Introducing The Flying Drone Blanket 0

Although it’s getting increasingly common to see swarms of illuminated drones being used for aerial light shows, simultaneously charging and launching all of those aircraft can still be tricky. That’s where the Flying Drone Blanket is intended to come in

The “blanket” is being developed by Italian design firm Carlo Ratti Associati (CRA) in collaboration with drone tech firm Flyfire, the latter of which began life as a project spearheaded by the CRA-affiliated MIT SENSEable City Lab.

Each blanket will take the form of a sheet that is folded up and carried in a case, then pulled out, unfolded and laid flat on the ground. Up to 16 system-specific quadcopter drones can subsequently be mounted in the blanket’s square receptacles, all of the copters simultaneously charging their batteries from a linked power source.


Multiple blankets can in turn be linked together, potentially allowing up to 10,000 drones to all be charged and launched at once. Each aircraft disengages from its receptacle by executing a 45-degree twist as it takes off. A twist in the opposite direction re-engages it when it lands for recharging.

The drones themselves feature a sleek design that incorporates an “ultra-bright” multi-color LED panel on the underside. Their movements are coordinated utilizing the existing Drone Show Software system. That being said, the Flying Drone Blanket could be used for more than just light shows.

“With this project, we imagine a near future where drone swarms can be used for multiple purposes – from light shows to mapping buildings with 3D scanning to sensing air and water quality – in a scenario that we might describe as an ‘Internet of Flying Objects,'” says CRA founder Carlo Ratti.

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Best Drone Videos: July 2019 0

It’s that time again. We scour through drone videos every day, looking for the most helpful, the funniest, all around awesome…or horrible and in the end, the most interesting. Here are our top 5 for July 2019 in no particular order

New FAA Rules Explained

YouTube Drone Evangelist, Ken Heron discusses and explains the details of the new FAA drone rules for enthusiasts. Comical, light and easy to understand.

Hong Kong Protests From Above

Many of the citizens of Hong Kong are protesting against a proposed extradition bill. How many? A lot.

Canary Island Cinema

Cinematic beauty above Fuerteventura

Drones Celebrate Independence

The 4th of July fireworks show at the end is great – but the Drone pre-show should have been the finale.

Bosnia and Croatia Roadtrip

Mixture of drone and pro cam footage of the prettiest parts of Bosnia and Croatia. For some reason, it makes us miss Game of Thrones.






Meet The New US Navy Helicopter Drone 0

The military branch has declared that Northrop Grumman’s MQ-8C Fire Scout has reached “initial operational capability,” or the minimum state it needs to enter service.

The UAV is based on the commercial Bell 407 airframe, albeit with seats and other manned avionics equipment stripped out and replaced with remote controls and extra fuel tanks.

“The MQ-8C will be equipped with an upgraded radar that allows for a larger field of view and a range of digital modes including weather detection, air-to-air targeting and a ground moving target indicator,” according to the statement. “It will deploy with [Littoral Combat Ship] in fiscal year 2021 while the MQ-8B conducts operations aboard LCS in 5th and 7th Fleets.”

The Navy late last month declared initial operational capability for the MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopter, the service announced today.

More of them planned

Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designers at Northrop Grumman Corp. will build five long-range unmanned helicopters for operation from destroyers and other surface warships under terms of a $55.1 million U.S. Navy contract. The UAV helos includes two lightweight fuel cells. The manned version of the Bell 407 seats seven, can carry a useful load of 2,347 pounds, flies as fast as 140 knots, and has a range of 324 nautical miles.

As noted by the USN, the MQ-8C has flown more than 1,500 hours with in excess of 700 sorties to date. Over the next few years, Northrop Grumman will continue MQ-8C production deliveries to the Navy to complete a total of 38 aircraft.