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33 UAV Experts Reveal Favorite Drone Accessory

UAV Experts Reveal Favorite Drone Accessory - Image

I think we can all agree:

The right drone accessories can make or break your flights.

But there are tons of products to choose from. How do you decide which parts to buy?

To get to the bottom of this, we asked 33 drone and UAV experts one question:

“If you could only choose one drone accessory, which one would you choose and why?”

We wanted to discover what some of the top industry professionals, drone bloggers, news sites, companies, and pilots would use to enhance their flights if they only had one option.

Our goal was to get to the best of the best in drone technology, parts, and add-ons.

And guess what?

That’s what happened.

We found out the accessory each of these experts could not live without, whether they’re flying recreationally or it’s a crucial part of their business.

Here are the top 5:

Favorite Drone Accessories (as voted by 33 experts):

1) FPV System (5 votes)

2) Camera (4 votes each)

3) 3-Axis Gimbal and Extra Batteries (tied with 3 votes each)

4) Landing Pad and Telemetry System (tied with 2 votes each)

5) All others (1 vote each)

Keep reading to discover why each expert considers these mods crucial to their flying arsenal.

You can also use the following links to navigate to industry professionals, drone bloggers, companies, or pilots (and to each expert).

We’re sure you’ll find some hidden treasures to add to your own collection :).

So grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and enjoy!

Type of Expert:

Industry Professionals

Drone Bloggers and News Sites

Companies and Manufacturers

Professional Aerial Videography & Photography Pilots

Drone Experts:

Chris Anderson / Charlotte Ziems

Craig Issod / Oscar Liang / Drew Prindle / Les Shu / David Vanderhoof

John Githens / Crashpilot / Vali Ciobanu / Daniele Besana

Ben Coxworth / Gary Mortimer / Nick Lavars / Fabrice Kunzi / Thomas Jespersen

James Carroll / Parker Gyokeres / Tim Trott / John (Aerial Affair)

Paul Charbonnet / Petr Hejl / Christian Loran / Chad Black / Graeme

Terrice McClain / Orlando Masis / Monterey Drone / Scott Snell

Rob Haller / Mike Haller / Mike Pruett / JJ Trinidad

UAV Industry Professionals

The Best Drone Videos Of 2014 Compilation

Brought to you by Seagull Aerial, this video is absolutely stunning, featuring aerial scenes from all over the world. This video is a great testament to just how talented drone pilots are getting and how amazing drone aerial footage is becoming with each passing year. All in all, 2014 was clearly a fantastic year for the drone community. We can’t wait to see what sort of compilations arise out of 2015. So sit back, relax, and get lost in these breathtaking landscapes.

The post The Best Drone Videos Of 2014 Compilation appeared first on UAV Coach.

Police Officers Start Drone Business

Source: News Journal
By: Mark Caudill

drones

MANSFIELD – Two area police officers hope their new business will save lives with a little help from above.

Ryan Anschutz and John Bartolucci recently formed HYSight Technologies to provide unmanned aerial vehicles — better known as drones — for law enforcement, fire and public safety agencies.

“These are going to save a bunch of lives all around the country,” – Anschutz said.
Bartolucci offered examples:

“This can reduce the time it takes to find an autistic child or an elderly person with dementia.”

The drones also have thermal imaging, which could help firefighters locate victims more quickly.

The partners at HYSight Technologies say drones also can help with foot chases and marijuana eradication, among other services.

Anschutz said the advanced technology involved with drones makes them easy to learn to operate.

“They (users) will be able to set these up in minutes, if not seconds,” – Bartolucci added.

Anschutz and Bartolucci emphasize they are offering the drones strictly for humanitarian purposes. They say they are not interested in invading anyone’s privacy.

“One of the hurdles we have is public perception,” – Anschutz said.
“They (some people) see the eye in the sky as negative.”

Ryan Anschutz and John Bartolucci flying one of their dronesRyan Anschutz and John Bartolucci fly one of their drones Friday during a demonstration for their new company HYSight Technologies in Marshall Park.

HYSight acquires and equips purpose-built drones, provides flight training, guides agencies through Federal Administration Agency authorization and offers ongoing support.

Anschutz and Bartolucci put on a demonstration recently at Ontario’s Marshall Park. A light rain fell midway through the demonstration, but didn’t bring it to an end.

“These will fly when a helicopter won’t,” – Bartolucci said.

With a combined 30 years of public safety experience, Anschutz and Bartolucci have life-saving know-how. They’re both trained pilots.

Anschutz also is certified for incident command systems and has experience as a police operations instructor and certified firefighter. Bartolucci also owns and operates Ad Hoc, a longtime computer repair and consulting business.

A drone during a demonstrationA drone during a demonstration by HYSight Technologies Friday in Marshall Park.

“It started as a hobby,” – Anschutz said.
“A buddy of mine had a more advanced drone. We (Bartolucci and I) kind of got together, and an idea sparked.

“These are affordable pieces of equipment that are going to save lives.”

Packages start at $2,500. Photo galleries, video demonstrations and more are available at HYSightTech.com. For more information, call 419-528-5963 or email info@HYSightTech.com.

Ryan Anschutz demonstrates how the camera can pick up heat signaturesRyan Anschutz demonstrates how the camera can pick up heat signatures during the demo of their new drone company Friday at Marshall Park in Ontario.

The post Police Officers Start Drone Business appeared first on UAV Coach.

Check Out These 10 Drone Startup Companies

Source: Light Reading
By: Dan Jones

Commercial drone startups are flying high in 2015.

High-profile startups such as 3D Robotics have, between them, already raised a significant $50 million in funding this year. Major companies such as General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) and Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) are investing to help fund the take-off of commercial unmanned vehicles (UAVs). Venture capital firms have already started to get on the drone bandwagon in 2014.

CBI Insights says that venture funding reached $108 million in 29 deals in 2014, more than double the previous year.

“Year-over-year funding increased 104% as venture firms including Lightspeed Venture Partners, GGV Capital and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, among others, jumped into the drone space with sizeable bets,” – the analyst firm notes on its blog.

Drones in the Field

drones-in-the-fieldDrones are already being used in the farming sector — just ask this cow!

Not all of these bets will pay off, of course. There are still wide differences in how commercial drones are regulated around the world. Issues such as how to set up traffic control systems for this new class of aircraft are yet to be fully resolved and are particularly crucial in the US, which has a number of privately owned aircraft flying in its airspace that are not equipped with the type of sophisticated location equipment used by military aircraft or commercial jet-liners. (See FAA Lays Out First Proposal for Small Drones .)

Standards around developing and programming drones are also an issue. (See Qualcomm, Intel Back Drones Code Project.)

Drones, however, are already starting to claim their place as the aerial wing of the Internet of Things (IoT): Initial applications include capturing footage for movies, TV, and documentaries, and data collection for agricultural and construction projects.

Early communications-specific applications will include using drones to provide ad-hoc, temporary wireless coverage for first responders. This could expand into more ambitious networking projects in the coming years, with Facebook and Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) pushing ambitious plans for high-altitude communications drones. (See Forget the Internet, Brace for Skynet.)

As this market develops, which startups are making their mark? We picked out ten to watch:

1. 3D Robotics

San Diego, Calif.-based 3D Robotics is the best financed startup in the commercial drone space at the moment. It has pulled in $85 million in three rounds of venture funding so far.

Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM)’s venture arm led the latest $50 million round, which was announced in February. The chipmaker is partnering with 3D Robotics to give its Snapdragon chip platform wings as the smartphone silicon moves into the world of unmanned airborne vehicles (UAVs).

Founded in 2009, 3D Robotics is a leader in the hobbyist drone market but is using its funding to expand into the commercial arena. The firm has also developed a line of open-source software for command, management and tracking of various types of drones.

2. Airware

San Francisco-based Airware has attracted a lot of interest from VC companies and other investors because it has developed a software and hardware platform that companies can use to develop their own commercial drones.

Airwave’s work has also caught the attention of NASA. The US space agency partnered with the company in September 2014 to develop an air traffic management system for unmanned aircraft that will deal with both high- and low-altitude operations.

Founded in 2011, Airwave has so far raised over $40 million in funding from multiple investors, the latest being an undisclosed strategic investment from GE Ventures. Other investors include Andreessen Horowitz, First Round Capital and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

3. Skycatch

San Francisco-based Skycatch is focused on developing both high- and low-altitude data capture systems and providing the software to analyse that data.

One initial application for that capability is providing 2D and 3D image data of construction sites from the air, using remote drones. Komatsu, one of the world’s largest makers of heavy machinery for construction and mining, plans to integrate Skycatch’s autonomous aerial data capture system into its construction business.

The startup has pulled in nearly $20 million in funding. The latest $13.2 million equity round came in May 2014.

4. PrecisionHawk

Raleigh, N.C.-based PrecisionHawk has aerial mapping and tracking software for drones and is pushing its LATAS (Low Altitude Tracking and Avoidance System) as a mechanism to safely deploy commercial drones in US air space. This March, the company revealed that it will also be working with NASA on its drone air traffic control system.

The company claims that “50 customers across a wide variety of industries from agriculture, energy, forestry, and government” are adopting its platform. It has accrued $11 million in funding from Millennium Technology Value Partners, Intel Capital and others.

5. Sunlight Photonics

Edison, N.J.-based Sunlight Photonics can lay claim to the first commercially available drone that runs entirely on solar power. The company, which was founded in 2008, unveiled the Sunlink-5 last May.

It has reportedly raised $2 million in debt funding so far.

6. Kespry

Menlo Park, Calif.-based Kespry is another startup, like SkyCatch, that has developed a drone system for aerial data collection. Kespry says that its system is aimed at the construction industry.

These industrial and agricultural applications are likely to be among the first commercial drone applications that gain traction in the US. The FAA has issued Section 333 exemptions for commerical drone use to film-makers and companies using drones to make aerial inspections: 69 exemptions have been granted so far.

Kespry was founded in January 2013. It has so far raised $12.4 million in funding.

7. DroneDeploy

San Francisco-based DroneDeploy has developed a drone management platform. This can be used for aerial data capture in industries that need that kind of information, such as agriculture or construction. The startup’s software works with several popular hobbyist drones.

DroneDeploy was founded in 2013. The company has just raised $9 million in series A funding, bringing its funding to $11 million in total.

8. Skydio

Ex-Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and MIT specialists are working on a system to make drones fly more accurately than human pilots. “A drone that’s aware of its surroundings is far easier to control, safer to operate, and more capable,” the company states.

Menlo Park, Calif.-based Skydio launched in January 2015. It has $3 million in seed funding from Andreessen Horowitz and Accel Partners .

9. Vires Aeronautics

Livermore, Calif.-based Vires Aero is designing “Ora,” a “high performance” commercial drone with a new type of wing. Vires says that its Active Circulation Control (ACC) design improves the lift of fixed-wing aircraft by improving the airflow around the wing.

Founded in 2013, Vires has $1 million in series A funding.

10. SkyWorks Aerial Systems

Henderson, N.V.-based SkyWorks Aerial Systems can circumvent the FAA’s rules about commercial drones in US air space because it is developing a drone that can be used for industrial applications indoors. The “Qua.R.K.” is a carbon composite multi-rotor vehicle that can be used indoors and outside.

SkyWorks grew out of a student project at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. The team is looking to pull in $1 million in seed funding this year.

The post Check Out These 10 Drone Startup Companies appeared first on UAV Coach.

3 Reasons to Get Stoked for the DjI Phantom 3

Source: Dronelife
By: Andrew Amato

dji phantom 3

On Wednesday, DJI unveiled the latest in consumer drone technology, the Phantom 3. Upon seeing the first official photos of the Phantom 3, both newbies and veterans alike observed that it looks very similar to DJI’s last iteration of the Phantom, the Vision 2 + (or for the newbies, that drone that you see people getting in trouble with on the news).

So what is the big deal with another Phantom coming to market?

I am so glad you asked!

1. The DJI Phantom 3 is the company’s most user-friendly drone to date

Engineering the perfect drone is far from an exact science. But DJI has taken all the lessons it has learned since the first Phantom launched in early 2013 and addressed some of the issues that were points of frustration for their customers or may have been turn offs for people looking to get into drones.

GPS connection and calibration has always been one of the most common (and frustrating) issues among Phantom pilots.

The Phantom 3 tackles this problem head on with DJI’s most advanced flight control center to date. It uses GPS and GLONASS (Global Navigation Satellite system) to connect to satellites faster, control more precisely, and hover steadier than ever before.

This new level of location detection lets users track their Phantom in real time on a live map in the all new DJI Pilot app.

In addition to all-new GPS data, the Main Controller also collects data from the Phantom 3’s motors, sensors (more on that in a moment), and user inputs to offer a new level of precision movement and position hold.

And that’s just on the software side. Hardware-wise, the Phantom 3 has three ultrasonic and visual sensors on the bottom of its body that recognize patterns on the ground beneath the Phantom. This allows more stable flights close to the ground as well as more accurate position hold when flying indoors (without a GPS connection).

2. The camera

The old saying “If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all” applies to everything from celebrity reality TV shows to Dan Brown books, to drone puns, but it most certainly does not apply to drone videos. People all over the world are creating amazing new footage and, by extension, new ways to experience our world,  every day with their drones. The Phantom 3 is about to take the way people capture that footage and the way they share it… (*sigh*) to new heights.

The 4K resolution of the media captured by the Professional Edition of the Phantom 3 is not exactly new, but it is still breathtaking. And the new 3 axis gimbal that the camera comes mounted on literally adds another dimension to the Phantom 3’s camera.

But it’s not just the images themselves that make the Phantom 3’s camera special. DJI’s new Pilot app gives users an all new way to control, manipulate, and share the footage captured by their drone.

On top of new video editing tools built right into the app that can automatically create a highlight reel of your best footage, the app also supports YouTube Livestreaming so users can create livestreams of their flights in real time.

Basically it’s Twitch for drone flying and I can really see it becoming extremely popular.

Once the FAA sorts out flying regulations it’s only a matter of time until you will be able to tune in to aerial live streams of New Years Eve in Times Square or the Kentucky Derby.

During DJI’s announcement on Wednesday, attendees were thrown around to Phantom 3 livestreams from all over the world and, if I am being completely honest, the livestream from Singapore in which the Phantom started close up on a DJI rep and then flew out the 30-somethingeth floor of a hotel to give us a beautiful panoramic shot of Singapore at night was my “Holy Shit” moment.

It doesn’t quite translate, but you can get a sense of what it was like right here:

Personally, the new integration of camera and app is what has me most excited for the Phantom 3

3. Price

Up until yesterday, DJI’s high end Phantom, the Vision 2+ was priced at $1,169. The only 4K drone they make, the Inspire 1, started at $2,899. So it was reasonable to predict the price of the Phantom 3 would split the difference and be priced around $2,000.

The DJI’s Director of Aerial Imaging Eric Cheng told the audience the Phantom 3 Professional edition would start at $1,259 and the Advanced edition at $999…. and the crowd went wild.

Seriously, he could have dropped the mic at that point and walked off stage. Event over.

For the Phantom 3 to launch at roughly the same price as its predecessor did was very unexpected.

For current Phantom owners, this means they can upgrade to the latest and greatest for about the same cost as their last drone. For new customers, it means the cost of entry has  been established at about the $1,000 mark.

DJI CEO Frank Wang has always said he wanted DJI to be the Apple of the UAV world and with a pricing structure like this, he is quite literally putting his money where his mouth is.

The sky’s no limit

These are just three of a long list of reasons why there is so much hype surrounding the DJI Phantom 3.

The Phantom 3’s integration of DJI’s Lightbridge image transmission technology, new motor ESCs, new charging system, and new controller (which now more closely resembles the Inspire 1’s controller) are all features that will undoubtedly make it great. But we will have to wait until we actually get a Phantom 3 in our hands when it launches early next month.

The post 3 Reasons to Get Stoked for the DjI Phantom 3 appeared first on UAV Coach.

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