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What do you think of drones?

Discussion in 'Computers, Science & Technology' started by The Pandector, May 16, 2021.

  1. The Pandector

    The Pandector Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Long ago, while Al Gore was inventing the internet, I was discovering remote control sail planes. Close to the boat sailing a job had taken me from. It was addictive! Now, in need of a serious hobby, I turned to a quad-copter drone. At the time, I didn’t know that many people dislike them; now I hear about it. But I don’t know how many people feel that way.

    Am I being overly sensitive to a boisterous few, or is careful legal droning simply unacceptable? Please say why you feel that way.
     
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  2. Aspychata

    Aspychata Serenity waves, beachy vibes

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    In the real estate market, people can take video of expensive properties and make excellent money where l live using drones.
     
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  3. The Pandector

    The Pandector Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I’m in it for both the thrill of flight and the photography. New regulations are pending in the US which are a bit restrictive unless you have the commercial certification, so I’m considering that move. But it’s strictly a hobby. The serious guys will soak up the work.

    But it does turn in some pretty neat visuals, right? I see a lot of drone work over the beaches and beachfront down your way. Awe inspiring.
     
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  4. OkRad

    OkRad μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος οὐλομένην V.I.P Member

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    I am afraid to thin about drones. They will know I am thinking and stop me....
     
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  5. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

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    I have a fleet of like 15 of the things, all sorts of types and sizes. A couple are huge and heavy, a couple are ultra tiny, and all sorts of sizes in between.

    BUT, I've barely been able to use them, living here in Traffic Land. Overly crowded crap zone, I hate it. Hate it!

    But we're moving out of here FINALLY, one month from now, moving out to the middle of flippin' nowhere. So remote I'll be able to use these things freely. Alongside my RC cars (actual RC cars, not those dinky "toy" ones).

    I'm really looking forward to it. I've had the drones for a couple of years now, but they've barely been used because of my being stuck in Stupid Hole In The Ground. What? That's not the name of the area? Well, it's what I'm calling it.

    I think that's part of the problem for many people that like these: You gotta be in the right sort of area to use them.

    Of course the fun part is going to be reuniting the drones with their batteries, I'm not looking forward to figuring out that puzzle.


    But hey, I have at least learned to fly the things, even where I am now. I also learned, dont fly an RC helicopter in your basement. Even if said basement is where I learned to fly the drones. Dont even ask how that works, just smile and nod as if it makes sense.
     
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  6. Sherlock77

    Sherlock77 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I don't think there's a stigma about that much, but you do have to be careful where you fly them

    Here in Canada you now need a special license to fly drones above a certain size, you can't fly directly above people... What I mean is (from a wedding photographer), he can't fly the drone directly above people (literally) but does take drone photos of them from an angle where he isn't directly above... If that makes sense

    Basically wherever you live there are probably lots of restrictions coming into play, but if you think you want to try it I would say to go for it! :)
     
  7. Au Naturel

    Au Naturel Au Naturel

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    People are afraid you are surveilling them. They have no assurance that they aren't being snooped on. You don't have to be doing anything shady to want your privacy.
     
  8. ForestGumpett

    ForestGumpett Active Member

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    They are really cool being able to get the views, and yeah, real estate folks are making a lot of money using them.

    The flip side, privacy. @Au Naturel is correct, some feel like they are being surveillance on. Different all over the world, but I do know folks here in the States where a comment like “over my house and it gets shot down” is heard pretty much. I know people that would shoot them down if being hovered. If you don’t know who is operating it and it’s even flying over where your kids are playing, then this would be alarming.

    Would depend on this situation - but think they would be fun!
     
  9. Sherlock77

    Sherlock77 Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Simply watch where you fly your drone, do it in nature (where allowed) on public land and get great views... Don't use it near people, especially children, unless you have permission... Just follow a few rules and protocols and they can be fun to use...

    Here in Alberta there has been concern about people flying drones onto public property, especially in farm country, trying to access what they can't get to because it's behind a fence... [hint] farmers don't like it, and they have rifles ;)

    @ForestGumpett I do street photography (not drones) and I avoid photographing children, most street photographers do much the same... The times have changed since the golden era of street photography, the 1950's and 1960's
     
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  10. Major Tom

    Major Tom Searching for ground control... V.I.P Member

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    I'd love one with a HQ camera on it. Get some amazing angles you'd never otherwise get.
     
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  11. Neonatal RRT

    Neonatal RRT Well-Known Member

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    I do not have a problem with drones. I believe they can be a lot of fun to operate. However, I also believe this a case of "it is not the drone, but what the operator is doing with it". As others have mentioned, if you are doing some interesting video of moving action (trains, cars on a racetrack, hiking, etc.), real estate photography, animals in nature, I believe this can be responsibly done. I say responsibly, because there are other situations where people are operating them within the city,...spying on people, invading what little privacy they have,...or near power lines, or air traffic, or highways,...places that could put people in danger, and/or places where a malfunction could cause damage. There are also local, state, and federal laws to consider with this regard. I would like to say, "use some common sense", but my common sense and someone else's may be a bit different.

    Furthermore, drone technology has already begun to make it to the next step,...passenger service. Electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) service is already a thing in some areas. Sometimes called "air taxis", several private companies are at the point where they are ready to go public, have big corporations backing them, etc. The price point for a ride is going to be on parity with ground taxis,...and as such, in several metropolitan areas, eVTOL air taxis will be the preferred way to travel quickly from point A to point B. evtol.com - Reporting on the electric future of vertical flight.

     
  12. The Pandector

    The Pandector Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    @Misery --
    You've assembled an armada of drones, but have only 'learned to fly' them? There has to be an interesting story behind that! Give? Sincerest condolences on the Illinois thing. I live in a rural town, and literally in the last home at the very edge of the forest. Nevertheless, there is always the possibility of offending people.

    As @ForestGumpett and @Sherlock77 point out, there are people who think guns are an appropriate response. Problem with that is that the law will prosecute the shooter, not the droner. Kind of like, 'You parked your car in my driveway, so I'm justified in taking a baseball bat to anything on it that's made of glass.' Choose an appropriate anatomical feature to which we can liken these sorts.

    The argument that really arrests me is well put by @Au Naturel: 'They have no assurance' they're not being spied upon. Rationally, let's face it, everybody is pretty much continually vulnerable to voyeurism. There are no laws against photographing private property which is visible from any public place. However, I see a storm brewing because the recent US FAA regulations enshrine in law the concept that the sky is one of those public places -- right down to the soil! I want Au Naturel to relax in confidence and comfort, but have no way to assure him that I quite actively do NOT want to disturb his visual privacy.

    So why venture in that direction? @Major Tom and @ForestGumpett point out the views. Unless you have one heck of a boom truck, there is simply no way to manage the angles and motion of a drone. And yes, Major, I have the Mavic Pro's Hasselblad 20 MP camera mounted and the images are excellent; wouldn't be worth it without it. :cool:
     
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  13. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    When I once held stock in a few airline corporations, well....you wouldn't want to know. Let's just say that shareholders, flight crews, fire departments and airport executives tend to take a very dim view of those using/abusing aerial drones for whatever reasons. A "bird strike" is always worrisome for a pilot. A drone strike, even more so.

    As for those who believe they are using them in an ethical and proper manner, let's hope you have adequate liability limits in case you make an unintentional error in judgment. (I also used to be in insurance underwriting for nearly two decades.)

    Privacy is a much lesser concern compared to the safety and lives of airline passengers and flight crews. Another exposure are those using drones to video grass fires which can inhibit fire departments from conducting timely aerial drops of fire retardant. As structures and homes burn, everyone must patiently wait for the drone to leave. A particular problem right here in the desert where my own home was once put at such risk. Ironically the drone industry is prominent here as well.

    In essence there are some very well-funded special interests intent on doing everything they can to lobby in keeping drones out of the hands of amateur hobbyists.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2021
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  14. The Pandector

    The Pandector Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I hear you Judge (something I never want to have to say in person.)
    You never know what some idiot is going to do, or what some enthusiast will enthuse about. Maybe find comfort that the new FAA regulations are very specific about unauthorized drones attending any sort of disaster, natural or otherwise: it isn't allowed. There are always the nincompoops, but anyone with serious equipment and a commercial certification to lose will heed this law in the future. (Possibly interesting sidebar... this will be totally enforceable except against serious outlaws. Every drone must transmit it's own ID and the location of the pilot, at all times. Problem solved. This will take a while to phase in, but it's definitely coming soon.)

    Having passed ground school and gotten to the point of flying touch-and-goes (when the FAA suddenly decided they weren't happy having a pilot with my serious back issues and pulled my medical card,) I'm somewhat familiar with aircraft operations. Even before this new protocol was issued, standard operational drone procedures made drone strikes almost impossible. I don't like the expense, but welcome the implementation of the onboard ID transmission laws. Because, while there are only three UAV/manned aircraft collisions on record in North America (no deaths or injuries) there are plenty of cases of illegal drone activity around major airports. The people doing this ought to be treated like drunk drivers, IMO. Sure wouldn't want to be lumped in with those guys.
     
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  15. The Pandector

    The Pandector Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Thanks for that, @Neonatal RRT. Wasn't aware they were actually doing this. But if this idea really takes off (so to speak) we know it's going to be electric powered, right? Where in the world are we going to get the electricity to charge these air taxis and electric cars?
     
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  16. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    In terms of tight regulation, I'd be more interested in professional drone applications being absolutely subject to the rules of strict liability, every bit as much as most everything else pertinent to the umbrella of the FAA. A realm within civil law for which phrases like "almost impossible" and "problem solved" are ill-advised given an endless exposure to a potential catastrophic loss of lives and property. Where even the most professional personnel with the best intent makes mistakes resulting in tragic error.

    In other words, to be truly professional about such pursuits is to acknowledge the possibility of catastrophic loss rather than emphasize loss frequency. And to accept the terms of strict liability, where in most cases the business entity involved simply gets out their checkbook rather than to defend themselves in a court of law. Making the professional use of drones potentially a very expensive proposition and costing more than they probably would like or can afford. Leaving this to only the most capitalized corporate interests rather than individuals.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2021
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  17. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

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    This bit here, I think, is very important. I always hear a lot about drones being unsafe or that people are always doing bad things with them or blah blah blah, but... it's seriously like using a freaking car. There are rules, you're expected to know the bloody rules, and you're expected to FOLLOW the bloody rules. Those who DONT.... also dont speak for the rest of us who actually do.

    And of course some drones work to enforce some things on their own. One of mine... I forget what the specific one is called... wont rise above a certain internally set height, for instance. Try to do so and the thing will simply refuse while the controller shrieks at you. I'm relatively certain that some of them are also capable of recognizing no-fly zones and refusing to go near them. That sort of thing.

    The problem though is that you get idiots who go in, usually with some stupid beer nearby, and make absolute fools of themselves, worsening everything for everyone else, like the useless festering lumps that they are. Some will even do it on purpose just to get those sweet, sweet likes on Derpbook for their "funny" video.

    Well, the story is, I live in Naperville, and.... I live in Naperville. I mean seriously that's the story. The area suuuuuuuucks and it makes a lot of things hard or impossible to do (it aint just drones). It's a stupid overcrowded mess of an area that almost entirely consists of cars on roads that were clearly laid out by a drunken monkey. I actually had to make unusual concessions just to practice flying the things. Which is to say, I did it in the basement. Yes, really. Drone. In basement. Fortunately the basement is a gigantic freaking cavern, and the drone specifically used for learning was a Traxxas Alias, which as far as I can tell is utterly indestructible. Most drones shatter or burst when they crash, that thing just goes BOING. I imagine there was some goat sacrificing going on in the factory, you cant make something that durable without some sort of dark magic going on.

    So yeah, that's how it worked. Sucky area, basement training, and when it came time to start flying the others, well... it was hard to find chances to do so, so their use was limited.

    Not just those though, but the RC cars also. They dont fly, but they're still gigantic heavy things that can hit 40-50 MPH. There's just nowhere to do it here.


    The place we're moving to, well... gotta say, I aint too concerned about offending anyone there, as I rather sense there's nobody to offend. It's one of those areas where there's just nothing around. No subdivisions, no shops, no gas stations, just... grass, farm fields. More grass. More fields. The new house is in this abnormally sparse little group of what I think is only about 25 houses or so, each spaced out rather drastically. Heck, the backyard at the new house is big enough to fit at least 2 more houses in it. There's far more than enough room just in the backyard alone to do all the flying. The only real threat is the tree wall, as if anything should crash into one of those trees it's probably going into the creek that runs alongside the back yard.

    But pretty much all of the surrounding landscape is just... blank. Aside from the random walls of tall grass. I've been in very rural areas before, or what I *thought* were very rural areas, but... they werent like that.

    So... yeah, a bit lucky there. As you can likely tell I'm quite excited about it. Just one blasted month away.
     
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  18. Magna

    Magna Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I don't remember the exact weight limit in grams, but in the U.S. the law is changing on drone piloting. Extremely small (ie fit in the palm of your hand) drones will still be able to be purchased by and operated by anyone (obeying whatever drone laws that have been in effect for awhile now). But drones heavier than the very light weight limit will require that a person obtain a pilot's license to post any of the drone footage on social media such as Youtube.

    Drones larger than the mini-micro drones will also have to be registered with the FAA. There will apparently be a public database of registered drones that will show anyone interested where registered drones are being flown from and who owns them.
     
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  19. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member

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    If anything, it's the whole "video" aspect of drones that so separate them from any perceived exposures from basic R/C boats, cars or planes. Far more interesting to be able to view the local terrain from the air rather than merely control a single device in the water, the air or on the ground.

    Yeah, that much is cool to most folks.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2021
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  20. ForestGumpett

    ForestGumpett Active Member

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    @The Pandector ;

    Ma’mm, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say you either do not live in America, or you’re not educated in the laws of America and I would like to help you even though you were terribly rude to some of us. I realize that maybe your going through possibly menopause or something (it made me confused too way back then) that may be skewing with your thinking or maybe something else?

    We have States in this country, and each State has it’s own laws that can sometimes be different than another state. In this case, a law that is valid like in California, may not be valid in Florida at all! Hope this is easy for you to understand. If you need some links you may want to search for and learn about the laws in each state and not in wherever it is that you are an expert on.

    God bless, and I hope you feel better and are in a better mood later.