Santa and Reindeer Flying Drone: Ho-Ho-Hovercraft

Clearly unafraid to utilize the latest in flying technology, Santa is experimenting with delivering presents this year via a drone disguised as his sleigh and reindeer. Available from Firebox, the Flying Santa Drone is a radio-controlled drone featuring the likeness of Santa and four of his reindeer. I can already see myself flying it straight into the Christmas tree and breaking fragile ornaments.

The drone itself has an onboard rechargeable battery, and after installing three AAA batteries in the remote controller, you’re ready to ho-ho-hover to your heart’s content! At least until the drone’s battery is drained and you have to wait to recharge it. That’s when it’s time to take a snack break or play with the box it came in.

So – have you been good this year? Good enough to make Santa’s nice list? Because according to an elf friend of mine on the inside at Santa’s workshop, I have not been. I didn’t even make the naughty list; I made the sub-naughty list. I didn’t even know there was such a thing! I assume Santa is just going to come down my chimney to beat me up.

No, Doctor Octopus doesn’t have a minion drone. The Hexapod is a ‘non-evil’ robot that harvests fruits.

If fruits were sentient, they’d probably get the crap scared out of them.

As absolutely terrifying as it may look to most people, the Hexapod Pro is actually a pretty benign little robot designed to perform tasks that are too menial for humans. The 6-armed drone was actually envisioned as a multipurpose robot used to harvest fruits and vegetables, as well as perform cleanups on beaches and in forests.

With its jellyfish-inspired aesthetic, the Hexapod Pro comes with a central processing hub with multiple fisheye cameras for 360° vision, and a set of 6 flexible arms with 3 fingers per arm for being able to pick up objects. Envisioned by Australian designer Chris Koch, the Hexapod Pro is best employed at doing duties that require basic skills of tracking and picking objects. Perfect for using on orchards to pick fruits and veggies, or on beaches and forests to clean up after humans (that’s a robot uprising story just waiting to happen), the Hexapod Pro’s arms come outfitted with a pair of soft robotic grippers that are perfect for being able to firmly pluck produce without damaging them, or lift up various objects off the floor effectively without dropping them.

The Hexapod’s advanced design, however, doesn’t do it favors because of how immediately intimidating it looks. 12 fisheye cameras dotted around its ‘head’ allow it to see practically everywhere without any blind spots, and the 6 arms look almost identical to the ones found on Doctor Otto Octavius, one of Spiderman’s many nemeses. The Stormtrooper color-way sort of reinforces its sinister appearance… maybe coloring the robot pink would help?

Thankfully, though, the Hexapod Pro is a conceptual work of art… although just in case, maybe avoid littering the beach or trespassing on someone’s orchard, hm?

Designer: Chris Koch

The post No, Doctor Octopus doesn’t have a minion drone. The Hexapod is a ‘non-evil’ robot that harvests fruits. first appeared on Yanko Design.

This sleek Apple Drone design is the logical addition to take the Apple products to the next level

A practically feasible Apple drone that germinates from the core idea presented in patents emerging in the last few years and in recent times by Apple. The quadcopter is all set to take to the drone market that demands advanced functions and the assurance of the Apple brand name.

Apple is looking interested in the drone market just like the electric cars – a few patents over the last few years have suggested the fact. The Cupertino-based giant is not giving up on its innovation for drone lovers as another couple of Apple patents related to drones have been spotted. One of them pertains to the pairing/unpairing of the quadcopter device and the other is related to the remote operation on a mobile network. So, are we looking at a drone announcement in the future by Apple? It could be the case as Apple has a knack for surprising the tech community fair and square.

What this drone will look like is left to pure imagination, and 3D graphics designer Eric Huismann gives us an Apple drone design to reference by. The quadcopter has the classic Apple vibe to it – the curves reminiscent of the long-forgotten 2001 iMac G3 are a cheeky addition. Very poetically Huisman defines the creation as a combination of glossy white contrasted with “dark blacks that lend the drone a very noble and high quality character.” The powerful rotors lift the drone in the air and keep it stable even in windy conditions. Of course, I’m expecting the flying machine to have next-gen collision avoidance tech too if it has to come anywhere near the market leader DJI.

Since a drone is nothing without excellent camera prowess, this Apple quadcopter gets an array of four cameras each having a super-wide-angle camera lens. These cameras will be able to shoot videos in 4K quality at 60 frames per second. The designer doesn’t stop his imagination there, as he believes the Apple drone (if we’ll ever see one) will have stunning panoramic shooting prowess and the videos will be directly live streamed to YouTube. The designer doesn’t delve more into the technical details or features of the drone, so we can all imagine it our own unique way!

Designer: Eric Huismann

The post This sleek Apple Drone design is the logical addition to take the Apple products to the next level first appeared on Yanko Design.

This compact aerial photography drone fits inside your sling bag, deploys in an instant

A folding drone designed for aerial photography and stable video shooting – ideal for enthusiasts who don’t fancy the hassle of carrying around a pro drone like DJI Mini 2.

Drone photography has opened up countless options for social media influencers to give their followers a whole new perspective of things. Understandably, a drone that is compact and easy to deploy for quick shots or footage from the air is advantageous. This has triggered an influx of portable drones inspired by the DJI Mini 2 or Mavic Air 2. The likes of the LIFE DRONE or the Xenon Drone concept that already got our thumbs up.

Another palm-sized drone having a high probability of making it past the drawing board and in the possession of enthusiast photography travelers is the Drone 1, rotate and fly drone. Winner of the Red Dot Concept Design Award 2021, the portable flying machine designed by Maya Prokhorova is no bigger than the MacBook Air in the fully folded configuration. It comes with a 4K capable camera for hight quality photo or video shooting on the go – taking the gadget right out of your pocket or backpack.

Drone 1 rests inside the hard case, and when the need arises, you simply take it out, rotate the quadcopter with a click motion and it’s ready to fly. The 90 degrees rotating motion is highlighted by the tactile sensation, just like a Rubik’s cube. Also, the camera can be set to the functioning position by pressing the switch-like button on the bottom section. Now that is utterly satisfying, isn’t it? Weighing just 200 grams, the quadcopter is loaded with all the advanced sensors to navigate through tight spaces or follow the waypoints via the compatible app on phone!

Designer: Maya Prokhorova



Interesting Drone concept with 360° cameras looks like a magical floating orb from a sci-fi movie

The reason the drone archetype exists is because it’s a tried and tested format. Four propellers on either corner (or six if you’re lucky) and a relatively aerodynamic design with legs for taking off and landing. Throw in a few cameras and sensors and you’ve got yourself a drone that’s easy to recognize. However, break this archetype and you’ve got yourself something quite unrecognizable – like the Jupiter drone concept by Anton Weaver.

Weaver’s drone has a monolithic orb-esque form that defies both gravity as well as the ‘rules’ of drone design. It uses a large single propeller, and what I imagine is an internal gyroscope to move around in the air, stay upright, and even twist and turn while in mid-air. The drone’s unusual design is further characterized by the presence of fisheye lens cameras that allow it to capture everything it sees, sort of like a levitating GoPro.

Weaver’s design focuses more on shock-value than actual physics or aerodynamics, which is precisely what makes the Jupiter drone concept fun to analyze from a design sense. The drone’s strange shape almost gives it the appearance of an all-seeing eyeball that levitates around everywhere, and according to Weaver’s visualizations, it’s the kind of drone you’d use to film the action around you – thanks to the presence of dual fisheye 4K cameras that can capture in 360°.

It comes with the battery mounted on the top (weighing a commendable 400g) and has sensors at the bottom that detect proximity, allowing it to nail the landing – because without any bumpers or feet, the Jupiter can only take-off and land on your palm. The fact that the outer shell protects the internal propeller so well makes it perfect for this, as well as acting as a general buffer as the drone flies around filming the world around you!

Designer: Anton Weaver

This medicine delivery bot carries your supplies in the last mile using a solar-powered drone

A cute little medical robot with an onboard drone to deliver medical supplies to your doorstep as well as the window of high-rise buildings.

COVID-19 has changed the way we go on about our lives – and that too in a major way. Right from the way we conduct ourselves in public places to getting food deliveries – current times call for a super cautious approach. So it was only time before someone gave medical supplies directly to the patient’s home a good hard thought. That’s the reason the Drobo robot designed by NUONE DESIGN makes so much sense.

Rather than heading to the pharmacy to get the medicines, this autonomous robot brings home the needed supplies in a safe and secure manner. Even more vital for the elderly or patients who cannot visit the pharmacy due to underlying medical conditions. The robot has a large screen to display the instructions about the medical product that’s being hauled for a smooth and informative process.

The USP of this medicine delivery robot is its onboard drone that attaches to the back. When it is time to deliver the medicines, the drone attaches to the delivery compartment courtesy of the rails and flies straight off to the patient’s window for a hassle-free and safe hauling of vital medicines. The drone has solar panels on top to soak up the sun’s power for a flight anytime, anywhere.

This little bundle of joy is not just about delivering medicines, Drobo also recommends patients about their health by performing rapid medical tests like the COVID-19 test or checking blood oxygen levels. The data is then sent back to the physicians for instant prescriptions or other instructions for taking medicines delivered in the box.

The little robot is powered by electric energy and the onboard batteries give it an operational time of six to eight hours. When the battery is low, Drobo automatically stops by at the charging stations to juice up wirelessly for its next delivery task.


This lean mean police drone is our law enforcement’s version of KITT from Knight Rider

This drone made from lightweight yet robust material is the police‘s reliable tool in the skies to ensure the law enforcement agencies can access the situation before the ground units can devise a strategy to bring things under control.

Drones for law enforcement agencies have become an important tool to survey any unsolicited developments in and around the city. Fluctuating crime rates and their implications can take a toll on the region, and police need to take every little step in curbing the menace. New-age commercial drones like the DJI Matrice help control the situation, but now there’s a new idea for a quadcopter specifically designed to solve the police troubles.

We are talking about the KOR Air Police Smart Observation System (a.k.a. Air Police Drone) conceptualized by Design One – created to patrol to control the situation before it escalates. The KOR drone is made out of carbon fiber and titanium material, making it lightweight while providing inherent structural strength. This drone is the law enforcement agencies’ eye from the top of the city, making it a rapid response scouting tool.

The system is loaded with high-end camera sensors since it has to keep an eye on a very expansive area with no scope for missing out on any suspicious activity, even in the dark of the night. Moreover, we can disassemble the quadcopter-like form to fit inside an equally reinforced case when not in use. Finally, the battery design provides maximum fly time – edging above the claimed range of DJI’s commercial drones.

Maneuverability is a critical element of the KOR drone that keeps it out of harm’s way if weapons are fired or objects are thrown at it. As a bonus, the drone has a tough, rugged design, kind of what makes you feel secure in its presence. Finally, the incredible rotor arms resemble the barrel of a rifle, lending it a trustworthy vibe for the arsenal of law enforcement agencies.

Designer: Design One

Lifesaver Drone comes with a built-in inflatable raft that deploys to rescue people at sea

By combining the lifesaver tube with a drone, the LIFE DRONE from Hyunjun Choi can easily rescue people by keeping them afloat as well as transporting them to safety.

Building on what a drone is capable of doing, the LIFE DRONE is an amphibious rescue-device that can travel in air as well as on water. It comes with a unique format that allows it to go from your regular airborne quad-copter drone to a waterborne motor-raft whenever needed. The drone comes with a dynamic body that opens up to orient the propellers in an X formation to take to the skies. The base of the drone comes with an automatic inflating life-raft that deploys near the person who needs help. The drone then closes, going from an X-formation to an I-formation, and the propellers begin working underwater, to push the raft towards safety… along with the person on it.

The LIFE DRONE works quite like a life-raft, except it doesn’t need a human to throw it to the drowning person. Just ping the drone with the location of the person drowning and it takes off on its own. When it approaches the location, the inflatable raft automatically deploys and the drone descends into the water. Once the person climbs onto the raft, the drone then works almost like a motorboat, using the propellers to guide the raft to the nearest location of safety. It does this without requiring a lifeguard to jeopardize their life.

Although conceptual, the LIFE DRONE is an interesting idea that can definitely be built. Amphibious drones definitely exist, and with the LIFE DRONE, it’s just a matter of building out a drone that has enough power to carry itself in the air, and propel forward with the weight of a human on water. My guess is that the propellers and motors would be significantly larger if you had to build this out, and you’d need space for pressurized CO2 containers for the raft to deploy. That dynamic X-to-I format is interesting too (it reminds me of this drone concept), and I’d honestly love to see a robotics/drone company at least experiment with a prototype!

Designer: Hyunjun Choi

This thermal imaging drone could help firefighters quickly locate the source of fire in a building

I’m of the firm belief that robots should be assigned duties that are too difficult or dangerous for humans. Take for instance the Prophet by Marius Kindler, an autonomous drone that’s designed to monitor and assess structures/areas on fire so that blue light departments (firefighters, police & paramedics) can effectively carry out their protective and preventive measures. The drone comes fitted with a FLIR camera that captures a heat-map, helping rescue missions detect sources of fire or even helping them plot the position of humans who need to be rescued.

The tricopter drone’s design can be split into three elements – the propellers, a hockey-puck-shaped FLIR thermography camera at the bottom, and a removable/replaceable battery pack on the top. On-site, the drone can be programmed to run pre-determined routes and will constantly patrol a specific area, analyzing the structural fire to give the rescue team a clear idea of the fire’s source, the building’s layout, and possibly even identify potential safe routes for ingress and evacuation.

“Equipped with FLIR‘s thermal imaging technology it monitors heat exposure and the fire‘s behaviour over time”, says designer Marius Kindler. “Based on the gathered data it can identify anomalies and even predicts how the situation could develop in the near future. The system also makes it possible to link several drones together to a network, enabling all first responders to share their information, responsibilities and their equipment in a collaborative way during emergency incidents.”

The Prophet Drone was the result of a 10-week term project at Umeå Institute of Design in collaboration with FLIR Systems. Although conceptual, it definitely makes a case for how drones can be designed to help protect people and contain major disasters. The technology isn’t too far off, to begin with. Thermography cameras already exist, and autonomous drones are definitely a thing… so it shouldn’t be too farfetched to assume that human-assisting drones could soon be a part of every urban neighbourhood’s firefighting arsenal.

Designer: Marius Kindler

This sleek drone fits in your pocket and transforms uses its magnetic modular design!

The rise of drone photography and videography has opened the door to plenty of technological and design advancements. Likewise, with the rise of social media, drones have seen some major improvements across the board, spanning from obstacle avoidance to camera quality and speed. Adding portability to the list, industrial designer Kendal Toerner conceptualized Xenon Drone, a handheld and modular drone designed for the most rugged of adventures.

Xenon Drone was first designed for the drone videographer looking for a drone that’s as durable as it is portable. Noticing the lack of handheld and high-quality drones on the market, Toerner sought to balance functionality and space. Broken down into three pieces, Xenon Drone is made from recyclable, plant-based thermoplastic and features a magnetic launching pad wedged between two drone modules. To communicate Xenon’s portability and simplicity, Toerner designed the drone to be versatile in its assembly, resulting in three different possible forms for flying and stacking achieved via magnetic connectors.

Getting Xenon Drone out of your hands and into the sky is simple—users need only attach the two drone modules at their center magnetic grooves, connect their propellers, and let it fly. One end of each module contains the chunk of embedded electronic wiring; the other end holds Xenon Drone’s triple-axis gimbal camera and batteries. But, while getting it up in the air is exciting, Toerner didn’t lose sight of the importance of a safe landing. Embedded with ultrasonic sensors, Xenon Drone depends on a magnetic landing wand to guide its safe descent—by raising the magnetic wand, Xenon Drone can land safely no matter where it flies from.

Users can also control Xenon Drone’s route from their smartphones using an elastic joystick controller that can adapt to almost any smartphone. From your smartphone, Xenon Drone’s joystick controller displays the drone’s altitude, distance, and velocity, as well as the haptic joystick and pan controls. In addition, integrated GPS technology and Bluetooth connectivity allow users to locate Xenon Drone wherever it lands.

Designer: Kendall Toerner

Broken down into two parts, each module of the Xenon Drone attaches at its magnetic center.

A launching pad was wedged between the two modules to ensure an effective takeoff.

Embedded magnetic springs pluck out to deploy each drone module.

After the two modules connect, propellers are attached before Xenon can take flight.

Xenon’s magnetic connector.

Users need only attach the two modules and connect their respective propellers.

A magnetic landing wand guides Xenon in a safe descent.

An elastic joystick controller allows users to choose Xenon’s route.

“By modulating an electromagnetic force on your fingertip, the flat surface of the controller feels just like a joystick. The further from the center, the more resistance. This allows for eyes-off flying, mitigating finger-drifting issues,” Toerner notes.

“Using the onboard transceiver, GPS, and Bluetooth, the exact location of the two drone parts is always known even when they separate.”

“A camera with a triple-axis gimbal allows for optical image stabilization and manual panning. Having both a wide-angle and telephoto lens allows for unique options when capturing adventures.”

“A thermoplastic, layer-based circuit board can be decoupled from its components with a hot liquid solvent, allowing for reuse and recycle of almost every part. Xenon is manufactured using renewable energy, plant-based thermoplastic, (recyclable) metal, and can be fully disassembled because it uses fasteners and a removable thermal adhesive.”