Thursday, September 18, 2014

MIT's Robotic Cheetah

Massachusetts Institute of Technology(MIT) researches have released the newest developments in their robotic cheetah. The robotic cheetah has been in the works for years but up until recently was tethered and powered externally. The original version was able to go approximently 14mph, but the constant power leash limited options. Now the internally powered cheetah is capable of jumping obstacles over a foot high, and running up to 10mph. The updated cheetah is powered with an electric motor, and is the first time an electrically powered robot can run and jump over such obstacles. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Zurich police department in Switzerland uses drones for accident scenes

 Zurich police use drones for accident scenes....

Before I forgot to mention it, take a look at the pilot's vest. I think maybe we should have a t-shirt made with a similar imprint for us!

Another fun fact: In the State of Oregon where we are based it's now illegal for police to use a drone without a search warrant.

Zurich police are now using drones to take aerial maps and images of accident scenes. The police department bought the drone in partnership with the Zurich department of geomatics and surveying, which wants to update its 3D map of the city. A spokesman said the 3D model is helpful for noise and pollution calculations as well as city planning. The groups first experimented with a drone in the summer of 2013, and soon realized they had an affordable way to survey land.

The drone has the advantage of easily surveying inaccessible areas, such as rivers and anything overgrown with vegetation. The department of geomatics and surveying said it also may use the drone for measuring landslides.

The Zurich police said they won’t be using the drone to monitor citizens or public events.
Police in Bern, Switzerland, also have begun using a drone, mainly to capture overhead images of serious accidents. At times, the Bern police use the drone to photograph fires to aid investigations.
A spokeswoman said Bern’s drone could be used to investigate environmental crimes by, for example, taking 3D measurements of land to determine the presence of an illegal landfill.

Photos and article content credit: The Washington Post

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Snot Bot

Ever tried to get snot from a 100 ton whale? No? That is likely because it would be very difficult to do, and actually quite dangerous for the whale. But, the scientists at the Olin College of Engineering are looking at the possibilities of using a robot, called the Snot Bot, to collect the mucus from the whales. The snot bot is a quadcopter a surgical sponge mounted to the bottom as a mucus collection mechanism. The snot bot would be able to find the blow hole, by using a live FPV feed, and hopefully get right in the middle of the eruption of water/air as the whale exhaled. Researchers could then use the collected mucus to learn more about the whale, much like a blood test would tell humans. If the researchers can convince the FAA is safe for whales they will take flight and use drones that will cost under $3,000 each.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Giant Scale "Baby Clipper"

Six months after starting a giant scale S-43 "baby clipper" project, the airplane has taken flight. The plane is considered 1/5th scale and has a wingspan of 200 inches. Using two Desert Aircraft DA-100 gas engines to power the 110 pound plane, the aircraft was able to take its first flight in May of 2014. The two 3600 mAh NiCD batteries provide the juice to the 14 HiTec servos and Futuba receivers. 

Unfortunately the plane had a short lived first flight, lasting about a minute and reaching heights of 150 feet, due to a engine shearing off. Luckily, the pilot was able to safely land the 200 inch wingspan plane with no damage. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Here at Red Rocket Hobbies things have been a little busy...  So here is a quick update on things going on around here.

Recently local Sheriff's Deputy Jason Weber was shot twice, once in the face and once on the side, during a "routine" traffic stop. He is doing recovering well and the community is coming together to support him during his road to recovery. Stickers are available on our website, and include free shipping! This weekend Red Rocket is hosting a fundraiser with all proceeds going to Deputy Jason Weber. Businesses around the basin have donated raffle items for the even that will be held this Saturday the 13th. If you are a local event, come out to support Deputy Weber this weekend from 12pm to 4pm. Not able to make it to the fundraiser? Click HERE to purchase a sticker, or stop by the store to get yours! You may also purchase raffle tickets online if you can't attend the event!

Last weekend we had a booth at the Tulelake Butte Valley Fair and offered drone demos and a variety of different products. It was a busy weekend, but we meet a lot of great people and gave away some cool products! Below is an aerial from the helicopter rides from Precision aviation!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Meet Kama, The Surfing Pig

If you are heading to Hawaii anytime soon, you might want to watch for surfing pigs. Kama is a pet pig in Oahu, Hawaii. Kama love's the water! Watch this GoPro captured video of Kama riding the waves in a recent surf session.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Drone Advertising

A Drexel University student has started the only drone based advertising company in the United States, Dronecast. The idea is similar to the prop planes that fly with big banners following behind them promoting various businesses. Currently Dronecast has six drones, and each are equipped with modifications that include folding landing gear and bigger motors. Using DJI Phantom 2's and a DJI S1000 Dronecast hopes to broaden the advertising market and offer more advertising solutions.