DARPA’s quadcopter tops 72km/h in autonomous flight
Flying a drone at over 70km/h isn’t much of an achievement, even for commercially-available gear. Not all of it, mind you, but some of the hardware is impressive. Convincing a drone to fly at that speed without a pilot intervening though, that’s a trick worth seeing. And you can see it, above, in DARPA’s progress video for their Fast Lightweight Autonomy (FLA) program. The main flight is of a custom-created drone, which was assembled from commercially-available bits, topping 72km/h without a pilot. That’s over 20 metres per second, or fast enough to knock a pedestrian unconscious – which is a bit of a strange metric but we like it anyway. The test-flight is a straight one, with few obstacles, but they’re working on better autonomy for drones. The idea is to get them to navigate themselves around obstacles, while a pilot handles the general movement of a large group of drones. Futuristic.
Source: DARPA (YouTube)
Apple’s iPad Air 3, iPhone 5SE could be on sale very soon after the announcement
If you’ve been paying attention then you’ll know that Apple are expected to make a March announcement for some new hardware, which is fairly out of character for them as we’re expecting a new iPhone (the 5SE) and an iPad Air 3 to make an appearance on 15 March. What’s new is that these devices are now expected to go on sale (in the States and Europe, at least) very soon afterwards. 9to5Mac reports that we will see an on-sale date of 18 March, giving people a bare three days to get their pre-orders in before the floodgates open. Just kidding, there probably won’t be any pre-order option. As usual, we’re expecting a delay for South Africa but we’ll at least have approximate pricing (which will be exorbitant thanks to the Rand-Dollar exchange) ahead of a local launch.
Whatever else happens, let’s never let the FBI make a game ever again
We’ve seen a lot of terrible games in our time. Farmville, for one, but also the likes of Big Rigs: Over The Road Racing and Superman 64. The FBI have made a web browser game, featuring some kind of Lego goat as a protagonist for some reason, called The Slippery Slope to Violent Extremism. It’s not quite as bad as Big Rigs but the FBI, at some point, might want to hire someone who actually knows what a video game looks like before putting something like this relic from 1985 onto a website designed to educate teenagers and kids about extremism. That said, it’s actually playable as long as you don’t actually try to play it. The goat appears to be made from teflon and guiding him around his Lego pasture is a bit like playing GTA 3 with the gravity turned off. Except way, way less fun.
Here’s your Monday educational video – How to land a Boeing 737 with no experience whatsoever
You know what scares us? Being on a plane where the pilots are all incapacitated for some reason. Maybe they’ve all become zombies and have been locked in the cargo hold. What do you do? If you’re a Stuff reader then you will have watched the ten-minute video above, which commercial pilot Tim Morgan claims will give you a good shot at putting a Boeing 737 on the ground without putting the Boeing 737 through the ground. Morgan has made a short video showing the average passenger how to turn a 737 to an alternate heading and then go in for a landing – on the direction of a control tower, of course. If you’re especially paranoid, and you’d have to be as this situation is very unlikely, you might want to keep this video saved on your tablet. Just in case.