Drones

Drones, also called unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), have no human pilot onboard, and instead are either controlled by a person on the ground or autonomously via a computer program. These stealth craft are becoming increasingly popular, not just for war and military purposes, but also for everything from wildlife and atmospheric research to disaster relief and sports photography. Drones are becoming the eyes and ears of scientists by surveying the ground for archaeological sites, signs of illegal hunting and crop damage, and even zipping inside hurricanes to study the wild storms. You can even rent a personal drone to soar above the horizon and snap a photo or video. Our news and features will cover developments in drone technologies, innovative uses for drones and how drone use will impact society.
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FBI's High-Tech Surveillance Planes: 4 Things You Should Know
A stock photo of an airplane conducting surveillance.
June 4th, 2015
Here's what we know so far about the FBI's surveillance-ready aviation program.
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Battle Lines Drawn Around the Legality of 'Killer Robots'
U.S. Navy drone aboard aircraft carrier.
April 24th, 2015
While the LAWS debate in Geneva was deeper and richer than previous discussions, key definitions – which are needed to word a protocol to restrict them – remain unclear and up for continued debate.
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Birds' Foldable Wings Could Inspire Nimble Drones
Bird-Inspired Robotic Wings
March 26th, 2015
A drone that mimics the way birds fold and flap their wings could improve the design of future unmanned autonomous vehicles, and could even help the machines withstand midair collisions.
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Greased Lightning! NASA Drone Advances Unmanned Craft
NASA Greased Lightning Drone
May 20th, 2015
A huge, 10-engine drone dubbed "Greased Lightning" successfully completed a series of flight tests recently, paving the way for new types of unmanned vehicles that could one day carry people.
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Scientists Turn to Drones For Closer Look at Sea Ice
arctic sea ice, ice melt, climate change, global warming, drones
April 23rd, 2015
A Columbia University oceanographer calls on drones to help study ice melt.
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In Images: Wearable Drone Concepts
parasol wearable drone
March 18th, 2015
Future wearables may be tiny drones that protect users from pollution, play games, act as scouts and fly long distances on drone superhighways.
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Pocket-Size Drone Can Fold Up Like Origami
Foldable drone
May 18th, 2015
A compact, foldable drone inspired by origami can unfold itself automatically and take flight within a fraction of a second.
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Angry Chimp Attack! 5 Bizarre Drone Crashes
chimpanzee attacks drone
April 16th, 2015
Drones are becoming increasingly popular in everyday life, but the technology still has some kinks to work out. In the latest example, a drone crashed and burned while carrying a shipment of asparagus to a restaurant in the Netherlands, according to news
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Amazon's FAA Approval May Not Give Commercial Drones a Lift
Amazon's "Prime Air" Delivery Drones
March 20th, 2015
Amazon got approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to test its much-hyped Prime Air delivery drones in the United States. But this might not be the news Amazon had hoped for.
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