drones

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Photography

Aerial Photographs Explore the Unique Geometric Patterns of Coastal Barcelona

March 7, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Márton Mogyorósy explores the coastal city of Barcelona from above, creating geometric images of the Spanish city’s buildings, shore, and sea. Mogyorósy browses the city via Google Earth to get an idea of the natural and manmade shapes he would like to capture, and then finds these areas with the assistance of a drone. The Hungarian photographer photographs lesser known areas of Barcelona, finding structures and buildings that are attractively shaped from the sky, rather than famous tourist attractions from the ground. His second series of drone images of his hometown of Budapest will be published soon. You can keep updated on his aerial photography on Behance and Instagram. (via My Modern Met)

 

 



Design

GridDrones: These Self-Levitating Nanocopters Might Be the Future of Smartphones

October 12, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Starting tomorrow researchers will gather in Berlin for the ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology. The symposium features projects on computer-human interaction, web user interfaces, tangible computing, virtual and augmented reality, and more. During the Human-Robot Symbiosis session a matrix of self-levitating nanocopters called “GridDrones” will be introduced by Sean Braley, Calvin Rubens, Timothy Merritt, Roel Vertegaal. The miniature flying machines act like pixels which can be programmed to perform specific animations and manipulated in real time. Instead of dragging and dropping apps on an iPhone, the technology could lead to manipulating flying objects in physical space which would completely alter how we view the landscape of a computer or phone “screen.” (via Fast Company)

 

 



Photography

A Rare Tropical Glacier Captured at Night in Drone-Illuminated Photographs by Reuben Wu

October 8, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Photo Credit:  Reuben Wu courtesy of Coors Light from its Great Big Story video series “Made From Mountains”

In the ever-widening world of drone photography, Reuben Wu (previously) has made a name for himself with his unique images that combine lighted drone patterns with stark observations of natural land formations. Two months ago, Wu travelled to Peru to continue his body of work called Lux Noctis. Peru’s Pastoruri Glacier is a rare remaining tropical glacier, sited at 17,000 feet above sea level in the Cordillera Blanca mountain range.

The trip was part of the filming for a Great Big Story (previously) video series titled “Made From Mountains,” and involved research, scouting, and treacherous travel to safely reach the glacier. In addition to the logistical challenges and the frigid, remote location, Wu shares with Colossal, “I photographed the glacier with conflicting feelings. I wanted to show evidence of its alarming retreat, yet I was drawn to the epic scale of the ice which remained. In the end I leaned towards the latter, but each photograph represents a bleak reality, a fading memory of what once stood.”

You can see more of the artist’s illuminated photography on Instagram and Facebook. Wu’s artist book of his Lux Noctis series is available for pre-order and is already almost sold out. Reuben Wu’s “Coors Light: Made from Mountains” episode is featured on greatbigstory.com. (via PetaPixel)

 

 



Art Photography

Aeroglyph: Illuminated Symbols Hover Above the Horizon in New Light Drawings by Reuben Wu

August 24, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Reuben Wu (previously) uses long exposure techniques to capture light traces formed by a moving drone equipped with a lighting rig. In his latest group of images the paths create illuminated symbols such as a square, plus sign, and triangle from straight, narrow lines. The shapes hover just above the horizon with an abstracted reflection projected in the water below. “The project name Aeroglyph describes what I see as large temporary geometries created in the air,” Wu tells Colossal, “only visible in their entirety through the capture of a camera.”

The project is an evolution of his ongoing Lux Noctis series which focuses on specific light paths, rather than entire illuminated landscapes. “This is why I chose a wide and featureless body of water, where there are no other compositional elements other than a horizon and a textural reflection in the water,” Wu explains. The plus and minus symbols were shot over the Pacific Ocean at night, while the square and triangle were captured over the bright blue waters of Lake Michigan.

The Chicago-based photographer’s book Lux Noctis will be released this October, and is currently available for preorder through Kris Graves Projects. You can see more images from Wu on his website and Instagram.

 

 



Design Science

DRAGON: A Snakelike Drone Robot That Shape-Shifts in Flight

June 28, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

The JSK Lab at the University of Tokyo has designed a modular flying robot that propels itself through the air with several small fans. The entire device is built to autonomously alter its shape during flight, allowing the robot to maneuver its way through obstacles that might obscure its path. The robot is named DRAGON, which is a simplified way of saying “Dual-rotor embedded multilink Robot with the Ability of multi-deGree-of-freedom aerial transformatiON.

The project’s researchers imagine the robot to eventually act as a flying arm, moving its way through the air as it picks up and moves objects with a two-fingered grip. The linked modules that compose DRAGON’s body are connected via hinged joints and the entire structure is driven by an Intel Euclid which allows for a 3 minute run time. The above video shows the robot shape-shifting from a circular configuration to a snake-like object in order to pass through a small hole in the grid that lies above.

DRAGON was presented as a part of the paper “Design, Modeling and Control of Aerial Robot DRAGON: Dual-Rotor Embedded Multilink Robot with the Ability of Multi-Degree-of-Freedom Aerial Transformation,” by researchers Moju Zhao, Tomoki Anzai, Fan Shi, Xiangyu Chen, Kei Okada, and Masayuki Inaba at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation 2018 in Brisbane, Australia in May. (via The Kid Should See This)

 

 



Art Photography

Long Exposure Photos Capture the Light Paths of Drones Above Mountainous Landscapes

March 5, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Photographer Reuben Wu creates images that reveal an alien splendor in natural and manmade landscapes across the globe. Previously he has explored the brilliant blue rivers of molten sulfur in Indonesian volcanoes, and photographed the thousands of glistening mirrors that compose Nevada’s SolarReserve. For his ongoing series Lux Noctis, the Chicago-based photographer utilizes modified drones as aerial light sources, illuminating obscure landscapes in a way that makes each appear new and unexplored.

Recently Wu has evolved his process of working with the drones to form light paths above topographical peaks in the mountainous terrain. “I see it as a kind of ‘zero trace’ version of land art where the environment remains untouched by the artist, and at the same time is presented in a sublime way which speaks to 19th century Romantic painting and science and fictional imagery,” said Wu to Colossal.

The light from his GPS-enabled drones create a halo effect around some of the presented cliffs and crests when photographed using a long exposure. An elegant circle of light traces the flight of the drone, leaving a mark only perceptible in the resulting photograph. You can see more of Wu’s landscape photography on his Instagram and Facebook. (via Faith is Torment)

Update: A book of Wu’s photo series will be published in Fall 2018 and is available for preorder.

 

 



Photography

Drones Rigged with LED Lights Dramatically Illuminate Landscapes at Night

April 11, 2016

Kate Sierzputowski

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All images provided by Reuben Wu.

Photographer Reuben Wu‘s (previously) latest series attempts to bring the alien mystique of planetary exploration to our own world, creating theatrically-lit compositions with the aid of GPS-enabled drones. “Lux Noctis” is influenced by a confluence of 19th century romantic painting and science fiction which is expressed in the dramatic ways each drone lights the earthen subjects from above.

“My aim is to portray a unique perspective of the planet we live on by illuminating night landscapes with an aerial LED light,” said Wu. “Scenes which show not only the beauty of the landscape but also the versatility and awesomeness of adapting new technology to create art.”

Wu used a prototype AL250 light by Fiilex mounted on a 3DR Solo UAV. Typically known for their ability to capture visuals below rather than light them, Wu’s drones serve as flying light beams which circumvent expensive cranes or helicopters previously used to light scenes.

You can see more of Wu’s dramatically lit work on his Instagram and Facebook. (via PetaPixel, thnx John!)

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