Monday, September 29, 2014

quadcopter pilot fined for losing his quad in national park

A US judge has fined a Dutch tourist for crashing a drone into a hot spring in Yellowstone National Park.
Theodorus Van Vliet was ordered to pay more than $3,000 (£1,847) for flying the unmanned aerial vehicle into the Grand Prismatic Spring in August.
Mr Van Vliet pleaded guilty last week to illegally operating the drone, which has yet to be located by authorities."

I don't mind the idea that people should ask for permission first.  But I hope this doesn't mean that drones will NEVER be allowed in parks for any reason.

Gopro 4 out!

Or if you can't afford such a work of art...

Drones used for movies!

"The film and video industry will never look the same, thanks to drones. Commercial use of drones is now prohibited, but there are signs that regulatory changes may be coming soon. The FAA has just granted exemptions to six filmmaking companies to use drones equipped with cameras.
Drone videos are already changing the way we see things."

Yep. Amazing shots can be had only with quadcopters.  but then, you can also make mistakes...


Friday, September 26, 2014

A wearable quadcopter?

"Meet Nixie, a wearable camera that flies off your wrist and turns into a remote-controlled quadcopter. It's the bizarre-yet-appealing wearable camera drone nobody asked for... and now we kind of want it.

Intel is holding a competition to encourage new wearable technology ideas, and the Nixie is one of the finalists. So far, it's still in development, so the flying wristlet camera is rough around the edges. Team captain Christoph Kohstall eventually wants you to be able to send the the Nixie flying with a gesture. It would recognize where you're standing, snap a picture, then return to the wrist, like a futuristic paparazzi boomerang."

Kinda bizarre, but who knows.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

If there's a headwind either way, you're screwed

"DHL’s Paketkopter 2.0 will begin flying to the island of Juist starting Friday, to deliver medicines to a population of fewer than 2,000 from the Seehund Pharmacy located on the mainland at Norddeich. The drone will fly at an altitude of 50 meters over the span of 12 kilometers each way without any control by a human pilot."

I kinda don't believe this story, unless it's not actually a quadcopter they're using. I don't see a quadcopter making 12 kilometers each way consistently, what with weather being a factor. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Polaroid activity cam; small, lightweight, cheap!

"Beyond the physical allusions, Brunner says he wanted to make the camera as fun and easy to use as the original Polaroid point-and-shoots. The Cube has a single button on top—press once to take a still image, twice for video. A door in the back, unscrewed with a coin, reveals the memory card, a micro USB port for charging the device and for downloading video, and a switch for choosing between 720p or 1080p resolution. The resolution is on par with that of a GoPro, which also offers an intermediate option of 960p."

Looks good, for video on the quad anyway.

Drones for Science!

"And drones aren't just useful at sea — organizations like Conservation Drones are finding drone applications in research and conservation on land, like monitoring birds. And, in addition to Perryman's whale research, NOAA has an entire program devoted to using drones for environmental research, including taking atmospheric samples and surveying sea lion populations.
Drones can also be used to fight off threats of the non-environmental kind: Kenya just announced plans to deploy drones in all of its national parks and reserves giving rangers 24-hour aerial surveillance for poachers."

Yes, quadcopters and other flying platforms are safe, cheap, relatively easy to use!

Monday, September 22, 2014

quadcopter goes to work!

I watched a demonstration on campus here of a quadcopter following a red balloon around. It was pretty impressive.  Now this video shows a quadcopter simulating some actual work by turning a valve.  The future looks bright!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

LAPD promise not to use their quadcopters yet

"The LAPD says the newly acquired Draganflyer X6 pilotless choppers, equipped to carry video cameras and night-vision lenses, are intended for SWAT-team use against armed suspects who may be barricaded alone or with hostages.
But echoing objections aired in Seattle, civil libertarians in California's largest city say law enforcement use of airborne robots raises questions about privacy rights, the limits of government powers to snoop on its citizens and the militarization of police agencies.
Although police in both cities have said the drones would never carry weapons, the deployment of pilotless aircraft has drawn associations with covert U.S. missile strikes in places such as Pakistan and Yemen.
Seattle police originally purchased the drones in 2010 with an $80,000 federal grant, but a plan to deploy them to search for missing persons and fugitives and to assist in certain criminal investigations was scrapped last year in the face of community opposition."

I don't have any objection to the police using such technology, so long as they only use it for severe situations, like a hostage standoff or something.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Friday, September 12, 2014

quadcopter used to record damage to Gaza from Isaeli strike

"Drone footage reveals the extent of damage to Gaza City caused by the recent conflict with Israeli that lasted 50 days, until a ceasefire was brokered.
Between 8 July and 27 August, more than 2,100 Palestinians were killed in the Gaza Strip, along with 66 Israeli soldiers and seven civilians in Israel."

Quadcopters help diplomacy, and history!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

animal activist uses drone

A law in some states makes it illegal for animal rights activists to videotape on farms and slaughterhouses property. So they've come up with using drones to fly over instead.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Wyoming worried about drones

"Wyoming association of Boyd Oedekoven, executive director of the Wyoming Association of Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police, only knows of two drones that exist in the state. Oedekoven says one drone belongs to a fire department that uses it to access rural fires, and another one is owned by a swat team.
'I think it’s better that we evaluate the overall restrictions and evaluate what our need to use them. For example, I think the unmanned aerial vehicles should follow the same rules as using an airplane,' said Oedekoven."

Maybe he means he knows of only 2 drones used by the government in Wyoming?

Burning Man 2014