Uber Elevate plans to deliver Big Macs by drone this summer

Move over, Uber Eats. Uber Elevate plans to deliver food via drone as early as this summer. To start, the service will be available in San Diego, and since Uber has been working closely with McDonalds, it will likely be optimized for things like Big...

Amazon’s Latest Prime Air Delivery Drone Revealed

Amazon has been working on delivery by drone for a while now. And now the world’s largest online retailer has revealed its latest drone variant. The newly-revealed Amazon Prime Air delivery drone flies using a similar approach to VTOL aircraft, taking off and landing vertically, but orienting itself horizontally once airborne.

The new drone has thermal and depth cameras, sonar, and onboard computers with machine learning, to navigate and detect hazards. It has six degrees of freedom where most quadcopters have four, allowing it to be more stable and deal with high wind conditions. They upped the safety too, as the rotors are fully shrouded. These shrouds also double as wings in forward flight.

The goal is to produce a fully-electric drone that flies up to 15 miles, delivering packages under 5 pounds in just under 30 minutes. Interestingly, 75-90 percent of individually-purchased items fall within this weight limit, so most items can be shipped in this way. Of course, multiple items pose more of a challenge.

We don’t know when we will see this drone in action over our neightborhoods, but it brings Amazon a step closer to drone delivery. The company says we will see it in the “coming months.” Hopefully, we don’t have to wait very long for Amazon Prime drone delivery.

[via Mike Shouts]

Anthony Mackie cast as a drone pilot in Netflix’s ‘Outside the Wire’

After playing an Avenger in the MCU and a very adventurous gamer in Black Mirror season five, Anthony Mackie has another project lined up for Netflix. He'll star in the upcoming movie Outside the Wire, a sci-fi flick set in the future where he plays...

First we had DIY cardboard VR headsets, now we’ve got DIY cardboard drones!

I love the Ahadrone kit’s DIY touch! Designed to be the “drone for everyone”, it democratizes one of the hottest (and sometimes expensive) categories in consumer electronics. With all the makings of a very capable drone, the Ahadrone is just like any other remote-controlled quadcopter, but it comes with a complete corrugated board body, allowing it to stay light, but stiff, the perfect property for a drone exterior!

Cardboard isn’t new to consumer electronics. The Google Cardboard VR headset, and the cardboard Nintendo Switch Labo kits, have both showcased paper board to be a very capable low-cost solution to plastic parts. The board serves as a great packaging material too, knocking two birds with one stone.. and while it isn’t as permanent as plastic (the Ahadrone wouldn’t last 5 minutes in the rain), with the right template, people can rebuild their own cardboard parts, either out of board, plastic sheets, or even 3D printing them!

And that’s honestly the point of the Ahadrone. It isn’t a toy, but rather is a powerful learning tool that’s also a toy. It teaches you about aerodynamics, structural design, and guides you through the process of putting together a real, flying drone from scratch. Remarkable, isn’t it?!

The Ahadrone kit is a winner of the A’ Design Award for the year 2019.

Designer: Srinivasulu Reddy

Amazon’s official delivery drone can switch between copter/plane flying modes

Having gone through years and years of development, and seen multiple design iterations (including a successful test run in 2016), here’s what Amazon deemed worthy of unveiling to the public. A drone that’s capable of vertical take-off and landing, but also has the ability to zoom forwards like an airplane, by simply tilting the propellers to thrust air not just downwards, but backwards too… a feat that’s unique to delivery drones.

The drone (there’s no codename yet) is the culmination of over 50,000 iterations and computer tests, and Amazon hopes to use it for delivering smaller items like groceries and supplies over distances of 7-8 miles, helping the company achieve same-day instant deliveries without the hassle or moving parts of trucks, delivery agents, and traffic. The drone’s design comes with an integrated squarish pod that can carry a parcel at a time, delivering items in under 30 minutes to customers. Its design comes equipped with 6 rotor units sporting unique S-shaped propellers that provide the thrust without making excess noise, allowing the drone to fly over neighborhoods without causing much of a disturbance (an issue most citizens expressed their concern over during multiple test runs).

Up to 6 feet in width, the drone has a carrying capacity of up to 5 pounds… more than 80% of Amazon’s delivery parcels fall within that limit. Designed to fly completely autonomously, the drone comes equipped with a combination of thermal cameras, depth cameras, and sonar to detect hazards, and relies on hardcore machine learning to avoid other flying obstacles, or harm any humans or animals on the ground, as well as detect hard-to-spot obstacles like utility wires or clotheslines. Designed around FAA regulations, Amazon hopes to gain approval from the Federal Aviation Administration, leveling the playing field against its competitors at Alphabet with their Wing delivery drone, and UPS’s delivery drone designed in partnership with Matternet. Details on the drone’s official release/debut are still scant, along with its cost to the consumer, but these things (unlike Amazon’s lightning-fast deliveries) can’t be rushed, am I right??

Designer: Amazon

This Working Drone Looks Like a LEGO Helicopter

Drone designer Adam Woodworth has created some cool drones in the past like Imperial Star Destroyers for instance, but this one is even better: a giant LEGO helicopter. It looks like it came out of a genuine LEGO set, except it’s much bigger.

The drone was shown off at this year’s Makers Fair in San Francisco. This thing looks like a real LEGO copter. It even has a minifig pilot. Tested recently checked it out in action, and it looks pretty cool. Charming actually, as the rotor moves way too slowly. Of course, if it weren’t a drone, this thing would never fly in a million years since ABS plastic bricks are not very aerodynamic. That’s why he built his jumbo version from foam.

The drone is about ten times the scale of the LEGO set that inspired it. LEGO fans already know this, but in case you don’t, it is based on the classic set 6396 International Jetport, which includes Woodworth’s favorite LEGO helicopter. He did an excellent job here. This thing looks authentic and I love the way it flies.

[via Tested via Tomsguide]

Airbus shares a glimpse of its flying taxi cockpit

Airbus has been working on its Vahana project for years. It's an attempt to create an autonomous passenger drone network that could operate like a flying version of the Waymo's self-driving cars. In January, the company's flying taxi took to the skie...