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Comment Solar Flares (Score 1) 870 870

I like electric cars for basic transport. Truly no nonsense.

Gas cars are actually more fun in the end imo.

But wait until that X class solar flare hits and knocks the power grid out for a day or two. Doesn't matter if you have a garage at that point. Then we'll see if electric makes sense.

Comment Re:Faa rules for RC planes (Score 1) 1175 1175

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) 1175 1175

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) 102 102

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.

Comment fact: information IS power (Score 1) 429 429

Wow...Google just got schooled by their own belief that information is power.

Again, sharing salaries is a good thing, but does it scale? Gov't (GS levels are well known) indicates no considering their efficiency and employee satisfaction...

One's never going to get away from corporate politics, as much as the young googlers want to in their vision of the "sharing economy":

sharing = exploitation^2; // as the saying goes....

Comment If you're going to create a swarm language (Score 1) 56 56

ROS basically is that language if [you think] the swarm architectural choice is a pub-sub communication strategy. Otherwise, a communication stack that leverage true mesh or P2P (ROS tries, but no go) communication could be a good foundation of a new language. Data types? Maybe "time based" types?

Otherwise, voting logic, to hierarchical actions, etc.. can be done in a algo library.

I would like to see a swarm/drone/OS/language that addresses no-calibration, as most swarm projects need an extensive set-up (environment model, characterisations, etc...) to barely run simple group motions or tasks.

Comment take from the aircraft/drone world (Score 1) 195 195

HUDs only make sense if you're truly a supervisor of the vehicle, not the control system.

In aircraft/drones, HUDs are OK cause the aircraft really flies itself, the pilot is there for emergency situations and what I call trimming (small adjustments).

In a car, you control everything--still want to end up in that ditch--pretty easy....sure go ahread....

Once we get real supervisory based cars, yes, HUDs make no sense other than wiz bang. And much like 8" touchscreens & phone integration in cars are whiz bang--are distractions currently.

Comment ok, psychological effects, but (Score 1) 52 52

there's likely heath effects too. For example, those FPV drone goggles, with the dual 2.4 antennas and receiver, hitting a 500mW transmitter are likely not that good being 1/4" from your head, pressed on your temples, with a 500mAh battery pressed against the back of your head too.

Comment Re:Flexible Automation is Hard (Score 1) 45 45

Viola, Foxconn just realized there's a huge capital investment for robots.

Also, they realized that the current industrial robots can't do much--the vendors promised too much and require maintenance by a MS or PhD. Where as maintenance for a human is called dinner (simple).

Robots need encapsulated, standardized designs to be useful. The automotive industry sort of proves it.

There are running jobs. Why don't you go chase them?