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Wing Things: The Various Types of Aerial Drone Platforms

Wing Things: The Various Types of Aerial Drone Platforms

If you’re considering getting started flying drones for recreation, you have your task cut out for you — you have an endless array of choices with wonderful, high-tech models everywhere you look. You have a learning curve ahead of you finding out what kind of choice to make.

Right here, you can start with these quick descriptions of the four major designs in use today.

Multi-rotor drones

The most common drone type seen in many applications, multi-rotor drones have three or more rotors. Designs start from cheap toy models that cost as little as $20 to ones that are powerful enough to carry several pounds of payload and cost as much as $5,000.

Multi-rotor drones have a lot going for them, including low cost, ease of control, an ability to hover like a helicopter, and safety. The spinning rotors on these vehicles are tiny and not very powerful. If you accidentally hit someone, the injuries aren’t likely to be serious.

While multi-rotor models are the cheapest drone variety, they do come with downsides. With their many rotors to spin, their batteries don’t usually last very long. A good, mass-market model is likely to fly no longer than 20 minutes, less if there is a heavy camera to carry.

Fixed-wing drones

Fixed-wing drones tend to look like one of those cool Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit stealth bombers. Unlike multi-rotor drones, these needs to glide to stay aloft — they don’t hover. Extended flight time is the greatest advantage that comes with choosing this design. Since these craft are able to glide on their wings, their propellers don’t need work as hard. A battery-powered fixed-wing drone can stay up two hours, and one powered by a gas engine can fly as long as 16 hours.

On the downside, fixed wing drones are like airplanes — they need space to take off and land, and the take skill to fly. You need to pay attention to technical nuances like angle of attack, pitch and yaw. If you bank wrong or angle too hard into the wind, you’ll face a stall situation. If you’re happy to really invest in learning the skill and don’t need to hover, fixed-wing drones are for you.

Single-rotor drones

Single-rotor drones come in a very familiar form — they look and function exactly like helicopters. While there are models that run on battery power, the most popular ones run on gas engines. Single-rotor drones tend to be large at 6 feet from tip to tail, and are powerful enough to carry movie cameras. With only one rotor to fly on, they do offer a lot more flying time than multi-rotor models that tend to waste a lot of energy. These vehicles can be very expensive, however, and take a great deal of skill to fly.

It’s also important to keep in mind that with their large helicopter-like blades, their weight, speed and size, these are not toys. If they are handled incorrectly, terrible accidents are bound to happen.

Hybrid VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing)

These are large, helicopter-like craft as well, but with a huge difference — they have wings as well as rotors. These are used by companies like Amazon to deliver some of their merchandise. At this point, these are expensive, and you would need special connections to find one. They aren’t in production yet. But when they come on the market, they could be a lot of fun, because they provide both hover and gliding flight, and come with various autopilot features.

According to Drone Enthusiasts (Dronethusiasts Rankings – Top Camera Drones), the kind of model you choose depends on the purpose that you have in mind, the amount of investment that you’re willing to bring to the activity and the amount of skill you’re willing to learn.

If you’re only starting out, multi-rotor craft are likely to work the best.

 

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Technology

Graphene – a Material with Promising Superconducting Properties

Graphene – a Material with Promising Superconducting Properties

Graphene, the new shooting star among the stable carbon forms

For a long time, physicists have been bothering about what should follow silicon when the microelectronics based on this material reaches its end. The latest hope carrier is made of carbon and is neither a metal nor a Super conducting material – the Graphene

The super conducting material Graphene is always good for surprises. When the well renowned science magazine ‘Science’ in 1991 declared the C60 fullerenes consisting of 60 carbon atoms as the molecule, Japanese researchers had already discovered another stable form of carbon: the nanotubes consisting of coiled graphite layers.

However, the nanotubes are in danger of being overshadowed by a further modification of the carbon. Two and a half years ago Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov of the University of Manchester succeeded in peeling off a graphite block from a layer of adhesive, until only a single atomic layer of graphite remained. This layer is one million times thinner than a sheet of paper. Thus, the researchers had achieved something which was previously considered impossible. For theoretical reasons it had been believed that two-dimensional crystals were not stable and would either clump or roll up. Graphene has excellent electrical conductivity as the group from Manchester continued to emerge. This prompted many researchers to look more closely at the material and its application potential in modern electronics.

If they are to be recorded with the usual terms, then it is neither a semiconductor nor a metal. The high conductivity of metals is due to the fact that there are always free electrons in them, which can be set in motion by an electric field. In a semiconductor, on the other hand, the electrons have to be lifted from the full valence band over an energy gap (the so-called band gap) into the conduction band so that they can flow as current. The peculiarity of the super conducting material Graphene consists in the fact that the two bands are not strictly separated from one another, but are touching at certain points.

This unusual band structure is due to the honeycomb like arrangement of the carbon atoms in the 2D crystal lattice. This results in a number of strange consequences. Thus the assert carriers in graphene show in some respects a behavior which is otherwise known only from particles which move approximately at the speed of light. This analogy is particularly fascinating for basic researchers.

Very recently MIT physicists discovered that a graphene flake, while brought in close propinquity among two superconducting materials, could acquire some of those materials superconducting attributes. As graphene being machinate between superconductors, its electronic state alters dramatically, even at its center. Visualized below is the brief data-based conception.

Their discovery, publicized few days ago in Nature Physics, are the prototypical research of Andreev affirms due to superconductivity’s “proximity effect” in a 2D material such as graphene.

In the near future, the researchers of graphene platform might be used to research exotic materials, such as Majorana fermions, that are greatly considered to spring up the important materials for building omnipotent, error proof quantum computers.

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Technology

Build Lego With Chrome

Build Lego With Chrome

What is Build With Chrome?

Build With Chrome is a web application for Chrome that allows the user to creatively build realistic structures using Lego bricks. It’s a platform developed by LEGO and Chrome collectively, for people to build within Chrome’s browser. The creations are placed on real life geographical maps, so one might find a Lego model in Google Maps.

How does Build Lego With Chrome  Work?

For building a structure, two piles of Lego bricks are available and different keyboard and mouse commands can be used for controlling the build process. Later, a detailed build academy was added to help users get more creative which teaches the process and provides tips to build with Lego. Initially, the user has to share their location and is allotted a space that looks similar to a Lego baseplate. However, one can zoom in any chose any geographic are on which the entire Lego model will be based. In order to unlock additional bricks, the challenges have to be completed.

 

Other local models are also available on the world map and even Lego models of the actual structures can be found. Therefore, if all the structures in a town are built by different users, the entire town would get a Lego representation of its real-life version. While developing a Lego model, one designer can have only one baseplate and models can’t overlap pieces of another baseplate. There are a few technicalities to follow while building a model but all in all, it’s a great platform to showcase your creativity and build structures from your imagination in the virtual world.

Browse the map and find an open plot to get started and or have Build find you one by clicking the Build button which is blue in color. Every plot is a 32-by-32-peg square and a user is initially given 1,000 virtual Lego bricks to use. As you complete different Build challenges, you unlock more bricks to use further. The bricks are available in ten different colors and types with two extra types, a door and a window. You can make a selection from the left panel and then drop them on the right hand side. To place a brick, left-click on the plot and to move it, right-click on it. To align your bricks in the direction you want, use the rotate button in the left panel. By holding down the space bar while moving the mouse you can rotate your plot to view it better while working on a particular area. After your done working on it, you can publish your creation by clicking the green Publish button present in the upper-right corner of the screen.

 Lego

Sharing and Access

The models or creations can be shared and you can view models created by others through Google+. All models shared on Google+ are public and can be viewed by any Google+ user. Since the models are public, the creators’ Google+ names are also public. One can even view the geographical address of the model placed on the map. You can even share your model through email. However, for your model to be seen on the map, it needs to be approved first by Lego.

Any browser enabled with WebGL can access Build With Google Chrome. This includes Safari, Firefox and all types of mobile browsers. Once you select you choice of browser, WebGL’s site will inform you if the selected browser supports it.

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Technology

Google Project: Google Sky

Google Project: Google Sky

Google Sky

Google Sky is a feature launched by Google which is just like Google Earth, where one can view outer space or the outline of the sky. The user can view collaborated satellite images taken by NASA satellites and the Hubble Telescope. Like Google Earth, this is an augmented reality application and is now available on Android too.

How Does Google Sky Work?

With this application, the user can have a look at the vast outer space from anywhere on Earth. While in Google Earth, one can switch to Sky Mode with the help of just one click of the mouse. An accurate look of the outer space has been put together by NASA where users can zoom in and fly around just like in Google Earth.

Broadening Your Vision of Space

From your Desktop, you can access Google Sky by clicking on the planet button placed on the top in the Google Earth application window in the desktop version of it. Google Mars and Google Moon can also be viewed through this. Constellations and other heavenly bodies can be searched just by typing in the key words in the search box, similar to how one can find addresses in Google Maps or Earth.

Just like Earth, Google Sky also works in layers. You can find and highlight constellations, galaxies, nebulae, stars, etc. and get various information on them such as their location or history. You may even get information from links to NASA’s database. The Backyard Astronomy layer in Google Sky gives references of three astrological catalogs that contain in-depth and vast detail on more famous and familiar space objects. The Hubble Showcase is another layer that makes available images taken from the Hubble Space telescope accompanied with detailed information about the objects captured in those images.

 Google Sky

The Moon in Motion and Planets in Motion layers are very fascinating features that allow you see the motion paths of the moon and the planets across the sky from a particular location on Earth.To provide accurate information on the same, pictures were taken by NASA once every hour for the span of three months. After entering details such as the span of time, with just a click you can see the moon or the planets move. On clicking on the moon itself, you can get its exact information of its location, its phase or its brightness in the sky at a given date and time. On clicking on the planets, you can get details about their size or distance from Earth.

Also available on Google Sky are two tours of outer space that are very interesting. The User’s Guide to the Galaxy gives a tour of a number of galaxies that are well known. Another tour known as the Life of a Star gives a run through of a lifespan of a typical star, right from its birth to death. Factual details are also available on what happens to each star and what is its significance in the cosmic universe.

This user-friendly application enables one to take a peek into the fascinating outer space while sitting in the comforts of your home. Thanks to Google Sky, with a simple click you can now make a virtual travel to any part of the vast universe, even to a galaxy far far away.

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Technology

Google Ingress Offers New Creative Outlets

Google Ingress Offers New Creative Outlets

What is Ingress?

Ingress is a mobile game based on location and has an augmented-reality interface developed by a company called Niantic which is a spin-off company from Google. It is story-driven in which one has to get out of the house to play this game as it takes place in the real world. For this, GPS is required to move around in the real world, that is, to move about in your area or community.

There are different “portals” or places where the gaming activity is focused and these are the points where various people come together. Usually these portals are placed at the nearby museum, sculpture, historic landmark, park, public park and other interesting places.

On arrival at this portal, they have to be explored for equipment, link them or capture them for your own team or free them from the opponent team. All these activities help the player earn points and achievements which are required to level up and access better equipment in the game.

Google Ingress

Ingress is not a newly introduced game and has been around for quite some time. Initially players needed an invite to play the game but in the past year, it has been made available for all, expanding its availability from exclusively Android users to Android and iPhone and since then has gained many more users.

Discovering New Places in Ingress

Ingress encourages the user to get out in their community and explore not only the places around but also new places. The user has to physically present at a portal which is located in the real world, following the real time direction given in the game using GPS. It’s more like following the directions given in Google maps to reach your destination, the difference being this is a game linking the virtual world with the realistic surroundings. One is compelled to go out and about exploring new places while playing the game, resulting in the player to visit a museum, trying out a new restaurant or simply going for a walk in a beautiful park that was there nearby all along.

Making New Friends & Acquaintances

Ingress not only helps you explore places while playing the game but also gets you acquainted with other players. While looking for portals, one ends up meeting other such players at a particular place. Players help each other in crossing difficult levels and also provide tips on how to level up faster. Teams are also formed and they collectively explore places, strategize and overcome obstacles. The community of players is fairly large with each Ingress player playing the game at their own pace, some play it aggressively while some play it casually as and when they find the time.

There are also live events, which allow hundreds of players to take part on a local and even global scale. It’s a great platform to meet players from all walks of life and visit new and fun places. But at the same time, one must maintain caution, keeping in mind that at the end of the day, this just a game and a certain level of separation from the virtual world should be kept.

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