Kingston Releases Micro-SD Card Designed for Action Cameras

There are plenty of memory cards on the market, but it aren’t all of them that are equally suited for all tasks – much in the same way as it is with any other kind of storage product. Kingston just released a new micro SD Card specifically designed for use with action cameras and that comes with UHS-I U3 Speed Class 3 ratings. The new Kingston SDCAC microSD Action Camera UHS-I U3 memory card comes in various sizes from 16GB and up to 64GB.

The new Kingston SDCAC microSD Action Camera UHS-I U3 memory card comes in various sizes from 16GB and up to 64GB. Its rugged performance and form factor make this micro SD card ideal for most action cameras including GoPro and drones.

The cards feature speeds of up to 90MB/s when reading and up to 45MB/s when writing. While that doesn’t sound like much when we compare it to SSD performance, it is quite nice for a card of this size. And we also have to keep in mind that these are minimum speed ratings and not possible maximum speeds.

The sustained performance allows outdoor enthusiasts to shoot in 4K resolutions without missing a single frame and even shoot up to 240 frames per second on normal Full-HD recordings. With a capacity availability from 16GB to 64GB, there should be a right card for everyone. The 16GB and 32GB capacities are shipping this month while the larger 64GB ships next month.

The cards can perform in any environment as they are waterproof, shockproof, X-ray proof, and temperature proof. Pretty much just proofed. The card is available in two version, with and without an SD card adapter that lets users quickly and easily view footage on a PC, notebook, or media reader.

Kingston’s microSD Action Camera UHS-I U3 is backed by a lifetime warranty, free technical support, and legendary Kingston reliability. No word on pricing yet.

Features and Specifications:

  • Designed for action cameras and drones: shoot video at up to 30 frames per second in 4K or capture HD footage at 240 frames per second on your GoPro, action camera or drone to preserve every second of your latest adventure.
  • Rugged for every adventure: waterproof, shockproof, X-ray proof, and temperature proof to perform even in harsh environments.
  • Enough space for your trip: whether shooting in 4K or at 240 frames per second, the card has room to keep you going.
  • Guaranteed: Lifetime warranty, legendary reliability, free technical support.
  • Capacities1: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB (shipping later)
  • Performance7: 90MB/s read and 45MB/s write, UHS-I Speed Class 3 (U3)
  • microSD Dimensions: 11mm x 15mm x 1mm
  • SD Adapter Dimensions: 24mm x 32mm x 2.1mm
  • Format: FAT32 (microSDHC 16GB-32GB); exFAT (microSDXC 64GB)
  • Operating Temperature: -25°C to 85°C
  • Storage Temperature: -40°C to 85°C
  • Voltage: 3.3V
  • Warranty: Lifetime

Nevada Receives an FAA-Approved Urban Drone Delivery System

Some time ago, an ambitious startup named Flirtey has managed to perform the first FAA-sanctioned drone delivery in a rural area, and it looks like its creators have even greater plans for this special drone. On March 10, the autonomous hexacopter managed to perform a half-a-mile flight to an empty house in Hawthorne, Nevada in order to deliver essentials such as food, water and a first-aid kit. What’s impressive about this is that the drone flew over there by its own while following a pre-programmed path. A pilot was on site to take over just in case things went south, but fortunately, everything went exactly according to plan.

Obviously, it’s one thing to carry some food and water to an empty house and another to carry large electronics such as TVs, which means that retailers such as Amazon still needs to figure out a better way to transport large fragile objects to its customers. Flirtey CEO Matt Sweeny has stated that he managed to convince the FAA to sign off on this trial by invoking the company’s previous success in delivering car parts and textbooks to parts of New Zealand and Australia. The next big thing for Flirtey is to conduct a similar experiment in an urban populated area, which will probably be quite a bit more challenging.

SkyWall Gun Captures Drones in Mid-Air

There are many “guns” being developed to deal with inappropriate drone usage, mostly making use of high-tech jamming techniques in order to cause the drone to lose control. The side effect of this is that it generally results in the destruction of the drone as it crashes, making the craft harder to investigate. This is where the SkyWall comes in.

Developed by UK-based OpenWorks Engineering, the SkyWall100 is designed to be used by security forces looking to neutralize and capture drones that threaten government security, deliver contraband and spy on private property. Looking like a gun out of a sci-fi movie, with a side-mounted smart scope and a large barrel, the SkyWall approaches drone neutralization physically instead of jamming or other techniques. “The SkyWall concept is simple; physically deliver a counter-measure up to the target. Capture a drone in a net and land it safely with a parachute.” reads the company’s site. “SkyWall gives you a physical barrier in the sky. The system can be rapidly reloaded, allowing multiple drone threats to be engaged by a single operator.”

The SkyWall uses a laser-equipped smart scope in order to acquire targets, at which point it fires a smart projectile from the barrel in a way similar to an air launcher. The projectile can then track the drone, releasing its net payload at just the right time to ensnare the drone and deliver it back to the ground. The device has a range of as much as 330 feet, as well as being almost completely silent and creating no RF or GPS interference, making it suitable for almost any environment.

Scheduled to be on public display at the UK Home Office’s Security and Policing Event next week, OpenWorks hopes that the first commercial versions of the device could be in use as soon as the end of the year.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYpDSpL3I9I

Amazon Reveals Fresh Details on its Drone Delivery Service

Amazon has been developing its drone delivery service, Amazon Prime Air, for nearly three years. While the process has been slow, and had many hurdles to tackle, the company remains confident that Prime Air will launch soon, but it will not necessarily make its debut in the US.

In an exclusive interview with Yahoo, Amazon’s Vice President for Global Public Policy Paul Misener, revealed that the logistics of Prime Air, which will use custom drones to make deliveries more than 10 miles from an Amazon depot, have been established, with the only sticking point, in the US at least, being with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

“The goals we’ve set for ourselves are: The range has to be over 10 miles. These things will weigh about 55 pounds each, but they’ll be able to deliver parcels that weigh up to five pounds,” Misener told Yahoo’s David Pogue. “It turns out that the vast majority of the things we sell at Amazon weigh less than five pounds.”

Regarding dealing with climate, weather conditions, and urban terrain, Misener said, “our customers live in a wide variety of buildings. Some live in rural farmhouses, some live in high-rise city skyscrapers, and then everything in between, in suburban and exurban environments. We want to be able to serve all of those customers. And it may take a different kind of a drone to best work in each one.”

Amazon is still in negotiations with the FAA, and various other international airspace regulators, to make Prime Air viable without impacting existing air traffic.

“[W]e’ve proposed to regulators around the world, including the FAA, a certain kind of an airspace design that would keep the drones separated from the aircraft,” Misener explained. “We were thinking: Manned aircraft above 500 feet. Between 400 and 500 feet there’d be a no-fly zone — a safety buffer. Between 200 and 400 feet would be a transit zone, where drones could fly fairly quickly, horizontally. And then below 200 feet, that would be limited to certain operations. For us, it would be takeoff and landing. For others, it might be aerial photography. The realtors, for example, wouldn’t need to fly above 200 feet to get a great shot of a house.”

However, if the FAA refuses to allow Amazon’s drone deliveries, the company will continue to pursue the strategy in other countries. “There’s no reason why the United States must be first,” Misener added. “We hope it is.”

Amazon released a new video last month showcasing Prime Air, inexplicably starring Jeremy Clarkson (well, he is under contract now):

 

Tokyo Police to Launch Anti-Drone Drone Squad

Many countries are beginning to come up with their own answer to drones being used dangerously or criminally. Now Japan has moved to restrict the usage of personal drones too, following an episode where a drone carrying a small amount of radioactive materials managed to land on the office of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s office in April. And while most nations have settled on simply placing legal restrictions on drones or requiring registration, Japan plans to do this and more, with the Tokyo Police Department planning to roll out a squad of anti-drone drones.

This week Japan amended its aviation act to include limitations on drones, with Paul Haswell, a partner at legal firm Pinsent Masons, telling the BBC, “In Japan, it is illegal to pilot drones over certain areas such as airports and power plants, over roads, or above a height of 150m.” Not only this, but some public places such as city parks also have restrictions in place that outlaw drone use in them, which is sure to annoy drone enthusiasts living in Japan’s crowded cities.

Police in Tokyo have demonstrated that their plan against nuisance drones in the city will be the deployment of their own drone craft, equipped with nets to catch the troublemaking drone. The strategy put in place will involve informing the operator via loudspeaker of their infraction, which if ignored will prompt the use of the police drones. And the Japanese police take drone incidents seriously since the April incident, believing that terrorist attacks using explosive carrying drones are a real threat and defending national functions is their top priority.

It is certainly interesting to see authorities taking to the sky with their own drones to deter potential menaces, but is it the best way? Only time will tell for the citizens of Tokyo.

FLARES – A New Drone Launch and Retrieval System

Just like a full-sized aeroplane, landing a fixed wing drone is no easy feat, made even more difficult under poor ground conditions and lack of space. Most drone makers accept this issue by designing their drones to handle light crash landings. Sometimes this just isn’t reasonable, be it due to the risk of damage to the drone or space limitations such as on warships. Boeing subsidiary Insitu has an answer to this problem, the Flying Launch and Recovery System, or FLARES for short.

FLARES, at least in appearance is incredibly straightforward. The drone to be launched is attached to the underside of the craft by the ground crew. It then carries the attached drone up into the air. Once at a sufficient altitude, the attached drone revs its engines up to speed and then detaches from the FLARES craft. The quadcopter then returns to the ground crew, where it can be fitted with a skyhook. Once back in the air, the drone snags onto the skyhook hanging from the quadcopter, arresting its momentum similarly to landing on an aircraft carrier. The ground crew can then safely reel in the drone using the skyhook pulley on the ground.

So far, the main craft used to test FLARES has been a lightweight version of the ScanEagle UAV, proving the system currently able to catch a craft of around 40 pounds in weight. And the tests that have been run so far only used existing commercial stock, which means there could be plenty of advancements with more specialist hardware, allowing the system to be used with larger and heavier drones.  The system is still in its infancy too, with the tests demonstrating the system being the first time the system has been trialed, the success of which appear to be quite remarkable. When fully realized, FLARES could allow the development and deployment of more advanced fixed wing drones, with far less concern for handling almost inevitable crashing or the site from which it operates.

The Intercept Leaks Huge Cache of Documents on the USA Drone Strike Program

Leaks of classified information have been part of the fabric of social interactions and also modern-day communications that includes the Internet, from hacked celeb pics to the now infamous Edward Snowdon cache of documents that detailed the extensive surveillance states and operations around the world. This leak is no different, yet if genuine, (I have to put this caveat in just in case someone is lying here and it comes back to bite me firmly on the posterior), is a huge trove of secret documents which have been published by The Intercept, detailing the Obama administration’s secretive and controversial drone-based assassination program.

If you’re not familiar with this program then let me elaborate, The US military and figures including the Obama administration have implemented a program that sort to track and kill high-value enemy targets throughout Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia. Now onto the documents which have been classed as being leaked by an anonymous whistleblower, this information covers an extensive array of subjects which includes kill chains, operations and also the standard intelligence flaws.

Skimming through this information reveals some extremely sensitive documents, for example “One top-secret document shows how the terror watchlist appears in the terminals of personnel conducting drone operations, linking unique codes associated with cellphone SIM cards and handsets to specific individuals in order to geolocate them”.

Another document reveals a case of a British citizen, Bilal el-Berjawi, who was stripped of his citizenship before being killed in a U.S drone strike in 2012. “British and American intelligence had Berjawi under surveillance for several years as he travelled back and forth between the U.K. and East Africa yet did not capture him. Instead, the U.S. hunted him down” and eventually used a drone strike to kill him in Somalia.

The “Kill Chain” sounds like a title to a film, yet this purported leak is very compelling, interesting, informative and also fascinating. It details the steps required to authorize a drone strike on a target in Yemen and the people who it passes through. It also shows that according to a Pentagon study, president Obama signed off on a 60 day authorizations to kill suspected terrorists, but he did not sign off on individual strikes.

According to the documents, there are two steps. Step 1 is choosing the target and step 2 is taking a strike. Step 1 starts from a JSOC task force before going through officials including Leon Panetta who is the Secretary of Defence, a principals committee which includes Hillary Clinton all the way to President Obama. Step 2, in the case of strikes in Yemen, ranges from a JSOC task force all the way to the president of Yemen.

Well yes, this is indeed big, am I surprised? No, the US is addicted to the Find Fix Finish mantra which has made drone strikes popular for the administration. The cache is extensive and it is far too much information to detail here, otherwise this article would be 5000 words long, and few want that.

It will be fascinating to see further developments in the coming days, weeks and also months.

Thank you theintercept for providing us with this information.

North Dakota Police Will Utilize Weaponised Drones

Drones used to be a thing of the future, small robotic creatures that would fly around and swarm the skies. They would be included in Hollywood blockbusters such as Terminator and even the ones where they help us survive such as in Transformers. With devices that can seek and destroy from ground level to your forty story apartment, they were quickly developed and created for everyday tasks. Now with thanks to a lobbyist from Dakota the first drones with weaponry might soon see deployment.

With recent years, fears over drones carrying weapons are known to have caused a ruckus in many circles, with people like Steven Hawking requesting that drones avoid automation in order to reduce the threat from them. The Rick Becker’s bill would have seen that all drones in Dakota could not be equipped with weaponry, but an amendment by Bruce Burkett of the North Dakota Peace Officer’s Association, has banned the drones from carrying anything deemed a lethal weapon. This means that less lethal tactics such as pepper spray, tear gas, sound cannons and even Tasers could soon see deployment at the bottom of a drone.

The initial bill was created to force police to obtain a warrant before using a drone to collect evidence while also banning weaponising the free flying devices. With this sudden escalation, all eyes will be on the Dakota police and how they choose to deploy drones with anything other than a camera.

Thank you The Daily Beast for the information.

Image courtesy of Gary Friedman (Los Angeles Times).

Drones Could Be The Next Weapon Of Choice For ISIS

With each new tech invention arrives the phenomenon of how quickly it can be weaponised, from servers to self-driving cars; there is always a fixation with causing harm to others from certain sections of society. As Drones are becoming more popular with the mainstream, so have the coined IS or ISIS or whatever David Cameron insists on calling them, have reportedly noticed.

An unnamed counter-terrorism source told the Express that terror groups had beentrying to launch a drone-borne bomb attack for some time, as these machines are getting more hi-tech every year.” This has echoed a report which was published In March by the House of Lords EU Select Committee which highlighted some of the risks derived from the rapid increase in the use of commercial and civilian drones for services including photography and land surveillance.

So is the threat which is stated within the report genuinely authentic? Possibly, Drones are a convenient way to have your very own miniature air weapon. But one aspect which frustrates me is the use of the phrase “Unnamed counter-terrorism source” If the threat is substantial then we the public need to be correctly informed by a well-known and respectable official, an Unknown Source could lead to an individual with an agenda that has no reliable facts.

Thank you RT for providing us with this information

TOP GUN 2 Will Explore Drone Warfare

Top Gun 2 has been in development for coming up to 5 whole years now, when the first plans were released Tom Cruise was to play a small role in the film. But now the project has taken off Cruise is to have a starring role in the latest film.

The film should be released in 3D and IMAX, David Ellison stated:

“Absolutely, I think this is a movie that should be in 3-D and in IMAX, and again something that you can shoot practically. As everyone knows with Tom, he is 100% going to want to be in those airplanes shooting it practically.”

Ellison also said:

” It is very much a world we live in today where it’s drone technology and fifth generation fighters are really what the United States Navy is calling the last man-made fighter that we’re actually going to produce so it’s really exploring the end of an era of dogfighting and fighter pilots and what that culture is today are all fun things that we’re gonna get to dive into in this movie.”

From this it’s clear that they’re going to explore the world of drones in the new film. I’m not sure if it will be on par with Good Kill. I guess we’ll see.

Thank you to Collider for providing us with this information

GoPro’s Latest En-devour VR And Drones

Whenever drones are discussed GoPro is always mentioned, GoPro cameras have become the standard accompaniment to most of our flying marvels, capturing photos and video from different perspectives. With this accomplishment, GoPro now has its eyes set on the realm of virtual reality and drone development.

At Code Conference on Wednesday, Nick Woodman GoPro’s CEO confirmed rumors of the company’s journey into drone development, whilst keeping details to a minimum, he stated that the intended launch would be in the first half of 2016 with consumers being the target audience.

He also showcased the Six Camera Spherical Array, a multi-directional mount housing six Hero4 cameras. These cameras capture hi-res photos and video in all directions, the captured photos and video can then be sewn together with Kolor to create a 6K spherical image.

This video can then be viewed on virtual reality headsets like Oculus and Microsoft Hololens it can also be viewed on a PC or Smartphone using YouTube 360 or the Kolor app. No price was given for the Six Camera Spherical Array though its expected to be released in the second half of this year. The Six Camera Spherical Array’s more of a Professional to Prosumer toy, though if your interested in purchasing one I’d suggest keeping your eyes on GoPro’s website might pop up when you least expect it.

Here’s a video of it in action:

“Thank you recode for providing us with this information.”

First Accurate Model of ‘Christ the Redeemer’ Mapped by Drone

The Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil is one of the most famous in the world. Since 1931, the statue has stood tall over the Rio de Janeiro skyline, becoming one of the most recognisable landmarks ever. However, while many statues have many accurate replicas and models of themselves, no-one has never been able to sufficiently analyse Christ the Redeemer to make such a model. Its precarious position on top of Corcovado Mountain has made it very difficult to get up close and personal with it.

But now, thanks to drones, we do have the first model. Across 19 10-minute flights, drones made by Canadian company Aeryon accurately mapped every inch of the famous statue. 2,090 individual images were stitched together producing a wireframe mesh of 2.5 million triangles.

The video below shows you the process leading to the finished product. It’s an incredible feat made possible only by drones.

Source: The Verge

GoPro Plans to Make Drones

GoPro is reportedly planning to introduce a line of consumer drones.

The Wall Street Journal says that the company, famous for its line of rugged High Definition cameras, will introduce its own drones next year. They say the drones will cost between $500 and $1000.

They say the move to sell drones is in response to a wave of competition to GoPro’s products from a number of companies including Sony and HTC. As a notable example, HTC recently introduced its RE Camera, a rugged, viewfinder-less camera that’s designed to be used for the same purposes as the GoPro. Although, that product may not fare too well considering its inhaler-like appearance.

The Journal also points out that it’s not just about cameras themselves – a number of drone manufacturers who previously provided special attachments for the use of a GoPro, are now including their own high definition cameras. This is most evident with the DJI Phantom, a drone which was often paired with a GoPro by its users, but its successor, the DJI Phantom 2 Vision, includes its own camera.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

BAE: Drones Able to Self-Heal Using 3D Printer Technology to Fly By 2040

BAE Systems thinks 3D printing technology will become extremely powerful, and could be able to print small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) technology by 2040.

The idea of a 3D-printed UAV able to conduct surveillance or rescue missions is a rather futuristic idea that BAE systems is currently considering.  The use of 3D printers, a robotic assembly and an additive layer could be combined to also allow UAVs to self-destruct or better position themselves to be recovered.

Here is what Nick Colosimo, BAE engineering manager for the R&D team noted this:

“Of course we don’t know exactly what sorts of aircraft technologies will be used in 2040 with any certainty, but it’s great to be able to show the public some concepts that might be possible through projecting where today’s technology could get to.  BAE Systems has a rich heritage in research and development, and our team builds on literally decades of previous R&D work by thousands of scientists and engineers.”

Military contractors are pushing UAV technology further, typically for military operations, though could also become more prevalent in commercial airspace.

Meanwhile, 3D printing is still too expensive for most consumers, but is receiving tremendous support from government agencies and military researchers.

Thank you to The Guardian for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Think Defence

UK Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Reaper Fleet in Afghanistan Increases


The UK Ministry of Defence recently confirmed the addition of five new MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), used for reconnaissance and combat operations.

The 10 Reaper UAVs are flying from the Kandahar airfield with a focus on supporting the International Security Assistance Force.  Despite combat operations ending at the end of the year, the Reapers will continue to utilize intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) in support of the Afghan government.

Here is what the MoD said in a statement:

“These aircraft provide real-time, life-saving video to ground commanders, which will continue to be vital to allied efforts to secure internal security in Afghanistan as we draw down allied forces from the country this year.”

In a statement, Philip Dunne, UK minister for defence equipment, support and technology noted:

“These new aircraft give the RAF enhanced force protection capability in support of UK, ISAF and Afghan troops.  As we focus on the drawdown of UK forces from Afghanistan, the ability to provide force protection will become increasingly important, and [the] Reaper allows us to provide this assurance remotely and without significant ground presence.”

The British Army has 450 Hermes UAVs already serving in Afghanistan, which has seen an increase in unmanned aircraft patrolling the skies.

The United States government garners criticism for its use of UAV drone strikes in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but the RAF has utilized its smaller fleet more for reconnaissance and support.

Thank you to Flight Global for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Defence Industry Daily

U.S. Navy Testing Pilotless Helicopters

The Naval Research Labratory has been testing pilotless helicopters for some time now. In fact, they’ve been using them in Afghanistan already but due to their inefficiencies in operating the technology it isn’t being used to its full potential.

Marines primarily use the unmanned helicopters for the delivery of items like water, food, and gear from place to place, where ever it might be needed.

The improvement in technology brings a greater level of  autonomy to these units. According to officials associated with the project, the technology has been tested on three different helicopters already as well as two versions being produced by both Lockheed Martin and Aurora Flight Sciences.

Check out the rest of the Article over at MSN.

Thank you to MSN for providing us with this information.

Love Drone Is Lifting Spirits In San Francisco

Drones are not usually associated with Christmas and Love, however artists George Zisiadis and Mustafa Khan are doing just that. They are using the drones every couple of minutes in San Francisco’s Union square to fly tinsel and mistletoe over unsuspecting couples urging them to embrace to Christmas spirt and share a kiss.

Zisiadis is hoping to bring out the inner child in us all. He is an interactive artist who has already taken San Francisco by storm with his visual art involving balloons, bubbles and beating hearts. Zisiadis has gone onto say;

“I devote my work to drawing out the curiosity and endless fun that lie within us. These qualities often get lost somewhere on the road to adulthood. By manipulating environments, I help people reimagine their relationships with reality. My goal is to engineer situations that induce you into playfulness, to use surprise and delight as a way of inspiring you to not take the status quo for granted. It is in those precious moments of childlike wonder that your imagination is free to soar. And this is the key. Because in order to create a better world, we must first be able to imagine it. Play seems to be the this thing that only children are allowed to do in designated, fenced-in areas. I think play is a creative necessity for all adults, or par with exercise. Sure, you can go a month without visiting the gym. But think about how gross you’d feel by then. As daily life gets busier and more stressful, we need to reengage with our inner children now more than ever.”

It seems that whatever these artist do they are capturing the attention of the public and bringing joy to those all round us, by creating real life art for all to enjoy.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9X2twEfqJA[/youtube]

Thank you News.com.au for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of fastcoexist.