MIT Researchers Create Drone Fleet To Rescue Lost Hikers

“Essentially,” says Yulun Tian, a graduate student in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, “we’re replacing humans with a fleet of drones to make the ‘search’ part of the search-and-rescue process more efficient.” Tian is describing the results of a research paper which he and other students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will be …

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The Best Mavic Pro 2 Accessories

The Mavic Pro 2 is a favorite drone for many reasons: it’s smaller than a Phantom, easy to use, it has a 1” sensor and many obstacle avoidance sensors.
However, there are so many different accessories and options out there for the discerning Mavic owner – how do you know which ones are essential?
Here’s my list of the best accessories you can invest in to really enhance your drone ownership experience.

Lens Filters
Filters are essential for any serious drone pilot seeking to capture the most in any weather or lighting condition.
Filters are simple and easy to install and change over, which makes it easy to adapt to ever-changing weather and lighting conditions during a flying day.
For example, you can capture a good amount of motion blur only when using ND filters.
A short explanation and a graphic that shows you when to use which ND filter can be found right here. I recommend buying these ND filters for your DJI Mavic 2 Pro.
Extra Batteries
This one is a no-brainer: more batteries mean more flight time!
Have at least one spare battery for your drone to make sure you can fit in all of the flying and filming you have planned for the day.
If you’re planning to travel by air with your drone, remember you’ll also need a battery safe bag to transport your batteries in.
DJI make an ideal battery bag, with the small size ideal for two batteries, and the large size three. Buy your flight batteries here and if you are traveling by plane, check out the battery safe bag here!
Hub Charger
Charge several batteries at once to make sure you’re as productive during your flying time as possible. A hub will charge multiple batteries so that you can constantly charge and switch your power supply for a full day of flight time.
A rapid charger is ideal as your batteries could be fully charged in as little as 60 minutes. However, make sure you check the weight of your batteries and hub together if you’re planning to travel, as too many batteries could go over airline restrictions. Buy a multiple charger here or invest your money into a rapid charger here.
64GB Micro SD Card
The Mavic Pro comes with a 16GB storage card, which is enough to get you started but it won’t hold much when it comes to your 4k films.
Invest in a 128GB Micro SD card (or several!) to make sure your aerial filming experience isn’t disrupted by on-the-spot editing to create space on your storage. Buy a MicroSD card for drone flying here!

Hard Protector Case for the Mavic Pro 2
Protect your pride and joy from bumps and knocks during transportation with a hard case.
Available from DJI, this bespoke hard case is IP67 rated to protect against water and dust, and the padded interior will minimize shock damage to your drone. Buy a hard case for your drone here!
Extra Propellers
At some point in your drone flying journey, you’re going to lose a propeller or two. It happens to the best of us, which is why it’s important to be prepared.
Always carry a set of spare propellers so that you can repair your Mavic in the field, instead of having to cut your fun short and go home. This is particularly important for any career drone pilots, as the downtime caused by broken propellers could be costly to both you and your client.
Propeller Guard
If you’re flying your Mavic drone near people, indoors, or around any potential obstacles, a propeller bumper guard is a great way to protect your drone.
It’s an inexpensive investment that’s really easy to install, and could significantly improve your flight time as the bumpers will minimize the risk of broken propellers. Buy prop guards for your drone here!
Drone Landing Pad
Ease takeoff and landing from almost any surface by using a landing pad. The pad creates a smooth surface and helps to reduce the risk of ground objects, impeding the gimbal during takeoff and landing.
A pad also acts as a target to help new drone operators improve their flying skills. Landing pads fold up to a small and portable size, which make them ideal for traveling.
Camera and Accessories Bag
Your Mavic is brilliantly portable, but you still need to find a way to transport your drone accessories and camera safely.
A well-padded camera bag designed to hold drone accessories will help you to keep your baggage light and well-organized. You’ll be able to easily find and access your camera and add-ons when you need them, which reduces downtime during a flight day. Buy an affordable and good bag for your drone here!
Three Non-Drone Accessories You Should Consider, Too
So, that’s the actual hardware accessories that will enhance your drone enjoyment and extend your flight days, but there are some other things you should consider investing in, too.

Drone Film School
This won’t cost you a penny, just a little bit of time. My Drone Film School will help you to make the most out of your 4K camera by showing you the best tips and techniques for drone filming.
Learn the basics of filmmaking, plus how to achieve some interesting techniques like the classic Hitchcock Vertigo ‘dolly zoom’ effect with any drone.
You can even download a bunch of materials, like checklists and guides to help your filming in the field.
DJI Care Refresh
If you thought drone insurance didn’t cover pilot error, you now stand corrected. The DJI Care Refresh is an excellent additional insurance for any drone pilot – even the most experienced of us still make mistakes!
The DJI Care Refresh cover allows you a full 12 months from the date of activation to return your Mavic for repairs – even if the damage was caused by pilot error, collision, or even water.
If you only want protection against drone failure then you’re already covered by the DJI warranty. However, if you have any suspicion that your drone might be involved in an incident or land in water (instead of next to it), the Refresh scheme is an ideal investment. Buy DJI Care Refresh for your drone here!
Editing Software
There are lots of software packages available for drone operators, but the more you can invest in the programs the better results you’re likely to get.
A good editing package will help you to make the most of your aerial photography and 4k films so that you can truly show off the wonders of drone flight to its full potential.
Make the Most of Your Mavic Drone
You’ve got the drone. You’ve stocked up on the accessories. It’s time to get flying!
Want to know more about how to make the most of your Mavic Pro 2 drone?
Check out my Mavic info section that covers everything from DJI Goggles to how to adjust the gimbal to maximize your drone enjoyment!

Dubai Municipality Develops Flying Drone Lifeguard

Dubai has long been known as a city that’s at the forefront of innovation – and in the last five years, that innovation has also been extended to the drone industry. The city (largest in the United Arab Emirates) has some of the best drone infrastructure in the world and desperately wants to become the …

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Kespry Forms Partnership With DJI – Will Use Mavic 2 For Surveys

If you’re reading anything on this site, you’ve almost certainly heard of DJI, the Chinese corporation that holds a massive majority share in the drone industry. But unless you’ve been a follower of our news section for some time, you may not be as familiar with Kespry, the data-based drone solutions startup founded in 2013. …

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Outlaw Drone Review | Altair Aerial’s New Cheap GPS Drone

Altair Aerial is a company known for their low-cost drones and great reputation for customer service. Just last month, they released their new Tomahawk drone, a stellar effort which our reviewer called their best aircraft yet. Now they’ve followed it up with the Altair Outlaw, their first drone with GPS capabilities. There’s no question that …

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Aeromao Announces Bellyflopping Amphibious Drone

Amphibious airplanes have been around for a long time – in fact, some of the earliest aircraft were designed to land on water because it was softer than crashing onto land. However, drones with a seagoing airframe are unheard of – or, at least, they were until Aeromao, Inc. announced the Aeromapper Talon Amphibious earlier …

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Uber Wants To Deliver Food With Drones By 2021

Uber, the billion-dollar startup best known for pioneering ride sharing and mistreating its workers, has more recently started expanding into a number of not-even-remotely car-related fields. In 2014, the company began its Uber Eats platform, a food delivery service that’s now available in 250 cities worldwide. In May of this year, Uber announced that it …

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DJI Launches New Version Of The Phantom 4 For Aerial Surveys

DJI is the most successful drone company in the world, and the Phantom 4 is their most popular drone. We’ve covered this product extensively in our articles here on the site, as well as its variants like the Phantom 4 Pro. But on October 15th, DJI released a new version of the Phantom 4 that …

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Drone Versus Airplane Wing: Watch What Happens

Any responsible drone enthusiast knows that flying a drone near an airplane is something you should never, ever do. Even if you live in one of the few countries where flying near an airport is still legal, doing so puts the lives of pilots and passengers in danger – and will almost certainly destroy your …

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DJI Drones and Farming: 6 Ways DJI Is Revolutionizing Farming

During the Neolithic revolution, humanity set aside its hunting and gathering lifestyle and turned towards agricultural life. Ever since then, farmers have led the world in adopting new technologies.
The result has been a more stable lifestyle with a marked reduction in global poverty.
One of the most recent pieces of technology adopted is the agricultural drone.
Drones aren’t exactly a new technology. But the way farmers use drones in agriculture breathes new life into their practical applications. It not only makes farming more sustainable but helps farmers get the most of every yield.
What relationship do drones and agriculture have? Here are six ways drones make farming sustainable, bountiful, and less expensive.

1. Irrigation
The irrigation of crops presents a two-fold issue for population growth. First, battling long-standing droughts challenges farmers around the world.
Second, agriculture eats up 70 percent of the freshwater used worldwide.
Moreover, water remains a finite resource.
Our goal then is to get water to the crops that need it to – but to limit waste whenever possible.
They can highlight patches showing signs of stress with thermal and infrared sensors.
With the help of drone technology, you’ll reach the areas that need water most without wasting water on healthy crops. Not only will you save our most precious resource, but also boost your yields in the process.

2. Health Assessment
The health of crops in the ground contributes to the overall return. Every farmer’s goal is to identify plants in stress as early as possible to both save the plant and prevent jeopardy for the field.
Early detection of disease in humans dramatically improves the likelihood for survival – and it does the same for plants.
The use of drones makes this possible – and inexpensive – for the first time. With near-infrared sensors, it’s possible to identify a plant facing stress very early. Some sensors see signs of trouble up to 10 days before it becomes clear to the naked eye.
Having a 10-day notice to check on a plant could be the key to preventing large-scale losses.
For example, if your field is contaminated by a pest, all farmers in the area will face the same threat.
When you identify the issue before it spreads, you prevent the loss of thousands of acres of crops.
Trials of the use of drones in health assessment extend beyond crops.
They also include animals and wildlife.
During an experiment in Kenya, drones surveyed a herd before the vets on the ground could get dressed and into their car. There’s also evidence that drones could be used to spots sick animals.
“When you identify the issue before it spreads, you prevent the loss of thousands of acres of crops.”
3. Planting
Drones won’t replace traditional planting equipment in the near future, but they do make planting more accurate.
Imagine creating a precise seed-planting pattern based on multiple data points, including nitrogen-levels. Drones produce 3D maps with little effort and expense, which serve as a basis for many seed-planting applications.
Drones won’t replace the physical planting process in the next few years. But the work is important because it reduces labor costs and improves efficiency.

4. Offer Better Fertilizer Prescriptions
One of the most pressing issues faced by the agriculture sector is preserving soil quality while improving agricultural output.
Drones are particularly helpful when used in combination with soil sample data methods.
At Heartland Soil Services, the team combined their soil sample data with real conditions found in drone imagery to draw correlations in the relationship between actual soil conditions the health of their crops.
Because they used from granular aerial imagery, they were able to come up with targeted nutrient and fertilizer applications that arrived already refined.
Want to learn more? Read the full case study here.

5. Spraying for Pesticides, Fertilizers, and Herbicides
Drones like the DJI Agras MG-1 offer new levels of efficiency for established tasks like crop spraying.
How could something so small be both faster and more precise?
The MG-1 boasts a powerful propulsion system that carries a 10-kilogram payload and distributes it powerfully across 4,000 to 6,000 square meters in only 10 minutes. It sprays crops an average of 40 to 60 times faster than the manual methods while applying an even, comprehensive spray.
Not only you save precious time, but the systems economize output. The pesticide goes where it should and prevents pollution where possible.

6. Replace Satellite Monitoring
Satellite monitoring represented the most technologically advanced method of crop monitoring. Despite that, it always came with significant issues. Unpredictable weather conditions, rising costs, and image quality plagued the system.
If you could afford satellite monitoring, you needed to order in advance. You also relied on images that were only available once a day and with quality failing on several days.
DJI drones, such as the Inspire series, provide cheap, real-time aerial imaging for crop monitoring. Rather than fighting cloudy images, farmers receive images from 12-megapixel cameras and 4k quality videos.
If something gets missed, putting the drone back in the in the air is simple, inexpensive, and convenient.

Drones in Agriculture Offer a Better World
Crop failures, droughts, and waste affect agriculture and our growing population.
The use of drones in agriculture can’t prevent weather or catastrophes. But it can mitigate damage by improving monitoring efforts, detecting disease, and ensuring accuracy in both planting and irrigation.
Of all the things we love about drones, this is one of the most significant value propositions offered by the industry. Ready to learn more? Visit our blog for a roundup of DJI’s products, tutorials, and drone guides!
By the year 2050, the global population will likely reach 9.7 billion people. To feed everyone, we need to increase our agricultural output by 70 percent within the same timeframe.
Farmers have their work cut out of them, but their use of new and established technologies will help.