It’s not an unusual sight out in the ocean: blue whales slurping up clouds of krill. But researchers most often have a boat’s eye view for this event. Now new drone footage from Oregon State University is giving them a whole new perspective on how these massive creatures, the largest animals on the planet, catch their dinner.
For the past couple of years, mediocre drone videos of dramatic landscapes have littered the internet. Like, we get it, drone pilots. Your camera flies and stuff looks pretty from the sky and the whole conceit is pretty trite at this point. And then I saw these four minutes of magic, filmed in South Africa.
A FEW HOURS after dark one evening earlier this month, a small quadcopter drone lifted off from the parking lot of Ben-Gurion University in Beersheba, Israel. It soon trained its built-in camera on its target, a desktop computer’s tiny blinking light inside a third-floor office nearby. The pinpoint flickers, emitting from the LED hard drive indicator that lights up intermittently on practically every modern Windows machine, would hardly arouse the suspicions of anyone working in the office after hours. But in fact, that LED was silently winking out an optical stream of the computer’s secrets to the camera floating outside.
The average drone is hard to miss with its whirring motors and cumbersome design, but not the Bionic Bird. This specially designed drone accurately mimics how birds look and move.
MAKE NO MISTAKE: Drones are coming, and they’re going to change a lot of things about how we shape our lives. So why shouldn’t we change how we shape our buildings to get ready for them?
The fast-growing global drone industry has not sat back waiting for government policy to be hammered out before pouring investment and effort into opening up this all-new hardware and computing market.
DARPA is working on a new terrifyingly-named “Gremlins” program to develop swarms of small, reusable drones deployed from aircraft over “denied” zones with the intention of intelligence gathering, radar jamming, and other “friendly” operations… for now.