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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Heavy Duty Drones Tow Snowboarders, Firehoses, and Safely Drop a SkyDiver

As reported by The Verge: Aerones is a Latvian company that specializes in drones that can carry really heavy weights — up to 100 kilograms, according to the company’s website. If their name sounds familiar to you, it’s because they came up with the bright idea to tow a snowboarder with one of their drones last year. Now, the company has taken that idea a step further by using one of their drones for skydiving.
In the video, Aerones starts its 28-rotor drone from a pond, then picks up skydiver Ingus Augstkalns off of a tall tower before flying to a height of 330 meters. From there, Augstkalns lets go and parachutes safely to the ground.

While most commercial drones are pretty small, we’ve recently seen bigger ones designed to carry people around. Vlogger Casey Neistat took to the skies back in December using a custom,
 16-rotor drone to go snowboarding, while a team at VertiPod built one of their own in 2015.



Aerones’ stunt is a neat demonstration of the capabilities of a heavy-duty drone. Certainly, it could be used for sports, like droneboarding or skydiving (dronediving?), and if you’re nowhere near an airport or tall cliff, it could be a good way to get your adrenaline fix. The company doesn’t appear to be aimed just at leisurely activities, however: it’s posted up videos highlighting its drones doing everything from firefighting to rescue operations.