Given that we wrote this week about the FAA saying that basically any use of a drone for money is illegal
, we figured that for this week's awesome stuff
we'd focus on some projects around drones -- some of which may actually be illegal under the FAA's ridiculous interpretation.
- HEXO: Autonomous Aerial Camera
First up, we've got the HEXO, an autonomous aerial camera. It's a drone that you can attach a GoPro to (some packages include the GoPro) with some software that you can use to let the drone know who/what to follow, and the drone will do exactly that. It's designed very much with aerial imagery of sporting events in mind. The examples in the video above are... amazing. Makes me want to do more sporting activities that I'd want to film just to use this kind of thing.
- Airdog: Auto-follow Drone for GoPro
Okay, this one is very similar to the HEXO above -- a drone system for automatically filming action sports from above with a GoPro. In fact, in some areas the similarities are striking. They're both built by companies based in Palo Alto, California. They both launched on Kickstarter on the same day, and they're both built by companies made up of action sports folks who wanted to have better systems to film themselves. It looks like the AirDog is a little different in that, rather than autonomously following you via the software, the AirDog requires a "leash" that you strap to your wrist, so it knows where to film. The AirDog also looks a little bit more expensive, and, frankly the sample shots in the video aren't nearly as impressive as those in the HEXO video, though that may have more to do with filmmaking technique than the devices in question. Either way, two options for very similar offerings -- and using either of them for commercial uses will piss off the FAA.
- View from Nova Scotia -- an aerial drone film
A filmmaker wants to make a film about Nova Scotia, filmed entirely by drones. The project is just about over and has almost no backing, so it's not going to get funded. Also, it's in Canada, so the FAA rules don't directly apply to it, but if this were in the US, the project itself would almost certainly go against the FAA rules, for being a "commercial" offering using drones. That seems fairly ridiculous for a variety of reasons.
- Personal Drone Detection System
Okay, finally a project that the FAA might like. Consider this as the anti-drone project if you, like the FAA, look at the above stories and freak out. Some folks who don't like drones have built some "drone detection systems" to let you spot drones flying around you. Honestly, given the quality of the video and the prototypes shown, this seems like a fairly amateurish project. The system also doesn't really do anything other than alert you if a drone is entering the "grid" that you set up. Seems like a perfect solution for people overly sensitive to drones. Perhaps the FAA will order a few dozen.
That's it for this week. Have fun and try not to piss off the FAA this weekend.