DJI STORM: The Coolest Drone You’ve Never Heard Of

DJI STORM: The Coolest Drone You’ve Never Heard Of

Drone giant DJI usually makes a huge deal about their releases, putting out teaser videos and counting down the time to the big reveal on their website. But their latest release was done quietly, with zero promotion behind it. The drone? The DJI STORM, a big rig drone made just for aerial cinematography. What We Know about the DJI STORM Although DJI hasn’t released much information about the STORM yet, here is what we know: It has eight rotors It can carry a payload of up to 40.8lb (18.5kg)—enough for a filmmaker’s rig, including a heavy camera, lense, DJI wireless follow focus system, and a Ronin gimbal for stabilization It can go up to 50mph It has a battery life of 8—25 minutes, depending on the payload It can operate in a huge range of temperatures, from -10 degrees Celsius to 40 degrees Celsius It can be used with DJI’s high-end Master Wheels and Force Pro remote control systems It doesn’t seem to be for sale—from what we’ve found, the STORM is only available for use through DJI Studio, a new high-end production offering from DJI that was released along with the STORM [Want to learn more about working with big rig drones on movie sets? Check out these nine important factors to consider.] Basically, the STORM is a monster among monsters. Compare it to DJI’s Matrice 200, for example—the M200 can carry a payload of 4.4 pounds, while the STORM can carry almost ten times that. Of all the

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FAA Issues Waiver to Fly Drones Equipped with Parachutes Over People

FAA Issues Waiver to Fly Drones Equipped with Parachutes Over People

The FAA recently issued a Part 107 waiver to the Hensel Phelps Construction Company of Washington, D.C. to fly over people using a drone equipped with a parachute. Photo credit: Hensel Phelps The drone that will be used for these operations is a DJI Phantom 4 rigged with their SafeAir Phantom Parachute System, which is created by Israeli-based ParaZero. According to ParaZero, this is the first time a drone with a parachute has ever been approved by the FAA for flights over people. Although the waiver does not “certify or approve the parachute that will be used” it does determine that the applicants sufficiently met the ASTM standard design specifications for UAS parachutes, finding that the system could be used safely in operations over people. [Want to dive into the details? Read the full Hensel Phelps waiver here.] How the Waiver Was Obtained According to the FAA, the process followed to obtain this waiver was unique in that it was the first time the FAA worked closely with those in private industry to: Develop a publically available standard Ensure the testing and data collected acceptably met that standard Issue a waiver using an industry standard as a basis for determining the safety of a proposed drone operation This is big news because it creates a path that others can follow to pursue their own waivers to fly over people, and a model for how this process could work for other Part 107 waivers. This process is scalable and available to

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Looking to Scale Your Drone Services Business? InterDrone 2019 Could be the Event for You

Looking to Scale Your Drone Services Business? InterDrone 2019 Could be the Event for You

If you’re a drone service provider looking for continuing education that will allow you to add new services to your repertoire, or to brush up on the ones you currently offer, InterDrone 2019 might be the event for you. InterDrone is the largest commercial drone show in North America, with anticipated attendance for 2019 of over 3,500 people. The 2019 conference will be held from September 3—6 at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas, NV, and will feature more than 110 workshops, sessions, panel discussions, and keynotes conducted by industry experts, as well as over 100 companies showcasing the latest hardware, software, and drone accessories in the exhibit hall. Know you want to attend InterDrone 2019? Use this link to get $150 off your three-day pass. Example Sessions Wondering what you might learn at InterDrone? Here are examples of some of the sessions being offered this year to give you a taste for what you might find at the conference. DRONE-BASED PHOTOGRAMMETRY—INNOVATIVE TECHNIQUES & APPROACHES (Surveying & Mapping track) The tools and techniques presented in this session will be of interest to any operator wishing to integrate 3D mapping and photogrammetry into his or her workflow. The session will include case examples and an opportunity to pose questions pertaining to the methodology used. GETTING STARTED WITH THE MAVLINK SDK (PX4 track) Students will be introduced to the SDK and its philosophy, review its features (actions, telemetry, missions, camera, gimbal, offboard) and the lecturers will explain how to use it in

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Amazon Prime Air Unveils New Delivery Drone, Plans to Start Deliveries Soon

Amazon Prime Air Unveils New Delivery Drone, Plans to Start Deliveries Soon

Yesterday Amazon Prime Air unveiled its new delivery drone at the re:MARS conference in Las Vegas, NV, an event put on by Amazon focusing on AI and related technology (MARS stands for Machine Learning, Automation, Robotics, and Space). The new drone is fully electric, can fly up to 15 miles, and can deliver a package weighing less than five pounds, which is the weight of 75—90% of most purchased items, according to Amazon. The most remarkable aspect of Prime Air’s new drone is its unusual design—a hexagonal hybrid shape that has few moving parts. The shroud that protects the drone’s blades becomes its wings when it switches from vertical flight (used during takeoff) to horizontal flight (used during transit), making it helicopter-like in its ability to make that transition smoothly. According to Amazon, the hexagonal shape allows the drone to be controlled with six degrees of freedom, as opposed to the standard four you have in a quadcopter, which makes it more stable and capable of operating safely in gusty wind conditions. Emphasis on Safety Safety is top of mind in the design of Prime Air’s new drone and is stressed in the announcement that accompanied the drone’s release. We know customers will only feel comfortable receiving drone deliveries if they know the system is incredibly safe. So we’re building a drone that isn’t just safe, but independently safe, using the latest artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. – Amazon Prime Air statement What does independently safe mean? While some drones are

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Want to Make Sure Your DJI Drone Isn’t Sharing Your Data? Here’s What to Do

Want to Make Sure Your DJI Drone Isn’t Sharing Your Data? Here’s What to Do

DJI is in the news again with concerns around privacy and unauthorized data sharing. Image source According to CNN, the Department of Homeland Security  (DHS) recently issued an internal alert warning that “Chinese-made drones” might be sharing sensitive flight data with manufacturers in China, where the data could be accessed by the Chinese Government. The alert doesn’t name DJI explicitly, but given that DJI is by far the largest drone manufacturer in China—not to mention the world—the connection is not hard to make. How to Make Sure Your DJI Drone Isn’t Sharing Data Given that, at last count, DJI holds 74% of the consumer drone market, simply not using a DJI drone due to privacy concerns isn’t realistic for most of us. And let’s face it—DJI’s drones are everywhere, and with good reason. They’re some of the best drones on the market, competitively priced, with a nice mix of features that allows them to be used by both prosumers and amateurs, and professionals, too. But let’s say you own a DJI drone and have concerns about what’s happening with your data—what can you do? Here’s how to turn off data sharing on your DJI drone There are two ways to ensure that you’re not sharing any data at all with DJI: 1) Use Local Data Mode (LDM) To activate local data mode, open the DJI Pilot app, click on “activate LDM mode,” and enter your password. (If you want to deactivate this mode, you’ll need to enter your password again.)

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