Isn’t It Time To Bring Home A Drone?

quadsIf your mental image of this holiday season includes drones buzzing around in the air, you have to check out the drone section of our Ultimate Gift Guide. We’ve got something for all levels of experience.

gg-prettyIf you’re just a beginner, the Parrot Spider Drone is a great place to start, with its ability to bounce off of obstacles without damage. The more experienced pilot may be ready to take on the Discovery Pro by Team Blacksheep, a long distance quadcopter for aerial video.

It isn’t all multi-rotor kits in the guide. Enthusiasts who already have their own flying platforms can find upgrades, like this 3 axis gimbal controller, or even scurrying ground drones like the Dash Beta Robot.

With 20 suggestions in this years drone section, you’ll surely find a way to get those props buzzing in your life!

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Announcing The Ultimate Makers’ Gift Guide 2014

giftguide_promo_9602The gift-giving season officially kicks off this week — and we’re here to help with our Ultimate Makers’ Gift Guide for 2014.

Our five experts pored over hundreds of items to hand select the bright and shining stars in five of our favorite categories. They’ve double- and triple-checked their list, and provided it for us to share with the world. Inside you’ll find a wide variety of great gifts for all skill levels.

dronesDrones

Whether a beginner or advanced pilot, there’s something here to make your imagination take flight. Browse both ready-to-fly items and must-have upgrades.

robotsRobots

Walking on legs, scooting on wheels, or humming along on bristles, we all agree that robots are awesome! Find what robotics you need to add to your home this year.

toysToys

No matter how young or how old, everyone loves toys. We’ve found toys you make, toys to help you make other things, and toys that are simply inspiring.

3d printers3D printers

With the rapid growth of the 3D-printer market, we’ll help you figure out what printer will be gracing your home this season.

tools and techTools & Tech

Every maker needs tools. Whether they come in the form of a computer, a development board, or a soldering iron, we’ve got you covered.

We’ve put a lot of thought and hard work into this guide. Hopefully it will help make this holiday season rock for you and all those who receive your gifts!


Ambulance Drones Could Change The Future For Cardiac Arrest Patients

Within the next five years, the chance of survival from cardiac arrest could rise from an 8 percent survival rate to 80 percent due to drones. Graduate student Alec Momont of Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands designed an unmanned, autonomously navigating hexacopter that can deliver a defibrillator to a scene in less than half the time it takes an ambulance to arrive.

The drone would track the patients location from their mobile phone signal and use GPS to get to the location. Because most deaths from cardiac arrest occur within the first four to six minutes due to brain death, the time it takes to arrive on scene is crucial. These ambulance drones can get to a patient within an almost five-square-mile zone within one minute. Essentially a “medical toolbox”, the drone is equipped with medical equipment that anyone can use. Via a live stream webcam and audio connection, the drone connects to an emergency operator who can see what is going on at the scene and provide the person there with instructions on how to apply the defibrillator.

For more information on the future of this project, click here.


Star Wars Pod Racing, Using Drones

If you thought just flying a drone was challenging, try racing them through a wooded area

If you thought just flying a drone was challenging, try racing them through a wooded area

Flying drones such as hexacopters or even quadcopters can be a challenge but imagine the skill needed to fly those drones through obstacles and it becomes a completely new ballgame. Crashing those drones can be devastating considering most of them run a few hundred bucks or more and are designed as put-together kits almost like professional RC vehicles.

Knowing the risks associated with flying through obstacles, some professional drone enthusiasts from the Airgonay club in the French Alps designed a three-lap track to race drones through. It’s almost reminiscent of the pod racing scene in Star Wars Episode I or better yet the scene in Episode VI with the speeders racing on the moon of Endor.

In a recently released video, the enthusiasts must complete three laps on their challenging course while dodging trees and other drones without crashing. Most of the racers use VR/AR headsets in conjunction with a camera mounted to their drones to get a first person view while flying. The course is clearly marked in terms of direction so everyone knows which direction to fly through so the chance to flying against traffic is minimal.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwL0t5kPf6E

Most accidents were minor during the race with damage limited to a few broken rotor blades but nothing catastrophic. The club hopes to outfit their drones with sensors in order to simulate laser blasts against other competitors sometime in the near future, giving the races a more sci-fi aspect. See more on Airgonay’s Facebook page.