireless capabilities and programmable nature make it an excellent tool for mischief. In a presentation at this year's DEF CON hacking conference in Las Vegas on Friday, Damien Cauquil, senior security researcher at Econocom Digital …
Iain Thomson, 29 Jul 2017 You can't have our drone test results because... er, security

The Department for Transport has rejected calls from drone makers DJI, Parrot and GoPro to release details of its drone testing methodology on the grounds of "security". The drone builders had challenged the government to show its working for a test it commissioned and cited as evidence for the mandatory drone registration …
Gareth Corfield, 27 Jul 2017

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