Back in 2018, the talented drone pilots of Team BlackSheep headed to Germany’s Bikepark Idarkopf for the Audi Nines mountain bike competition. While there, they followed along with riders and captured some truly outstanding footage of their spins and flips. Their ski and snowboard footage is equally amazing.
THE BEST Drones
Builder Tom Stanton attached a long vertical LED light bar to his drone, and managed to fly it horizontally to capture some cool long-exposure images. His design is based on Ivan Miranda’s light bar, but you might be able to pull off something similar with a Pixelstick.
Amazon announced a bunch of new gadgets for 2020, including this home security camera that can fly around your house. The drone cam sits on its base until needed, and can be remotely piloted to investigate concerns and possibly scare off intruders. It’s not available yet, but you can register your interest on the Ring website.
This compact drone folds up small enough that you can carry it in your backpack. It can fly up to 1000 feet away for up to 16 minutes and can capture 2.7K images and video and beam them back to your phone via WiFi. It also has GPS-based positioning with follow-me and return-to-home functionality.
Ever wondered how drone maker DJI builds its little flying machines? The company released footage from inside of its assembly facility. The clip shows off some of the final stages of building Mavic 2 Zoom drones, including a bit where a computer flies each one for quality testing. You can find the original video on Weibo.
As pilot Benoit Finck’s drone emerges from the clouds over Normandy, France, it descends into the ancient castle atop the island of Mont Saint-Michel, then flies through the structure and its surroundings, giving us a fantastic first-person view courtesy of his GoPro HERO8 camera.
If a fidget spinner and a mini drone had a baby, it might look something like the FlyNova. When you spin it up, the motorized plaything lights up. Toss it up and out, and it hovers smoothly before returning like a boomerang. Toss it downward to play catch with a friend.
Making drones out of lightweight materials is a must if you want them to fly. But Motores Patelo went the opposite direction, and created a flightless drone out of metal. Sadly, he couldn’t record the whole build due to the lockdown, but the finished piece is still amazing… and could easily take off a finger.
Flying multiple drones near each other can lead to accidental collisions. Now, engineers at Caltech have developed an data-driven method that can safely control the movement of multiple drones in crowded spaces, without pre-mapping the space or knowing what patterns the other drones will fly in.
Drone maker Skydio is showing off a slick piece of technology that could improve the safety of bridges and other structures. It allows a drone operator to select a location to be inspected, then charts a flight path and captures a 3D scan of the environment in real-time. Coming to the Skydio S2 and X2 drones later in 2020.
This compact quadcopter is perfect for novice flyers. It has a 1080p/30 camera on board, and offers eight different auto-pilot modes for capturing cinematic shots, software-based stabilization, and includes a one-handed controller that offers an intuitive piloting experience. Save 20% in with code SUMMERSAVE20 (exp. 5.26.20).
If you’re going to take a tour of Ohio’s National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, it might as well be from the air, right? Well thanks to NURK FPV, we can take a first-person drone flight through the museum’s awesome collection of aviation marvels without having to leave our homes.
Nature photographers John Downer Productions flew a realistic, robotic hummingbird deep into a forest packed with hundreds of millions of monarch butterflies. The drone captured amazing footage of the swarm as they awoke from their long winter’s nap in Mexico. From the BBC Series Spy in the Wild.
The Mavic Air 2 is just a little bigger and heavier than its predecessor, but it now supports 4K 60 video, 48 megapixel stills, and 8K hyperlapses. It flies for up to 34 minutes, and its remote runs for 240 minutes. It’s also got the latest obstacle avoidance and tracking tech, and can transmit 1080p video up to 10 km (~6.2 mi).
With the help of Tac Gas, drone pilot NURK FPV had the rare opportunity to visit an abandoned gas and oil platform. There, he zigged and zagged his aerial camera through the rusted out facility, capturing some fascinating and truly unique visuals. The over-water footage had us hanging on for dear life.
Filmmakers Hugo Manhes and Madcow collaborated on the short film Trajectoires, which uses a simple concept to produce a dramatic effect. By dangling bright flares from a couple of drones, they created a unique source of illumination for their natural surroundings. Set to an ethereal soundtrack by Linky Larson.
First-person drone pilot NURK FPV takes us on a fun ride-along with his pals as they take to the California desert in AXA’s powerful sand rail ATVs and kick up sand from the dunes. Play it in full-screen for maximum immersion, and catch more footage from the outing on Rotor Riot.
Over the years, we’ve seen a couple of drones that could carry a person, but none of them were designed for speed. FliteTest visited with the guys at the Drone Champions League (DCL), who built a single-person flyer with a Formula One cockpit for maximum speed. For now, they’re only flying it with a dummy, but it is awesome.
Drones can capture amazing imagery, but they can wreak havoc in the wrong hands. To eliminate threats from UAVs, Israeli defense tech company Rafael has created Drone Dome, a system that can jam drone communication or pluck them out of the sky using a laser. It can spot objects as small as 0.02 sq. ft. from 2.1 miles away.
Making homebrew drones can be quite tricky due to the precise balance and weight requirements of smooth flight. But thanks to the consistency of LEGO parts, Brick Experiment Channel was able to put together a reasonably stable – if somewhat fragile – LEGO flying machine using off-the-shelf motors and rotors.
FPV drone pilot Nicolas Gaillard was invited to Oahu by Beautiful Destinations to capture aerial footage of some of Hawaii’s most spectacular sights. We think he did a masterful job zooming around the skies and shooting amazing imagery of the island’s natural splendor.
We’ve previously seen some of aerial photographer Viggo Koch’s work in his amazing rollercoaster fly-alongs. Now, Viggo has released a reel of some of his other breathtaking first-person drone shots from 2019, from snowy mountaintop landscapes to dusty rally races.
One of the big problems with Roombas and other robot vacuum cleaners is that they can’t go up or down stairs. Leave it to builder Peter Sripol and his pals to come up with a solution. They attached three ducted fans to a cheap Roomba knock-off, so it can fly like a drone between floors.
Colin Levy’s short sci-fi film follows two teens who prank people by swapping the contents of their drone deliveries. But when a hack goes wrong, they discover a dark secret about the unmanned aerial vehicles flying overhead. The production was funded via Kickstarter and through the efforts of volunteer CG artists.
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