Friday, October 31, 2014

Quadcopters buzzing French nuclear plants

"Unmanned aircraft have been seen flying over many of France's nuclear stations and the authorities don't know where they have come from.
Greenpeace, who have previously flown a paraglider over a nuclear plant in France, deny any involvement."

I think with mine I could go about 1/2 mile line-of-sight with my Spektrum transmitter, so the pilot is probably in a vehicle in that vicinity.  It's worrying because they don't know who's doing it, but I suspect it's somebody making a movie about nuclear power.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

drone ambulance!

"The drone tracks emergency mobile calls and uses the GPS to navigate. Once at the scene, an operator, like a paramedic, can watch, talk and instruct those helping the victim by using an on-board camera connected to a control room via a livestream webcam."

OSCE using drones in Ukraine, until they get shot down

"The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has begun using unmanned surveillance drones to monitor the conflict in eastern Ukraine, which has claimed nearly 4,000 lives, including some 1,000 Ukrainian servicemen.
Two drones have been delivered so far and another two are on their way.
'The idea is a 24/7 operation so there is always one in the air,' said OSCE spokesperson for the Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine Michael Bociurkiw.
 The Camcopter S-100 is a 3.5 meter long unarmed mini-helicopter equipped with a camera and radar equipment. The standard model can stay in the air for up to six hours and is able to operate in snow-covered areas at temperatures as low as -40 Celcius, according to Schiebel public relations representative Andrea Blama."

This depends on the good will of both side not to shoot at the drones.  Otherwise, good idea.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Dude melts his Gopro flying over volcano

war reporting with a quadcopter

"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 show things in a way no other method could.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

word's first drone?

"In 350 B.C., mathematician and founding father of mechanics Archytas of Tarentum invented a wooden mechanical dove.
“Archytas’ invention is often cited as the first robot, and, in light of recent technological advancements, perhaps we could even consider it to be the first drone; the very first machine capable of autonomous flight,” wrote Jimmy Stamp in a Smithsonian article.
Stamp isn’t the only one to consider this flying dove a pioneering drone. A modern unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)—i.e., a drone—developed by the Aeronautics Department at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School was named for Archytas in 1993. "

Not enough info. to make a copy though.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Another starter quad to learn on

"Because of the $80 price tag, I wasn’t expecting much.  To my surprise, the Ominus offered more and I actually got a really good quad for a great price.  Unfortunately for my nephew, I’m having too good of a time with it.  He probably won’t be playing with the Ominus anytime soon.  But from my experience, the Ominus was designed to be enjoyed by beginners and advance flyers alike.
Ominus flyers can toggle from four flight modes by clicking on the F-Mode button.  The modes range from Easy to Expert.  I’ve been sticking with the Normal mode for flight stabilization.  The brushed motors don’t have any problems carrying and powering this quad through the wind. "

I like this guy's reviews.  He shows that the Ominous is stable, cheap, and a good choice for beginners.  But it doesn't have picture or video capability.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

quadcopter causes riot at soccer game

"A soccer match between the national teams of Serbia and Albania had to be abandoned on Tuesday night in Belgrade after rioting provoked by the sudden appearance of a small drone, flying low over the stadium and trailing an Albanian nationalist banner.
Video recorded by a spectator in the stands showed the immediate reaction from the Serbian fans, who booed and whistled before taking up a chant of 'Kill! Kill! Kill!' Albanians, as a flare was thrown onto the field of play."

There does need to be regulation of where drones can be used.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

North Dakota police use drone to find suspects

"The Grand Forks County Sheriff's Office says it deployed a drone to help catch some criminals on the run. They say it is the first time a drone has been used by law enforcement to conduct a mission at night.  
Matthew Dalbey of Emerado, Cole Schmidt of Larimore, and Sawyer Smith of Hatton, North Dakota, are facing alcohol and fleeing-related charges. There's also a fourth suspect authorities are not identifying. Dalbey is charged with DUI, reckless driving, minor in possession and refusing to halt. Schmidt is charged with minor in consumption and refusing to halt. Smith is charged with refusing to halt.
The sheriff's office used a drone after the men ran into a field during a traffic stop just after 2:15 a.m. on September 28. Sheriff's deputies tried pulling over a pickup in rural Larimore when the four people ran from the scene. After a K-9 was unable to locate the suspects, the UAS team was contacted."

This kind of use I have no problem with.

Hawk takes down a quadcopter

"Operator Christopher Schmidt says the incident took place at Magazine Beach Park in Cambridge, Massachusetts and that, upon realizing what was about to happen, he quickly throttled down the Phantom FC40 quadcopter's props to keep them from injuring the bird (or worse).
Other copters have not been so lucky
Other bird-meets-drone encounters have not had such happy endings. Last year, another Phantom operator had his drone dive-bombed by a group of birds, that forced it into a crash landing."

I have never had such an issue.  It was good to throttle down the quad so the bird didn't get hurt.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

How big is that protest? Let's look and see...

"Footage filmed by a drone has captured the scale of Monday's pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong's central business district.
Tens of thousands of people took to the streets to oppose China's decision to choose the candidates for Hong Kong's next election in 2017."

If you need a cheap, quick look from the air, quadcopter is what you want.  Just don't crash.

"Frazier is a proselytizer for law enforcement drones. He believes they add to the police officer’s toolkit in fighting crime. He also stressed how cheap they are to run – when he worked with manned police helicopters in his previous job in Glendale, southern California, the unit cost $12m a year to sustain, while his current drone unit in Grand Forks costs just $10,000 annually.
As interest in drones has grown among police agencies, so too have fears about the downsides. Debates have raged across the country about whether the technology could lead to a vast expansion of police surveillance on individuals.
Such concerns have been fueled by plans floated by police departments for blanket surveillance. The city of Ogden, Utah, came in for a lot of criticism when it proposed putting a blimp semi-permanently on patrol."

This is a good article covering several angles of quadcopter use.So long as the police have rules to go by to protect privacy, quadcopters are a great cheap tool for the police and many other professions to use.