Let's kickstart this bike!

There is a new kid in Kickstarter town, called hoverbike! Yes, of course it involves drone technology! This muscular quad has enough power to lift.. well, a human being! Well, not the one you can obtain on kickstarter, but still it is pretty neat! Basically, they are building a quadcopter where each set of two propellers overlaps, resulting in an awesome design. 3D print your own human and put your favorite action cam in its head and your FPV-to-go!

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The Netherlands wins World Cup Football... in robot football!

Although the Dutch team did a good job in the football World Cup in Brasil, they were sent home by Argentina in the half-finals. The robot football team, Tech United from Eindhoven did a better job and made it to the finals, at which they beat the Chinese "Water" team. With the 3-2 score, they took revenge on the Chinese team, that beat Tech United last year, during the World Cup held in Eindhoven. Watch the summary:

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The Internet of Things...

The new hype-word of 2014 is "The Internet of Things". Although sounding very interesting, the word "things" does not really make me get excited as an engineer. Apparently, what these "things" are is not yet defined... A Dutch Amsterdam-based startup company called Relayr now has their Dragon Innovations project finalized and available for pre-order! The kit is formed as tiny blocks that each contain simple sensors, connected with a low power Bluetooth transmitter and a battery. The sensors are proximity sensors, temperature sensors and accelerometers. All packed into a chocolate-like design, now that is smart marketing! Watch the introduction video here, or another one after the break.

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Computer Vision in taxis

Our friends at the Dutch company SightCorp provided The Perfect Fools and their client Casumo their face recognition SDK to recognize the emotions of taxi drivers in the city of Oslo, Norway. Read a more complete story here.

New small drone from Parrot kicks in...

We were already pretty impressed with theĀ last micro drone that Parrot announced (but still not released), but their latest creation looks even more impressive. Again, the small bird is only slightly larger than a sheet of paper. With its 400g, it is lightweight, meaning it will not be resistant to wind at all, but the feature set is impressive! This baby has full 3-axis image stabilization. Because mechanical stabilization cannot be cramped into the tiny body, this is all done in software, in the GPU that uses the input from the 3-axis accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer. I wonder how this compares to a real stabilization system... The compressed bits from the 14 MPixel camera with wide lens are stored on the internal 8 GByte of memory and transmitted over 802.11a/b/g/n/ac with four ceramic MIMO antennas. The optional SkyController supports FPV goggles such as the Oculus Rift as shown on the product page. Our friends at Engadget took this toy for a 12-minute spin, until the battery drained.

Read more: New small drone from Parrot kicks in...