Quadcopters and multi-rotor copters were very much in evidence at the Gadget Show, from the Parrot AR.Drone to tiny nano quadcopters. DJI had one of the most impressive ranges at the show, along with a flight demonstration area on the stand.
The newly launched Phantom 2 Vision+ is a quadcopter with a digital video camera payload and the capabilities are impressive. It can stream video from the camera to your smartphone while in flight using wi-fi, record 1080p HD video to a microSD card, hold position above the ground in winds up to 25 mph and fly for around 25 minutes. The batteries can easily be swapped, so a spare battery will get the quadcopter flying again immediately. The remote control unit lets you clip your smartphone to the handset so you easily see what the camera is recording while flying the aircraft. What you get for your money is incredible – an entry level model is GB£349 and the Vision+ is £915.
Four rotors not enough? DJI has six and eight rotor variants for professional users.
Andy takes me through the features of the new Phantom 2 Vision+ at the Gadget Show. I want one!
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The Ulster Aviation Society is having an Open Day this coming weekend (25th August) to celebrate 70 years since the USAAF 8th Air Force arrived in Northern Ireland to fight in World War II. The UAS has an impressive collection of 15 aircraft, including a U.S.-built veteran of WWII in the shape of a Grumman Wildcat fighter, which is under restoration. Subject to weather, visitors will see a helicopter fly-in, as well as a wide assortment of military vehicles and displays dating back to World War II.
Given the global nature of Geek News Central, I don’t normally post this kind of local event but what made this a little special was the photo a friend sent along showing the Society’s aircraft hangar.
It’s like my garage, only with bigger toys.
For bonus geek points, name the aircraft in the picture in the comments – there are ten in total. I’ll start off with the plane in the foreground: it’s an English Electric Canberra bomber. You can click through to a hi-res version of the photo for more detail.
Picture courtesy of John Martin.
Wired is reporting that a virus has infected the flight systems controlling the Predator and Reaper drone aircraft in the Middle East. The systems have been infected for about two weeks and it appears to be a keylogger-type of virus. Further, the virus has resisted attempts to disinfect the system but the military think it’s benign.
You can read the full article yourself, but as an IT professional I read it with utter horror and dismay. Here we have a (potentially) armed aircraft apparently still operating with an unknown virus in its systems. Does this ring alarm bells for anyone else?
I work in a public sector organisation and our approach to a PC with a virus infection is to pull the plug on the infected equipment and disconnect it from the network until we are able to clean the PC, regardless of whether we think its benign or otherwise. We’re concerned that data might be wiped out. You’d think that the military might have concerns about people being wiped out by a malfunctioning drone but apparently not.
And then there’s the question of how the system came to be infected. Again there seems to be a remarkable lack of knowledge. No doubt we’ll find that the USB ports were unlocked, there was no antivirus software and anybody could plug in a memory stick at will.
Looks like there’s a market opportunity for an AV company…