Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Drone photo contest!


"To enter the contest, you need to publish your aerial photos at www.dronestagr.am.
Be a part of this amazing experience when Dronestagram presents the highlights of international drone photography in the following three categories:
The election of the best aerial photos will be conducted by Dronestagram and National Geographic. The competition will be judged on creativity, photographic quality and respect of each category."

Thursday, May 26, 2016

drone regulations review

drone defense beefs up


"The gadget, powered by a battery in a backpack, has two triggers that allow operators to choose how they want to take down a drone: by remote control disruption of command-and-control signals sent by the operator of a drone trespassing in restricted airspace, or by disrupting its automatic guidance system."

It's good to see people working on this, trying to come up with ways that simply disable the drone.  I hope they are considering swarms as well.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

mini-drones that can attach themselves to take a breather


"...researchers from Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and several other institutions have created a minuscule wing-flapping robot that literally turns the problem on its head—with a disklike top that can cling to most surfaces using static electricity, much like rubbing a balloon and sticking it onto a wall."

"The ability to hang from a structure rather than rest on top also provides the MAV with a less-obstructed view of the area below and protection from extreme weather conditions during long perching sessions. The headfirst electrostatic approach works by changing the charge distribution of the material to which it is clinging, Graule says. This works best with a smooth texture, so the drone can adhere better to something like a window than to a rough or porous surface. The MAV’s electroadhesive connection is not particularly strong, however, which means the drones need to weigh in at roughly 84 milligrams—less than a bee. In order to relaunch the drone cuts power to the circular copper electrodes in its disk and restarts its wings."

That would be great to find a high point, attach yourself, and look around. Then head over somewhere else if necessary for a better view.  Brilliant!

"The drone 'killer' getting the most attention at Sea Air Space was the DroneDefender, a system developed by researchers at the nonprofit research and development organization Battelle. DroneDefender is a two-pronged drone jammer—it can disrupt command-and-control signals from a remote operator or disrupt automatic GPS or GLONASS guidance, depending on which of the devices' two triggers is pulled.
Powered by a small backpack, DroneDefender looks like some futuristic over-under, radio-frequency shotgun-grenade launcher. Targeted through a simple optical sight, the device has a range of about 400 meters. Battelle calls it a 'directed RF energy weapon'—it sends out a jamming signal in the Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) bands or global positioning bands in a 30-degree cone around the point of aim.
Aboard the Department of Defense's Stiletto 'marine demonstrator' boat, Jake Sullivan was showing off his company's own counter-drone "gun," the Dronebuster. Sullivan, chief technology officer of California-based Flex Force, said that his company began development of Dronebuster shortly after drones interfered with firefighters in California last year. The intent was to develop something for first-responders and local law enforcement."
A version of the Dronebuster is already in the hands of some federal government customers. That device uses broadband jamming like the DroneDefender. It has the advantage of being much smaller than the DroneDefender, and it can be aimed using optical sights or an integrated radio frequency power meter and signal analyzer. Someone trained on the device can even distinguish what kind of signal is being emitted from the drone—telemetry (such as remote video streaming) or control. Still, its jamming technology makes it illegal to use in the US. But a new version being developed by Flex Force operates completely within FCC regulations, though depending on what kind of drone is targeted, the new device may require an FCC license. Instead of jamming C&C signals, the new Dronebuster exploits weaknesses in the drone communications protocols themselves, enabling the Dronebuster's operator to trigger the 'fly home' command on some drones and the 'land' command on others. It does so by cycling through command sets for various drone systems."

These are good things to have. I wonder if there would ever be a need for the public to own such things?

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Medieval knight takes out quadcopter


"This drone flew over a medieval historical reenactment in Russia. A warrior on the ground who is clearly a master of his weapon knocked it out of the sky with a well-placed spear. He wasn't the least bit afraid of this witchcraft in his midst."

I suppose he was mad because quadcopters aren't a part of Medeival lore.