Long range wireless control of a project is always a challenge. [Mike] and his team were looking to extend the range of their current RC setup for a UAV project, and decided on a pair of Arduino mini’s and somewhat expensive Digi Xtend 900Mhz modems to do the trick. With a range of 40 miles, the 1 watt transceivers provide fantastic range. And paired with the all too familiar Arduino, you’ve got yourself an easy long range link.
[Mike] set the transmitter up so it can plug directly into any RC controller training port, decoding the incoming signal and converting it into a serial data package for transmitting

View original article at Hack A Day

Three years after the vicious 2011 tsunami devastated Japan, University of Tokyo researchers are using UAVs to map the radioactive cleanup progress.Local governments near the destroyed Fukushima nuclear reactors still operate in exile three years after the 9.0 earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan. As workers dig up radioactive soil, high weeds grow over cars and demolished buildings. But getting high-resolution images of the cleanup progress is a challenge

View original article at FastCompany

In his annual shareholder letter, CEO Jeff Bezos also announced it will pay unhappy employees $2,000 to quit in their first year.Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos released his annual shareholder letter Thursday, giving a progress report of the company’s various products and initiatives. Of particular note are updates to its delivery-by-drone experiments and unusual employee retention efforts.Read Full Story

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Not to be outdone by Facebook’s vision of a drone internet , the military is whipping up unmanned aerial Wi-Fi hotspots of its own. Unused drones from the war in Iraq are getting a second life as part of DARPA’s Mobile Hotspots program. Read more..

View original article at Gizmodo

The liability damage and personal injuries from small, fast-moving unmanned civilian vehicles can be huge–and more and more often will keep the Federal Aviation Administration, lawyers, and all of us on high alert.When a regional triathlon in Australia hired a local drone operator, Warren Abrams, to take aerial photographs of their event, competition organizers of course never expected serious injuries from the UAV. But one of the event’s triathletes is now in stable condition in the hospital after receiving head injuries from a drone collision last week–and the athlete, organizers, and the cinematographer are arguing over whether the athlete was hit by the drone or not. And while this case might seem strange, it raises an important question–who’s responsible when commercial drones hurt people?Read Full Story

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