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Drones
Old 05-13-2014, 08:56 AM   #1
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Drones

As news stories about drones proliferate, and the legal battles have begun, it's interesting to see that the future is already here... in the public venue.

The implications for our own lives is just beginning. A friend who lives in McHenry, sent me this video, which shows a current application, for news gathering. As it's about 15 minutes long, after watching the beginning, you can fast forward to near the end, where you'll see the drone landing.



The part that made me wonder, is that this technology is available to anyone who has about $1,000... not much more than the cost of a cell phone. You could buy the same one shown in the video, here:

https://www.google.com/search?q=dji+...m=122&ie=UTF-8

With regulations covering this kind of technology not yet complete, is it unreasonable to wonder about the potential risk?
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Old 05-13-2014, 10:40 AM   #2
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my DS does wedding videography on the weekends and he just purchased a drone to do aerial shots. preety neat and very easy to use.
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Old 05-13-2014, 11:17 AM   #3
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I became interested in drones at work for aerial surveys. AFAIK, the FAA has not approved the use of commercial survey drones country wide. They're testing them in certain areas and developing regulations.

I would really like to get a personal one like in the above video just to play around with.
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Old 05-13-2014, 11:38 AM   #4
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That's pretty cool. They are working on FAA regs but past that I don't know what they can really do about them. Biggest risk past FAA is them colliding in mid-air and falling on folks.

I am going to have to get one just to play with me thinks............
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Old 05-13-2014, 12:02 PM   #5
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Take a look at the "overview" on this seller's website to see how drones navigate. A far cry from the radio control planes I'm familiar with.. Automatic GPS controled stability, so air disturbances don't affect the stability or the location. Automatic "home" if the operator loses control... The drone rises to 60ft. and returns to float down to where it was launched. Also automatic gyro contol as an alternative to GPS. 14MP camera, 25 minute flight time, 1000 ft remote range, auto return to home.

Packing the electronics, battery, motors, and a camera into that little package.. and then being able to get the price down to under $1000... just amazing. I didn't see anything about collision avoidance technology, though I suspect that will come next.

DJI Phantom 2 Vision Quadcopter with Integrated FPV CP.PT.000041

Watch for new IPO's for drone safety helmets.
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Old 05-13-2014, 12:39 PM   #6
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That's pretty cool. They are working on FAA regs but past that I don't know what they can really do about them. Biggest risk past FAA is them colliding in mid-air and falling on folks.
Yep, the FAA hasn't finished the regs yet. IIRC, they proposed some fairly restrictive ones, then Congress told them to go draft something that permitted more drone use.

I think the two biggest problems will be privacy and airspace management/sharing with light aircraft.
On the privacy front, I would not want a drone (with camera, etc) hovering over my property, I would have absolutely no qualms about bringing it down. I expect there will be an upsurge in high-powered air rifles if these things get popular--sounds like some good sport.
Conflicts with small aircraft won't be too much of an issue as long as they stay away from airports and stay below 500 feet. Higher than that and it could be an issue. Many in the public probably think there's some sort of air traffic control that keeps small airplanes from hitting each other, but in most cases below 18,000' there's not. When the weather is good ("visual meteorological conditions"), pilots are required to keep on the lookout and avoid hitting each other. It works pretty well, and midair collisions are rare. But these drones could change the equation: there may be a lot more of them, they are too small to see and avoid, and they aren't "helping" by looking out for me in my airplane--only one side of the "team" is doing the avoiding. I'll think of them as aerial mines. Birds are a bit the same and do pose a risk, but 1) they were here first 2) they are unresponsive to regulations 3) no hard-as-steel parts (though the sheer mass of the big ones can do a lot of damage).

We should do something about these drones/UAVs, etc. Lots of great potential, but there's a need for regulations, too. I'm not sure the FAA is the right enforcement arm--what are they gonna do, take the 12 year old's "drone license?" How do you even find the "pilot" of a drone that is operating autonomously, guided by GPS?
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Old 05-13-2014, 01:38 PM   #7
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We were talking at lunch.

NFL games or any outside venue. 1,2 or 30 private drones fighting for airspace and recording "protected" content.

On the other hand the network has a drone on each receiver to show the individual perspective.

The options are min boggling.....................
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Old 05-13-2014, 02:01 PM   #8
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On the privacy front, I would not want a drone (with camera, etc) hovering over my property, I would have absolutely no qualms about bringing it down. I expect there will be an upsurge in high-powered air rifles if these things get popular--sounds like some good sport.
I agree, lots of good uses, but so many potential issues. I too would have no problem bringing one down, I'm guessing that sport will be legislated.

The only time we've ever had anything like that happen(we lived in a very rural area), there were two Blackhawks 'playing' in the valley right in front of our secluded home. Wife called AFB, wanted to know whats going on. They responded it's just drills, we didn't know there was a home in that area, it won't happen again. That was weird, but we knew who the owner was, a drone would weird me out more.
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Drones
Old 05-13-2014, 02:45 PM   #9
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Drones

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Originally Posted by samclem View Post
I think the two biggest problems will be privacy and airspace management/sharing with light aircraft.
On the privacy front, I would not want a drone (with camera, etc) hovering over my property, I would have absolutely no qualms about bringing it down. I expect there will be an upsurge in high-powered air rifles if these things get popular--sounds like some good sport.

Meh. The same people that worry about their privacy being invaded by these whining, buzzing, and otherwise obvious gadgets don't seem to have any qualms about buying new TVs...

http://money.cnn.com/2013/08/01/tech...urity/tv-hack/

I suppose airspace could be a problem if there were enough of the more massive ones flying around in aircraft space, generally over 500 feet for non-cropdusting general aviation.

I'd worry more about the noise and loss-of-control damage, from broken windows to folks in a crowd being struck.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/06/ny...t-at-park.html
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Old 05-13-2014, 03:29 PM   #10
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<SNIP>
Conflicts with small aircraft won't be too much of an issue as long as they stay away from airports and stay below 500 feet. Higher than that and it could be an issue. Many in the public probably think there's some sort of air traffic control that keeps small airplanes from hitting each other, but in most cases below 18,000' there's not. When the weather is good ("visual meteorological conditions"), pilots are required to keep on the lookout and avoid hitting each other. It works pretty well, and midair collisions are rare. But these drones could change the equation: there may be a lot more of them, they are too small to see and avoid, and they aren't "helping" by looking out for me in my airplane--only one side of the "team" is doing the avoiding. I'll think of them as aerial mines. Birds are a bit the same and do pose a risk, but 1) they were here first 2) they are unresponsive to regulations 3) no hard-as-steel parts (though the sheer mass of the big ones can do a lot of damage). <SNIP>
Was out flying one day (1970) at about 1200 feet AGL. Dead ahead I saw something I had never before seen. Two HUGE birds. To this day, I don't know what they were (maybe owls? eagles? swans? geese?) Before I could even react, THEY did the avoiding. They folded their wings and dropped 500 feet in a couple of seconds - and they stayed in synch with each other! One of the great memories of my flying days.

My guess is that it would be possible to have drones (flying at higher altitudes) react to transponder signals from other aircraft and simply dive out of the way. All it would take is another antenna and a couple of microchips. Until then, a 500 foot AGL limit should preclude most interactions except near airfields and airports.

Privacy is a much larger concern to me than potential interaction with aircraft (Once again, see my tag-line). My $.02 worth as a private pilot. YMMV.
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Old 05-13-2014, 04:20 PM   #11
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Neighbor's 15 year old spoiled brat son gets a DJI Phantom 2 for his birthday and decides to show off for your 14 year old daughter, by taking a picture of her from "space".... He miscalculates and the spinning drone drifts down towards her and the rotor blades slash into her face, blinding her in one eye.

What next

Law?
When?
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Old 05-13-2014, 04:47 PM   #12
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Neighbor's 15 year old spoiled brat son gets a DJI Phantom 2 for his birthday and decides to show off for your 14 year old daughter, by taking a picture of her from "space".... He miscalculates and the spinning drone drifts down towards her and the rotor blades slash into her face, blinding her in one eye.

What next

Law?
When?
Already happened.
Roman Pirozek Jr: Man decapitates himself with his own remote-control helicopter | Mail Online
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Old 05-13-2014, 06:15 PM   #13
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Neighbor's 15 year old spoiled brat son gets a DJI Phantom 2 for his birthday and decides to show off for your 14 year old daughter, by taking a picture of her from "space".... He miscalculates and the spinning drone drifts down towards her and the rotor blades slash into her face, blinding her in one eye.

What next

Law?
When?
Or shoots other kid with bb gun, hits with bat, etc.....

Negligence is what it is and not sure it needs a separate law because it's a drone.
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Old 05-13-2014, 07:17 PM   #14
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Or shoots other kid with bb gun, hits with bat, etc.....

Negligence is what it is and not sure it needs a separate law because it's a drone.
I agree.

And the modern RC systems are far safer now than they were in the days of AM (and later FM) transmitter/receiver systems. So called 'radio hits' in those days made things interesting.

My son has been flying all types RC for 25 years now, and works in the 'drone' industry. He is of the opinion that (for personal use) the FPV systems are what separate drones from common model aircraft, and they are what may eventually be regulated in some way.
I've had the opportunity to view through (from) FPV goggles twice. On fixed wing and multirotor platforms. Its easy to see how they might be considered invasive at the very least. But it's also easy to see how useful FPV and autonomous could be in many applications.

The AMA (Academy of Model Aeronautics) and FAA have been hashing things out for quite some time now. The latest news releases from the AMA can be found here.
Academy of Model Aeronautics - Media Room
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Old 05-14-2014, 05:08 AM   #15
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Meh. The same people that worry about their privacy being invaded by these whining, buzzing, and otherwise obvious gadgets don't seem to have any qualms about buying new TVs...
Good point. Traffic cameras help us better manage our commute. In-store surveillance helps cut down the cost of shoplifting. This probably goes back to the first colonial church that took attendance to make sure everyone in the town was churched each week.
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Old 05-14-2014, 08:19 AM   #16
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Packing the electronics, battery, motors, and a camera into that little package.. and then being able to get the price down to under $1000... just amazing. I didn't see anything about collision avoidance technology, though I suspect that will come next.


Watch for new IPO's for drone safety helmets.
Does there need to be Collision Insurance coverage? It's gonna happen, just a matter of time before a drone crashes & somebody is hurt or worse.
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Old 05-14-2014, 08:51 AM   #17
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Invasion of privacy is one problem, but how long before gangs figure out that they can place a gun (or worse) on one of these. There are a lot more issues than just privacy and collisions.
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Old 05-15-2014, 07:10 PM   #18
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There are some large fires burning now in north San Diego County and just heard on the news that fire department officials are asking people not to fly drones. Apparently some people are flying their own personal drones over the fire areas to take video and officials worry they are potential hazards to the civilian and military helicopters fighting the fires and to fire fighters.
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Old 05-15-2014, 07:27 PM   #19
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Drones = free target practice, IMO.
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Old 05-15-2014, 07:28 PM   #20
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Drones = free target practice, IMO.
Um, how do you know where are those bullets or shot pellets are going to land?
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