Drone News Roundup: Robert Irwin Drone Photo Wins Big Award, DJI FPV Unboxing Video, and More!
BY Zacc Dukowitz19 February 2021
This week we’re covering a drone photo captured by Robert Irwin of a bushfire in Australia that was taken at just the right moment, which recently won a big award in the U.K.
We’re also covering a recent unboxing video revealing everything about DJI’s new FPV drone ahead of its release, Nat Geo’s work with aerial service provider Visualskies to find lost cities using LiDAR and drones, a recent firefighting drone win in Florida, and a new Guinness World Record for a drone light show.
Now let’s get to those links!
Robert Irwin Drone Photo of Raging Fire in Australia Wins Major U.K. Award
“Bushfire” by Robert Irwin
Robert Irwin, son of the famous naturalist and T.V. personality Steve Irwin, recently won a big award from the London Natural History Museum for the photo shown above. The title of the award is the Wildlife Photographer of the Year People’s Choice Award, and, as the name indicates, it was awarded based on votes—to win, Irwin received 55,486 votes from around the world.
The photo was taken in Australia near the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve located in Cape York, Queensland, during one of the wildfires that ravaged the country last year. Before winning first place, Irwin’s photo was selected by the museum from over 49,000 entries for a group of the top 25 pictures that would be made open to audience voting.
Note: This picture was taken legally according to Australian law.
New Unboxing Video Shows DJI FPV Drone Ahead of Its Official Launch
Last week we shared everything that had been leaked so far about DJI’s forthcoming FPV drone. Just a few days after we published that post the video shown above was released on YouTube showing a complete unboxing of the drone, walking through everything you’re going to find in the FPV combo box. You may recall that a similar leak happened prior to the launch of DJI’s Mini 2. Going forward, it could be that it’s just not possible for DJI to launch a product without substantial leaks revealing everything about it in advance.
Finding Lost Cities by Drone
U.K.-based aerial services company Visualskies partnered with Nat Geo last year to look for lost cities in Micronesia, Colombia, and elsewhere throughout the world. Using a drone equipped with a LiDAR scanner to help penetrate the tree canopy in these areas, they were able to reveal the locations of possible undiscovered ruin sites. The video above features the team’s mission in Colombia, where they investigated the Ciudad Perdida (“Lost City”), which some have speculated could be the fabled El Dorado (“Lost City of Gold”).
Thermal Drone Helps Florida Firefighters Identity Location of Blaze
Firefighters in Lauderhill, FL recently used a drone equipped with an infrared sensor to identify the source of a house fire. The fire’s cause wasn’t immediately apparent because it had started in the attic, leading emergency personnel to call it a “hidden fire.” Using the drone’s thermal data, firefighters were quickly able to locate the source of the fire and fight it effectively, potentially saving the structure from further damage. No injuries were reported and everyone was able to evacuate the home safely.
Vincent Van Gogh Drone Light Show Breaks Guinness World Record
A light show featuring 600 drones telling the story of Vincent Van Gogh’s life recently broke the Guinness World Record for “longest animation performed by unmanned aerial vehicles.” The show was put on by EFYI Group and Tianjin University and took place in Tianjin, China, clocking in at a lengthy 26 minutes and 19 seconds. To qualify as an “animated performance” the Guinness rules state that the drones had to generate 12 images per second.
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