Schools Use Drones to Spy on Cheaters

Drone technology has come a long way in just the past five years. Companies like Amazon plan to use drones to deliver packages in the near future. We already know that various armed forces around the world are using them for reconnaissance or for offensive purposes.

According to Wired writer Katie Collins, “every year in China millions of students sit a higher education access exam that is so stressful it has been linked to spates of suicides and frequently results in youngsters fainting in the examination room. Known as the ‘gaokao’, the exam is taken over two days, is based primarily on memorization and determines the course of the young students’ lives.”

English Taken Out of Gaokao_0

In the Chinese province of Luoyang, schools have decided to prove that they are a little smarter than cheating kids. The schools are aware that kids might try to use cellphones to find answers they just don’t know.

They plan on using drones to monitor examination rooms. This exam is essentially the SAT on steroids. It has been reported that many students have been so stressed about the test that they committed suicide to avoid shame.

In order to avoid cheating, the drones will hover 500 meters in the air over the test site. It can detect the cellphone and relay that message back to the test proctors via tablet.

6 Out Of The Ordinary Inventions You Didn’t Know Actually Existed


The U.S. military and the private sector have been developing super-strength-enabling exoskeletons for soldiers for decades now. In 2014, they became a reality. They were developed in a top-secret program called the Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS). The goal of the program was to enhance a soldier’s speed, strength and stamina in the battlefield.

Secret Drone Will Test Materials for Future Spacecraft

A secret drone, a Boeing-built X37B, has a mission to deliver materials to the International Space Station.

The drone first launched in 2010. It has no pilot, crew or any onboard person monitoring the ship’s control. This is a drone by the purest definition. The “secret” drone launches May 20, making it the fourth time it’s launched. reporter Mariella Moon writes, “it won’t only be testing a new type of Hall effect thruster for the Air Force, it will also be carrying a collection of 100 different materials that can potentially be used for future spacecraft, rovers, rockets and other space hardware.” Hall Effect thrusters use electricity as an energy rather than chemical combustion. This makes them more efficient for small velocity changes during lengthy missions.

Project METIS stands for Materials Exposure and Technology Innovation in Space. Goals for the drone and the project is are to gather data, incorporate new materials and possibly deliver samples for on-board missions.

“Lips were sealed for the previous X-37B missions, and there is a simple and plausible explanation for this. The Hall Effect thruster was not carried on these flights. The other payloads were more secretive, and were probably not connected to any U.S. Air Force program,” according to Morris Jones for

Only time will tell if NASA discloses more information.


Epic Selfies and Hollywood Shots: 3DR’s New Solo Brings Consumers Into the New Era of Drones

Drones have been growing in popularity among professional filmmakers and photographers who would do just about anything to get the perfect shot, but a new drone has just been introduced to the market and is making it easier for even the newest of drone novices to capture stunning aerial shots on their own.

Thanks to 3D Robotics, the average consumer will finally be able to use his or her own drones to capture the type of shots that have long been reserved for those with years of experience piloting drones.

The $1,000 Solo drone offers a collection of helpful tools that make shooting with the drone easier while also providing new features that haven’t been available on drones in the past.

“We like to joke that we just turned Steven Spielberg into software,” Chris Anderson, the CEO of 3D Robotics, told NBC News.

That’s because the new features make it possible for anyone to capture the type of video that “a Hollywood director would approve of.”

“It has a simple controller, with a holder for your iPhone or iPad, which act as both the monitor for the drone and the remote control for the mounted GoPro camera,” Wired reports of the new drone.

It also features a panic button on the controller that will stop the drone in its tracks along with a flight simulator that will help new drone pilots learn how to control the flying device without risking serious damage to their $1,000 investment.

Other impressive features are the “follow me” mode that allows users to draw a path for the drone on the screen and the “Orbit” function that will cause the drone to create a perfect circular path around a selected object.

Solo is even making a way for drone users to capture stunning selfie videos.

With just one click, the GoPro camera will focus on the user as it flies away to create an epic selfie shot that would be much more difficult to get otherwise.

Perhaps the most innovative feature, however, will be the fact that the Solo drone is encouraging hackers to improve the software with their own tech skills.

Solo is being sold as an open platform, which will allow users to freely tinker with the hardware and software.

The Solo’s release comes at just the right time as more and more consumers are getting swept away in the drone wave.

In 2014, consumers spent $69 million on drones, and they are expected to spend more than $100 million in 2015 on the devices, according to the Consumer Electronics Association.

NASA Tests 10 Engine Plane That’s Half Copter and All Awesome

NASA revealed a new prototype drone with the capabilities of a helicopter and airplane. The Greased Lightning or GL-10 is a concept for a future aircraft with the goal to make drones and unmanned planes more efficient in the years to come. It uses 10 engines to maximize speed and mobility.

The prototype was developed at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Aerospace engineers Bill Fredericks, David North and Zack Johns are some of the members of the team that developed the drone. As they worked on the project, they had many different ideas about how it could be utilized.

“It could be used for small package delivery or vertical take-off and landing, long endurance surveillance for agriculture, mapping and other applications. A scaled-up version — much larger than what we are testing now — would make also a great one- to four-person-size personal air vehicle,” Fredericks said.

With news of Amazon starting a drone delivery service (Amazon Prime Air) to its customers, The Greased Lightning’s innovation may make attract other companies to join the drone delivery service.

According to Kathy Barnstorff for the NASA Langley Research Center, “The GL-10 is currently in the design and testing phase. The initial thought was to develop a 20-foot wingspan (6.1 meters) aircraft powered by hybrid diesel/electric engines, but the team started with smaller versions for testing, built by rapid prototyping.”

The plane is also very quiet even though there are 10 engines at work. Fredericks goes on to say that the plane is quieter than a lawn mower.

The Greased Lightning prototype will be the main attraction at the Association for Unmanned Vehicles Systems International 2015 conference in Atlanta through Thursday.

GoPro May Sever Business Ties to Bring Its Own Consumer Drones to Market

GoPro Inc. may be on the verge of releasing consumer drones, but the risky move could result in the company losing some of its key business relationships.

GoPro is known for its variety of wearable cameras that have become incredibly popular with most sports enthusiasts.

Now the company is looking to expand into the realm of drones.

The company plans to start selling its own multirotor helicopters, known as drones, with high-definition cameras already equipped by the end of 2015, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Consumer drones are typically controlled by the user’s smartphone or tablet and have become a popular new way to film weddings and outdoor concerts and even deliver bottles at upscale nightclubs.

It wasn’t long ago that many American consumers weren’t exactly sure what drones really were, and some were immediately terrified by the idea of the flying machines.

The presence of companies like Sony Corp. and now GoPro in the drone market, however, proves that the drone industry is starting to expand and become a more mainstream market than ever before.

As drones grow in popularity, it is only natural that competition in the market will follow suit, and that’s precisely what GoPro may be sparking by releasing its own line of drones.

In the past, those who were interested in filming events and snapping pictures through the use of a drone would typically purchase the drone from one company and then purchase the roughly 3-ounce cameras from GoPro.

Now, GoPro will be producing a product that gives consumers everything they need without having to reach out to other companies.

“I’m happy to let GoPro keep making great cameras and we’ll keep making great copters,” Colin Guinn, senior vice president of sales at 3D Robotics Inc., told the Wall Street Journal.

The company sells GoPro cameras with the drones they sell, but Guinn said he is surprised by the company’s move to produce the consumer drones on its own.

Some skeptics are already questioning if GoPro will be able to hold its own in the drone market with companies like SZ DJI Technology Co. of China already producing devices that come with their own built-in cameras.

SZ DJI Technology is currently the world’s largest consumer drone maker and going up against them could prove to be a serious challenge for GoPro.

Most GoPro cameras sell for between $200 and $500 while the drones are expected to start at $500 and go up into the thousands.

For those who are still uneasy about the idea of drones and feel it could have a serious conflict with privacy rights, consumer drones do have an incredibly limited frequency band and the Federal Aviation Administration is expected to propose rules for commercial drones within the next few weeks.