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T100 Thruster Kickstarter is Live + SolarSurfer Progress

Hello all,

First of all, we wanted to remind everyone that the BlueRobotics T100 Thruster Kickstarter is live starting at 8:30am Pacific time today! The T100 is the first underwater thruster that is affordable for hobbyist projects. We've put tons of work into it and we hope that you will consider backing us! There are many ways it can be used on drone/APM/Pixhawk projects. Check out the ArduBoat User Group for ideas.

You can back the Kickstarter here.

Speaking of APM-based marine robotics projects, we've made some significant progress on our SolarSurfer vehicle. The SolarSurfer is a T100 propelled autonomous robot that is powered by a solar panel and navigated by an APM2.6. We are working towards a non-stop trip from Los Angeles to Hawaii.

Last week we completed a 24 hour test in the open ocean. The SolarSurfer was launched from a boat off the coast of Los Angeles and autonomously navigated under solar power until the sun went down. At night, the robot drifts with the current. The electronics and satellite link stay active so that we can track it's movement.

The following morning it "woke-up" and continued on its way. We intercepted it with the boat in the middle of the day. Successful test.

Here's an image from the test. We'll have a map of the GPS track posted on our website in the next few days.

Thanks and remember to check out the Kickstarter campaign!

- Rusty, Joe, and Josh from BlueRobotics

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DroneTrack.org hobby drone usage 2014/08/12

I created dronetrack to help a few pilots track their drones, had no idea thousands of people would start using it!

Here's a rough map showing worldwide usage:My next task is integrating APM remote control via GSM Mobile phone, which is currently going well. It gives the pilot unlimited control range (technically worldwide over GSM), extra sensor data from the mobile phone, as well as a fallback remote control, alarm, and of course tracking.

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Microsoft Research Brings Kinect-Style Depth Perception to Ordinary Cameras http://

Among Microsoft Research's contributions to SIGGRAPH 2014, a machine learning technique for estimating absolute, per-pixel depth using any conventional monocular 2D camera, with minor hardware modifications. Our approach targets close-range human capture and interaction where dense 3D estimation of hands and faces is desired. We use hybrid classification-regression forests to learn how to map from near infrared intensity images to absolute, metric depth in real-time. We demonstrate a variety of humancomputer interaction and capture scenarios. Experiments show an accuracy that outperforms a conventional light fall-off baseline, and is comparable to high-quality consumer depth cameras, but with a dramatically reduced cost, power consumption, and form-factor.

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"TripAdvisor" for UAV/Drone Travel

The Humanitarian UAV Network (UAViators) promotes the safe and responsible use of UAVs in humanitarian settings. As noted in the network's Code of Conduct, knowing national and local UAV laws is an important aspect flying UAVs in a safe and responsible manner. To this end, we have just launched a "TripAdvisor" for UAV/drone travel in the form of this wiki.

The Wiki is a country directory for UAV pilots to share their travel and flying experiences around the world, such as going through customs and how to obtain permits for flying, for example. The Wiki also includes information on national and local laws when available. We would like this to be a community-driven effort, which is why we decided to use a Wiki. In sum, we'd like to crowdsource the content for this Wiki. Our mission is make it the most popular and useful resource on the web for UAV pilots. You can help by adding your experience and knowledge directly to the Wiki. Thank you!

See Also:

Crisis Map of UAV Videos for Disaster Response [link] Humanitarians in the Sky: Using UAVs for Disaster Response [link] Humanitarian UAV Missions During Balkan Floods [link] UAVs, Community Mapping & Disaster Risk Reduction in Haiti [link] Humanitarian UAV Network: Strategy for 2014-2015 [link] 

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Time to Upgrade: DJI Introduces New UAV for Pros

If you’re ready to upgrade from your DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ and take the next step in aerial video, DJI has your answer.

DJI Spreading Wings S900This week DJI added to its line of pro-level drones by introducing the DJI Spreading Wings S900.


Max Load: 5kg

Max Power: 500W

Flying time: 18 minutes

Price tag: $3800

More information at DJI.

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The post Time to Upgrade: DJI Introduces New UAV for Pros appeared first on Drone Definition.

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