Just last month, European aerospace company Airbus flew its autonomous air taxi for the first time. The electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft hovered for 53 seconds on its own and we only got a glimpse of it through photos. Well, the company has just released a video showing what it’s capable of.
A giant drone taking off and hovering for less than a minute before coming back down isn’t really an astounding sight. Although, this is quite an achievement since it’s a totally different aircraft from what Airbus has been producing and the fact that it’s all-electric is already a feat in itself.
As you can see, this less-than-a-minute demonstration of autonomous flight is actually a breakthrough since it’s one of the first to ditch the use of an engine or a gas-electric hybrid and relies solely on a battery to fly. The company said it aims to produce an array of autonomous eVTOL aircrafts that fly from rooftop to rooftop to help alleviate traffic on the road. Airbus envisions this through the use of the latest technologies.
“Our goal is to democratize personal flight by leveraging the latest technologies such as electric propulsion, energy storage, and machine vision,” said Vahana Project Executive Zach Lovering.
It might not happen anytime soon, but we’re one step closer to realizing a future where you hail flying taxis that don’t need their own drivers.
Airpeak will be Sony’s foray into camera drone market
Slated to launch in Spring 2021
The ever-competitive drone market will soon have another brand to welcome. Sony just announced its entry into the consumer drone market with the Airpeak brand, which will likely go toe-to-toe (propeller to propeller?) with established brands like DJI.
Specific details about the brand, however, remain scarce at the moment. Sony’s official website only teases a short cryptic video.
The website also mentions that Airpeak will be the culmination of “imaging and sensing technological expertise and AI Robotics” — something which Sony has with its consumer camera and robotic products.
A separate press release also confirms Sony’s plan to target video creators with the Airpeak brand. Further, the brand will bring 3R technology (Reality, Real-time and Remote) to the drone market.
The first wave of products under the Airpeak is slated to launch in the spring of 2021. In the meantime, Sony will continue to obtain feedback from users who participated in co-creating drones under the brand.
It is worth noting that this isn’t Sony’s first foray into the drone market. Last year, the company entered a partnership with ZMP to form the Aerosense company. However, that company caters specifically to the business sector. So, the Airpeak brand will actually be the company’s first for the consumer drone sector.
How the tech world helped in the Notre Dame fire incident
Modern technology isn’t our foe at all
In light of the recent news about the fire incident that happened in the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, several companies, including those from the tech sector, have shown how much they care for the ruined 856-year-old historic landmark.
When the flames broke out, firefighters used Mavic Pro and Matrice M210 drones. The cathedral was severely damaged but thankfully, the drones helped in distinguishing where the fire had spread out. Several tweets show how helpful drones are, even during unexpected disasters like this one.
— Alexandre Fremont (@alex_fremont) April 15, 2019
People from DJI talked about how their drones helped Paris’ Emergency Response Team in determining the fire inside the cathedral.
Learning that Emergency Response for Notre Dame also included the use of drones, made me feel good. Then seeing a female operator made me proud. Both individually are not common, both together even less. Such a difficult incident to deal with, done with exemplary. pic.twitter.com/Qdh3UIwmer
— Romeo Durscher (@romeoch) April 16, 2019
Craftsmen built Notre Dame eight centuries ago. Now it may be up to robots to save it.https://t.co/zyfMU1lEuI
— Brendan Schulman (@dronelaws) April 17, 2019
After the incident, many people, including popular icons all around the globe, have shown their distress about the destruction of the cathedral. Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, is one among those people. He even promised Apple would help in the progress of rebuilding Notre Dame’s ruined architectural landscape.
We are heartbroken for the French people and those around the world for whom Notre Dame is a symbol of hope. Relieved that everyone is safe. Apple will be donating to the rebuilding efforts to help restore Notre Dame’s precious heritage for future generations.🇫🇷
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) April 16, 2019
Most gamers can tell that the Notre Dame Cathedral is found in the gameplay of Assassin’s Creed: Unity. Ubisoft, which is also a French company, said that the infrastructure was scanned using their state-of-the-art 3D mapping technology. Using data preserved for the game may help architects and builders in restoring the cathedral. As an addition, the game is for free at the Ubisoft store to honor the fallen landmark.
It may be insignificant for most people but these all prove that companies and their existing technologies can still help in times of global incidents like this.
DJI Mavic 2 Pro Review: 1 month in
Not a perfect drone, but…
We won’t bore you with a rundown of its specs, but instead, we’ll give you the lowdown on DJI’s new drone — what works, what doesn’t, and what’s there to love. This is our DJI Mavic 2 Pro review.
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