This aircraft was retired for 15 years and now Boeing engineers turned the F-16 also known as QF-16 into a remote controlled aircraft.
Last week this aircraft took off from Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida. Without anyone in the cockpit it flew over the Gulf of Mexico, reached supersonic speed and did a few barrel rolls at 7G’s (with a maximum of 9G’s).
The drone was controlled by two Air Force pilots on the ground. It will be used as a target when training other pilots.
Definetz a German company has developped a drone that can fly a defibrillator to a person with a heart attack. This Deficopter has a range of 10 km and a maximum speed of 70 km/h. Together with Height Tech, Definetz has built this concept and hopes it can save lifes. With the help of a gps-enabled mobile phone and the Definetz application anyone could call such a drone to help a person in need. Ofcourse you still need to know how to use a defibrillator in case of a heart attack. One small problem.. At the moment in Germany, unmanned drones are not allowed to fly at the moment. It costs around 26.000 dollar each.
Raffaello D’Andrea demonstrates the power of quadcopters in a robot lab at TEDGlobal. Using algorithms he can solve physical problems for these drones. D’Andrea shows drones that play catch, balance and make decisions together. You have to see this video! It’s amazing!
Micro air vehicles (MAV) will play an important role in future warfare. MAV’s can last days or weeks during a surveillance mission as they can harvest energy from external powersources, sunlight, wind and other resources. Tracking people in urban area’s and complicated terrains is more complex than flying larger drones. By learning from nature these micro bugs use flapping wings to compensate for the wind. When systems like GPS are not available the little drones use something called ‘Optic Flow’ which is a vision based technique. Multiple MAV’s (swarm) can work together to monitor a large area. Each of them can have a specific task. The Air Force describes these new “micro-air” weapons as “Unobtrusive, pervasive, lethal.”. Watch the video below to see this tiny drones in action.
Drones are all over the news nowadays. I a few years thousands of drones will be flying in the sky, spying and invading people’s privacy. Alex Jones and the Steiner brothers figured out the best way to shoot a drone out of the sky for their new show about firearms and the second amendment.
In the following video you’ll see gun enthusiasts in Texas shooting a drone as a protest against spy-drones watching the American people. Alex Jones wants politics to shut down drone surveillance because it violates the 4th amendment (right to privacy).
As of 2015 the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) allows non-military drones into the US airspace.This is a big deal for companies and private individuals that can than send drones into the sky. Companies like FedEx can’t wait to use drones for transportation. The only restrictions are drones can’t fly higher than 400 feet from the ground and should keep some distance from airports (at least five miles).
Because of the smartphone revolution things like GPS, gyroscopes, accelerometers and powerfull processors can be used in drones by everyone. Do-It-Yourself (DIY) projects are getting more and more popular. Building your own drone doesn’t have to be expensive anymore.