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Comment Re:Drones and Morons (Score 2) 165

They are autonomous if you lose RF. You really think you're in control if the TX loses connection or worse... bind, to the RX? If one does think so, that person needs to RTFM.

This is a great example of 2 communities coming together with 2 different perspectives: considering the revolution in the past 4 yrs.... traditional R/C hobbyist take 2.4FHSS RF for granted (cause they're in some AMA sanctioned open field and FHSS works great... most of the time) and drone pilots take GPS for granted (since it appears to always "work" on their iPhone... most of the time, not considering drones need DGPS). They both will fail and guess what, the drone does autonomously maneuver ("return to home" is the best example).

Look at it this way: GPS and FHSS RF has enabled the current state of the art and solutions should be handled within those technologies accordingly. Hence, geofencing has a place.

Now cameras and privacy--we just scratched the surface and could be in for a world of hurt (if you're a drone operator... not pilot!).

At this point can we now call them flying robots vs drones?

Comment Re:GPS fencing is probably not a bad idea (Score 1) 165

So far the only argument I see against geofencing is folks don't want it cause of the "limitations" of flying: freedom over their device and that is it. Obviously no one understands the concept and the current software solutions are so buggy (yes!)--so it all gets thrown under the "geofencing doesn't work" bin.

How many "pros" are flying over airports? 10 (A: yes), 100, 1000? Daily (no way)?

How many no fly zones (NFZ) would be needed? 1000 (A: yes), 1000000, 1 million?

How many drones are being flown in a public park? 100, 1000 (yes), 100000? Daily (nope again)?

NFZs will force GPS fix on every aircraft--that also means no more fly aways unless you stick a magnetic on your compass.

Can we build 100% virtual walls. Of course not. Can GPS or localization techniques be defeated? Of course like any tech. Is it a perfect system? No. But will it cover 98% of the users out there & keep them safe, likely yes. That gives the FAA room to focus on the 2% malicious users instead of throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Comment Re:Since the Late Sixties... (Score 1) 189

Likely, cause burning man was about being a independent, self run city.

But when a self run city still needs to enforce drone regs via FAA guidelines... I think burning man has jumped the shark on the independent city idea.

Really, there's pyro, drugs, guns, illegal activities there, BUT drones there are still regulated based on FAA and perceived privacy needs. Oh the irony.

Comment Re:misdirection.. (Score 1) 214

sure payload and range are currently limitations, but creativity, through say, fleets of autonomous drones (which are too AVs) are a possible approach in using hobbyist drones in the not too distance future.

AVs are about doing things in scale, and it's going to change the paradigm--we're all thinking about these 'lone wolf' situations...

Comment If you truly want function over form (Score 2) 208

who prize function over form

Then get a phone that has a OS that isn't bloated with eye candy, odd navigation menus, and constant connection for 'guessing your next request'... and crapware that runs in the background 100%.

There was a time not so long along phones ran for at least a day, and we're "zippy", now they're slow & buggy (I'm looking at you Android & WP) or last 6 hrs (iOS). And it's mainly from the OS being used.

Most of the functions I use on today's phone were available on a 2003 Palm Tungsten (email, cal, notes, sms, video, audio): and when I ran a Palm, it ran smoothly (though not as zippy as a 2013 phone), but lasted nearly a whole week before a need to charge. The latest "flagship" phones are so heavily bias to graphics and cloud gaming that kills everything else when is comes to usability.

Imagine a bare bones phone: web browser, video/audio player, sms and workable phone. 3000mah would go a long ways w/just that.

Want function over form: get a phone w/a efficient OS--yep, there's isn't one today.

Comment Re:It'll never happen (Score 1) 280

Shared autonomous vehicles will have their place. High traffic work areas easily and anything that demands public transport (sporting games, movies, schools, etc)... and will easily threaten to replace subways and buses--yes, replace them. The urban planners will have a lot of headaches considering they are pushing these mix-use living areas integrated into public transportation, not considering it's more expensive and time consuming [construction] to put living quarters with the subway and a bus station, etc...

Now trendy areas, i.e. date places and high 'look at me' places will demand person transport--cause automobiles are part of those "I have arrived" venues and events. There's also the hobby part (i.e. look at the horse and bicycle industries), but that's a fringe of what is being scaled.

But we'll just go on this see-saw of 'they solve everything' to 'it's crap hyped tech' for the next 5 yrs.

As much as us geeks think their gods and can develop the be all-end all solution, it's just never is the case in the real world. One things for sure--bet on autonomous cars, it's coming.

Comment Re:Faa rules for RC planes (Score 1) 1197

Those are great rules for a AMA field... and that's all.

Drones are being flown mainly in non-AMA fields with inexperienced pilots and require a different set of rules, hopefully simplified. Why? because....

400ft? How can you tell visually that you're above 400ft unless you have wireless telemetry (uncommon actually). Heck most AMA field hobbyists typically lose LOS before hitting 400ft.
Visual LOS? really, I can't recognize a drone 50ft away since it's a symmetrical frame. LEDs at 100ft are nothing....
manned operations? really no one (even the ATC in some ways) has good ADB-S yet.
5miles of an airport? I live 3.5 miles from one & can't fly in my own back yard?
people or stadiums? problem here is enforcement too many folks willing to take HUGE risks (idiots) out there
55lbs? off the shelf drone motors can't even carry 20lbs.
careless or reckless? obviously a lot of folks are ignoring this one.

The only reason manned flight works is air traffic lanes, it's a real highway system up there for the manned guys. And the guys that fly "off-road" (some manned Cessna and tv copter pilots fly over my house! And I found is a big no-no & should be fined) are penalized if caught and yes do create potential dangers. Drones are likely going the same direction unless tech is used, i.e. Require connected ground station telemetry & internet distribution of your location (sphere of influence). Flying around your house is cool, but be prepared on the risks (fly aways) and really be more conservative on space use as people see hovering over one's place leans towards intrusion than friendly.

Comment Ah more drones headlines.... (Score 1) 1197

Lots of negative news on drone lately, our we hitting the peak of the hype curve?

As a drone researcher, I find that drones are the marijuana of technology:

  • Everyone wants it (lots of uses)
  • No one wants to regulate it (per se)
  • If mentioned, no one admits they like it or are 'users'.
  • Highly controversial topic (heck it's a nice topic of discussion)
  • And once you take a 'hit' (i.e. fly one), you're hooked.

Comment Re:We need better legislation (Score 2) 102

is not lack of regulation but the fact that 99.9% of the owners of these things have no clue
Not only that, but the companies whom heads “don’t think it’s a big deal,” and providing no real solution to the evident growing problem, yet turn out software and hardware bugs... (every vendor is guilty). The game and the players are basically moving too fast, all because of those investor dollars. It's a technology that even the professional still doesn't understand yet.

a) it is hard to do with a fast moving fixed wing plane,
Considering some autopilots can run on fixed wing nowadays--being hard is not so hard anymore, especially with FPV.

b) traditional model helis are tricky to fly and very expensive, few people would risk their toy like this after they have finally mastered it,
Again, some autopilots can let you flip a switch and they will hold on a dime to keep you out of trouble.

c) few RC models were computerized to the degree that they essentially "fly themselves", including GPS waypoints and what not. RC flying was always about the flying skills, not taking videos for Youtube.
Heck R/C cars can do waypoints now...

Just wait folks, the world is getting started with mobile robots (which R/C is becoming) that can be autonomous from a path control standpoint.

You have a massage (from the Swedish prime minister).