Saturday, November 28, 2015

Take heed to those spinning blades of doom

"Mr Evans, who was an experienced drone operator before the accident, described the moment it hit Oscar.
He said: 'It was up for about 60 seconds. As I brought it back down to land it just clipped the tree and span round.
'The next thing I know I've just heard my friend shriek and say "Oh God no" and I turned around and just saw blood and his baby on the floor crying.'
Mr Evans said he has not flown the gadget since the accident as the sight of one makes him feel 'physically sick'.
Oscar's mother said she wanted to warn others how dangerous drones can be."

Things can go wrong. Spinning blades of doom can cause damage.  Be cautious always.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Shark detecting drones

"Part of the Australian coastline popular with swimmers and surfers will now be patrolled by drones as a way to protect beachgoers from shark attacks, government officials announced Wednesday.
The trials in the southeastern state of New South Wales are part of a AU $16 million ($11.6 million) program that will test the effectiveness of drone technology in mitigating shark attacks. The drones will send real-time images of coastal waters back to an operator using GPS coordinates."

Sharks can be spotted from above more easily.  See?  Drones have many good uses.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Oregon legislators considering drone laws

"Huffman has for three years spearheaded a drone work group that is rounding out state rules and regulations that will govern the skies while the federal government figures out how it will address a growing demand for the small, remote-operated aircraft.
He and a wide group of civil liberties advocates, business leaders and state agency officials worked in 2012 and 2013 to limit how law enforcement agencies could use drones. House Bill 2710, which passed widely in 2013, requires police to get a warrant if they're using a drone to gather information in a case, unless the agency has probable cause and believed time was a crucial factor in solving a case."

They're working on how to restrict not only recreational users, but also the police and other governmental bodies.  Good on them.

Where 70% of drones are made

"One company, DJI, produces 70 percent of all civilian drones in the world in Shenzhen, China.
'We're an international company,' DJI Public Relations Director Michael Perry told CBS News.
Perry doesn't highlight the company's China base, perhaps because Americans are often concerned by a Chinese company that controls so much of the market.
'We have an international footprint that reflects our international character,'" Perry said.

That's a pretty huge segment of any market!

Know before you fly

I was browsing through today's Black Friday ads and was amazed at how many stores are now selling cheap quadcopters. Better read up before you go flying!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

4-winged copter dies at birth?

"It seems TechJect failed to even fully develop the Robot Dragonfly even though the project hit first hit Indiegogo nearly three years ago. The Indiegogo project page states the developement had begun (in at least 2012) on a $1m grant from the US Air Force. “We don’t want users to wait for technology to trickle down,” the page says. Yet backers are still waiting.
After the company announced the financial troubles yesterday, backers took to the comments section on Indiegogo en masse. And rightly so. Today, the company clarified that technically the project has not been canceled yet. The company just needs more money to continue. It also notes that if the product fails to ship, the company will release all the “all the company’s Dragonfly IP with full license authority to all our campaign backers for use, re-sale and more as they please to instigate recovery against their loss.”
The Robotic Dragonfly always seemed a bit far-fetched. We covered the campaign after visiting the Georgia Tech labs where the project was born. But good engineers do not always make good founders. It takes a special team to see a product from CAD drawings to prototypes to store shelves."

They were advertising this as a platform for video work.  I don't see it being very stable with 4 flapping wings.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Qudcopter view of a Greek Monestary

Μετέωρα | Έξι μοναστήρια πάνω στους βράχους - έξι μοναστήρια που αγγίζουν τον ουρανό.Αποχαιρετώντας τον Αύγουστο, "πετάξτε" για 3 λετπά πάνω από αυτό το μοναδικό τοπίο της Ελλάδας, που δεν σταματά να μαγεύει επισκέπτες απ'όλο τον κόσμο...
Posted by Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή στην Ελλάδα on Sunday, August 30, 2015

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

army tries out drone swarms

""It has been proved that consumer [drones] can be used for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, distraction tactics and, in the future, the ability to drop small munitions," said Barry Hatchett with the Army's Program Executive Office for Simulation, Training and Instrumentation.
On its own, a consumer drone doesn't pose a huge threat or offer much in the way of an advantage on the battlefield. It's range is limited, it can't lift much, it isn't defended against radio jamming and can be easily brought down with a shot from a rifle.
But they are cheap."

Drone swarms are something worth looking into.