Drone News Roundup: DJI Teases Augmented Reality, Amazon Unveils New Design for Its Delivery Drone, and More!
BY Zacc Dukowitz24 November 2022
This week we’re covering a short video from DJI teasing augmented reality, making it look like AR might be coming out some time in the next year.
We’re also covering Amazon’s new design for its delivery drone, the announcement of the first drone taxi route ever in the U.S., a new company that offers aerial cremains scattering by drone, and a novel DIY drone design that spins like a helicopter blade.
Now let’s get to those links!
DJI Teases Augmented Reality in Short Video
But what if… pic.twitter.com/Bos9xuaBUl
— DJI (@DJIGlobal) November 8, 2022
In this short video, DJI seems to be teasing a new augmented reality feature. In the video we hear the old DJI remote control start up with its signature sound, and then the AR imagery begins. The drone that appears seems to be a DJI Mini 2, along with several other AR images. If DJI does roll out AR, it would most likely do so by adding it to its FPV goggles. DJI hasn’t made any formal announcements about when it might roll out AR, but this video makes it seem likely that it won’t be too long.
Amazon Unveils New Design for Its Delivery Drone
Amazon recently unveiled a new design for its delivery drone, which will come into service in 2024. Called the MK30, the new drone is lighter and smaller than its predecessor, the MK27-2. The MK30 has a longer range, can withstand greater extremes of temperature, and can fly in light rain, all of which will help improve Amazon’s ability to make deliveries. It’s also quieter, making 25% less noise than the MK27-2. After years of challenges with its drone delivery program Amazon has been making progress lately, starting with the announcement of two new delivery programs, one in Lockeford, CA and the other in College Station, TX.
Archer and United Announce First Ever Drone Taxi Service in the U.S.
United Airlines is making serious moves on the taxi drone front. After announcing an investment in taxi drone company Archer worth a reported $1 billion—only $10 million of which has actually paid out—United has now shared plans for the first commercial drone taxi route ever in the U.S. The planned route is from Newark Liberty International Airport to Downtown Manhattan Heliport and will be made with Archer’s all-electric Midnight aircraft. The flight should only take 10 minutes. According to a statement from the two companies, operations will start some time in 2025.
U.K. Company Offers Aerial Ash Scattering Service
As highlighted in the video above, a company called Co-op Funeralcare recently became the first in the U.K. to start offering the scattering of cremains (the cremated ashes of a loved one) by drone. The aerial ash scattering service costs about 975 pounds, or $1,157 dollars, and it’s done fully within any relevant regulatory requirements. Co-op Funeralcare has over 800 funeral homes across the U.K., making it likely the service could catch on throughout the country.
Bodiless DIY Drone Spins Like a Helicopter Blade, Using 300% Less Power
Nicholas Rehm is the king of making cool things that fly, all on his own. This video features a DIY drone he made that has a crazy design. As Rehm puts it, the drone was designed to “spin itself” like a helicopter blade at over 250 RPM while maintaining stable flight, even though it has two dead motors. The design isn’t just cool—it also uses 300% less power. The video above showcases not only the drone in flight, but also how Rehm made the design work on this UFO-looking Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) drone.
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