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Drone. Camera. Erupting volcano. Need we say more?

Drone maker DJI has launched a video series called "DJI Feats" to show off its quadcopters. The first stop? Bardabunga Volcano in Iceland.

Michael Franco
Freelancer Michael Franco writes about the serious and silly sides of science and technology for CNET and other pixel and paper pubs. He's kept his fingers on the keyboard while owning a B&B in Amish country, managing an eco-resort in the Caribbean, sweating in Singapore, and rehydrating (with beer, of course) in Prague. E-mail Michael.
Michael Franco
2 min read

Quadcopter: Boldly going where no human can. That's hot. Video screenshot by Michael Franco/CNET

It might be cold in Iceland, but a new video by drone maker DJI is pretty damn hot.

To show off its Phantom II quadcopter, the company strapped a GoPro camera to it, linked it up to its Lightbridge HD wireless transmission system and flew it straight toward the currently erupting Bardabunga Volcano in the middle of Iceland. The last time the caldera got bubbling was in 1910.

"The fact that you can take a $1,000 flying camera and put it in the middle of an erupting volcano to capture wide-angle views of this giant pool of molten lava which is exploding and throwing lava 150 meters or so into the air is pretty amazing," said Eric Cheng, director of aerial imaging for DJI.

The volcano "is located at the junction between the eastern and northern volcanic rift zones in the area where the present-day center of the mantle hot spot beneath Iceland is thought to be," according to VolcanoDiscovery.com.

Getting to the volcano sounds almost as difficult as filming it, according to this "making of" video. Cheng had to fly to Reykjavik, drive 12 hours, sleep in a farmhouse, wake up and drive three more hours. He wasn't allowed to get real close to the volcano -- and that's probably a good thing. On one of the quadcopter's flyovers, the video feed cut out, and Cheng had to initiate the "return home" function. When it got back to him, the front of GoPro camera was melted. Fortunately, the microSD card survived, which is why we have this awesome video to watch now.

(Via PCMag)