Army Developing Micro Rotor Drone

This Is The Army’s New Pocket Drone

This Is The Army's New Pocket Drone

The Cargo Pocket Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance program, known also as CP-ISR, is a new nano-drone concept dreamed up by the folks at the Army’s Natick Soldier Research Center. Where as most unmanned aircraft look to provide info as to what is going on over the next hill, or far over horizon, CP-ISR is all about looking around the next doorway or hedge.

You can read all about what the future of micro combat drones will look like by clicking here.

This Is The Army's New Pocket Drone

The whole idea is to bring the unmanned surveillance concept down to the individual squad, and eventually the individual soldier level, and to do so in an affordable and expendible package. The Black Hornet is still in development, and a hardened, more powerful military grade data-link is on the way, along with low light video capabilities and improved controlability for operating in indoor, and other dense environments.

Eventually, these little humming bird sized craft will be able to follow special forces teams into high-threat indoor environments, or scout behind barriers and into dark windows for sniper teams. Who knows, eventually they may even become deadly weapons themselves.

Other similar systems are being developed by different military R&D houses and defense contractors, but the Black Hornet seems to be one of the most developed and well regarded at this time. Regardless of if it makes it into widespread production and deployment, it is safe to say that the age of micro drone technology has arrived, and life will never be the same again because of it.

Image source: US Army

Tyler Rogoway is a defense journalist and photographer who maintains the website Foxtrot Alpha for Jalopnik.com You can reach Tyler with story ideas or direct comments regarding this or any other defense topic via the email address Tyler@Jalopnik.com

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Nixie: A Wearable Camera Drone in Development

Nixie The Wearable Camera That Flys On Demand

nixie-wearable-drone

This just may take the cake in the selfie department. Nixie is a tiny drone that you wear on your wrist. When released, the drone flies around you shooting video, eventually returning back. Winner of Intel’s Make It Wearable contest, the Nixie wearable flying camera may just be a prototype at the moment, but with a powerful team and money behind them, you can expect to see it come to market soon.

Nixie is the first wearable and flyable camera that you carry on your wrist like a watch. A swiveling camera sits at the middle of four flexible bands, each with an extendable propeller. To launch the wearable drone, simply unfold the bands from beneath your wrist and Nixie is ready for takeoff.

Once aloft, the drone is designed to detect your presence and fly around you, pointing the camera at you in order to film your adventures. Nixie was built on Intel’s Edison wearables development system that gives it enough computing power to do things such as track you and avoid obstacles.

Check out the cool footage below that was captured on the Nixie prototype. Now let’s see how quickly these get banned in National Parks….

http://flynixie.com/

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Remote-control cannon installed atop wall near Bethlehem

Wall north of Bethlehem, from this site

detail of photograph of wall north of Bethlehem

Update: Since we posted the story below, it appears that our suggestion that the gun fires live ammunition was in error. Ryan Rodrick Beiler has posted pictures on twitter pointing to the idea that the gun is a water cannon, designed to spray skunk water for riot control. Beiler tweets a picture showing the device was there during last week’s Palestine marathon.

Tom Suarez also says that it is a water cannon. “I live right there,  and our understanding has been that it is a water cannon (this coming from a Palestinian here who does some journalism). I see it swivel around, but have never seen it ‘work’”.

Beiler also tweets his photo of a gun atop the Erez crossing at Gaza that he says is the real thing: a remote-controlled machine gun that fires ammunition at people.

Original post: 

The above device, fixed lately to the top of the separation wall north of Bethlehem, is a remote-controlled machine gun, according to Palestinian sources. Ma’an News published a report on the device three days ago, saying it’s “unprecedented” and is causing anxiety among Bethlehemites. A Facebook page called “Bethlahem Today” has the same report.

Here’s a crude automatic translation of the Arabic report:

Israeli occupying forces erected Sunday, machine guns equipped with cameras on top of the security wall surrounding the Bilal bin Rabah mosque, North of Bethlehem.

Israeli forces provided each machine gun cameras from large high-capacity and possibility of photography relatively long distances and to Bethlehem in the direction of the education of the old junction.

This allows the cameras to Israeli soldiers monitor the city of Bethlehem and targeting citizens far below that reveal themselves and sees them one using special monitors in the occupied area of the mosque and surrounded by walls from all directions.

Jareer Kassis, an Arabic speaker in the States, says:

The reports are consistent with this article in Wired, 2007, on Israel developing remote controlled machine guns.

For years and years, the Israeli military has been trying to figure out a way to keep Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip from crossing over into Israel proper. The latest tactic: create a set of “automated kill zones” by networking together remote-controlled machine guns, ground sensors, and drones along the 60-kilometer border.

Thanks to Alex Kane and Icarus Verum.

Mondoweiss

A Sniping Sprinkler That Only Targets Your Plants When They Need Water

I posted the following article as it related to drones, remote control, building security and keeping your trees growning…

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A Sniping Sprinkler That Only Targets Your Plants When They Need Water

A built-in sprinkler system is a better way to water a garden than just standing there randomly blasting plants with a hose. And taking that idea one step further, the Dropletturns your sprinklers into intelligent snipers that only water the plants you tell them to using a focused stream—except when rainy weather already has.

When connected to your home’s Wi-Fi network the compact Droplet water cannons can not only be programmed to fire exactly where you target them, you can also program an exhaustively detailed schedule of when they should and shouldn’t blast away.

But the software controlling the sprinklers also has access to detailed weather reports so it knows not to water if there’s strong odds it’s going to rain soon. You can even specify the type of plants and soil it’s watering, and it will adjust its own schedule to account for special needs.

A Sniping Sprinkler That Only Targets Your Plants When They Need Water

Besides being a much better way to water a garden for the lazy and technologically inclined, the Droplet is also promised to dramatically reduce your water consumption—up to 90 percent—saving you hundreds of dollars on your water bill every year. Which is great because each Droplet sprinkler head will cost you $300 once it’s finally available.

So we might actually hold out for generation two that hopefully introduces some motion tracking capabilities to constantly harass the local squirrel population—even if it triples our water bill. [Droplet via Gizmag]

Throwable Camera Prototype Guarantees Pitch Perfect Photography

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Throwable Camera Prototype Guarantees Pitch Perfect Photography

It turns out that making a throwable camera isn’t that tricky. But making a throwable camera that doesn’t capture random obscure images, or spinning video that induces motion sickness, is kind of hard. In fact it’s taken Steve Hollinger years to develop such a camera, but with the Squito—his latest prototype—it looks like he’s almost nailed it.

As demonstrated, the ball features a series of built-in cameras looking out in all directions that are able to take photos of people as it sails through the air using intelligent image recognition. It’s also able to capture sweeping panoramas, full 360 degree images by automatically stitching together multiple exposures, and even full stabilized video.

But besides serving as a novel way to take a selfie, Holinger’s designed the Squito with several practical applications in mind. Thermal imaging and night vision capabilities coupled with the ability to wirelessly broadcast images makes it a useful tool for rescue personnel trying to assess a dangerous situation. Multiple Squitos can even be thrown at the same time to capture a wider field of view.

And most importantly, one day it’s going to totally revolutionize the baseball instant replay. The only thing standing between the Squito dream and reality is enough funding to perfect and commercialize this prototype. [Serveball via Engadget]

NHK balloon camera aims to make bird’s-eye shots easy

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By 

February 23, 2012

NHK's gyro-stabilized balloon camera rig

NHK’s gyro-stabilized balloon camera rig

Image Gallery (11 images)

For those who dream of one day shooting aerial footage without the bulky cranes and cables to hold everything aloft, Japan’s NHK may have just the thing: a tethered, balloon-mounted, four-axis gyro-stabilized camera rig that weighs in at about 2 kg (4.4 lb), can soar up to 300 m (984 ft) and takes its commands from the re-purposed remote control for a toy helicopter.

Once airborne, the camera can “pan, tilt, and zoom as usual,” NHK’s Tsuyoshi Sekiguchi explained to DigInfo. “In addition, the gimbal works to keep the direction fixed, so even if the camera shakes, it stays facing the same direction, and the image is stable. To put it simply, four gimbal axes are controlled, and they have gyros, and the direction is kept constant using the gyro values.”

Although versatile and easy to set up, the balloon platform does have certain limitations. Like most lighter-than-air craft, its large surface area makes it susceptible to strong breezes, so the NHK rig is limited to operating at wind speeds of 7 m/sec (about 15 mph) or less. The balloon’s top payload is about 4 kg (just under 9 lbs) so only smaller cameras can go aloft for the time being. The engineers did add a safety mechanism that brings the rig safely down should its tether get cut, so at least worries about losing everything are minimized.

NHK's gyro-stabilized balloon camera rig

NHK’s gyro-stabilized balloon camera rig

As the video below shows, the rig is fairly adept at damping unwanted motion, especially at more modest elevations. “The height actually used for a bird’s-eye view is about 30-50m (98-164 ft) because that’s the most practical altitude, so we’ve designed this system to work stably at that height,” Sekiguchi added.

Currently there’s no word on price point or availability, but NHK claims ease of use and cost reduction were two big motivations for the design, so if all goes well, we may be seeing a lot more of this technology at games and big events in the not-too-distant future.

Source: DigInfo

About the Author
Randolph JonssonA native San Franciscan, Randolph attended the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland before finding his way to the film business. Eventually, he landed a job at George Lucas’ Industrial Light + Magic, where he worked on many top-grossing films in both the camera and computer graphics departments. A proud member of MENSA, he’s passionate about technology, optimal health, photography, marine biology, writing, world travel and the occasional, well-crafted gin and tonic!   All articles by Randolph Jonsson