Monday, February 29, 2016

what does the future hold for drones?

"1. Drones are increasingly based on cutting-edge smartphone technology (Qualcomm Snapdragon platform).

2. Computer vision, sense-and-avoid and optical tracking become standard in consumer drones.

3. Major software companies integrate drone data into core offerings, taking "reality capture" mainstream.

4. Drones surpass satellites in amount of data gathered and used.

5. Drones become like Wi-Fi."

I think 2 and 4 are quite likely.  Sense-and-avoid is already out there, so it's just a matter of getting the price down (although, would you want that in a racer?).  I can also see drones being used in many commercial fields, like mineral research and farming.


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Quadcopter makes it nonstop across English Channel

"A recent test flight done by UK commercial drone operator Ocuair has pushed that potential further. The company was able to successfully fly a custom-built quadcopter across the English Channel, a first for these unmanned vehicles.While most recreational quadcopters hit a maximum flight time of 25 minutes, the 21.7 mile journey across the waterway took 72 minutes. Called Enduro, the craft took off from a beach in Northern France and landed safely on Shakespeare Beach in Dover, England. During the trip the quadcopter was trailed by its pilot, Operations Director Richard Gill, in a boat that stayed within 500 meters of the drone."

I'm quite amazed by this. I didn't think such a long flight was possible yet.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Suicide Quadcopter

"Israel Aerospace Industries has taken the quadcopter to its logical conclusion: They built a man-hunting flying suicide drone. The ROTEM-L unmanned aerial vehicle is designed to hunt down targets in urban environments and execute a suicide attack, blowing them up with hand grenades.
ROTEM-L weighs 9 pounds, carries infrared cameras, and has a flying time of 30 minutes. An operator uses a tablet to guide the drone. He or she uses the forward-fixed camera to search for targets—IAI says the drone is virtually silent at ranges of 200 meters. Once a target is located, the operator can activate the attack mode. ROTEM-L executes a high speed on attack its prey. Once in range, the drone detonates two onboard fragmentation grenades, destroying itself and the target. "

Well there goes the neighborhood.  Now people will see quadcopters and run in fear.

Friday, February 12, 2016

45 mph quadcopter!

And it goes around obstacles by itself!

Then there's this one doing 90mph, but human controlled...

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Russian military utilizing multicopters

"A multicopter complex armed with anti-tank missiles has been unveiled at a military robot conference near Moscow. Consisting of several drones, the complex is set to perform reconnaissance tasks, monitor the battlefield and eliminate targets.
The versatile airborne robotic complex has been developed by Sistemprom, an integral part of the United Instrument Manufacturing Corporation (Rostec). It was presented at the Russian Armed Forces Robotics conference at Kubinka’s Patriot military expo, west of Moscow."

Pretty soon we won't need soldiers.

Even magicians are using quadcopters!

Swarms will be the New Thing with quadcopters.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

quadcopter racing is hard

"But alas, it was all for nought: flying an FPV quadcopter is really hard. Basically, you have two control sticks: the left stick controls thrust and rotation around the Z axis, while the second stick controls planar movement on the X and Y axes. The idea is to use the left stick until you're hovering at about hip height (about half thrust) and then tilt the right stick in the rough direction that you want to go in. I mostly just tried to go forward (that seemed like the sensible option) but even that proved difficult.

After four or five attempts, I did eventually get the quadcopter to hover and bumble forward haphazardly for a couple of seconds—but then I lost control and somehow ended up on a windowsill with my rotor stuck in some kind of rustic bricky crevice. The instructor (Brett Collis, one of the UK's top FPV pilots) told me to cut the power... so I did. My drone quickly fell from the windowsill to the hard floor, leaving my propeller stuck in the brick. Taking off with just three propellers is sadly not possible."

I'm just about ready with my quad to order goggles.  that will be a big leap I'm sure.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Dude crashes his quadcopter into Empire State Building, gets in trouble

"Police say a man was arrested after he apparently lost control of a small drone that crashed into the Empire State Building.
The drone hit the 40th floor of the 1,454-foot landmark skyscraper and then fell to a 35th floor"

You're just making it bad for the rest of us.  Knock it off.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

helicopter pilot catches drone operator that threatened a collision

"Botti said Reyes took the helicopter to an altitude of about 1,500 feet and circled the area in search of the drone operator, who was spotted near the 1800 block of North Carson Avenue. Reyes landed the helicopter in a large field nearby and called for assistance from a ground unit. The air crew took information from the drone operator, whom Botti said had not registered it with the Federal Aviation Administration and was flying above a 400-foot limit for such aircraft. Botti said the information would be turned over the the FAA, which would determine whether the operator would face sanctions."

Just follow the rules!

  • Follow community-based safety guidelines, as developed by organizations such as the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA).
  • Fly no higher than 400 feet and remain below any surrounding obstacles when possible.
  • Keep your sUAS in eyesight at all times, and use an observer to assist if needed.
  • Remain well clear of and do not interfere with manned aircraft operations, and you must see and avoid other aircraft and obstacles at all times.
  • Do not intentionally fly over unprotected persons or moving vehicles, and remain at least 25 feet away from individuals and vulnerable property.
  • Contact the airport or control tower before flying within five miles of an airport.
  • Fly no closer than two nautical miles from a heliport with a published instrument flight procedure.
  • Do not fly in adverse weather conditions such as in high winds or reduced visibility.
  • Do not fly under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Ensure the operating environment is safe and that the operator is competent and proficient in the operation of the sUAS.
  • Do not fly near or over sensitive infrastructure or property such as power stations, water treatment facilities, correctional facilities, heavily traveled roadways, government facilities, etc.
  • Check and follow all local laws and ordinances before flying over private property.
  • Do not conduct surveillance or photograph persons in areas where there is an expectation of privacy without the individual’s permission (see AMA’s privacy policy).

Read more here:"

Monday, February 1, 2016

Take down a drone with a trained eagle

This actually makes more sense to me than trying to have one drone catch another with a net or something.