Taking on an autonomous vehicle challenge, [Randy] put together this drone which can locate and pop balloons. It’s been assembled for this year’s Sparkfun Autonomous Vehicle Competition, which will challenge entrants to locate and pop 99 luftbaloons red balloons without human intervention.
The main controller for this robot is the Pixhawk, which runs a modified version of the ArduCopter firmware. These modifications enable the Pixhawk to receive commands from an Odroid U3 computer module. The Odroid uses a webcam to take images, and then processes them using OpenCV

View original article at Hack A Day

A yacht in San Diego, California, went up in flames on Thursday, and a drone caught the dramatic scene on video.
According to local ABC affiliate 10News, a fire was reported before 9:20 a.m. local time at shipyard Marine Group Boat Works. The $24 million yacht named “Polar Bear” was engulfed in flames, sending dark smoke into the air that was visible from across the bay
See also: 360-Degree Panoramic Video Is Out of This World
About 100 workers were evacuated from the site, one of whom was treated for smoke inhalation

View original article at Mashable

Drones are being banned more and more – and with the US Government moving to ban drones across all of it’s 401 National Parks, it’s just a matter of time before this makes its way to Australia.

What are the US Government doing?
Two parks, including the Grand Canyon and Yosemite, have already moved to ban drones. But this is now nationwide.
From AP:
The National Park Service is taking steps to ban drones from 84 million acres of public lands and waterways, saying the unmanned aircraft annoy visitors, harass wildlife and threaten safety.
Jonathan Jarvis, the park service’s director, told The Associated Press he doesn’t want drones flushing birds from their nests, hovering over rock climbers as they cling to the sides of cliffs or buzzing across the face of Mount Rushmore

View original article at Techly

While traditionally a project geared more toward the model rocket crowd, a lot of people are flying quadcopters these days, and knowing the altitude your RC aircraft reached is a nice thing to know. [Will] came up with a very nice, very small, and very lightweight altimeter that’s perfect for strapping to microquads, their bigger brothers, and of course model rockets. As a nice bonus, it also looks really cool with an exceedingly retro HP bubble display.
The components used in this tiny altimeter include a MEMS altitude and pressure sensor, HP bubble display featuring four seven-segment LEDs, an Arduino Pro Mini, and a tiny 40 mAh LiPo capable of powering the whole contraption for hours.
In the video below, [Will] shows off the functions of his altimeter, sending it aloft on a quadcopter to about 100 ft

View original article at Hack A Day

When the Hollywood Reporter released a roundup Thursday of the extravagant luxuries provided by some Las Vegas clubs, we didn’t blink at the $9,000 personal fireworks displays or PlayStation 4-filled cabanas. What gave us pause was the Cosmopolitan Marquee Dayclub’s poolside bottle service … delivered via drone.

For a mere $20,000 bar tab (and a day’s notice), an unmanned drone will descend from the sky to bring libations to the inebriated, bikini-wearing masses.
Who needs bottle girls? @MarqueeLV has drones. dancingastronaut

View original article at Time Magazine