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Keith Kopinski
The soul of an artist, a student of society. I like to travel, have adventures, as well as eat, drink and be merry.
The soul of an artist, a student of society. I like to travel, have adventures, as well as eat, drink and be merry.


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The future of drones is tiny - and they will be flying in swarms like locusts

Tiny drones are coming. The military is testing a hummingbird-sized drone called "The Black Hornet" that is so small it could easily fit into the palm of your hand or into your pocket. ( The drone is outfitted with a camera and data is sent back to the pilot, so if enemies catch it, they don't know what it saw. 

Meanwhile, the Naval Research Laboratory is developing a concept for lightweight, disposable "Cicada drones" that are being designed to be used just once and released as a cloud of locusts from a plane or balloon to fly silently and broadcast what they pick up from their sensors back to the military. Data collected could be as innocuous as local humidity and weather data to snippets of conversations overheard by the enemy to sensors that detect chemical weapons. (

+Popular Science contributing editor Erik Sofge noted that deadly swarms of small autonomous drones are among the potential horrors that might await us in the future. He writes: “[Lethal autonomous weapons systems] would be closer to a plague of guided munitions than an automated fighting force, leaving a locust-like trail of inert, disposable components alongside their victims.” (

Whatever they are eventually used for, it is clear that these and many other insect-like drones are coming. Get your fly swatters ready.

Pictured Below: A tiny little transformer folding drone so small it can fit right in your pocket has been developed by researchers at EPFL and NCCR Robotics. (

#drone #robotics #military #futuretech  
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Meet B-Unstoppable, the world’s first hybrid tank-quadcopter. Launched on Kickstarter two weeks ago by the UK-based designer who brought us this crazy drone, B-Unstoppable is the first ever patented tank-quadcopter to take to the skies. Its ability to trek over any terrain and then take flight is impressive, and that’s exactly why it’s raised over $20K.

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This Camper May Look Odd, But Once You See Inside, You'll Wish You Owned One. ... "These days, camping is incredibly popular. From huge RVs to ultralight one-man tents, there's something for everyone in the great outdoors. Few people know that recreational camping's popularity owes to Henry Ford's own outdoor excursions, taken with friends such as Thomas Edison and a real estate agent named Edward Kingsford. These trips not only served to popularize camping among the wealthy, they also led to the creation of charcoal briquettes. Selling grills and charcoal directly through his dealerships, Ford neatly packaged the concept of camping, and forever tied it to the freedom he offered with his automobiles.

By the 1950s, Americans couldn't get enough of the outdoors, even if they liked to take a little bit of home with them. The Markies trailer certainly continues that tradition, even if it was designed half a world away.

Created by Dutch designer Eduard Bohtlingk in 1985, the Markies camper masquerades as an unassuming box. When the sides come down, it's soon apparent that this is no ordinary trailer.

Vinyl awnings and clever, collapsible furniture allow this camper to expand into a comfortable, fashionable home away from home. ..."


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Check out Lily, potentially next year's coolest new drone. Now all we need is delivery drones from Amazon and Google and we'll be all set...

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BBC: Here are Amazon's plans for delivery drones

According to to the patent published by the +US Patent Office, the drones will be able to track the location of the person it is delivering to by pulling data from their smartphone. +

The unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) will also be able to talk to each other about weather and traffic conditions.

+Amazon submitted its drone patent in September 2014, but the details are only now being published by the US Patent and Trademark Office, after it approved the ideas.

Winning patent approval does not mean that the final product will be exactly as described or that it will become reality.

Amazon is leading the effort to convince the US Federal Aviation Authority (+FAA) to approve widespread commercial use of drones.

According to the plans, Amazon's drones will be able to update their routes in real-time.

A mock-up delivery screen suggests that people will be able to choose from a variety of delivery options - from "bring it to me" to nominating their home, place of work or even "my boat" as places for packages to be dropped.

Last month car maker Audi said that it would be trying out package delivery to the boot of its cars with Amazon and +DHL.

Using +Audi's in-car communications system, Connect, DHL delivery drivers would track a customer's vehicle over a specified period of time and then use a digital access code to unlock the boot, the car maker said.

This code would then expire as soon as the boot was shut.

Other things revealed include:
1. Amazon will employ a variety of unmanned vehicles depending on the shape and weight of the product

2. Flight sensors, radar, sonar, cameras and infrared sensors will be employed to ensure safe landing zones are found

3. The UAS would constantly monitor its path for humans or other animals and modify navigation to avoid such obstacles

Amazon's plans for drone delivery puts increasing pressure on the FAA to allow more US-based drone research and development.

This week the FAA did make significant strides towards relaxing its rules on drone use, giving the go-ahead for unmanned helicopters to be used for spraying crops in the US as well as announcing plans for testing news-gathering drones in urban areas in partnership with CNN. +

The FAA also annouced at a conference this week a smartphone app, called B4UFLY, that users can use to determine whether there are any restrictions or requirements in effect at the location where they want to fly their UAS.

The FAA is inviting volunteers to test the app, with plans to release to about 1,000 beta testers. It will be available on iOS first with an Android version will follow later.

Learn more

#uas #drones #amazon #dhl #cnn #faa #b4ufly #unmannedaircraftsystems #patent  

Picture credit: +BBC News 

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Adventure starts at the annual @JeepJamboree. Plan your 2015 journey today at
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