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Automatic Parachute Could Save You From Being Hit by a Crashing Drone

Drones and remote-controlled copters are pretty safe, but if something goes wrong, it'd be nice to have a little insurance on board.

Drones and remote-controlled copters are generally safe to use when operated correctly, but if something goes wrong, that's several pounds of pointy metal and plastic falling out of the sky. Wouldn't it be nice to have a bit of built-in insurance on there in case things go south? DJI, maker of camera-toting hexacopters, announced just that this week: a compact parachute that automatically deploys on command or in emergencies.

Called the DropSafe, it mounts to the top of your DJI copter, and should the device fail, the chute pops out and produces a more leisurely descent. It may still land hard and break or disturb someone's picnic, but that's better than having it smash a windshield or come down on someone at terminal velocity. It's reusable, too, though you'll probably want to check for rips if it comes down in a tree or bush. No pricing or availability information is available yet, but should appear soon at DJI's website.

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— Devin Coldewey, NBC News