This aerial drone for NASA will help discover prospective landing sites on Mars

As planet Earth grows too chaotic for habitation in the near future, the next frontier is definitely Mars. NASA has been working hard on Mars missions currently underway and the ones that are lined-up for the future, and the dream doesn’t look too distant when humans will set foot on the planet. The final destination being to colonize the red planet just like ours. The surface of the hostile planet is a challenge to explore and an aerial vehicle that can survey the surface of the planet in close proximity for the ground units to zero-in on the hot spots to scan on priority makes complete sense.

The Mars Aerial Exploratory Drone 2030 which is the brain-child of 3D Generalist Anton Weaver aims to be the lead aerial surveillance vehicle that helps in tracking out the key habitat zones or detect any unknown threats in advance with its vantage position up in the air. The drone is inspired by the NASA Mars Helicopter which is planned for use with the scouting tasks for the future Mars rovers. According to Anton, the drone is more advanced than NASA’s iteration, with “bigger, smarter, and more utility.” It has soft landing pads for any surface on the planet and runs on the solar power of the sun.

That said the primary objective of the drone will be to identify the points of interest for the research team and detect sites that’ll be of interest to the ground team. The aerial vehicle can also perform drilling tasks to bring back samples if the identified zone is too tough for the rovers to tackle. The idea by Anton is quite future-forward and if a prototype of this concept vehicle is designed, who knows, it could actually scout the Mars surface come year 2030!

Designer: Anton Weaver

The US Army wants to build an autonomous drone charging system

The US Army is looking to build an autonomous charging system that can support hundreds of drones. It has funded a four-year research project with the ultimate aim of kitting out ground-based vehicles with charging stations that swarms of drones can...

This cylinder-shaped drone helps keep an eye on extreme sports enthusiasts in the outdoors

Just the same way a car designed for racing isn’t the same as a car designed to transport families, the Alvix Multifunctional Drone isn’t designed to look like your average hobby-drone. It comes in a compact cylindrical format, made for easy carrying, and opens out into a rugged drone capable of recording and monitoring extreme sports enthusiasts and players, who always carry heavy equipment and perform high-risk sporting activities alone.

Think of the Alvix drone as your spotter, but in the outdoors – keeping a watchful eye on you as you engage in extreme sports. Its cylindrical format makes it easy to carry, as well as gives it a protective covering, as the drone’s propellers have built-in circular guards around them. The drone comes with a wearable that helps it track the wearer at all times, keeping a watchful eye on them. If something untoward were to happen, the alarm system built into Alvix will beep and shine when it detects an emergency, saving time, and making the search & rescue mission more efficient.

The Alvix Multifunctional Drone is a winner of the A’ Design Award for the year 2020.

Designer: Yu-Ling Lien and Jia-Xin Liu

Security or stalker? Amazon’s Ring drone flies around your house to ward off uninvited guests

This can only play out one of two ways. A. It works exactly as intended… warding off thieves and keeping your house safe, and B. It overperforms, ending up stalking you, misidentifying family members with masks, and giving Amazon MUCH MORE information about your house than it already deserves. The Ring Drone was unveiled at Amazon’s hardware event today, and it feels dystopic right off the bat. Watch the video above and then join me in the next paragraph, will you?

The Always Home Cam (as it’s called) expands on Ring’s home security line-up, giving you a camera that sits INSIDE your house rather than at the entrance of it, like the Ring’s more popular video doorbells. When it detects a break-in, the flying camera un-docks from its station and travels to the intruder, capturing their face on video, which is beamed to the owner’s phone (and possibly even the police, considering Ring’s partnerships with local police forces). It’s designed to activate only when the owners aren’t at home, and comes with a completely enclosed propeller system so that it doesn’t harm anyone or any pets as it flies around the house to surveil intrusions. When docked, the camera’s station completely encloses the drone’s stem, which contains the lens, preventing it from being able to ‘spy’ on its owners.

However, that’s just the “exactly as intended” part of the Always Home Cam. If the idea of a flying camera in your house, operated by Amazon, doesn’t already send chills down your spine, do allow me to tell you what I believe the Ring could just as easily do. No technology system is perfect, and Amazon’s own Echo lineup shares that distinction (remember when the Echo would randomly begin laughing for no reason?) Ring’s most ubiquitous product has always been its video doorbell, which allowed people to see who was at the door without physically looking through the peephole. The doorbell could give you a video feed of your porch, alerting you of visitors, delivery personnel, and even intruders… but the Always Home Cam doesn’t operate on your porch… it actively sits inside your house, just like the Echo smart speaker which has already demonstrated its ability to spy on you by listening to you at all times. The Always Home Cam now gives Amazon a pair of eyes inside your home… and considering the fact that Amazon claims the drone only operates when you’re not at home, it means Amazon’s catalog of smart devices know exactly when you’re at home and when you’re not… tell me if that sounds worrisome yet. Moreover, unlike any of Ring’s indoor or outdoor cameras, the drone has the ability to NAVIGATE through your house, allowing it to literally scan your interiors and make a floor-plan of your home (something static cameras can’t do as efficiently). That’s much more data than a smart-speaker can capture either.

The flying camera’s prime objective is to identify break-ins and capture a video of the intruder, while playing alarming noises that Ring hopes will shock/frighten them… unless of course these intruders jump at the opportunity of also grabbing a free drone for themselves while they rob you blind. It’s an impressive product no less, and I don’t doubt Ring’s abilities when it comes to home-security… however, call me old-fashioned, but I’d rather avoid sharing my personal data with Amazon and just own a guard dog instead.

Designer: Ring (An Amazon Company)

Walmart’s latest drone trial delivers at-home COVID-19 tests

Walmart is starting to deliver at-home COVID-19 tests by drone. A trial got underway in North Las Vegas today and the deliveries will expand to Cheektowaga, New York early next month.It’s delivering the kits to qualifying patients who live within a m...

Amazon’s Prime Air can officially begin drone delivery trials in the US

As of today, Amazon is officially an “air carrier.” The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted Amazon Prime Air the designation, which allows Amazon to begin its first commercial delivery trials in the US, Bloomberg reports. The company will u...