Tag Archives: 3D Robotics

UAV138 Blanket Drone Approval for New Section 333 Exemptions

Aerotain Skye droneA significant change for Section 333 holders, a carrier-based aerial-refueling system, mapping with UAVs, a drone that romps in the crowd, using drones for health care, extrapolating birdstrike data to drone strikes, an unmanned underwater vehicle, and a fuel cell-powered drone.

News

UAS: blanket approval granted for 1,120 drones . . . But only going forward

In the past, Section 333 exemption applicants had to list the makes and models of all UAS intended for use. If an exemption holder later wanted to fly a different UAS, an amendment was required. Now, however, newly granted exemptions say there is a:

“… list of Approved Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) under Section 333. The list, which is updated monthly, is posted at www.regulations.gov under docket number FAA-2007-3330. The petitioner is also authorized to operate any UAS on that list, when weighing less than 55 pounds including payload while this exemption is valid.”

The current list dated March 4, 2016 “Approved Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Make/Model under Section 333 – March 4, 2016 (Corrected)” [PDF] has 1,120 UAV makes and models, from the “3D Robotics Aero” to the “Zeta Science Buffalo FX79.”

The FAA says, “It includes UAS readily available for purchase as well as those built by petitioners which are not available for purchase from retailers.”

US Navy descoping stealth requirement for Stingray tanking UAV

The Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) program was originally envisioned to create an unmanned intelligence and strike asset. The Pentagon has now changed the program into the Carrier-Based Aerial-Refueling System (CBARS) to create an unmanned carrier-based aerial tanker called the MQ-25 Stingray.

3D Robotics partners with Sony on a drone that can map the world in 3D

3D Robotics is partnering with Autodesk and Sony on a project that uses a modified Solo drone to scan a location and create a 3D map. The model or map would be uploaded while the drone is in the air, which would then be available to others offsite. The system uses the soon-to-be-released Sony UMC-R10C camera, and will come with a Sony tablet preloaded with Autodesk’s FORGE software. 3D Robotics says it is planning to introduce a multispectral and thermal camera, hardware specialized for scanning agricultural sites, chemical plants, and oil rigs.

Drone meets blimp for crowd-friendly UAV

Aerotain had developed the helium-filled Skye drone to be used safely in crowds of people. The 3-meter diameter sphere has four motors to maneuver it almost like a flying eye. The Skye has a two hour flight time, and the rotor blades are not exposed, making it safe to use in a crowd. Applications include audience engagement at events, advertising, and live event HD video streaming.

Using drones to save lives in Malawi

10,000 children died of HIV-related illnesses in Malawi in 2014. There are only eight labs in the country that can test blood, and since many of the children live in remote villages, the samples are often transported by motorbike over dirt tracks. Now, in partnership with Unicef, a drone from California-based Matternet is being used in an experiment to deliver blood samples quickly and autonomously by air.

We talked about Matternet in UAV103 Matternet Tests Autonomous Package Delivery, July 2015 when freight carrier Swiss WorldCargo announced that testing had begun using the Matternet ONE drone for small package delivery.

New Research Suggests the FAA Exaggerates the Threat that Drones Pose to Airlines

Two researchers from George Mason University in Fairfax Virginia wanted to find out if drones really pose a risk to the airspace. So the researchers examined 25 years of data from the FAA’s wildlife strike database and published the results of their study in Do Consumer Drones Endanger the National Airspace? Evidence from Wildlife Strike Data.” Their conclusion:

“Although aircraft collide with birds many thousands of times per year, only a tiny fraction of those collisions result in damage to the aircraft, much less human injuries or deaths. The most serious reported incidents typically involved flocks of large birds. Since the addition of UAS to the airspace is similar in many respects to an increase in the bird population, we conclude that the risk to the airspace caused by small drones (for example, weighing up to 2kg, or 4.41 pounds) flying in solitary formation is minimal.”

Boeing Introduces Long-Endurance UUV, Echo Voyager

Boeing’s 51-foot Echo Voyager is an unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) that can operate autonomously for months under water. Unlike other UUVs, the Echo Voyager does not require a surface support ship, and it can surface and transmit collected data back to users. Sea trials begin this summer off the California coast.

Video of the Week

Home with my Drone

Watch what happens when a ten-year-old boy is left alone at home and gets a visit from the local law enforcement agency for flying his drone in his own backyard.

Mentioned

Drone flight powered by lightweight hydrogen-producing pellets

A Raptor E1 electric drone made a successful test flight using a fuel cell. Fuel pellets manufactured by Cell Energy are heated to produce hydrogen gas, which runs a fuel cell from by Arcola Energy. For the “makers” out there, Arcola Energy sells 1.5 to 30W Hydrogen Fuel Cell Developer Kits that integrate with the Arduino, mbed, and Raspberry Pi boards.

UAV122 Realtime Flight Restriction Data Coming to UAVs

DJI geofencing systemDJI and 3D Robotics bring real-time airspace restrictions to UAV software, a UAV flagship store is planned to open, ArcadiaSky opens a marketplace for commercial UAV operators, FAA gives a UAV registration warning, and another municipality regulates drone flights.

News

DJI Introduces New GeoFencing System For Its Drones

DJI plans to introduce a dynamic geofencing system that continuously provides updated airspace information to the operator. Data comes from Geospatial Environment Online (GEO). Drone operators will see temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) in real time, including forest fires, major stadium events, VIP travel, and restrictions around prisons, power plants, and other restricted areas such as national parks.

However, operators with verified DJI accounts could temporarily unlock or self-authorize flights in some of those locations, but not in sensitive national-security locations. This to accommodate the authorized applications and provide accountability if the flight is later under investigation.

DJI intends to start this in December, first in North America and Europe via a DJI Go app update, and also a drone firmware update.

GEO is powered by geospatial data from Santa Monica, California-based AirMap, which calls itself “the leading provider of airspace information and services for drones. AirMap’s real-time services are available to manufacturers through an API and through an SDK for application developers.”

Just as we were recording this episode, a video was posted from Drone World Expo titled DJI Technology Policy Announcement by Brendan Schulman, VP of Policy & Legal Affairs.

3DR Collaborates with AirMap to Integrate Flight Safety Zone Software into the Solo App

3D Robotics will also integrate AirMap’s safety information into its Solo smart drone app. CEO and co-founder Chris Anderson says, “…we want to make flying as safe as it is easy. Supplementing the Solo app with AirMap’s robust and reliable real-time airspace information allows us to increase education with a seamless and enjoyable drone experience.”

From the 3DR press release: “If Solo users open their Solo app in a restricted area, they’ll see a warning. Users can then tap the warning to bring up a map that displays any airspace information in the area. This airspace information includes real-time Temporary Flight Restrictions that may be established in the areas around wildfires, major sporting events and other sensitive places. The Solo app will contain basic airspace information: federal guidelines (e.g., five miles from an airport); national parks; airbases, etc.”

The World’s Biggest Commercial Drone Maker is Opening a Flagship Store

In December, DJI plans to open an 8,600 square foot flagship store in Shenzhen, China. A DJI spokesman said, “We want more people to see and touch our products.”

Start-up ArcadiaSky creates marketplace for commercial UAV hire

Australian company ArcadiaSky wants to make it easier to find licenced commercial UAV operators. After two months, they have 180 drone operators in 74 locations in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. They’ve received over 1,300 requests for quotes.

ArcadiaSky describes a free, three-step process:

  1. Define your requirements on a request for quote
  2. Choose your pilot based on your requirements
  3. You are put in contact with the drone operator

FAA: Think Twice about “Drone Registration” Firms

The FAA has issued a statement saying UAV owners should wait for the registration process to be announced before they work with any company that offers to help you with registration.

At least one company is offering this kind of service.

The FAA wants “a streamlined unmanned aircraft registration process that will be simple and easy to complete… The Task Force …is working on recommendations for a system that is similar to registering any newly purchased product with its manufacturer…”

Chicago City Council Approves Ban On Drones

The Chicago City Council approved an ordinance regulating drone use and requiring that drones cannot fly above 400 feet, must be line-of-sight, and cannot fly within five miles of O’Hare and Midway Airports. Also, no flying of drones over schools, churches, hospitals, police stations, and any private property without consent.

Video of the Week

DroneFest, the International Drone Film Festival

This international film and photography competition culminates in a one-night festival dedicated to everything drones. It’s part of the SkyTech 2016 Drone Expo on the 27th January 2016. Submissions are accepted until December 13, 2015.

 

UAV112 Know Before You Fly at Point-of-Sale

An Interview with the National Retail Hobby Stores Association, bad drone legislation vetoed in California, UAS awards, and mass jackassery.

Interview

National Retail Hobby Stores Association

We wanted to know how hobby shop retailers feel about their responsibilities toward UAV buyers at point-of-sale. So we called Noel Bays, the president of the National Retail Hobby Stores Association (NRHSA), and asked him. He was happy to explain the position of NRHSA, and how he personally implements this at HobbyForce in Ontario, Ohio.

News

California governor vetoes drone bill

California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed the legislation that would have made it unlawful to fly  drones at altitudes less than 350 feet over private property without the owner’s permission.

California Governor Jerry Brown veto

Drone Industry Launches Technology & Innovation Awards

The Unmanned Air Systems Technology & Innovation Awards are open to any organization that is part of the unmanned aviation industry. Four awards will be issued:

  • Start-up of the Year 2016
  • The Innovation Award 2016
  • Service Solution of the Year 2016
  • The Award for Business Growth 2016

Nominations will be accepted up to December 20, 2015 and can be for organizations across the globe. Winners will be selected by a select panel of judges, and announced during the SkyTech 2016 trade show in London on January 27, 2016.

To submit a nomination, visit the Awards website.

3D Robotics’ Chris Anderson on the rise of ‘mass jackassery’ in the hobby drone community

Chris Anderson, co-founder and chief executive of 3D Robotics, is concerned about irresponsible flying by some multicopter operators. “[It’s] bad and it’s going to get worse. And if we don’t do something about it, no one’s been killed yet, but someone’s going to do something really stupid.” Anderson says the solution needs to come from manufacturers in the form of software-based geofencing.

Anderson also describes three eras of consumer drones. The first era was getting drones to fly. The second era was gimbal-mounted video cameras capable of producing high quality video. Now we have the third era: drone autonomy that removes the need for a pilot.

Video of the Week

Harvest Ballycullane

Spring barley harvest in Kildare with a Claas Lexion 570C.

Mentioned

Drone Radio Show, a weekly podcast series about drones and the people who use them.  

Guillermo from Valencia, Spain, tells us about the first Drone Pilot class from the Universitat Politècnica de València, offering theory and practice in a 320-hour course.

Demostración de vuelo: multicóptero AibotX6 (Flight demonstration: Aibot X6 Multicopter)

Aibotix

University extension diploma in piloting unmanned aircraft systems by remote control (RPAS)

RPAS pilots from EASA

They have also appeared on TV News in Spain:

RPAS UPV en Antena 3 Televisión

Jornada Drones TVE

The first Drone Pilot class from the Universitat Politècnica de València

The first Drone Pilot class from the Universitat Politècnica de València

Volocopter VC200 First Flight

World’s first manned flight with an electric multicopter

The Swarm Manned Aerial Vehicle Multirotor Super Drone Flying

UAV098 HeliVideo to Provide Footage at U.S. Open

The HeliVideo fleet

HeliVideo to cover U.S. Open, commercial drone market share, China uses drone to catch cheaters, using TV signals to sense aircraft, a Google drone patent, and UAS full type certificates.

News

How FOX Sports will use drones at the U.S. Open, and why the FAA is watching

FOX Sports is using octocopters from Austin-based HeliVideo to cover the golf championship at Chambers Bay. HeliVideo says they provide “FAA approved cinematography for television and film.” The HeliVideo fleet includes a Small Sensor Hexacopter with a Panasonic Lumix GH3, a Full Frame Octocopter sporting a Canon 5D Mark 3, an EPIC 6k Dragon Octocopter, and an EPIC 6k Dragon Single blade helicopter.

For the golf tournament, HeliVideo is bringing a four-man team and more than $1 million in equipment — including the DJI Spreading Wings 1000 drone. HeliVideo received their exemption last September. An authorized, licensed pilot will fly the drones, while a visual observer will keep tabs on the devices at all times.

Forty eight percent of commercial drone platforms in the USA made by DJI

sUAS News reports that DJI has 48.4% of the “commercially licenced platforms” in service. AeroVironment follows with 12.1%, 3DR with 7.6%, and Precision Hawk with 3.9% This is from a total population of 380 platforms.

Authorizations Granted Via Section 333 Exemptions

This list from the FAA shows Petitioners, Grant Issue Date, Operation/Mission, and the Authorizations document.

China Uses a Drone to Curb Cheating on College Placement Exams

The National College Entrance Exams in China are critical to the future success of the 9.5 million students who take the 2-3 day test. This has led to cheating schemes where students send exam questions out to others, who then transmit answers back to the student.

Now Chinese education authorities are fighting back with a drone. It flies over testing centers and scans for signals being sent to devices brought in by students. The drone is reported to be about the size of a gas station pump and cost tens of thousands of dollars.

TV signals a possible alternative to radar

Air traffic control company NATS has been working with Thales and contract R&D company Roke Manor to see if television transmission signals could be used to detect and direct aircraft. In a trial conducted over London, more than 30 aircraft were tracked at altitudes of up to 10,000 feet.

Google Working On Fleet of Drone Ambulances To Save Your Life, Reveals a Newly Granted Patent

Google was granted United States Patent 9,051,043 titled “Providing emergency medical services using unmanned aerial vehicles.” It provides for a fleet of UAVs configured to: identify remote medical situations, determine the target location, select a UAV with the proper configuration, and deploy the UAV to the target location to provide medical support. Sounds a lot like the Amazon drone delivery patent.

FAA Working Eight UAS Full Type Certificates

A type certificate would allow a UAS manufacturer to fly the aircraft throughout U.S. airspace. Larger UASs like the Boeing Insitu ScanEagle and AeroVironment’s Puma fly under type certificates issued in the Restricted category. Experimental type certificates have been issued to other UASs which generally prohibit commercial uses. There are no type certificate requirements for UASs under 55 pounds.

Mentioned

Expert: Drones Causing Major Aviation Disasters Is ‘A Question Of When It’s Going To Happen, Not If’

David provides expert opinion to CBS DC.

UAV090 Dee Jay Eye

X-47B Demonstrates Unmanned Aerial RefuelingThe X47B demonstrates autonomous refueling, 3D Robotics releases the Solo, India weaponizes small drones for crowd control, opinions on how the FAA can do a better job, and Auburn University plans to provide UAS pilot training.

News

X-47B Demonstrates Unmanned Aerial Refueling For The First Time

The Navy’s X-47B Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle has successfully demonstrated autonomous aerial refueling, plugging into the aerial refueling basket behind a KC-707 tanker.

3D Robotics takes on DJI with Solo ‘smart drone’

The 3D Robotics Solo may be the smartest drone ever

3D Robotics Solo

3D Robotics released the Solo ready to fly quadcopter. They call it “The Smart Drone” and it includes an onboard 1GHz computer in addition to the Pixhawk 2 flight controller. It has full access to the GoPro camera (not included) and can stream live video. Price is US$1,000, or US$1,400 including a GoPro gimbal mount.

Security from the sky: Indian city to use pepper-spray drones for crowd control

The Senior Superintendent of police in the northern India city of Lucknow says they’ll use small drones with pepper spray to control mobs and unruly crowds. The drones they are using cost between $9,560 and $19,300, and will be fitted with a camera and pepper spray. Lucknow police have already used camera-equipped drones to monitor crowds at a recent religious festival.

FAA Speeds Up Small Drone Exemptions. But Why Not Just Issue Blanket Exemption?

This opinion piece argues that rather than issue exemptions one-by-one for sUAS operations, the FAA should issue a blanket exemption.

Auburn University receives nation’s first FAA authorization to operate Unmanned Aircraft Systems Flight School

Auburn University says it has received FAA approval for a new Unmanned Aircraft Systems Flight School as part of its Aviation Center. Bill Hutto, director of the Auburn University Aviation Center said, “We will conduct commercial flight training for operators of unmanned aircraft systems outdoors and untethered. We will have the ability to offer training courses at different locations here and around the state for Auburn students, faculty, members of other public agencies and the general public.”

FAA permits Amazon to test new UAV model

Amazon had complained that the UAS approved by the FAA in March was already obsolete, due to the length of time it took to get the COA. Amazon has now received a letter from the FAA granting operation of “the Amazon-manufactured multirotor small UAS that has been described to the FAA in a confidential filing.”

33 UAV Experts Reveal Favorite Drone Accessory

UAV Coach asked 33 experts, “If you could only choose one drone accessory, which one would you choose and why?” The site, which seeks to help people fly their quadcopters, “wanted to discover what some of the top industry professionals, drone bloggers, news sites, companies, and pilots would use to enhance their flights if they only had one option.” The group of experts includes past guests Tim Trott and Parker Gyokeres. Oh, and also our own David Vanderhoof.

Video of the Week

Dragonfly – Vanuatu Disaster Relief 2015

This very interesting video documents the relief provided by the 240 foot super motor yacht “Dragonfly” after Tropical Cyclone Pam pummeled the islands of Vanuatu. Much of the video was shot with a quadcopter, and it very clearly illustrates the complete destruction of the island.

Mentioned

DJI Developer

DJI has a developer program and SDK which supports the Phantom 2 Vision and Phantom 2 Vision+. Support for the Phantom 3 and Inspire 1 is coming soon. iOS and Android operating systems are supported now, with Windows Phone support coming soon.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Official Teaser #2

Lucasfilm and director J.J. Abrams take you back again to a galaxy far, far away as Star Wars returns to the big screen with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

UAV089 New Quadcopters from DJI and 3DR

3D RoboticsDJI and 3D Robotics introduce new quadcopters, more FAA exemptions, EASA looking at RPAS regulations, and export control implications for drones.

News

The World’s Largest Drone Company Unveils Newest Product DJI Phantom 3

DJI introduced the Phantom 3 in two models, the Professional at $1259 and the Advanced at $999. The Professional offers a 1080P 4K camera. Both come with the Lightbridge Technology offering real-time HD Video from up to a mile away. The DJI app now includes a flight simulator.

3D Robotics teases stylish drone with pro features

3DR - Dawn

 

3D Robotics released a teaser video for a new quadcopter to be introduced April 13th. It looks like the styling team took a page from the DJI Phantom book. Engadget believes it will have first person view out of the box, a pre-programmable flying route, perhaps follow-me settings, and a new gimbal design.

 

3D Robotics Launches DroneKit, Its API For Building Drone Apps

A few weeks ago, 3D Robotics launched “DroneKit,” an open-source API for writing drone apps. It works with any drone that uses its APM autopilot. With the API, developers can write web-based and mobile apps, as well as apps written in Python that run on the drone itself.

FAA Grants 30 New Commercial UAS Exemptions

The FAA approved 30 more commercial UAS exemptions, including exemptions for insurance companies USAA and AIG. In a press release (FAA Approves Drone Petition), USAA says, “The Federal Aviation Administration approved USAA’s petition on April 2 to conduct research and development on its new unmanned aircraft system (UAS) program to better serve members, especially after catastrophes.”

The FAA approved USAA’s use of a PrecisionHawk drone for daytime, line-of-sight flights under 400 feet with a trained pilot. USAA will work with PrecisionHawk to develop best practices, safety and privacy protocols, and procedures for future operational use.

In another press release (It’s Wheels Up with ‘Transformative Technology’) written before the petition was submitted, USAA provides some examples of the applications they have in mind:

“We’re constantly seeking ways to better serve our members, especially during catastrophes, when getting into neighborhoods immediately after can be dangerous to human life, and applying new technologies is one way we can do that,” says Alan Krapf, president, USAA property and casualty insurance group.

USAA has teamed up with Texas A&M University to research and develop how to effectively put UAS to work for its members. This is being conducted with the University’s Roboticists Without Borders and Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue (CRASAR).

Also granted exemptions were AeroVironment for agriculture, aerial survey, and patrol applications, and senseFly for precision agriculture.

The total number of approved exemptions is now 99. The FAA has received 700 applications.

EASA Presents its Vision for the Future of the Aviation Regulatory System

EASA (the European Aviation Safety Agency) published an ‘EASA Opinion’ with proposals for the future of the aviation regulatory system. They include proposals for Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPASs).

As part of implementing a General Aviation Road Map, EASA proposes to amend existing regulations to introduce, “…the necessary flexibility for small, low-risk GA as well as for Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPASs) by introducing provisions which will allow possible deviations from existing requirements, where appropriate.”

US policy on the export of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS): a detailed look and analysis

The U.S. Department of State conducted a UAS policy review and has issued a new policy that governs the export and subsequent use of commercial and military unmanned systems. The new policy could allow export of weaponized UAS to U.S. allies, under certain circumstances and uses.

The policy also could also allow export of more types of commercial UAS to other countries, subject to compliance with U.S. laws and regulations and applicable multilateral commitments.

The U.S. Export Policy for Military Unmanned Aerial Systems fact sheet contains additional information.

In the United States, there are two sets of export regulations that would apply to drones, related components, systems, software, and technology:

U.S. exporters of drones, related systems, and technologies should pay close attention to these regulations.

Video of the Week

3DR – Dawn of the Aerial Age

3D Robotics teaser of their new quadcopter to be unveiled April 13, 2015.

Mentioned

Listener Bill sends in How SDG&E trains drone operators to help restore power.

San Diego Gas & Electric becomes the first utility company approved by the FAA to use unmanned aircraft systems. The company is looking at applications for its 26,000 miles of power lines.

Reminder

Visit http://theUAVdigest.com/nprm and you’ll be redirected to the regulations.gov web page where you can find the NPRM and submit your comments online on or before April 24, 2015.

UAV055 The Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership Gears Up

Estes Proto X Nano Electric Quadcopter

UAS test sites update: Virginia gets FAA COA’s, Maryland starting, New Jersey delayed, Nevada moving slowly. Also, hobby UAV’s you can buy, UAS in the Netherlands, and a possible drone near miss.

News

The Drone You Should Buy Right Now

The Verge offers up their top five recommended hobby drones. These range across the spectrum in size, price, and capability.

FAA Announces Virginia Tech UAS Test Site Now Operational

The FAA granted Virginia Polytechnic Institute seven Certificates of Waiver or Authorization (COAs) for two-years. This is the last of the six FAA UAS test sites now operational.

Virginia Tech has the lead for the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership (MAAP), which has members from academia, the government, industry, economic development agencies, and non-profit organizations in Virginia, New Jersey, and Maryland.

The UAVs covered under the COAs are: Smart Road Flyer, eSPAARO (the electric Small Platform for Autonomous Aerial Research Operations), Aeryon Sky Ranger, MANTRA 2, Sig Rascal, and two AVID EDF-8 micro UAVs.

University of Maryland Opens UAS test site

The University of Maryland (another member of the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership) has launched its unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) test site based in St. Mary’s County, close to the Naval Air Warfare Center Aviation Division at Patuxent River and the Naval Air Systems Command headquarters. This site is intended to be a hub for UAS technology and policy issues for the University System of Maryland, as well as government and industry.

Drone testing delayed to protect migratory birds

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service postponed testing at another MAAP member, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, until November. Two endangered migratory bird species there are protected under the federal Endangered Species Act as well as New Jersey law.

Nevada drone testing off to slow start

To date, only one company has completed testing at the Nevada UAS test site.  Conversations are underway with other interested companies, and the Site hopes to be financially self-sufficient by 2015. In the meantime, Nevada is looking at possible revenue from “indoor testing.”

Dutch drones miss out through tough rules

Dutch drone rules are stricter than in other European countries. It takes weeks to receive permission for test flights, and Dutch drone manufacturers fear they will be left behind. New rules are being considered by the Dutch government, but progress is slow.

UAS at the Beach

Much of the land in the Netherlands is below sea level. A series of breakwaters and dikes keep the land from flooding, but need to be monitored and maintained. Doing Inspections with a Microdrones MD4-1000 quadcopter, is a lower cost alternative to a manned aircraft.

Mini-UFO comes close to jetliner

An Air Canada Jazz pilot reported a near miss with a possible drone. The plane was still climbing at about 18,000 feet and spotted a “red and white vertical tube with rotor” less than 300 meters above the plane.

Video of the Week

Third Person Driving with a Drone

Can you drive a Mazda Miata while wearing video goggles linked to an overhead multi-copter equipped with a camera? Do not try this at home!

 

UAV013 Sally French is the Drone Girl

Sally French's Pink Y6 Copter

This Episode:

Guest Sally French, also known as Drone Girl, uses aerial photography from drones to tell a story. She also works in multimedia production at 3D Robotics.

Sally still flies her original DJI Phantom copter with a mounted GoPro camera. She has built her own 3D Robotics Y6, and she looks forward to their Iris. We talk about using drones for journalism and other applications, where to go to learn about drones and how to fly them, and how to get started. As Sally says, “It’s a great time to be in drones.”

The News:

“Crash Happy” Gimball UAS Bounces Off Obstacles

The “Gimball” has a spherical roll cage with a gimbaled copter inside and an accelerometer. It can recover from collisions with objects and proceed toward along it’s specified path.

Get the feeling we’re being watched? Pierce Brosnan is filmed kissing Salma Hayek on beach by drone camera

Hollywood has discovered the utility of cameras on multi-copters to film movie scenes. Besides Brosnan and Hayek in the upcoming movie How To Make Love Like An Englishman. Other movies include Skyfall, Oblivion, Man Of Steel, Star Trek: Into Darkness, The Hunger Games, The Dark Knight Rises, and Iron Man 3.

Post Photo: Sally French’s pink Y6 copter.

UAV009 It’s Raining Drones

Hermes 450

Hermes 450

This Episode:

A Manhattan man almost struck by Quadcopter, Conoco Phillips broken Eagle, Israeli Hermes drone crashes, wine and drones don’t mix or do they?, “game on” for a wildlife conservation challenge, the US decides no drones in Iraq but OK in Japan, and the Mounties start training the Aussies on UAS usage.

The News:

Drone reportedly plummets dozens of stories and crash lands on busy Manhattan streets

The subtitle is “Local cops didn’t follow up but the pilot likely violated federal regulations.” A small drone came down in the City, missing the pedestrians but landing close to one. He took the SD card, gave it to a local network station, and contacted the police. They told him no law had been broken.

Giant Leap Falls Short? ConocoPhillips ScanEagle crashes

One of the first two commercial sUAS permits granted by the FAA, has resulted in a crash. The second ConocoPhillips Scan Eagle flight has resulted in a crash, reportedly due to an engine failure.

IAF drone plunges into the sea

Israeli Defense force Hermes 450 Falls out of the sky. The early assessment is engine failure. The MALE drone has a history of Engine failures and is the third one lost in over two years. Made by Elbit Systems, the Hermes is powered by a UAV Engines Limited Wankel engine.

Drones + Wine: how UAVs can help farmers harvest grapes

3D Robotics brought autonomous, fixed-wing planes and multi-rotors with a point-and-shoot camera mounted inside to a family-owned vineyard. Images were taken automatically based on GPS location, and stitched together, generating a 3D model.

Wildlife Conservation unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) Challenge

Kashmir RoboticsKashmir-Robotics is hosting the Wildlife Conservation unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) Challenge with $65,000 in cash prizes. The wcUAVc aims to foster “innovation and invention in the design, fabrication, and utilization of unmanned aircraft to assist with counter poaching and illicit wildlife trafficking.”

U.S. Rules Out a New Drone War in Iraq

In a continuing effort to counter opposing forces, the Iraqi government welcomes lethal drone strikes, but U.S. Government policy is shifting.

Agreement will allow U.S. to fly long-range surveillance drones from base in Japan

The U.S. and Japan have signed an agreement to allow operating the Global Hawk surveillance drones from Japanese bases. Two or three Global Hawks are to fly in the Spring of 2014 “near North Korea” and complement spy satellites.

RCMP shares secrets with Aussies

The Queensland, Australia police have visited the Saskatchewan Royal Canadian Mounted Police as part of a worldwide Winston Churchill Fellowship study on the use of UAVs in policing. After visiting many countries, the Aussie cop was impressed by Canadian use of UAVs.