3D printed drones

Need a cheap drone for a mission tomorrow? Just print one out.

We have 3D printed keys, guns and shoes — now a research team at the University of Virginia has created a 3D printed UAV drone for the Department of Defense.

In the works for three years, the aircraft, no bigger than a remote-controlled plane, can carry a 1.5-pound payload. If it crashes or needs a design tweak for a new mission, another one can be printed out in a little more than a day, for just $2,500 (£1533). It’s made with off-the-shelf parts and has an Android phone for a brain.

via Military-grade drones can now be 3D printed (Wired UK).

Lock, Stock and two infra-red equipped drones

It looks like Guy Ritchie’s first (and best) film needs an update. Nowadays the geezers robbing or “taxing” the dope growers would use a drone to fly around and spot the heat signatures of cannabis farms.

“They are fair game,” he said. “It is not like I’m using my drone to see if people have nice televisions. I am just after drugs to steal and sell, if you break the law then you enter me and my drone’s world.

“Half the time we don’t even need to use violence to get the crop. Growing cannabis has gone mainstream and the people growing it are not gangsters, especially in places like Halesowen, Cradley Heath and Oldbury.”

via Shropshire criminals ‘using unmanned drones and infrared cameras to find illegal cannabis farms’ – and then steal from the growers – Home News – UK – The Independent.

Moth drone stays rock steady in gale-force winds – New Scientist

THEY might not seem at all stable as they batter into light bulbs but moths have inspired an autopilot for drones.

Small drones find it difficult to fly in strong winds and cluttered environments. So Physical Sciences Inc (PSI) based in Andover, Massachusetts, in association with the US military, filmed hawk moths to see how they manage to stay aloft.

via Moth drone stays rock steady in gale-force winds – tech – 16 January 2014 – New Scientist.

Eyes in the Sky

The BBC has reports from opposite ends of the drone spectrum. Their reporters can now use a ‘Hexacopter’ camera drone for interesting new perspectives on their items.

Quadcopters have been around for a while, with some rather neat little films made using them. Most often, those films have been of extreme sports and fast cars, but here’s a neat fly around Blackpool-

This is the sort of technology that could give low budget film makers access to stunning footage. They could have helicopter shots worthy of big budget movies- then go where a chopper couldn’t for new and interesting perspectives.

The Global Hawk is not a budget device, and much about it is secret. But the Beeb did get in to have a little look around the main Global Hawk base in North Dakota.