When your drone is boned, this parachute floats it safely back to earth

djis dropsafe parachute lets drone copter crash style dji
We’ve been talking about aerial drones a lot recently, and not only about the great photography you can achieve with them. There are also legal issues that are not entirely clear, as well as safety concerns. Take, for example, our report about this gorgeous video of fireworks filmed with a drone copter, where we argued that there’s no way to be sure the drone wouldn’t get hit and potentially crash into the crowd down below.

We’re certain that manufacturers make all kinds of efforts to guarantee that the operation of their devices is safe, and while we hope that drone operators take precautionary measures before flying their toys above Central Park, there’s still Murphy’s Law, which predicts that what potentially could go wrong, will go wrong. And this is especially true for all things technology.

In order to make flying aerial drones safer, DJI, maker of popular quadcopters like the Phantom 2, is currently developing a parachute system called DropSafe, which can be deployed instantly in a case of emergeny. DJI labels it as a “drop speed reduction system,” so as to make clear that they cannot guarantee a safe landing – or prevent damage to your gear or injuries caused by it – but only a reduced impact speed.

Attached to the top of the drone, the DropSafe parachute can be deployed either automatically or remotely, cutting off all power to the drone so it can smoothly land in style a la James Bond (although a Union Jack parachute is most likely not an option). Currently still under development, the lightweight parachute is designed to be reusable.

Honestly, we think that such a safety system should be a no-brainer, and don’t understand why it isn’t already standard issue with all drone copters. But maybe DJI’s DropSafe will set a new trend once it becomes available, and hopefully it will help put aerial drones in a better light with authorities. Below, you can watch a video that shows how DropSafe works.

Emerging Tech

NYPD has added a bunch of quadcopters to its crime-fighting kit

The New York Police Department is to start using quadcopters in its crime-fighting work. Trained cops will have access to various models for use in particular situations that include search-and-rescue, and hostage situations.
Emerging Tech

How to register your drone with the FAA

Before you take to the skies with your new drone, you need to make sure it has been properly registered with the U.S. government. Check our guide for registration requirements and easy, step-by-step instructions on how to complete your…
Emerging Tech

This exotic new material somehow gets thicker when stretched

Scientists at the U.K.’s University of Leeds have discovered a synthetic material which actually gets thicker the more it’s stretched. Here are some of the things it could be used for.
Emerging Tech

Early-detection system for wildfires could save many states from big burns

When it comes to dealing with the growing problem of raging wildfires, a new wireless smart sensor system could help spot burgeoning blazes before they rage out of control. Here's how it works.
Outdoors

Light up the night! Here are the five best headlamps money can buy

Headlamps make all the difference when camping or walking the dog at night, especially when you're in need of both hands. From Black Diamond and Petzl to Coast here are some of the best headlamps on the market.
Emerging Tech

Elon Musk to unveil tunnel elevators and autonomous pods on December 18

We'll soon learn if Elon Musk's high-speed tunnel plan is a serious effort at ending traffic jams or little more than a fancy theme park ride. A big unveiling event is coming on December 18, a week later than originally planned.
Emerging Tech

Hear the sounds of wind on Mars from InSight’s latest audio recording

NASA's InSight craft has captured the sound of the wind blowing on the surface of Mars. The audio file was picked up by the air pressure sensor and the seismometer which detected vibrations from the 10 to 15 mph winds in the area.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Emerging Tech

Feast your eyes on the wildest, most elaborate Rube Goldberg machines ever built

Want to see something totally mesmerizing? Check out several of the best Rube Goldberg machines from across the internet, including one that serves cake and other that do ... nothing particularly useful.
Emerging Tech

The 20 best tech toys for kids will make you wish you were 10 again

Looking for the perfect toy or gadget for your child? Thankfully, we've rounded up some of our personal favorite tech toys, including microscopes, computer kits, and a spherical droid from a galaxy far, far away.
Emerging Tech

Scoot your commute! Here are the 9 best electric scooters on the market

Electric scooters are an affordable, convenient way to minimize your carbon footprint and zip around town. Check out 8 of our current favorites, whether you're working with a budget or have some cash to spare.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.
Features

Has Columbus, Ohio raised its IQ yet? A progress report from the mayor

Two years ago, the city of Columbus in Ohio received $40 million to pursue smart city initiatives. So, what’s happened since then? We spoke with its mayor, Andrew Ginther, to discuss progress and what’s ahead.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!