Light Start – Robotic falconry, GoPro sales, Sony smartbulb, and Musk on Apple’s cars

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How to remove a drone from your airspace – without using a shotgun

Tokyo might be chasing down drones with nets but the boffins at the Michigan Tech Human-Interactive Robotics Lab have a much more American solution to snaring an offending drone from the skies. It’s still a net but this one is fired from the drone rather than hanging from the bottom of it. Less chance of snagging that way, you see. The net deploys like the classic movie nets do, tangling up the target drone’s rotors with the thin netting. It’s then dragged away by the robotic ‘falcon’ by a line attached to the capturing drone. Having seen what this proof of concept can do, and also being partial to a bit of fishing, we wonder if this system could be used for throw-netting in South African rivers…

Source: HIRoLab

GoPro facing layoffs on the back of poor sales over the holiday season

GoPro Hero4 SessionIf you work for GoPro, you might be in for a bad time. The action-cam company plans to lay off some 7% of their workforce, according to reports, as they’re facing a less-impressive-than-expected fourth quarter for 2015. They’re estimating $435 million in revenue for Q4 2015, which is below what the company was expecting for the period. Sales of the GoPro Hero4 Session are to blame, apparently, as the tiny little camera was revised downwards from its $399 launch price to $199 (R3,350) in order to gain traction. The company’s stock price has also fallen, as a result of its downward estimate for revenues for Q4. It’s not ideal for the action cam maker but we still have that drone to look forward to at least.

Source: Re/Code

Sony’s Multifunctional Light wants to control your entire home

The Smart Home is coming but, like all new technologies, it’ll probably launch in Japan way before it gets here. Sony’s new Multifunctional Light, boring name aside, will likely see that happen. It’s a light that connects to your TV, air conditioner, integrates a speaker and can function as an intercom. All controlled through a smartphone app, which is what we’d expect from a smart light with ambitions of total control. The Multifunctional Light is set to go on sale in Japan in the first half of 2016, though pricing for that country hasn’t been released yet. It almost goes without saying that we won’t be seeing its like for some time.

Source: Sony (YouTube)

Elon Musk: It’s an ‘open secret’ that Apple is building their own car

Got eighteen minutes on your hands? Then you might want to check out this interview with Elon Musk, conducted by the BBC, talking about Musk and Tesla’s future, the probability that his space and motoring startups would have succeeded (spoiler: about 10%) but he also mentions in passing something interesting about Apple. According to Musk, it’s a bit of an open secret that Apple are building a car because they’ve hired a whole mess of engineers to do it. Around 1,000 of them, to be specific. We can see how it’d be difficult to keep something like that a secret. Best of all, Musk seems almost pleased with the prospect of competing with them in that marketplace.

Source: BBC (YouTube)

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