Drones - What's next?

Drones - What's next?

What are drones getting up to these days? Aside from breaking boundaries of photographic exploration, here are just a few of the new applications being augmented by UAVs:

Internet access

High tech, high altitude UAVs, led by Facebook’s ‘Aquila’, are being developed to provide internet access to underserved areas. The drones are designed to float in holding patterns for up to 90 days, powered by solar cells, and, when proven out, could bring connectivity to the more than 2 billion people currently without.


The field of ‘First Person View’ (FPV) drone racing is one of today’s fastest growing sports. Pilots view the course through a virtual reality headset, navigating the tight twists and turns and plenty of obstacles that require massive precision to navigate. The DR.ONE competition, sponsored by Red Bull, sees 18 international drone racing teams from 11 countries put their skills and technology to the test.


Whilst the jury is still out on the merits and justifications of making standard courier deliveries by drone, small, time-sensitive packages that need to get to inaccessible areas are a perfect fit. Several NGOs are already utilizing UAVs to deliver vaccines and medical equipment to inaccessible areas.



The water skiers best friend!

The water skiers best friend!

Check out our tips for getting the most out of your drone for your day on the water:

Avoid the wake!

While the WaterStrider can handle small to medium sized waves like a pro, it’s best to stay well away from wakes when you are on the water. Large splashes can irreparably damage your camera, and bobbing images are no fun to watch or control your drone by

Stay ahead of the game

Don’t aim to be directly perpendicular to your skier – not only does this yield an inferior shot, but it makes staying in-line with her an impossible challenge for even the most skilled pilots. Staying a decent distance ahead gives you more padding for unnoticeable course adjustments, and allows you to capture sweeping shots of her skills – always preferable to those from a static relative position

Land during downtimes

Waterskiing is well known for long-periods of ‘down time’, especially for beginners. When waiting for a recovery or the next skier, simply land your drone on the water (giving a wide berth from the boat and the skiiers). This will conserve battery power and give you more time capturing those unique moments before having to retrieve your drone and switch batteries


InterDrone Day one complete!

InterDrone Day one complete!

A fantastic start to the show – thousands of visitors, hundreds of conversations, sore feet and voices fatigued, it’s been a great first day at InterDrone 2017.

Keynote address, seminars and events in addition to the main floor have provided an entertaining, informative and thought provoking first 24 hours. Zac Cole, founder stated “It’s been great to spend time with industry leaders and influencers, sharing knowledge and ideas on the next generation of the drone industry”.

WaterStrider 2.0 has received an amazing response, with visitors continually remarking on how much lighter the new model is. See it for yourself – join 4,000 attendees from over 58 countries at Rio Hotel, Las Vegas, NV until September 8, 2017. We look forward to seeing you at booth #513!



Meet the team behind the technology at InterDrone, Las Vegas, September 6-8.

Come join us at booth #513 to see what's new, find our more, ask questions and meet the team.

If you've not visited before, InterDrone is where the UAV industry comes together, bringing drone pilots, UAS engineers and developers, commercial drone service businesses, UAV manufacturers, drone videographers and enterprise UAV end-users.

Click here to register your ticket

We look forward to seeing you there!

WaterStrider provides landing insurance for Antarctic shoot.

WaterStrider provides landing insurance for Antarctic shoot.

WaterStrider from Dronerafts was the device of choice for a team of photographers capturing Antarctica from the air.

With massive expanses of water and unstable terrain, WaterStrider offered the reassurance the team were looking for.

"To provide some additional security while flying, we also carried a pontoon assembly from DroneRafts called a WaterStrider, which allows you to land on the water in an emergency. Many pilots who fly over water suggest attaching a hydrostatic float (originally designed for fishing poles), but we have avoided these due to their low success rate". Said Gavin Garrison.

Click here to find out more and read the article in full.

How to – Mission Planning for Fleeting Moments

How to – Mission Planning for Fleeting Moments

As nature photographers and parents of little ones know all too well, one often only has seconds at hand to capture that perfect shot. Readiness is key, and correct preparation can save you much stress (and many hours and megabytes!)

Here are 3 tips for capturing those fleeting moments with your drone:

  1. Equipment care – Prior to setting out for the day, make sure your equipment is in tip-top shape – mechanically sound, fully charged and functioning and with a clean lens.
  2. Solid ground – Get yourself comfortable and stable before starting your flight. Once airborne and camera ready, the last thing you want to be thinking about is correcting your boat trajectory or digging yourself out of sinking mud.
  3. Flight path planning – What is the most effective way to capture your target? Do you want a still, low shot or a sweeping panoramic? Determining a flight plan and path before the capture window will allow you to react quickly and surely when the mark is in sight.

WaterStrider by DroneRafts, an all-terrain landing gear for the DJI Phantom series, can help you be fully prepared to capture those once-in-a-lifetime shots. The WaterStrider flies with your drone, allowing stress-free landings on water and a range of inhospitable and uneven surfaces such as rocks, snow, angled ground and sand while protecting and enhancing the application of your equipment.

Cleaning your Phantom

Cleaning your Phantom

Is your Phantom looking a little fly-splattered or weather beaten after your adventurous mission? Here are our top tips for servicing your drone back to new!

Simple is best! Whilst there are plenty of dedicated solutions on the market, a common and effective go-to solution for surface cleaning is a standard baby wipe! With gentle cleaners and the right amount of moisture, it is the perfect, cheap solution for most of your cleaning needs. A lightly moistened paper towel with a mild soap will also do the job just as well.

No submersion or sprays. Your drone electronics and camera gimbal, whilst quite forgiving to light rain or spray, can be damaged irreparably if liquid gets inside the mechanisms. As a result, we recommend only cleaning with hand-applied products and not sprays or submersion.

Dedicated lens care. To keep those fleeting images crystal-clear, we recommend using dedicated camera optic wipes to clean the lens and leave it streak free.

Sheltered storage. Finally, to enhance the longevity and health of your equipment, be sure to fully stow and pack away your drone for long periods of inactivity to prevent dusts and other contaminants making it dirty again. And, as with most mechanical and optical devices, temperate storage out of direct sunlight and humidity is always best.

Industry Spotlight - Drones Saving Lives

Industry Spotlight - Drones Saving Lives

The rapid expansion of the drone industry is unprecedented – and now they are helping to save lives in scenarios where seconds count.

The Center for Resuscitation Science at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm recently commissioned an experiment, published last week in the Journal of the American Medical Association, which tested the effectiveness of rapid drone-delivered defibrillators to cardiac arrest sufferers in rural Sweden.

The test drones, carrying a small heart defibrillator weighing less than two pounds featuring an electronic voice that gives instructions on how to use the device, were deployed to the houses of 18 recent cardiac arrest sufferers at the same time and from the same location that ambulances were dispatched. They arrived, on average, 17 minutes faster than the responding ambulances, which is massively significant for cardiac events where response time is strongly and steeply proportional to mortality.

Whilst the drone-delivered devices weren’t used on patients in the preliminary study, the results are "pretty remarkable" and proof that the idea is worth exploring, said Dr. Clyde Yancy, a former American Heart Association president. The test results show "a great potential for saving lives," he said. A follow-up study is already planned for deployment in real-life cardiac arrests.

Cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death worldwide, killing more than 6 million people each year.

SkyPixel and DJI’s 2017 Aerial Video Contest!

SkyPixel and DJI’s 2017 Aerial Video Contest!

“When life gets dull, it’s time to see the world from a brand new perspective. Go off the beaten path on your walk, rediscover the beauty of the city, and take on new challenges to push your limits. A new world will appear when you look at it from different angles.”

Don’t miss the opportunity to share your video exploration skills and snag some amazing prizes with SkyPixel’s 2017 Aerial Video Contest. With Sport, City and Nature categories, there is ample opportunity to show off your #DroneAnywhere skills!

The Details:

  • Submissions open June 2nd – August 1st.  There is no limit on number of entries.
  • Submitted video must be under 5 minutes including aerial clips of at least 30 seconds.
  • Content must be entirely original.

The Prizes:

  • GRAND PRIZE – DJI Inspire 2 Premium combo, Nikon D750 body and extensive accessory kit, Australia travel package
  • CATEGORY 1ST PRIZE – DJI Phantom 4 Pro, Nikon D500 body and extensive accessory kit, Australia travel package
  • CATEGORY 2ND PRIZE – DJI Mavic Pro and extensive accessory package
  • CATEGORY 3RD PRIZE – DJI Spark Fly and extensive accessory package

To enter, visit: www.skypixel.com/events/videocontest2017


Meet the founders

Meet the founders

Adam, Zac and Dave, founders of DroneRafts, met over 15 years ago while studying mechanical engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Their passion for aerospace and flight led them to specialize in the design, analysis, testing, manufacturing, certification, and maintenance of gas turbine engines and light aircraft.

After successful early careers in large aerospace firms, they caught the entrepreneurial bug and decided to set off on their own, only knowing they wanted to do ‘something’ in aviation. Detecting a flaw in the restrictive landing capability of consumer drones, the idea for DroneRafts, and the WaterStrider landing gear, was born.

The team adopts a data-driven approach to the entire product lifecycle, from design through to marketing and distribution. They are enjoying the journey of start-up development, and are already developing other product ideas to extend the range and application of UAVs.

Outside of “work”, they enjoy traveling and flying, and have 9 children between them who love helping their Dads with product testing!