5 Things I Learned On The Road With Drones

After a 6 week filmmaking adventure that took the Drone Dudes from Texas, up to Michigan, and all the way to New York there are a few things I learned that I wanted to pass on to you. Using Drones on the road isn’t as glamourous as it might sound at times. There’s a lot you have to think about, plan for, and account for while your on the road. Below I’ve compiled 5 things that I learned while on the road with drones.

1. Forget Sleep; Your Batteries Need To Charge!

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One of the most challenging thing’s I’ve learned in my years in aerial cinematography is that most nights you might not get much sleep. For the Octocopter we had 12 10,000 Mah packs that we kept on a charge cycle so we could keep the Octo in the air while on set. At the end of the night,  your batteries are usually all depleted and you need to spend all night charging the packs before heading back out the next morning. I’ve become accustomed to waking up every hour throughout the night to swap batteries on the chargers, as well as switching auxiliary devices that need to be charged up too.(Such as iPads, BTS Camera, GoPro’s, Computers, and Controllers) We utilized a USB Super Charge Box that helped with having a dedicated spat to charge our USB electronics. It’s all a part of the job.

2. Different Drones for Different Jobs

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Having a diverse collection of drones for different jobs keeps our workflow nice and smooth. For Scouting shots, we fly the DJI Inspire 1 to plan our flightpath and camera movements before breaking out the octocopter with the requested camera package. With less investment in the air and more battery time it lets us experiment and find the unique angles to get. Drones are a great gateway into how we can use robotics for filming, and to think about what other robots we can use to get the shot. With the recent purchase of the Freefly Tero car, Drone Dudes is constantly innovating.

3. Always Innovate

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One of the best ways to stay on top of things is to always be using the most advanced cutting edge technology that’s out there. The Freefly Tero car is a pretty new concept. For very specific shots that require a low angle it is the equivalent to a never-ending set of rails. When you’re out filming historical architecture, a low sweeping angle is about as valuable as an aerial shot outside. It’s a perspective that we don’t have in our everyday human experience and has that same excitement as an aerial shot. Wether its VR, low RC car angles, or aerial shots innovation goes a long way for the client and your public perception.

4. Always Bring Backups

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One of the 1st things I learned in the media business is always bring a backup.  Maybe even a backup for your backup. I don’t just mean duplicate copies of hard drives with two separate people, but duplicates of all your gear. When providing a service to a client you want to save yourself the embarrassment of not being able to complete the shoot due to a gear malfunction and not having a backup. This tip doesn’t go just for your craft but for every wire, connector, screw, adapter, monitor, charger, props, antenna, etc, that you might have for your gear. Chances are the one thing you don’t think you need to bring a backup for is always the one you wish you would have brought.

5. Take Lots Of Pictures & Do Daily WritingCollageOne thing I don’t see many people doing is bringing a photographer to snap BTS photos of them during their shoots. It’s time to step back and understand the value of the memories you’re making in 10-20-30 years from now. The places that some of these jobs take us are so breathtaking and to have photographs of yourself working in those environments is incredibly unique and not to mention great marketing material. I was doing BTS on the 1st part of the Drone Dudes shoot covering all of Eero Saarinen’s architectural sites around the US. On that trip it was hard to be a fly on the wall and photograph everyone while they made the show happen, but in retrospective I was a key part of the team that will cement what we did in time. What we’re doing with drone technology is history in the making and were all in the forefront, so why not document it and have the memories to share with your family in friends for generations to come.

SOURCE: Quadcopter Guy – Read entire story here.

FPV: Vortex Freestyle

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The ImmersionRC Vortex is one of my favorite quads.Having been in a hard crash breaking more than half my motors I decided to upgrade to the Cobra 2204 1960Kv motors. They’re really nice, though I’m still trying to feel the difference between these and my old 1306 2300kv motors. Regardless, the performance of the Pro-Tune’d settings in the Vortex makes flying a breeze. Without worrying about PID settings, it’s going to ensure you a good flying expierence.

SOURCE: Quadcopter Guy – Read entire story here.

A Good Day for FPV Racing

   The Drone Racing League 

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Today is a great day for drone racing. This morning, the news that Stephen Ross, Miami Dolphins owner, just invested $1 million into The Drone Racing League. With such a substantial investment into the technology, people are bound to take notice and really give drone racing the respect it deserves. But everyone is wondering, who the hell is The Drone Racing League? I cannot seem to find any information about them, which makes me worried about the structure of their events. With people in the space like MultiGP who have been doing timed races for over a year and many chapters all over the US, a lot of people are hoping The Drone Racing League doesn’t screw up potential investment opportunities for other leagues int he future.

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We’re right at the pinnacle of Drone Racing becoming a sport. At the Drone Nationals held in Sacramento at the California State Fair, there was light talk about FPV racing becoming a ‘sport’ with the word ‘sport’ being thrown around by some of the pilots in the pit. I remember being on the live stream at Drone Nationals and using the word sport to define FPV racing for the 1st time. I don’t know if it will blow up to a major league televised sport, but with the mix of engineering and tech behind flying FPV its something that is going to gain traction for spectators to spend a day watching the fun.

S0480058_1One of the things everyone was keen on seeing was  if there were going to be any spectators in the stands at Drone Nationals. Wether it was the 105 degree heat, the week days at the fair, or no shade in the stands, I think we all know that theres a few more steps we have to take to get spectator attention retention up. Josh from LA drones has been working hard to fix that exact problem.

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The Flycaster displaying and recording 4 different 5.8 Video feeds for viewing and instant playback.

To try and get spectators and audiences interested, Josh Sharfi developed the FlyCaster; a display that shows multiple 5.8 FPV video feeds on one screen. Not only is this awesome for people to watch who aren’t flying, but the video is always being recorded. If theres any discrepancy over who hit who or who crossed the finish line 1st we’re able to instantly playback the video feeds from all the drones at the same time to see who was right. With future plans to add a local network and much more, the future of FPV spectating looks bright. Once you use it its such an essential tool for any race crew who takes things serious that you won’t want to go without.

Percepto

Mark Cuban and Richard Parsons have announced that they have invested $1 Million into Percepto during a series one round of funding. Percepto is a drone Computer Vision accessory that enables the drone you already have to see a computer vision overlay on your video. Instead of building their platform for one specific use, they built a platform that developers can develop apps on. While that seemed like a good idea in the planning phase, I’m really interested who is going to build on top of an existing platform instead of building something custom for their exact needs. At a retail cost of $600, or $400 on their IndieGoGo campaign, I think it will be very hard for them to break into the consumer market and will be geared more towards industrial applications.

SOURCE: Quadcopter Guy – Read entire story here.

Quadcopter Surfing; A thrill or a horrible idea?

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Quadcopter Surfing; A thrill or a horrible idea? 

Yesterday I was cruising the canyons on one of those sunday-drive with no destination type of days. I stopped and found a few cool flying spots, but nothing beat the beach. I’ve flown at the beach before, but never with a mini quad so I naturally wanted to rip it up. I’ve never really had the trust in my solders and my equipment until now, where I have a trust with my equipment. This was filmed with the Immersion RC Vortex and a GoPro Hero 4.

SOURCE: Quadcopter Guy – Read entire story here.

XHover MXP180 FPV Maiden

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The XHover MXP180 is quickly rising to the top of my favorite-to-fly list. It’s small footprint is a huge part of making me make that decision. If a 180 flies the same as a 250, why would I fly the 250? The 180’s size reduces chances of crashing in small gaps but still maintains the ability to carry a GoPro Hero4.

SOURCE: Quadcopter Guy – Read entire story here.

Drone Nation: An Inside Look into Drone Racing

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Drone Nationals Live Stream @ Drone Dudes

A Drone Nation; Something to be excited for, or extremely scared of? In this two part series Fusion TV takes you into the world of Drones to see who’s cashing on on this ‘gold rush’. 1st, we meet the Drone Dudes. Drone Dudes is a full service creative studio out of Downtown Los Angeles providing complete ground and aerial filmmaking solutions, as well as an online shop with expert help if your looking to get your own drone. If you haven’t checked them out before watch part one of Drone Nation. After, go to their website  and look at their work. It’s phenomenal. (Disclaimer: I might be a little bias, as I took the majority the photos on the website and worked the last 8 months at the studio)

Also featured in part one of Drone Nation is the Aerial Sports League. The ASL is run by the guys who founded Game of Drones, a company that makes an indestructible transparent airframe. Their claim to fame is aerial combat, where two drones enter a cage and only one drone leaves. You have three lives. If you are brought down, you have 90 seconds to repair your quad and enter the next match. I’ll be reviewing one of their airframes sometime soon stay tuned.

While I was working at the Drone Dudes studio in Downtown Los Angeles I meet the team from Fusion TV as they stopped by to film us for their half hour special on the drone

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Getting ready to Live Broadcast @ Drone Nationals

industry called “Drone Nation.” We gave them a tour around our studio, showing them different drones that we use for filming, some examples of our work, and lastly they wanted to learn more on Mini Quads. I mentioned that there was the 1st ever Drone Nationals race at the California State Fair, and they asked me if I was going.

At 1st I didn’t want to go to Drone Nationals. I felt intimidated, unworthy, andunprepared. The more experiences I have in life the more I realize when you are uncomfortable doing something you should probably bite down and just do it. At this time I just got my second mini quad, a XHover MXP230, and thats when you start pushing the limits. When you have just one, you’re scared to fly really hard because you want to make sure you still have a quad to fly the next day.

In my suburb outside of Los Angeles, it was hard to find people into mini quads one year ago. Now, theres a thriving community of pilots who are meeting almost daily and I’ve seen friends just starting out excel in the drone racing arena in just a short amount of time. It’s been amazing to watch.

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The set up I used at Drone Nationals. Taranis, Xhover MXP230, and Fatshark Dominator V2’s

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Brendan and I at the entrance of Done Nationals

In part two of Drone Nation you will meet the government side of Drones used for border security, as well as the segment on Drone Nationals. The Drone Nationals was so fun, and is something that I would absolutely recommend for everyone to enter into an official drone race at least once. The pressure of racing in front of so many of your peers, spectators, and the pressure to win might make you nervous. But learning how to deal with that pressure is what made Drone Nationals such a great experience for me. I felt as if I walked away from Drone Nationals as a much better pilot because of leaning to deal with stress management. Since Nationals, I’ve been flying better than I ever have before because I was so inspired to refine my skills and become a better more competent pilot afterwards. I felt a huge shift from pre-drone nationals to post-drone nationals.

Though I did not “Place” at the drone nationals, I believe I am the winner because I had the most fun. Creating community was the best part about it. Meeing people who you’ve interacted with on the internet and putting a face to the name was really cool. The event was not only about the racing. They had daily events after where everyone would get drinks, chat, and dream about what the future of Drone Racing would be. I’ve never been a part of a community like this, and I hope to be able to spread the joy that it has given me with many more people to come.

(Big shoutout to Scott Refsland from Flying Grounds International. Scot planned, organized, and executed the Nationals with extreme professionalism. He brought in the FAA, the AMA, and the FCC to figure out hoe everyone could cooperate to create a smooth event. For the 1st event of its kind, it was a pleasure to be a pilot.)

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Also, I am embedding a podcast I did with Joe Strandell from The Joe Strandell Show. Joe and I talk about Drones, Life, Spirituality, Business, and much much more. I have a feeling a part two is going to be soon in the future so stay tuned!

SOURCE: Quadcopter Guy – Read entire story here.

Why FlyBi is Set Up For Failure

Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 3.31.36 PM 1The FlyBi drone. At first I ignored this concept when I saw it about a month ago. I don’t understand who exactly FlyBi’s is trying to market to, which is a little off-putting. The company is using flashy words like “VR” and “Autonomous” to gain traction while sporting a very high promise of features mixed a very low project funding goal goal. I find it hard to believe they will deliver the on the features they are promising. I give my comprehensive review and explain why I think so. Lets take a look at the features FlyBi is promising.

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VR Glasses with Head Tracking  

This is the first feature that I believe people will be let down by. They are promising a smooth VR experience, but no where does it say anything about how they are transmitting video. In the consumer market, the customer will naturally assume that it will be an HD unobstructed stream. They do mention that the goggles have HD capable screens, but I’m almost certain that it’s on a 5.8 frequency which means the quality will be SD. Not only that, it will produce glitchy video as 5.8 analog is subject to interference. While this is normal and expected in the R/C world, the average consumer will not understand this and will be let down. Also, it will not be a truly smooth VR experience like people have experienced before. They will move the camera using servos based on how the goggles move. You can view a demo of the technology here. 

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Wearable Wrist Remote I could only imagine how this one went down in the meeting rooms. “Maybe we could make our drone a ‘wearable’ and it would appeal to a larger audience!” While I appreciate the desire to innovate and create something new and interesting, I don’t think this will work well in practice. The joystick is for forward, back, left and right control. There are two spinning circles that go around the joystick. The 1st level one will control altitude, with the second controlling yaw. The integrated screen will have to be analog 5.8 and exist without an antenna which will produce non desirable results. I also think this wrist strap won’t fit everyone, and will make it harder to control the drone to get the shots you want.

Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 6.04.41 PMHD 1080 Camera  The integrated camera on the FlyBi looks to be a fatshark 600TVL. While they could upgrade it in the future to a better sensor, using the fatshark module in the marketing is misleading. Also missing is the a true electronic motor gimbal. This ‘Gimbal’ pictured is a 2 axis servo controlled mechanism. No, this gimbal won’t take out the shaky movements from your quadcopter, and in fact might even exaggerate them. With technology like this already existing for years in Fatshark goggles, I don’t find this to be a new and innovative feature. View the existing Fatshark head tracking feature here.

Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 3.32.15 PMHelideck Remote Charging The next over promised feature we have the Helideck. The Helideck will supposedly act as a backpack, rolling case, and homing beacon for your FlyBi. In addition, while using the Helideck they say you will never have to change your batteries yourself. Simply let the FlyBi land in the Helideck and let it change the batteries for you!(supposedly) While this sounds very cool, it is yet another feature that will make the FlyBi more complex, heavy, and subject to failure. Lets face it; people who fly drones should know their machines inside and out and this also means knowing how to charge and maintain your batteries yourself.

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Very Small Funding Goal This is the most concerning part. FlyBi has launched on Kickstarter with a funding goal of only $35,000. How in the world do they think they’ll be able to fund R&D, production, and marketing with 35k? For reference, Photokite launched their Fotokite Phi by exceeding a their $300,000 goal. Zano got about 12,075 pre-orders, generated just over $3,000,000, and just delivered the 1st 200 units to their 1st backers. The DreamQuii Plexidrone raised $2,243,986, about 1,000 times their projected goal (and since have done a complete re-design). There are a lot of new technologies involved with the FlyBi, injection molds, electronics, and FPV screens that would require much more money than $35,000 to produce. Furthermore, when using a crowd funding platform like IndieGoGo, you retain the funds regardless if you reach your goal or not. To me, projects on kickstarter are more reputable. If your goal is so low, why not go onto a more reputable platform like Kickstarter?

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 9.31.49 AMThis is going not meant to say that crowd funding on one platform is better than another to start your drone company. There are many success stories like ZanoPlexidrone, Fotokite, Ghost Drone, Micro Drone, Hexo+, Airdog, CyPhy, Game Of Drones, C-MiSprite, and I’m sure we’ll see even more in the future! With so many success stories, it’s also good to remember that not every crowd funded drone project doesn’t go so well. Projects  like the Pocket Drone don’t have such a happy ending. The team was not expecting as many orders as they got, about 1,946 for a total investment of about $929,212. The owners were not prepared and had to invest their own life savings, and even go into debt to fulfill R&D and production of the product. After all pre orders were fulfilled AirDroids, the maker of the Pocket Drone, closed shop for good.

Crowd funding has become a great way for entrepreneurs to gain capital to create new and innovative products. We’ve seen some great drone products come out of crowd funding programs such as Zano. I personally backed the Zano project, and once I get mine I will probably buy a few more to explore their swarming feature and to give as gifts(assuming it works as they said). To me, it really seems like the ideal platform that I’ve always been dreaming about. I’m not expecting it to shoot the best video, have the furthest range, or fly in much wind at all. But to have a small flying camera that will take photos of you and your friends is something I’ve been looking for. As I live my life, I’m starting to see where Zano could be integrated. It happens quite often.

There seems to be a recipe for successful drone crowd funding campaigns. The first factor being an entertaining video that tells the story of where the inspiration for the product came from. The video shows people using the product, and sometimes what the product can produce. The second strategy is media support. It has become a custom to put all the media outlets and reports you were featured in on your Kickstarter page to show what brands believe in your vision. Third you need a detailed project timeline showing what has already been accomplished, future challenges, solutions for problems you are encountering at the current state of your project, and the willingness to over-communicate with your backers. Communication with your backers and creating a personal relationship with them is the most important. Zano used Reece to have a relatable person with a great personality talk with and let the backers know what is going on. I talked to Reece at CES, and had to compliment him on his video marketing strategy. At the moment, Zano is on email update #45 since January which equals about 5 updates per month. While they didn’t deliver on their initial shipping goal, they’ve kept backers updated about what’s going on and that makes them feel good about their investment.

Other companies like the Lilly.Camera took the same marketing ideas as the kickstarter campaigns utilizing a high quality video that shows features, use cases, and the lifestyle you can live with the product, in this case the Lilly. They went to media outlets before their release date and made content with them so on their release date the internet blew up about their product. Not only is this great for marketing, but great for sales too. All of Lily’s sales have been private, and that might attract more capital investors as opposed to a crowd funded project in which the figures are public.

Anytime there is a democratization of an industry, innovation happens at an exponential rate and that gives the big manufacturers pressure to innovate and create something more technology advanced. However, don’t take everything for its face value, and use your best judgement before putting your money into a crowd funded drone project. People have been let down before, and I would hate to see more people be let down again in the future.

SOURCE: Quadcopter Guy – Read entire story here.

CAUTION: Risk of Jail Time For FPV Flights in Los Angeles

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Want to fly FPV in Los Angeles? There is a new proposed ruling by the LA city council would completely ban all FPV flights including those done with a VLOS spotter and even in AMA sanctioned flying fields. If you are found flying FPV in Los Angeles you risk a $1,000 fine and/or 6 months in jail. Brendan Schulman, the Drone Lawyer, explains what the proposal would mean below.

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@CineDrones @ericgarcetti Criminalizes children playing in backyards, doesn’t actually track FAA regs, outlaws the new drone racing sport…
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In the words of Mike Fortin, CEO of FAA Exempt filmmaking company Cinedrones, he states:

“While I believe there should be rules and laws in place I feel as though the City of Los Angeles has taken a misinformed approach to trying to regulate a technology they know little about. No public hearings or consultation was made in regards to the new ordinance and therefore leaves much to be desired by those of us who want regulation but want it the right way and by people that have all of the information.

Sadly an ordinance like this effectively disbands any and all FPV racing events being held in a sanctioned and approved location. Furthermore if the letter of the law is followed this essentially criminalizes kids playing with “toy drones” that may be flying in their back yard.”

Lets take a look at the bill which can be viewed here. The city has taken FAA suggested rules and added even more restrictive legislation on top of that to the SEC. 56.31. UNMANNED AIRCRAFT SYSTEMS proposal. Below I am focused on section (b)3. Section (b)3 states:

11742648_10153541289549162_3987653498295120127_n3. No Person shall operate any Model Aircraft within the City of Los Angeles
beyond the visual line of sight of the person operating the Model Aircraft.
 The operator must use his or her own natural vision (which includes vision corrected by standard eyeglasses or contact lenses) to observe the Model Aircraft. People other than the operator may not be used in lieu of the operator for maintaining visual line of sight. Visual line of sight means that the operator has an unobstructed view of the Model Aircraft. The use of vision-enhancing devices, such as binoculars, night vision goggles, powered vision magnifying devices, and goggles or other devices designed to provide a “first-person view” from the model, do not constitute the visual line of sight of the person operating the Model Aircraft. 

The City of Los Angeles explicitly states that First Person View flying “with the assistance of goggles or other vision devices” is explicitly illegal and can result in a $1,000 fine and/or 6 months jail time.

S0480058_1The proposed law in Los Angeles completely disregards the American Modeler Association’s rules that have been able to self regulate safe model aircraft aviation for the last 79 years. The AMA Document #550 Section 3(b) states “All FPV flights require an AMA FPV pilot to have an AMA FPV spotter next to him/her maintaining VLOS with the FPV aircraft throughout its flight.” People in the community are happy to follow AMA rules. We all love the hobby and will do whatever it takes to preserve these new traditions for generations to come.

The racing organization IDRA, or the International Drone Racing Association, hosted their 1st race in Los Angeles and is one of a few organizations organizing FPV events in the greater Los Angeles area. This ban would in effect take their races to the surrounding counties. View the latest episode of That Drone Show that highlights the most recent IDRA race in Orange County.

Charles Zablan, COO of the IDRA explains it like this:

S0349186“New technology especially ones with such great potential should not be feared for the negative uses that it could bring, but we should embrace the good that it could do. Robotics of any kind could greatly enhance our everyday experience. Whether it’s aiding in search and rescue, building and agriculture inspection, to drone racing. Aerial robotics, and drone technology has so many useful applications. Institutions such as the AMA exist to keep the technology safe. The potential for growth is greatly stunted by unsubstantiated fear mongering.”

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This is not only a set back for the FPV racing community, but for the advocation of STEAM education. FPV is by far the most immersive and inspiring way to get young people involved in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. Every child who see’s an FPV racing quadcopter flying in the air is in complete awe and wants to learn more. FPV flying is commonly referred to being like a ‘real life video game’. This type of activity has the ability to get kids out of the house from behind the computer screen and out into the world. There are many bright young minds out there and we will be missing this opportunity to inspire the next generation of innovators.

The sustainable future of FPV and anyone who wants to fly a drone in Los Angeles depends on this bill being vetoed. Please join with the FPV community in contacting the Los Angeles Mayor’s office and address your concerns in a constructive, nice, and educated way.

Mayor Eric Garcetti
200 N. Spring St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

(213) 978-0600
mayor.garcetti@lacity.org

Twitter: @ericgarcetti

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The participants of the 1st IDRA FPV race in North Hills, Los Angeles, California

SOURCE: Quadcopter Guy – Read entire story here.

Why The Intel Aero Is A Big Deal

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This week in San Fransisco at IDF (Intel Developers Forum) Intel released their newest development platform, the Intel Aero. When thinking about drones and their uses, hardware is subjective. The aspect that makes the drone useful for different applications is the software that is paired with the hardware. Having a drone that you can fly is great. Having a drone that can fly its self and navigate obstacles while flying autonomously is a huge deal.

The Intel Aero with Intel Realsense Technology will be the 1st open source Smart Vision development platform that is available to customers in an (almost) ready to fly package. (The Flight Control board is available now, with a RTF version coming before the end of Q4.) For reference, the DJI Matrice 100 featured a ‘guidance’ system that features 360 degree Screen Shot 2016-08-18 at 5.43.37 PMultrasonic sensors that could sense an object, but could not 3D map its surroundings. This means that the Inel Atom is the 1st development drone with intelligent computer vision
and makes it the most most important development platform on the market today.

The possibilities with Aero are endless. For starters, imagine while flying a drone inside it
creates a 3D map of everything inside and is able to localize its indoor position based off the 3D map it generated and the IRS sensors. This will immediately make flying drones inside more safe and consumer friendly.

Another extremely valuable use case would be a racing drone that is incapable of crashing into gates, trees, or any other obstacles. Programming the IRS to know the size of the drone and to be capable of calculating the size of a gap or gates you need to fly through in real time is now a possibility with Intel Aero.

The launch of the Intel Aero is undoubtedly one of the most important releases in the drone developer space. The ability to develop on an existing flight control board that runs Dronecode, has Airware no fly zone support built in, and an Intel Realsese Technology add-on is going to open new doors for drones, developers, and in the end will benefit  the general consumer. With the most important aspect of a drone being the software,  I look forward to the day when I can fly a drone that was developed on the Intel Aero Platform.

Also shown at IDF was the Yuneec Typhoon H with Intel RealSense Technology. The Yuneec Typhoon H sells for $1,899 and can be bought here

SOURCE: Quadcopter Guy – Read entire story here.

Getting Started in Drone Photography

In this article, I’ll share with you some of my experiences doing drone photography with my new flying camera. I learned on a DJI Mavic Pro, but the principles here apply to any newer camera drone as well. You’ll see how learning to use and fly a drone can help you improve all your photography as well. Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned:

Learn to fly before you learn to shoot

This means finding an open space and learning the controls well so don’t have to consciously think about every lever and button and what it does. You’ll have plenty of time for making photos later. Get the feel of the aircraft now.

Visualize before you take off

On the Mavic Pro, you get about 26 minutes of flying time on each battery (so definitely consider buying extras). Because of that, try to visualize your shots before you take off so you’re not spending that precious 26 minutes of battery life just flying around aimlessly.

You must realize, however, that when you first start working with a drone, everything will look different from above. Don’t worry. As you get more experienced, you’ll learn how to “read” a scene better and you’ll spend less time searching and more time setting up the shots you want.

Shoot RAW

Consider photographing in RAW (the camera’s native format for images as opposed to JPEGs) if you know how to process them in a program like Lightroom. For me, it is too hard to see all the lighting nuances on my phone screen. RAW gives me more latitude than JPEGs for fixing later.

Consider bracketing your shots as well (if your drone has that feature) to allow for even greater flexibility with exposure.

Don’t let the initial images fool you

DJI’s RAW files look bad right out of the camera. But pump up the Blacks (for contrast) and increase the Vibrancy and the images can be stunning. Overall, the camera and the Mavic Pro aircraft are surprisingly good.

Learn the focus and metering buttons

Switching between the focus and metering buttons is easy once you locate them on the controller. Both are extremely useful since you get strong contrasts from the air.

At first, I blew out a lot of highlights. When I learned to meter on the right areas of the scene, my photos improved dramatically. Start by sticking with the auto functions of the camera but quickly learn and use the other focus and metering functions available.

Consider getting a polarizer

A polarizing filter reduces glare, but you can’t just twist it like a circular polarizer on your DSLR (it’s a bit out of reach when the drone is 300 feet above you). You can only adjust it by changing the angle of the aircraft which isn’t always helpful when composing a particular shot.

But the polarizer does protect the lens and makes the sky pop in your images. My next purchase will be some ND (Neutral Density) filters to knock down even more of the light and glare. Because you’re shooting from above, you’ll experience new angles of light that you don’t usually get with traditional photography.

Compensate for parallax

There’s a parallax phenomenon that takes time to understand. Compare the photos of two different bridges. In the first (above), I wasn’t directly over the bridge and the photo isn’t as good as the second one where I took the time to turn the drone sideways while rotating it at the same time to get the shot lined up perfectly.

It seems simple until you try it. But with practice, you’ll learn little tricks on how to maneuver your drone to get the shot you want. And the image stabilization, at least in my Mavic Pro, worked better than expected. Thus, if you can line up the shot, you’ll likely get a good image.

Start with photographs

As noted, I’ve held off on shooting more than quick snippets of video. Why? Because with still photography, the aircraft is essentially a floating platform that I can nudge into position. If my turns are awkward, it doesn’t matter.

But when you’re shooting video, flying is everything (or a whole lot). You want your aircraft’s movements to flow smoothly. In my first month of periodic flying, I just wasn’t experienced enough for video. But I did ask my friend Randy (who’s had a drone about as long as I have) about his experience with video.

He noted that a) videos are smoother when you lower the frame per second rate, and b) it’s far better to keep the focus on a single element rather than panning around to capture everything at once.

Learn how to avoid obstacles

In the early stages, you’ll likely be a bit freaked out by trees or other objects that seem to reach out toward your drone. Personally, I haven’t yet gotten close enough for the aircraft to employ its obstacle avoidance procedures.

Randy tested the sensors out by flying his aircraft directly at him. He figured that unlike flying into a tree, he could move out of the way if the sensors failed. As it turns out, they worked great. The aircraft stopped a few feet before him.

You still want to fly carefully, but it is nice to know you have the sensors working for you.

Recognize the limitations of where you can fly

There are restrictions where you can fly your drone (no national parks, no crowded areas, no flying near airports, etc.) but there are still vast regions you can explore by air that you can’t when tied to the ground. Also, scenes that look boring from the ground (a wheat field, for example), take on new possibilities when viewed from above. You just must rethink what makes for a great image.

Try direct overhead photos

Shots taken directly overhead will likely be more intriguing to you when you first start. Remember when Instagram was first getting going? Everyone took photos of their feet because they were more enamored with the filters on Instagram than in taking great photos.

You’ll likely soon grow to improve and get better shots at angles, but as a beginner, the direct overhead shot is fun because it is a completely new way of seeing things. And don’t rule them out even as you get better. You’ll still find scenes where the direct overhead shot tells the best story.

Compare, for example, the two shots of the wrecked fishing boats. Which is better? It’s all a matter of taste, but now you have options.

Learn to shoot at angles

Angled images are tougher to shoot at just the right height, distance, and direction than direct overhead ones. But they don’t scream “DRONE SHOT” the way some higher-altitude-direct-overhead photos do.

Also, a benefit of angled shots is that you can isolate your subject from distracting foreground or background items. For example, in the shot of the ruined church above, using a drone allowed me to avoid several unwanted foreground elements.

Photograph like a designer

Back to direct overhead shots, another benefit is that they can help you think differently about photography. You may, in fact, start perceiving the world more from a design perspective, being more aware of line, texture, patterns, and colors.

You’ll see shapes, arrangements, and interesting connections you wouldn’t otherwise just because you’re viewing scenes from different heights and angles.

The Takeaway

It may take time to master drone photography. But along the way, you’ll likely capture some surprising and astounding images. And best of all, you may become a better overall photographer as a result.


THE BASICS
How long it will take you to learn to fly your drone depends in part on the drone you get. With the DJI Mavic Pro, I spent time reading the manual (somewhat helpful), watching the DJI videos (more helpful) and then watching other people’s YouTube videos (super helpful).

Even if you’re a “forget the instructions, let’s get going” type of person, spend time watching some of these videos. It will be worth the effort since not everything about your drone, especially from a photography perspective, will be intuitive. Besides, you can do it while your batteries are charging.

On most drones, the controller connects to your smartphone. Your phone’s screen becomes your remote viewfinder. Let’s state what may seem obvious but isn’t if you’ve never owned a drone: You need a smartphone to fly most drones for photography purposes. It took me three days of trying to get the detested DJI app (just read the app reviews and you’ll see what I mean) to work only to find that it was incompatible with my older phone. I switched to my wife’s phone and voila, everything suddenly worked.

If your drone doesn’t connect immediately once you download the app, it’s likely the app/phone combo. My advice is to focus on solving the phone/app connection first.

FIRST FLIGHTS
The first time I flew the drone, I freaked out seeing it go up so high. The second time, not so much. The third time, I stopped looking at the aircraft (which, DJI reminds you repeatedly, is the proper name for the device, not a drone. Drones shoot missiles and spy on terrorists. Aircraft are, well, aircraft, I guess, even if this one can fold up and fit in a purse). Instead, I just watched the screen. That is much easier. In short, while you want to always have your drone in visual range so you’re aware of hazards (that’s the law in most areas), concentrate mostly on your screen and you’ll gain confidence in flying it faster.

A NEW PERSPECTIVE
For most photographers, a good quality drone is a luxury, not a necessity. But its greatest value isn’t just in allowing you to take photos you cannot without it. It’s helping you to make better photos even when you’re not using it simply because it will cause you to rethink how you see a scene and thus make a photo.

When I was in college, I played on the school’s tennis team. Part of the training included a class on how to teach others to play the game. For the month that the class lasted, each participant had to play using his or her non-dominant hand. Not easy.

Shooting with the drone/aircraft is similar. Because it is initially so unfamiliar, it will rewire how your brain thinks about the subject you’re photographing and how to compose the image the best way. Without a drone, your photography will likely be two-dimensional, and you’ll probably continue shooting in the same way as you always have.

With a drone, you must factor in height and different angle possibilities. That, in turn, will affect your more terrestrial shots as well since you’ll see more possibilities than you did before.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Stephen W. Brock is a photographer, writer, creativity aficionado, and author of “Hidden Travel: The Secret to Extraordinary Trips”. He helps people connect their outer journey (travel) with their inner longings, creative interests, and passions (such as photography). Find out more about connecting what you love with where you go at ExploreYourWorlds.com where you can get his free guides such as How to Take Awesome Travel Photographs or Everything You Need to Know to Photograph Machu Picchu.

Text & Photos by Stephen W. Brock

The post Getting Started in Drone Photography appeared first on RotorDrone.

SOURCE: RotorDrone – Read entire story here.

Mid-Air at the Beach

It isn’t all aerial imaging and crop surveys; sometimes, people use drones to do bad things. Through a partnership with DroneSec—a private drone security intelligence firm with offices in Australia and Singapore—RotorDrone Pro is able to offer these briefings regarding the nefarious use of small UAS worldwide.

A Bad Day at the Beach

Incident Type: Mid-Air Collision
Incident Location: Punta de Tralca, Chile
Aircraft Type: DJI Mavic 2 Pro
Incident Resolution: Crew injured but safely landed aircraft, drone seized

No one is more forceful than me in advocating for the safe use of drones. We must always make safety our highest priority, and avoiding potential conflicts with crewed aircraft must be a paramount concern within that overall goal.

Punta de Tralca is a popular seaside resort town with a sandy beach, less than two hours from Santiago, Chile’s capital and largest city. In January 2021, a Chilean Navy helicopter conducting a shore patrol mission was struck by a small drone while flying over the area, injuring one of its crew members. (Photo courtesy Gurkah Lodiak)

That said, I’ve always been skeptical of the notion that a small uncrewed aircraft system (sUAS) could bring down a crewed aircraft. After all, they are designed to sustain bird strike and continue flying safely. According to 14 CFR 29.631, a helicopter should be able to take a direct hit from a 2-pound bird—such as a duck or a pigeon—while flying at cruising speed and, at a minimum, be able to effect a safe landing. That’s about the same weight as a Mavic 2.

Furthermore, several real-world incidents over the past few years have seemed to support my belief. In September 2017, an Army Black Hawk helicopter collided with a DJI Phantom in New York City. Immediately following the impact, the crew only reported that they had hit “something” and did not declare an emergency. It was only after they landed as a precautionary measure and inspected the aircraft that they discovered the shattered remnants of the drone. The resulting minor damage was quickly repaired, and the aircraft returned to service. Following an investigation, serial numbers on the recovered parts revealed the identity of the drone pilot.

The collision between a navy UH-57B helicopter and a DJI Mavic 2 Pro drone occurred over Punta de Tralca, a seashore community about 70 miles west of the nation’s capital of Santiago.

When it struck the UH-57B helicopter flying above Punta de Tralca, the DJI Mavic 2 Pro punched through the wind screen and hit the flight engineer in the face, inflicting what was described as a “moderate” injury.

Then, in September 2020, a DJI Mavic collided with a Los Angeles Police Department helicopter flying at low altitude while supporting officers on the ground searching for a burglary suspect. The UAS struck the underside of the helicopter, damaging antennas, its nose and its engine cowling, but there was no imminent threat to flight safety. The crew made an emergency landing and officers on the ground retrieved pieces of the drone, leading to the arrest of the drone pilot.

Given my confidence, I was honestly shaken by a case that DroneSec highlighted earlier this year, and especially the chilling images that accompanied it. As a community and an industry, we came within a foot or two of having our first deadly mid-air collision between a UAS and a crewed aircraft. If you have ever shared my doubts, it’s time to jettison them immediately.

On January 23, 2021, a UH-57B belonging to the Chilean Navy was flying a coastal patrol over Punta de Tralca, a seaside resort town an hour and a half west of the nation’s capital, Santiago. The aircraft is the military variant of the Bell 206, known as the “JetRanger,” which is also the basis for the Army’s OH-58 Kiowa reconnaissance helicopter. A base unit costs $1.4 million and seats five, including the crew. In short, this is not a flimsy flying machine. Armed versions of the Bell 206 have flown in conflicts from Vietnam to Afghanistan and Iraq, and more than 300 remain in service with the active-duty US military today.

While on patrol, the Chilean UH-57B struck a DJI Mavic 2 Pro. Its altitude at the time of the collision is unknown, but given the mission profile, it is plausible that the helicopter was flying below 1,000 feet. The drone punched through the wind screen at the left-front of the aircraft and, based on the available evidence, struck the occupant of the seat behind it in the face.

Fortunately, on this model of helicopter, the pilot sits in the right-front seat. It was the flight engineer who suffered an injury as a result. After successfully completing an emergency landing, the crewman was assessed to have sustained moderate injuries. He received initial treatment at CESFAM in Santo Domingo before being transferred to Viña del Mar Naval Hospital, where he was expected to make a full recovery.

DroneSec theorizes that the Mavic was able to pierce the helicopter’s wind screen because, although it is about the same weight as a bird that should be deflected without causing significant damage, it is denser and more rigid than an obstacle made of flesh and feathers.

One detail about this incident has really stayed with me: a photograph showing the wreckage of the drone along with a bloody, ripped face mask. It’s not difficult to image the crew were wearing masks owing to the COVID-19 epidemic and the Mavic hitting the flight engineer in the mouth. Just an inch or two higher and he could easily have been blinded. A couple of feet to the right, and it could have been the pilot who was blinded, with deadly results.

Under any circumstances, my fellow UAS pilots, I would have strenuously urged you to always keep your drone in sight and give plenty of space to crewed aircraft operating in the vicinity. However, now we know the danger is more than theoretical: being careless or reckless has the very real potential to injure or kill our brothers and sisters who operate their flying machines from the inside and that is something that we must never, ever allow to happen.

Seen here along with a face mask bloodied when it struck the flight engineer is the DJI Mavic 2 Pro that collided with a helicopter belonging to the Chilean Navy in January.

A member of the Chilean armed forces inspects the UH-57B helicopter damaged when it struck a small uncrewed aircraft system (UAS) while conducting a shore patrol mission over Punta de Tralca.

BY PATRICK SHERMAN

The post Mid-Air at the Beach appeared first on RotorDrone.

SOURCE: RotorDrone – Read entire story here.

Augmented Reality: A benefit or a burden for drone operators?

The next time you are out flying, ask yourself: what am I looking at? According to a study by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, there’s a pretty good chance that it isn’t your drone—but augmented reality has the potential to help you do a better job of focusing on your aircraft, which is really important, as this excerpt from Part 107 shows:

14 CFR § 107. 31: Visual line of sight aircraft operation.
A. With vision that is unaided by any device other than corrective lenses, the remote pilot in command, the visual observer (if one is used), and the person manipulating the flight control of the small unmanned aircraft system must be able to see the unmanned aircraft throughout the entire flight in order to:

1. Know the unmanned aircraft’s location
2. Determine the unmanned aircraft’s attitude, altitude, and direction of flight;
3. Observe the airspace for other air traffic or hazards; and
4. Determine that the unmanned aircraft does not endanger the life or property of another.

One type of augmented reality (AR) commonly used in crewed aviation is the Heads-Up Display, which provides pilots with immediate access to crucial flight data, without having to look down at the aircraft instruments inside the cockpit. (Photo courtesy of Telstar Logistics)

As this regulatory excerpt makes abundantly clear, maintaining visual line of sight (VLOS) with your aircraft is a core responsibility of the Remote Pilot In Command (RPIC), along with his or her air crew. However, it’s fair to ask whether or not most commercial operators strictly adhere to it. I’ll confess that I basically never meet this standard. I’d be willing to bet that you don’t, either, but don’t worry, your secret is safe with me. Also, it isn’t really a secret.

The truth is, we’re in good company. During a field study conducted by Jeff Coleman and David Thirtyacre for the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide Campus Department of Flight, the school’s own faculty—some of the most skilled and highly trained UAS pilots in the world—were observed to spend nearly 70 percent of their time focused on the aircraft’s ground control station (GCS), rather than the aircraft itself.

For anyone who has ever flown a small uncrewed aircraft system (sUAS), the reason is obvious: the GCS is where the action is! By looking at your drone, you are able to determine its attitude, direction of flight and estimate its altitude. However, by looking at your GCS, you are able to see its real-time video downlink, as well as determining with precision its location, altitude, distance and direction to the launch point, horizontal and vertical speed, GPS receiver and sensor feedback, battery power remaining, payload function and status, radio signal strength and may other factors.

If we were flying in an environment somehow guaranteed to be free of any hazards—no other aircraft, obstructions, people or sensitive property anywhere in the vicinity—we would probably stare at our GCS display 100 percent of the time, because the information that it provides is so valuable. However, we do not live in such an environment, which is why the FAA puts such a strong emphasis on maintaining VLOS with the aircraft: it’s the only way to guarantee we aren’t flying into trouble.

The results of this field study indicated a dramatic shift in the behavior of remote pilots when equipped with an augmented reality (AR) system, substantially increasing the quantity of time spent maintaining direct visual line of sight (VLOS) with their aircraft.

A Better Way?

When Coleman and Thirtyacre initiated their research, it wasn’t aimed exclusively at making their colleagues look bad. Instead, they wanted to see if augmented reality (AR), provided by the Epson Moverio BT-300 and BT-35E smart eyewear system, could enable more faithful VLOS operations while simultaneously giving the pilot access to all of the video and telemetry provided by the GCS.

Wearing a pair of Moverios superimposes the display you would normally see on your GCS over the real world, allowing you to see it and your aircraft simultaneously. The results are not dissimilar to the heads-up display (HUD) in modern jet fighters.

The question the researcher sought to answer was: will having this HUD available change the behavior or pilots flying autonomous missions? Thirtyacre described the process of gathering the data, beginning with the fact that each pilot was asked to fly two comparable autonomous missions: one using a conventional GCS and the other wearing the Moverios.

“We videotaped people flying over a period of four days, and we took that data away and analyzed it,” he said. “Based on the position of their eyes and head, we made a judgment about whether they were looking at the GCS, the aircraft, or something else. Because this was a field study, not an experiment, it’s important to understand that we couldn’t control for all of the variables. We could only document what happened, and base our judgment on that.”

The Moverio augmented reality (AR) glasses from Epson incorporate a binocular 720p display, a 5-megapixel integrated camera, and WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity.

Weighing just 2.6 ounces, the Epson Moverio augmented reality (AR) glasses are comfortable to wear for extended periods of time and a bright enough to use in full daylight with the included sunshades.

One big example of an uncontrolled variable was the pilots themselves: fully aware of the fact that they were being studied and videotaped, did they, even subconsciously, change their behavior in a way that they believed their peers would approve?

With the field observations complete, multiple judges were assigned to watch each pilot fly, to ensure a reliable measure of time spent looking at the aircraft, the GCS and elsewhere in the environment, such as speaking with a colleague.

The results were striking, according to Thirtyacre: when flying with a conventional GCS setup, even these experienced pilots spent more than two-thirds of their time looking at the display rather than their aircraft.

Thirtyacre concluded: “As RPICs, we spend a lot more time looking at the GCS than we do at the aircraft — a whole lot more than anybody thought. The amount really surprised me. We teach people to maintain VLOS while they are positioning their aircraft in the sky in the general vicinity of where they want it, and then look down at the display—but that isn’t what they are doing, at least according to this study.”

This simulated image provides a glimpse of what it is like to operate a drone using Epson’s Moverio smart glasses. As the pilots in this study gained experience using the augmented reality (AR) technology, they found it best to keep the aircraft in one corner of their field of view, where it was less likely to be lost in the clutter of the video and telemetry display.

David Thirtyacre tries out the Moverio augmented reality (AR) glasses from Epson as a supplement to the conventional ground control station display used by the overwhelming majority of remote pilots. (Photo courtesy of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University)

Advantage: Augmented Reality

When the pilots flew a comparable mission using AR technology, the results were dramatic: very nearly the reverse of the previous test. Wearing the Moverios, the pilots spent more than half of the time looking up at the aircraft. For Thirtyacre, this was an important insight—one that will require further research to confirm, but also one that hinted AR might have an important role to play in the future of UAS operations.

“In accordance with Part 107, we need to maintain VLOS with the aircraft. Does hearing the aircraft behind me while looking at the GCS constitute VLOS? I don’t think so,” he said. “I think it is very important that we understand where the aircraft is and the environment around it. If you’re not looking at your aircraft, how do you know you’re not flying over people? How do you know where or not there are power lines nearby?”

One question Thirtyacre would like to see addressed by a future study is the question of “dwell time.” That is, how long are the uninterrupted stretches pilot spend looking at the GCS display, before visually checking in with the aircraft.

“Manned pilots are constantly scanning the environment while they are flying. They periodically glance down at their instruments, but that interval is measured in seconds,” he said. “My guess is that we’ll find people stare at the display for two, three or four minutes at a time. We need to move toward an approach that more closely resembles what happens in manned aviation.”

Dr. Scott Burgess of the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide Campus depart of flight looks up at his aircraft through a pair of Epson Moverio augmented reality (AR) glasses. (Photo courtesy of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University)

Virtual reality (VR) users completely immerse their vision and hearing in a synthetic world by means of a head-mounted display (HMD).


Choose Your Own Reality

Like it or not, we all live in the same reality: all of us exist under the effects of Earth’s gravitational field, atmospheric chemistry, diurnal cycle and our own innate biology. The world rolls on, and will until the heat death of our sun in about five billion years, in full compliance with the laws of physics. None of us can change that — however, we can change the way it looks. Here are some options:

Augmented Reality (AR)

By superimposing visual information between us and the real world, AR allows us to simultaneously perceive the world around us, augmented with relevant content displayed by a computer system. The first practical, widespread use of AR took the form of Heads-Up Displays (HUDs) in military aircraft, which display the aircraft’s weapons status, attitude, altitude, heading, remaining fuel, radar target lock and other crucial flight information on a transparent screen located directly in the pilot’s line of sight.

The technology was actually pioneered during the Royal Air Force during World War II and has since become a universal fixture on all military and even some commercial aircraft.

Epson Moverios employed by Embry-Riddle researchers in this study provide a HUD-type capability for drone pilots, by projecting their aircraft’s video link and telemetry into their field of view, while simultaneously keeping the aircraft in sight.

Virtual Reality (VR)

A person employing a VR system blocks out the real world, in favor of a computer-generated simulation. VR is a burgeoning sector of the computer gaming industry, allowing players to immerse themselves in fantasy worlds and use the movement of their entire body as a game controller. This technology has also found applications in fields as diverse as architecture and urban design, healthcare, occupational health and safety, education and many others.

VR has been used to create tours of inaccessible locations, such as the International Space Station or ancient cities that have long since fallen into ruin, providing a lifelike experience for virtual visitors who could otherwise never see them.

The first VR experiences were created by artists in the 1970s, using powerful computers made available by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. One challenge that the industry has yet to address is how to prevent VR users from looking like world-class dweebs.

Mixed Reality

Sharing elements of both AR and VR, mixed reality allows its users to perceive their actual surroundings through a transparent screen. However, the mixed-reality system uses this screen to display a virtual object anchored at a specific location in the real world. Combined with simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) technology, mixed reality allows multiple individuals in the same physical space to see the same virtual object, each from their own perspective.

One use case might involve a group of architects working together on a new building design. The design exists only as a virtual 3D object, perceived to be displayed on a real conference table that they have all gathered around. The participants are able to walk around the model, examining it from different sides and exchange comments and ideas with their peers.

The best-known mixed reality system currently available is the Microsoft HoloLens, first released in 2016. It borrowed its tracking technology from the Kinect module produced for the Xbox gaming system.

Mixed reality systems allow virtual objects to be embedded in the real world, with each individual user perceiving the object from their own perspective—creating a potent tool for collaboration. (Photo courtesy of Hoshinim)


Text & photos by Patrick Sherman

Patrick Sherman is a full-time UAS instructor at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide Campus Department of Flight.

The post Augmented Reality: A benefit or a burden for drone operators? appeared first on RotorDrone.

SOURCE: RotorDrone – Read entire story here.

Mission to Mars – NASA’s high-tech RC helicopter

The success of Ingenuity, otherwise known as the “Mars helicopter,” has united the world in celebration of a unique event in the history of aviation: the first powered flight by an aircraft on another world. Even the staid International Civil Aeronautics Organization got in on the act, designating the bare patch of Martian soil where the historic series of flights took place with its own three-letter airport code: IGY. Elon Musk has yet to announce when regular passenger service might begin, but at least now you will know what code to look for on the departure board.
It’s a heady moment in the history of flight, but for readers of Model Airplane News, there was something distinctly familiar about the entire episode. Strip away the exotic location and adaptations to fly in the rarefied and frigid atmosphere of Mars, and you are a left with a perfectly familiar model aircraft—and not an especially sophisticated one, at that.

Take it for a Spin

To begin with, Ingenuity’s coaxial propeller configuration is well known to modelers from low-cost helicopter models widely sold on Amazon for less than $50 by brands like Syma and Cheerwing. These are great aircraft for beginning pilots because they are inherently stable. Also, they can carry a greater payload than other types of rotorcraft with a comparable power source. Both traits are also much in demand on the red planet.
In addition, because the blades rotate in opposite directions, they cancel out the torque effects of one another on the airframe, holding the aircraft steady in its yaw axis. That means, unlike a conventional “single-rotor” helicopter, there is no need for a tail rotor—also called an anti-torque rotor.
Another benefit of the coaxial design is that it eliminates the problem of dissymmetry of lift. A helicopter’s blades are airfoils, exactly like the wings of an airplane. As the rotor passes through the air, it creates low pressure above each blade and high pressure below and the difference between the two generates lift. However, when a helicopter is in forward flight, the lift varies between the two sides of the aircraft.
The reason is that the blade moving in the same direction as the helicopter, referred to as the “advancing blade,” benefits from the additional airspeed generated by the movement of the helicopter itself—known as the “relative wind” to aeronautical engineering types. Greater airspeed equals greater lift. However, the “retreating blade” generates correspondingly less lift because it deducts, rather than adds, the relative wind to its effective airspeed, making the airfoil less efficient.
Because of its counter-rotating blades, a coaxial helicopter like Ingenuity does not suffer the effects of this dissymmetry of lift, contributing to its overall stability.
Another advantage of the coaxial helicopter design is that it occupies less physical space than a conventional helicopter, which is why crewed versions have been designed for deployment from naval vessels where deck space is at a premium. Multirotors, the most popular format for sUAS on Earth, also take up more space than a comparable coaxial platform. When you’re designing a rotorcraft to travel across 300 million miles of interplanetary space strapped to the belly of a rover, minimizing its overall size is crucial.
Of course, the atmosphere on Mars is only one percent as dense as our own, meaning the rotors must be larger and spin faster than they would here on Earth. However, their performance is hardly extraordinary by the standards of an ordinary model helicopter. The mainstream press has reported with seeming awe that Ingenuity’s rotors must turn at 2,500 rpm, compared with 500 rpm for a crewed helicopter. However, 2,500 rpm this is about on par with a typical RC helicopter.

(Really, Really) Remote Control

Both Ingenuity and a typical model aircraft are undeniably remotely controlled—there isn’t a pilot on either one—and the underlying technology that each one uses for command and control is basically the same: radio transmissions. Like a drone, Ingenuity maintains a two-way channel of communications with its Earthbound operators: receiving control inputs and sending back images and telemetry. However, as you might expect, there are some significant differences when it comes to the details.
Today, most model aircraft are controlled using a spread-spectrum signal at 2.4 GHz. This provides an extremely fast and robust connection between controller and aircraft—less than 25 milliseconds. Furthermore, by constantly leaping from one frequency to the next within the 2.4 GHz band, these systems deliver a high degree of reliability, despite all the other gadgets using the same frequencies: WiFi routers, cordless telephones, Bluetooth accessories, baby monitors and garage door openers, just to name a few.

Diagram -- Flight Zone Illustration

This diagram reveals the basic concept of operations (conops) that Ingenuity has been able to fulfill after its initial test flights demonstrating it was functioning as intended in the desolate Martian environment.

Diagram -- Ingenuity Labels

While costing $85 million and designed to fly above the surface of Mars, the Ingenuity helicopter shares many elements in common with the drones and model aircraft flown every day on Earth.

On drones, video and telemetry are typically also transmitted at 2.4 GHz, and they are slower by comparison—between 150 to 250 milliseconds, except for drones built specifically for first-person view (FPV) racing and freestyling. These intervals of time are literally the blink of an eye, so nearly imperceptible by human beings.
With Ingenuity, the same process takes rather more time, mostly due to the fundamental constraints of the universe as described by Albert Einstein a century ago. Radio waves travel through the vacuum of space at the speed of light: 186,000 miles per second. While that is ferociously fast compared to your morning commute, it’s well short of instantaneous when the distances involved are on an interplanetary scale. Depending on the relative position of the two planets in their orbits, the delay can be between three and 20 minutes.
Also, compared to a model airplane, the signal takes a rather more circuitous route. When Ingenuity has telemetry or images to share with its controllers on Earth, it begins by transmitting them via a short-range radio link to the Perseverance rover nearby. Then, Perseverance establishes a radio connection with the Mars Relay Network—a constellation of five satellites in orbit around the red planet, including NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), Mars Atmospheric and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN), Mars Odyssey, and the European Space Agency’s (ESA’s) Mars Express and Trace Gas Orbiter.
Unlike communications satellites around Earth, these are not located in geostationary orbit, so one must be above the horizon at Perseverance’s location before the rover can begin its upload, which only occurs at about half the speed of a household broadband connection. Then, the long journey to Earth begins.
Up to 20 minutes later, the signal is picked up by NASA’s Deep Space Network (DSN), an array of radio observatories with 230-foot dishes placed equidistant around the globe to ensure continuous contact with Perseverance and other deep-space missions. These are in the Mohave desert, outside of Madrid, Spain, and near Canberra, Australia. From there, it is sent to mission control at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.
So, this operation clearly does not occur within visual line of sight (VLOS), as required by the Academy of Model Aeronautics safety code. However, thus far the FAA has received no complaints.

Testing on Earth to Fly on Mars

Test Flight

Inside the space simulator at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, an Ingenuity prototype takes flight in a rarefied atmosphere to duplicate conditions on Mars.

Prior to landing on Mars, Ingenuity’s environmental tests were performed through modeling and computer simulations. Afterwards, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Space Simulator—an 80-foot tall, 25-feet in diameter vacuum chamber was used to mimic the atmosphere on Mars. To see if Ingenuity could survive in certain weather conditions, engineers created wind tunnels and performed tests at predicted Martian temperatures. Then to mimic Mars’ gravity—which is one-third that of Earth—NASA used a high-tech fishing reel mounted like a pulley to offload the difference.
Yet, due to the tiny size of the Space Simulator, Ingenuity was not able to move more than 1.6 feet. This posed some unknowns; for instance, would the cameras and sensors be able to track the ground at higher speeds? Could dust interfere with camera performance? Will the algorithm for the camera run for long distances?
Ingenuity took 8 years to go from concept sketch to a fully engineered and operational reality. However, after only 27 sols and four successful flights, NASA was able to gain invaluable in-flight data that can be compared to Earth simulations, modeling, and tests. And with new data showing Ingenuity’s operating capabilities exceeding the original design limitations, it is safe to say that NASA engineers built a highly capable aircraft that is set to provide useful engineering data for missions to come.

Where am I?

Actually flying on Mars would be an unfamiliar experience for a model airplane pilot. Owing to the communications delay, each flight must be preprogrammed by controllers on Earth, transmitted to Ingenuity and then executed autonomously. This is nearly identical to the way a drone pilot might established a series of waypoints to map a quarry, for example, then press the “launch” button and monitor the aircraft’s progress without intervening directly unless emerging circumstances require it. Of course, when your aircraft is 34 million miles away and you won’t even know for sure that it has taken off before it lands, direct intervention isn’t really an option.
While performing autonomous operations on Earth, professional remote pilots and their aircraft depend almost entirely on two resources that are absent on Mars: GPS satellites and a planetary magnetic field. To overcome these issues, Ingenuity relies on versions of systems used on board drones every day here on Earth, adapted for the rigors and environmental conditions on the red planet.
The first among these is the black-and-white navigation camera mounted on Ingenuity’s belly. Capturing a meager 640 by 480 pixels 10 times a second, it functions in a manner identical to the optical flow cameras installed on nearly all commercial drones these days: by identifying distinctive features and tracking their changing position within consecutive images, it is possible to determine the direction and speed of the aircraft’s movement over the terrain—making a substantial contribution to its stability.
Also mounted on the underside of Ingenuity is a Garmin LIDAR Lite V3, functioning as a laser altimeter. Again, this is the exact same approach that drones use here on Earth, albeit using ultrasound instead of a laser beam. Flip over almost any drone made today and you’ll find what look like two tiny speakers—and that’s basically what they are. These emit a silent ultrasonic pulse and then listen for the echo after it strikes the ground below. Divide the time that takes in half and multiply it by the speed of sound, and you get a good estimate of the aircraft’s altitude. Horizon Hobby uses the same technology to power the Landing Assist Sensor (LAS) available for its popular Carbon Cub S2 1.3m trainer.
There are other similarities, as well. Ingenuity incorporates a cell-phone grade Bosch BMI-160 inertial measurement unit (IMU). Nearly identical hardware is incorporated in many current model airplanes. Using micro electromechanical systems (MEMS) to integrate three-axis gyroscopes and accelerometers into a solid-state circuit board, an IMU measures two critical variables aircraft performance: what is the relationship between the aircraft and the horizon, as defined in the pitch and roll axes; and how quickly is it changing?
This data is then fed into the aircraft flight control system (FCS)—a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 microprocessor in the case of Ingenuity— =which uses it to make hundreds of changes per second to the performance of the aircraft to maintain stability. Even if a human pilot is providing real-time input, this sort of internal feedback loop is used to provide advanced features like Horizon Hobby’s Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope (SAFE) system, which limits aircraft pitch and roll to help new pilots who are learning how to fly.

Under Construction 1

Taking meticulous care to avoid any biological contamination that could inadvertently be carried to Mars on board Ingenuity, a technician at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory inspects the helicopter prior to its transfer to Perseverance.

Cold Comfort

Not only would the batteries that power Ingenuity be familiar to model airplane pilots, but an especially capable hobbyist might also be able to rig them to power a small aircraft here on Earth. The Mars helicopter uses six Sony lithium-ion batteries with a total capacity of 2,000mAH. That’s about the same as the battery used on a typical 1.5 meter fixed-wing foamie, providing 12 to 15 minutes of flight time, depending on how aggressive you are with the throttle.
Once again, despite the overall similarity, there are some key differences between how these power systems work on Earth and Mars. To begin with, Ingenuity typically only flies for 90 seconds, with a maximum endurance of about two minutes. Also, there are no wall outlets on Mars, so Ingenuity must rely on a solar panel fixed atop its rotors to recharge its batteries.
However, the most crucial difference in this regard is the bitter cold of the red planet, especially at night, when temperatures can dip as low as 130 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have ever tried to fly a model aircraft on an especially cold day here on Earth, then no doubt you have noticed that you get less performance out of your batteries. The reason for this is that as the temperature drops, the internal resistance within LiPo batteries increase.
Effectively, the total amount of electrical energy stored within the battery remains unchanged; however, some proportion of that energy must be spent simply to get the electrons flowing to the aircraft systems, with the practical effect that less energy is available to fly.
For professionals who must operate small drones in extremely cold environments, like the arctic, manufacturers have developed systems to help keep batteries warm. For example, the DJI Mavic Enterprise series uses intelligent batteries that are programmed so that when their internal temperature drops to between 14- and 42.8-degrees Fahrenheit and the remaining battery power is above 50 percent, self-heating will automatically begin. Once the battery is above 46.4 degrees Fahrenheit, the battery will enter a heat retention mode and remain in that condition for 20 minutes.
Ingenuity uses a similar system. First, it is insulated, which reduces the loss of heat into the environment. Second, just like intelligent drone batteries here on Earth, the Mars helicopter discharges its batteries during periods of extreme cold to keep themselves—and the aircraft’s electronics—warm.

Coax Heli

Coaxial helicopters, like this Blade mCX, are a good choice for first time pilots because the configuration is inherently stable and energy efficient, which also make it a good choice for the first flying machine on another planet. (Image courtesy Horizon Hobby)

Looking On

Like a proud parent, the Perseverance rover keeps watch over Ingenuity, standing alone on the Martian surface prior to its first test flight.

The View from Above

The purpose of flying drones—on Earth, anyway—is typically to position a sensor in three-dimensional space: to capture dramatic aerial video or photographs, to create a detailed map of a specific site, or to search for a subject lost in the wilderness using thermal imaging. However, the purpose of Ingenuity recalls an earlier era in model aviation: simply to demonstrate that remotely controlled flight is even possible.
For aeromodelers, this reflects the period during the 1930s when pioneers such as Chet Lanzo and twin brothers William and Walter Good began to experiment with converting gas-powered free-flight models to radio control using rubber-band powered escapements. For those forerunners of the community that exists today, the goal was to simply prove that they could control a flying machine remotely.
Likewise, simply lifting itself above the Martian surface for a few precious seconds is Ingenuity’s overriding goal. Therefore, the most common payload carried on drones today—a visible-light camera—is essentially an afterthought, largely unrelated to the success of the mission.

Goldstone

Located in the Mohave Desert, the Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex is home to this 230-foot dish capable of transmitting and receiving signals from Perseverance and other deep space missions. Together with similar facilities in Spain and Australia, these comprise NASA’s Deep Space Network (DSN).

On the Ground

With Perseverance’s tracks still visible in the background, Ingenuity recharges is on-board lithium-ion batteries using the solar panel mounted above its propeller blades.

Perseverance from air

Without the benefit of a gimbal, the color camera mounted on the front of Ingenuity reflects the pitch and roll of the aircraft in the images it captures. In this instance, the helicopter caught a glimpse of Perseverance, parked at a safe distance during flight testing.

That is clear when you compare the color camera that NASA sent to Mars on board Ingenuity with what you will find on an average consumer drone. First, it is hard-mounted to the aircraft, with no gimbal to stabilize the image. For that reason, the pitch and roll of the aircraft is reflected in the jarring angle of the horizon in the images sent back by the Mars helicopter. Also, with a resolution of 4,208 by 3,120 pixels, the images it captures are approximately 12 megapixels, as compared with the 20-megapixel camera incorporated into the recently released DJI Air 2S.
So, by some measures, Ingenuity is quite primitive when compared with the drones being flown on Earth every day. However, in the history of model aeronautics, we can see the inexorable path forward for the future of aviation on worlds other than our own. This early experiment will rapidly yield to far more robust and capable platforms that would astonish the lonely pioneers who first accomplished what few dreamed was even possible.
The development of RC is an amazing story, and there are those among us who lived through it. Yet, these are small stories, known only by a few. With the advent of uncrewed aircraft on other planets, all of humanity is embarking on this extraordinary journey together.

About the Authors
Author -- Sherman

Patrick Sherman

Patrick Sherman is a pioneer in the drone industry and an Instructor of the Practice at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide Campus Department of Flight. A popular writer, speaker and educator across the industry, he is the founder of the Roswell Flight Test Crew. Patrick is a Trusted Operator Program (TOP) Level 3 Remote Pilot Instructor and a DronePro with the Federal Aviation Administration Safety Team (FAAST). He has been recognized as the Drone Instructor of the Year by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI).

Author -- Griffith

Tunesha Griffith

Tunesha Griffith is an Unmanned Systems Applications major at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU), currently living in Wiesbaden, Germany. Previously, she worked in the information technology and video game industry in community development, event promotions, and social responsibility initiatives. At ERAU, Tunesha is pursuing her study of autonomous transportation systems, unmanned space vehicles, and smart robots. Her goal is to work in a field that allows her to combine her love for helping others with advances in unmanned systems.

ERAU_Logo

ERAU

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University affords students the opportunity to work with world-renown experts, both in class and in professional partnerships.

The post Mission to Mars – NASA’s high-tech RC helicopter appeared first on RotorDrone.

SOURCE: RotorDrone – Read entire story here.

Buying a drone: how cheap should you go?

By Paul Archer, Dronesgator.com

Considering the range of prices for a drone these days, the decision is sometimes as hard as buying a car.

However, quadcopters can also get cheap and still deliver what you’re looking for at most. Here’s a list of the best drones under $200 where you can learn more about potential choices.

Just as with most technology equipment, after a certain price, the additional functions get more expensive and become more of a gimmick than real useful things.

This is why we’re going to do an overview on what are the most important aspects you should look for in a drone.

Camera

You might think a camera is totally necessary to have on a drone, but you might be wrong.
There are many situations where a camera on the drone will just drain the battery faster and increase the price a lot without serving the original purpose.

dji spark

Does a beginner drone need a camera?

If you want to learn how to fly a drone for the first time and want something to play around and maybe break without a sweat, you might not want a camera.

There are quite a few drones around $20 that are so cheap you can buy a bunch of them and become an expert at drone flying.

There’s also the fact that a cheap drone camera will suck big time. Most cameras on drones under $100 are low quality, usually under 720p and definitely not stabilized by a gimbal.

Can I get a good go pro drone for under $100?

It’s 2017 and yes, you can! There is a specific drone I’m thinking about. It’s called MJX Bugs 3 and not only can it carry a go pro, but also has very good battery life and powerful motors.

Using your action camera along with a drone will be the cheapest way to go, provided you already have an action camera beforehand.

How much does a gimbal stabilized camera drone cost?

Usually the cost of a motorized gimbal that can hold your action camera and can be mounted on a drone is over $70 by itself. But make no mistake, by having a gimbal stabilized camera you’ll get way better footage.

So if you’re a professional trying to shoot smooth cinematic video, you better buy something well done and spend more. But I don’t see the point of getting more than a DJI Mavic or Phantom 4 Pro. The new DJI Spark also has a very good gimbal for $500.
Motors

There’s two types of motors that are VERY different from each other.
Well… they both do the same thing but in different ways.

Brushless motors vs Brushed motors

Brushless motors are pretty much the better ones, by far. However, they are considerably more expensive than brushed ones. This makes the drone price raise a lot.

Why would you want brushless?
• they last longer in time (at least 10 times as long)
• they are more powerful (you’ll be able to fly faster and carry more weight)

Why would you want brushed motors?
• makes the drone price go down (you’ll only find these on cheap beginner drones under $100)
• because they are cheap, they are also easy to replace, so if you buy a few spare ones you’ll be able to prolong the drone life more.

GPS and sensors

As you may know, some drones have GPS inside them that allow these quadcopters to fly very precisely and maintain a certain fixed spot.
Not only that, more expensive drones also have return to home technology. There are drones like the Hubsan 501s and Bugs 2 that have both GPS and return to home for around $200.

How about other functions?

DJI is the biggest drone company on the market and there’s no denying the fact that their drones are very advanced.

Most of their quadcopters have forward facing sensors that can detect obstacles and make the drone stop in time. They also have bottom sonar and cameras to be able to fly inside and land in proper places. The bottom sensors are also found in very good drones like the Xiaomi 4k drone and Phantom 3 series.

bugs drone

If you consider these sensors to be gimmicks to you, then stick to the points I made before and you’ll still have a rock solid drone.

Most drones that are over $500 tend to have different modes that will make life easier for you. Before buying a drone you should first think if setting waypoints ahead of time and planning your flight is of any help, and also if other modes like automatic circle flight around objects can be used to improve the quality of your videos.

Range and battery life

This is pretty straight forward.
If you’re getting a drone camera over $200 you should have at least over 500m range, and it goes up to 7 km for drones like Mavic Pro from DJI.

If you want to just play around, do some tricks and maybe get some video in a park, then a standard 100 m range should be good.
Battery life is more important than you may think, but the thing is that even if you’re low on it you can compensate by getting additional spare batteries.

I like to usually have over 10 minutes at drones that are over $60 and more on more expensive ones.

There are many things you can nitpick for drones in general, but we’ll cover that in another article.

So stay tuned for more.

Stay tuned on the Personal Drones Blog for the latest quadcopter and multirotor news!

SOURCE: Personal Drones – Read entire story here.

Parrot Bluegrass, the multipurpose quadcopter solution for agriculture

Press release by Parrot  through realwire

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Parrot Bluegrass The Multipurpose Quadcopter Solution For Agriculture

Parrot Bluegrass is the first Parrot quadcopter specifically designed for agriculture, and is the latest Business Solution from Parrot joining and complementing the Parrot Professional range. This includes the Parrot Disco-Pro AG & Parrot Bebop Pro-3D Modeling, which launched earlier this year, and more recently – Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal.

Parrot Bluegrass

2017 has been a significant and busy year for Parrot, with the launch of the company’s Parrot Professional range in Q2 2017. The new solutions combine Parrot’s consumer and commercial technologies and provide access to drone intelligence for small business and independent users. Just last month (September), Parrot also announced the global launch of two new additions to its consumer range – Parrot Mambo FPV and Parrot Bebop 2 Power.

 With the launch of Parrot Bluegrass, Parrot is once again affirming its commitment to innovating new solutions that benefit businesses with UAVs, sensors and software that embeds a new level of precision data, and can be plugged into existing industry workflows. Parrot Business Solutions is changing the way a large number of industries work and helps to improve ROI, efficiency and productivity.   

Parrot Bluegrass is a multipurpose quadcopter designed for agriculture professionals, and helps farmers improve their ROI, using its two embedded cameras; video camera and multispectral sensor. With its front Full HD video camera, this solution lets users visually monitor the farm’s infrastructure, land and herds. It also enables farmers to get a full overview and detect problem areas in all types of crop fields quickly and efficiently, thanks to its multispectral sensor designed for Precision Agriculture, Parrot Sequoia, and the easy to use processing cloud platform – AIRINOV FIRST+.

Parrot Bluegrass can automatically cover up to 30 hectares at 70 m / 230 ft. flight altitude per battery use. It can also fly at low altitudes, optimising crops that may require precise mapping. 

Parrot Bluegrass

Parrot Bluegrass is a user friendly integrated solution especially designed for farmers. It is easy to set up, easy to fly with its Pix4Dcapture autonomous flight capability, easy to process data with AIRINOV FIRST+, and easy to maintain and repair.

Parrot Bluegrass Agricultural Solution includes:

·         A powerful and easy to handle quadcopter equipped with a full HD front camera and embedded Parrot Sequoia advanced multispectral sensor.

·         Flight planning mobile application with Pix4Dcapture

·         Data processing with AIRINOV FIRST+ cloud platform

·         A long range remote control Parrot Skycontroller 2 

Parrot Bluegrass: The quadcopter designed for agriculture

·         Precision Agriculture

Parrot Bluegrass is a robust quadcopter weighing just 1.9 kg. It is fully-equipped with a powerful, on-board computing system, as well as embedding the Parrot Sequoia – an advanced multispectral sensor for Precision Agricultural solutions facilitating crop analysis. 

·         Autonomous flight and mapping

Parrot Bluegrass includes Pix4Dcapture, the world’s first planning app that enables farmers to precisely define the specific plot they want to map. 

The user adapts the flight parameters according to the precision needed and the type of crops. 

The entire flight, from take-off to landing[1], is automated by the quadcopter and the images captured by its frontal Full HD 14MP camera are streamed live on the screen of a connected tablet. 

·         Manual observation flight

As a multipurpose tool, Parrot Bluegrass can also be piloted manually using the included Parrot Skycontroller 2 Wi-Fi remote control, which provides a 2km range, with the capability to statically hover and inspect 

The solution lets farmers observe their crops from new heights and capture video footage of their land, infrastructure or livestock thanks to the drone’s HD frontal camera. Users can also inspect areas that are invisible at eye-level, identify suffering parcels or potential issues that are often missed on the ground. 

Parrot Sequoia, a miniaturized multispectral solution made for drones

Parrot Sequoia embedded in Parrot Bluegrass provides a complete and accurate multispectral imagery solution for drones that captures images of crops in both visible and invisible spectrums.

The solution consists of:

·         A multispectral sensor with GPS, that automatically records images of crops in four distinct spectral bands: green (500nm Bandwidth 40nm), red (660nm Bandwidth 40nm), red-Edge (735nm Bandwidth 10nm) and near Infrared (790nm Bandwidth 40nm).

·         A sensor equipped with a RGB camera (16 MP)

·         An internal 64GB memory to store captured images

·         A luminosity sensor (‘sunshine’ sensor) that detects lighting conditions and automatically calibrates collected data with the multispectral sensor data during the computer processing phase.

AIRINOV FIRST+, the mapping and analysing platform for multispectral images

AIRINOV FIRST+ online platform enables users to process and analyse the data and images captured by Parrot Sequoia. 

In just a few hours, the farmer receives a turnkey report composed of orthomosaic NDVI maps (absolute and adjusted) and zoning (simple and detailed). This provides a precise view of the biomass (density of vegetation) and relative health of the crops, helping professionals to determine which areas need specific attention. Professionals can use these insights to understand which areas require the most maintenance and track the effects and evolution of the farm with high precision. 

With Parrot Bluegrass, farmers and agriculture cooperatives keep the control of the data captured by the quadcopter and the analysis of these data is directly delivered to them, with no intermediary.

Who is the Parrot Bluegrass designed for?

Parrot Bluegrass is a multi-purpose business solution to help agriculture and horticulture professionals, farmers and independents make informed decisions.

With the embedded Parrot Sequoia advanced multispectral sensor enables Precision Agriculture mapping and data analysis of crops, combined with Parrot Bluegrass’s ability to fly at low altitude gives optimization for fruit crops.

Its front camera, together with the possibility to do static flights, facilitate the observation of livestock or specific areas of land or terrain. 

Parrot Bluegrass will be available in November 2017 at drone resellers, farming outlets, agricultural technology specialists and www.parrot.com  

MAP: £4.500ex VAT

Parrot Bluegrass pack content:

·         1 Parrot Bluegrass quadcopter

·         1 Parrot Sequoia

·         1 Parrot Skycontroller 2

·         1 Backpack

·         3 Batteries Lithium Polymer (25min per battery)

·         2 Chargers

·         1 Year license to AIRINOV FIRST+

·         1 Month access to Pix4Dag

[1]Please check local regulations before flying.

About Parrot Drones

Parrot Drones is a subsidiary of Parrot, founded in 1994 by Henri Seydoux.

Parrot creates, develops and markets advanced technology wireless products for consumers and professionals. The company builds on a common technological expertise to innovate and develop in three primary markets:

·         Civil drones: With recreational drones and solutions for professional use.

·         Connected objects: With a focus on audio and gardening.

·         Automotive: With the most extensive range of hands-free communication and infotainment systems for vehicles on the market.

Headquartered in Paris, Parrot currently employs more than 700 people worldwide and generates the majority of its sales overseas.

Parrot has been listed on Euronext Paris since 2006. (FR0004038263 – PARRO)

For more information, please visit www.parrot.com

Stay tuned on the Personal Drones Blog for the latest quadcopter and multirotor news!

SOURCE: Personal Drones – Read entire story here.

Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal, the all-in-one drone solution for thermal imaging

Press release by Parrot  through realwire

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Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal is an all-in-one quadcopter thermal imaging solution specifically designed for small construction businesses, thermal inspection professionals and public safety services.

Parrot Bebop-pro thermal

This solution enhances Parrot’s Professional range of business solutions, which launched earlier this year with Parrot Disco-Pro AG, Parrot Bebop-Pro 3D Modeling and, more recently, Parrot Bluegrass.

2017 has been a significant and busy year for Parrot, with the launch of the company’s Parrot Professional Range in Q2 2017. The new solutions combine Parrot’s consumer and commercial technologies and provide access to drone intelligence for small businesses and independent users. Just last month (September), Parrot also announced the global launch of two new additions to its consumer range – Parrot Mambo FPV and Parrot Bebop 2 Power.

With Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal, Parrot is once again affirming its commitment to innovating new solutions that benefit businesses with UAVs, sensors and software that embeds a new level of precision data, and can be plugged into existing industry workflows. Parrot Business Solutions is changing the way a large number of industries work and helps to improve ROI, efficiency and productivity.

Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal is a multipurpose quadcopter that allows construction and rescue services to safely carry out inspections, with its two embedded cameras: a full HD video camera and thermal imaging camera. 

With its front full HD video camera, this solution helps construction professionals or rescue services to visually monitor a structure or a specific area of a building, while the thermal camera captures precise and detailed thermal images – thanks to the dedicated FreeFlight Thermal app.

Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal is a compact user friendly integrated solution. It is easy to set up, easy to fly and easy to repair. It lets the user live stream, record videos and take pictures of buildings, roofs, solar panels or specific areas in visual or thermal image mode. It quickly and safely provides highly accurate information and data to identify thermal loss or thermal activity, and can be used to support key decision making. 

Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal solution includes:

·         A compact quadcopter with a Full HD stabilized front facing camera, a FLIR ONE® Pro thermal camera and a 32Gb memory

·         Parrot FreeFlight Thermal app, which innovatively transmits and analyses images captured by the quadcopter’s cameras

·         A long range remote control Parrot Skycontroller 2

Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal: a reliable and powerful quadcopter

Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal is based on the all new Parrot Bebop 2 Power quadcopter, which has been modified to benefit industry professionals.

Lightweight and compact, the quadcopter can be easily carried on any site, and is ready to operate in just minutes. Thanks to the Parrot Skycontroller 2’s long range, the pilot can control the drone with precision from a safe distance from a hot spot without any risk[1]. 

Images are captured by the Parrot Bebop-Pro’s Full HD 14MP front camera and the thermal camera positioned in a dedicated module at the back of the drone. 

Parrot FreeFlight Thermal: Analyses and reveals thermal contrasts

In addition to the Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal settings and flight parameters, the FreeFlight Thermal app streams images from both cameras on the quadcopter (front and thermal) directly to a connected tablet. At any time during flight, the pilot can switch from a thermal image to a HD image, record video footage, and store captured content directly to the drone’s 32GB memory.

·         Thermal imaging

Lightweight (36.5 gr) and compact, the thermal camera is equipped with two sensors. This includes a RGB sensor (1440x1080p), capturing exactly what the drone can see, and a thermal sensor (160x120p), which measures temperature differences.

Data from both sensors are combined by the FreeFlight Thermal app to create precise and detailed images. Edge surrounding details are highlighted in the image, and areas with thermal loss or hot spots can be immediately identified. Touching one part of the connected tablet’s screen will show the estimated thermal temperature captured by the sensors.

3 imaging thermal setting modes* are available:

·         Standard: Thermal images, from red (160°) to blue (10°) scale are displayed, for quick identification of thermal losses.

·         Dynamic: The thermal colour scale is adapted to the ambient temperature. This allows the user to benefit from an accurate view of the thermal losses. High temperatures are highlighted in red, and cooler temperatures are displayed in blue.

·         Hotspot: This mode is adapted for fire safety professionals and emergency search and rescue specialists. Only the highest temperatures recorded are highlighted and combined with the RGB image.

*Users can play video recorded using another colour scale setting and export them in a standard video format.

·         Visual inspection

The Full HD 14MPx front facing stabilised camera of the Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal enables a visual inspection of a building, and lets the pilot to obtain videos and pictures to understand the condition of a building. Files can be saved and used to provide evidence of a building’s damage and estimate costs. 

Who is the Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal designed for?

Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal is a complete and multipurpose solution perfectly adapted for building professionals (roofers, insulation or thermal inspection specialists’), photovoltaic panel installers, and civil public safety services – such as firefighters or search & rescue. 

Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal enables users to obtain an overview of the thermal losses of a building’s facade, roof or solar panels quickly and efficiently, without the need for complex and expensive material installation (ladders, scaffolding, etc.) 

Public Safety Services will be able to monitor a hot spot and, depending on results obtained, send a rescue team and materials required on site, and minimise risk.

Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal pack is available to purchase in November 2017 from professional drone resellers, specialist construction resellers and at www.parrot.com.

MAP.1.350£ ex. VAT

Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal pack includes:

·         1 Parrot Bebop-Pro Thermal drone

·         1 FLIR ONE® Pro thermal camera

·         FreeFlight Thermal* app

·         1 Parrot Skycontroller 2, long range remote control

·         3 Lithium Polymer batteries (25 minute flight time per battery[2])

·         2 chargers

·         1 back pack

* App compatible with tablets running on Android. iOS version of the app available soon. 

[1] Please check local regulations before flying.

[2] Flight time depends on weather conditions and manoeuvers.

For more info, please visit www.Parrot.com.

About Parrot Drones

Parrot Drones is a subsidiary of Parrot, founded in 1994 by Henri Seydoux. 

Parrot creates, develops and markets advanced technology wireless products for consumers and professionals. The company builds on a common technological expertise to innovate and develop in three primary markets:

·         Civil drones: With recreational drones and solutions for professional use.

·         Connected objects: With a focus on audio and gardening.

·         Automotive: With the most extensive range of hands-free communication and infotainment systems for vehicles on the market.

 Headquartered in Paris, Parrot currently employs more than 700 people worldwide and generates the majority of its sales overseas.

 Parrot has been listed on Euronext Paris since 2006. (FR0004038263 – PARRO)

Stay tuned on the Personal Drones Blog for the latest quadcopter and multirotor news!

SOURCE: Personal Drones – Read entire story here.

DroneVideos.com Shoots High-Quality, Low-Cost Aerial Videos Nationwide

We are glad to publish the following press release by our sponsor dronevideos.com

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Summary: Launching the first nationwide network of licensed drone video operators, dronevideos.com offers 4K Ultra HD aerial videography at affordable prices for a variety of commercial and personal uses, orderable online and shot within 24 hours notice.

Gainesville, VA— DroneVideos.com, the first nationwide network of drone video operators, debuts to make aerial video and still photography available to everyone at affordable prices. All drone packages can be ordered online, and include a fully edited and color corrected 1:00-1:30 video shot in 4K Ultra HD to the customer’s specifications, 10-20 high-resolution still photographs, 48-hour turnaround and a 100% money-back guarantee.

Serving virtually the entire US, DroneVideos.com uses expert drone videographers who are fully insured, licensed and certified, background checked, and conform to all rules and regulations.

Purchasers can order aerial footage and photos for a variety of commercial and personal uses, including

  • dramatic perspectives of real estate for sale
  • mapping or inspection of farms and landscapes
  • panoramas of golf courses and travel destinations
  • roof inspections
  • many other applications

“For the first time, businesses and individuals can get the cinema quality videos they want, without the high cost and difficulty in finding someone they can trust to do it right,” says Chris Jesuele, CEO of DroneVideos.com. “The quality of our drone videos is our utmost priority, which is why I personally oversee and approve each finished video to ensure it’s the best it can be.”

Jesuele stresses the convenience of the DroneVideos.com fully automated website, where visitors can order customized video packages within five minutes, without having to wait for a quote or requiring any technical knowledge, or even having to be present at the shoot. One price covers everything, with never any additional or hidden fees.

Finished videos and photos are presented on a SEO friendly webpage, which can be easily shared on Facebook, Twitter and other social media with a click of a button. No technical skills required.

For more information, or to order aerial video packages, visit DroneVideos.com, where stock video footage can also be purchased. For media inquires, or to inquire about becoming a DroneVideos.com network videographer, call 1-800-303-1783 or email info@dronevideos.com

Stay tuned on the Personal Drones Blog for the latest quadcopter and multirotor news!

SOURCE: Personal Drones – Read entire story here.

What Hurdles Will Amazon Prime Air Need to Overcome?

By Victoria Greene – @vickyecommerce

At the beginning of December, it will have been 5 years since Amazon kingpin Jeff Bezos announced plans for Amazon Prime Air. Initially mocked in popular culture, everyone soon realized that it’s precisely the sort of thing Amazon could and would do, and settled back to see where the chips would fall.

Today, the dream has yet to come to fruition — and other companies have followed suit in betting big on drone delivery hardware and systems — yet the smart money remains on Amazon being the big beneficiary of this automated revolution, especially since it has put so much time and money into getting it right.

amazon prime air drone
Credits: Amazon Prime Air

However, by the time Amazon’s Prime Air drone fleet goes live (whether in 2019 or much later), it will need to have overcome some major hurdles that currently face all drone delivery systems. What hurdles are those? Let’s go through them.

Legally using airspace

The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) is still in the early stages of figuring out how it’s going to handle approval for drone fleets, and thus far its regulations have focussed on manned personal drones. To this point its limitations have been based on maintaining the privacy of citizens and protecting airspace required for other things (such as planes).

Add Prime Air to the mix and you get a tremendously complex situation. Who will be monitoring the drones, and how? How will Amazon avoid drones getting in the way of planes, particularly in busy urban areas? Presumably there will need to be an overarching cross-system network to keep everything neatly synched, but that will increase the complexity.

And in the event of something going wrong, who will ultimately hold responsibility? How will anyone know for sure? If a Prime Air drone crashes into a drone from a rival shipping company (and self-destructs, apparently), each company might claim the fault must have been with the other. It’s certainly understandable that authorities would want to take a lot of time to figure out how everything is going to work before opening the floodgates.

Public distaste for automated transport

On the topic of responsibility, there remains a lot of antipathy towards automated transport systems and smart technology in general. For better or worse, people like to feel that cars, buses, bikes, planes, trains, and, yes, drones are manually controlled. When something goes wrong, there’s someone to blame — someone to hate (and to sue if needed).

When you take the manual control away — or move it back several levels to a position of limited oversight — you attract pushback. Not only do people not want to entrust shadowy automated systems with important tasks (and even their fates), but they also don’t like the consequences in the world of employment.

Just think about what will happen if Prime Air becomes a roaring success and the drone delivery system becomes an ecommerce staple. Heavy things will still need to be shipped by road, naturally, but that will be cold comfort to the many delivery drivers likely to be pushed elsewhere to work for smaller and cheaper companies that can’t afford or justify drones.

The world of technology may have greatly expanded the business opportunities for entrepreneurial types (with a laptop and an internet connection you can take courses, start a store and sell your small business for a tidy profit), but not everyone wants to learn tech. They want to preserve their careers, and drones will prevent them from doing so. The antipathy will eventually fade, but there will be many bitter pills to swallow first.

Keeping communications secure

Amazon Prime Air will invariably have manual oversight (if only to keep investors happy and placate the public), but secure communication will be essential regardless. The more drones are in the air at any time, the more carefully they will need to be arranged to avoid clashes. But the networking demands go past that.

When you establish a high-profile network of any kind, you inevitably attract attempts to hack it: to shut it down, draw data from it, or alter its protocols somehow. Each drone will need to be able to send and receive data to and from the main Amazon system, so people will no doubt attempt to seize drones and analyze them to find a way to break into it.

Could people find ways to locate drones holding expensive items and reroute them? It’s plausible. Very unlikely, I’d say, since I don’t think Amazon would go live without being very confident in its ability to keep its software secure, but this is certainly an obstacle that will need to be completely overcome before getting anywhere.

Establishing enough fulfilment centers

Drone fleets (using today’s technology, at least) will offer incredible flexibility and convenience at the cost of range. When Prime Air was announced, it was noted that a drone delivery must be within a 10-mile radius of an Amazon fulfilment center, which means that Amazon will need a lot more fulfilment centers if it hopes to ever make Prime Air a default delivery option.

And even if it manages to get that many fulfilment centers set up, how will stock levels be handled? The level of complexity will go through the roof. Might we see complex chains of drone deliveries, with one transporting an item to another fulfilment center to be picked up and carried along by another drone? Or will Amazon simply rely on demand prediction models and keep Prime Air as an occasional delivery method?

I don’t anticipate it replacing next-day (or even same-day) standard delivery, but I can certainly see it becoming a very common option. It won’t happen until Amazon gets the infrastructure in place, though, so let’s see how things proceed.

Amazon Prime Air has a lot of promise, but there are many challenges for it to pass before any of that promise can be fulfilled. Thankfully, once it does pass those challenges, there will be a convenient fulfilment system available to make it happen.

Victoria Greene: Brand Marketing Consultant

Victoria Greene is an ecommerce marketing expert and freelance writer who can’t wait to jump on the drone delivery bandwagon. You can read more of her work at her blog Victoria Ecommerce.

Stay tuned on the Personal Drones Blog for the latest quadcopter and multirotor news!

SOURCE: Personal Drones – Read entire story here.

DJI Osmo pocket – the vlogging camera you’ve been waiting for

By Paul Archer, Dronesgator.com

A new recent release from DJI makes its way in 2019 with what seems to be a very unique approach to personal consumer cameras.
DJI has quite some history when it comes to gimbal stabilized cameras, both for their drones and for their Osmo line and this makes them quite the expert in the domain.

Osmo Pocket
Osmo Pocket

I know that at a first glance this device didn’t seem like it had much potential. However, the moment I took it into my own hands I’ve been quite amazed by what it can do.

It’s called the Osmo pocket and I’m completely amazed by how far technology has moved in the recent years. Having such a small yet capable device is something that no one would have dreamt of just a year ago.

Is it a vlogging camera or an action cam?

It has been released some time after the latest gopro hero 7 and people, including me, have compared the two on equal footing because of their bragging about stabilization.

However, the Osmo is more than an action cam, it definitely isn’t as sturdy as the latest GoPro hero, but It holds its own with some very good materials and a very good build.

GoPro vs Osmo Pocket

However, the osmo does have the considerable advantage of permanent 3 axis gimbal stabilization, which means it isn’t limited with electronic stabilization that can fail in poor lighting conditions.

Why is the Osmo pocket a great contender for being one of the top vlogging cameras in the future?

  • Super portable (no need to carry a big camera around you all the time)
  • Incredibly well stabilized video
  • Records in 4k 60p and even slow motion up to 120fps
  • Has the option to easily change the camera orientation towards you or in front by the press of a button
  • Has automatic tracking options
  • Good close up focus
  • More professional, cinematic look thanks to the shorter field of view compared to the fisheye of a goopro for example.

How does it face off against a gopro?

They’re not exactly competing in the same category as I mentioned before, but the new osmo pocket does actually take away some of the market from any action camera.

For more casual recordings, vlogging and whatever scenario that requires a tiny stabilized camera, besides extreme sports.

GoPro Hero7 vs Panasonic G7 vs Osmo Pocket
GoPro Hero7 vs Panasonic G7 vs Osmo Pocket

Bellow there’s my video comparison to the GoPro Hero 7 black where I also tested the stability on rough terrain, different resolutions side by side, slow motion and more!

What are some specs and is the price worth it?

When it comes to the price, the DJI Osmo pocket is just under the price of the latest Gopro. Now, you decide if it’s justified for your own needs to spend $350 on a multifunctional camera like this.

However, I could argue that if this manages to replace an expensive DSLR camera for video that you used to barely carry around and shoot shaky videos with… it’s totally worth it.

And the quality is up there, with a nice field of view and blurred background when in selfie mode.

Here are some of the more important specs I felt like people would need to know:

  • 12mp camera
  • 1/2.3-inch sensor
  • 80 degree FOV
  • 100Mbits
  • F/2.0 apperture
  • 4k 60fps
  • 1080p 120p
  • Supports micro sd card of up to 256gb
  • Comes with multiple accessories

How about the accessories?

Well, DJI is already selling quite a lot of those on their site and they seem to be quite useful, even though they have a long way to catch GOPro from behind.

The overall package is super tiny, but if you do indeed decide to attach the phone, maybe because you find the screen too small, it’s going to be less easy to hold in only one hand.

So if you were looking for a new camera and a gimbal for it, the new Osmo pocket might make your life better with a more complete, smaller and quite capable package for the price of an action camera.

Stay tuned on the Personal Drones Blog for the latest quadcopter and multirotor news!

SOURCE: Personal Drones – Read entire story here.

Natural Power acquires drone software specialist Ascent Technologies

Press release: Natural Power acquires Ascent Technologies

Leading renewable energy consultancy and service provider, Natural Power, has acquired the Texas-based firm Ascent Technologies – a developer of software for commercial unmanned aerial systems (UAS) operations.

The specialist software, which has been developed by Ascent Technologies during the course of the past two years, will enable Natural Power to automate drone flights, thus increasing speed, consistency and quality of the data gathered during wind turbine blade inspections.

Watch Natural Power’s drone video here

https://vimeo.com/315845975

natural_power_Drone
Natural Power Drone

The automation enabled by this new software means that the drone system calculates and manages the optimal flight along the surfaces of the blades without pilot intervention, as well as constantly monitoring, adjusting and optimising camera angles, exposure, focal distance and timing of the image acquisition. This ensures excellent data quality capture during the inspection process, whilst also enabling a much quicker inspection process that reduces the turbine’s downtime and associated loss of revenue. The cost to undertake the inspections are lowered and the images obtained during the process are of consistently high quality.

Craig Gordon, Global Head of Inspections at Natural Power, said: “Our blade inspections business continues to gather pace and we have invested in a number of drones that will complement our existing blade inspection services. The acquisition of Ascent will enable us to deliver a step change in the wider inspections service that we offer to clients, and coupled with our expert analysis, ensures we deliver a consistently high quality service.”

Stephen Trotter, Managing Director at Natural Power commented: “We continue to invest in key technologies and skills to deliver improved quality and value to our customers. The acquisition of Ascent accelerates this for our inspections business which plays a key role both as a standalone service and as a complement to our analytics, due diligence, operational and asset management services.”

Natural Power is recognised across the renewables sector for its proven track record across the full scope of inspection services, and has worked across various turbine types including, but not limited to, Siemens, Vestas, Senvion, GE, Enercon and Nordex. This has included work in Europe and The Americas. The team uniquely understands the need to achieve best quality data, combined with efficiency in order to maximise the uptime of turbine fleets whilst verifying their condition and integrity. Find out more here https://www.naturalpower.com/our-services/inspections/.

About Natural Power

Natural Power is a leading independent renewable energy consultancy and service provider that employs 360 staff globally. The company offers proactive and integrated consultancy, construction and operational management and due diligence services, backed by an innovative product range, across the onshore wind, offshore wind, solar pv and energy storage and renewable heat sectors as well as other emerging renewable energy technologies.

https://www.naturalpower.com
https://twitter.com/Natural_Power
https://www.linkedin.com/company/natural-power

Contact details:

Jane Maher, PR and Media
Natural Power
T: 07887 995 589
E: janem@naturalpower.com

Stay tuned on the Personal Drones Blog for the latest quadcopter and multirotor news!

SOURCE: Personal Drones – Read entire story here.

10 Effective ways to make your drone footage more natural

By John O. Brooks

Drone Footage have become famous and popular on the internet nowadays. It’s very normal to see the footage from all over the world whilst more and more people entering the world of drones. Drones are affordable and accessible these days and nearly anyone can be able to manage to fly one.

However, flying a drone is one thing while shooting good quality footage with it is completely a different thing.

To impress your viewers with your Drone Shots, your shooting should be on a top level. After watching your Drone Footage, it becomes clear in your viewer’s eyes in seconds whether you actually know what you are doing or not. There is no doubt that using a Drone needs enough practice and some skills and planning to
make the best out of it. The more you practice flying your Drone, the more you become better on it.
So, here I am sharing with you a bunch of tips that will hopefully help you to make your drone footage more natural and realistic.

1. Plan your entire shot

You should always plan your shot before starting to fly. What do you want to get from the video, or which angle you are going to capture, everything should be planned. I know it is very tough work to plan everything from the ground as you don’t get the whole picture from the above but trust me, at least trying to have some ideas about your path and lines helps you to get better footage. Picture your
expected movements in your head and start practicing them. It’s impossible to get that flawless and perfect view, but by practicing them you can have a nice, smooth and steady result in the end.

phantom drone

2. Slow and steady wins the race

The best footage comes then when you start shooting by flying slow. It allows you to capture the footage vividly. By flying slow, you’re giving some time to your viewer to understand the whole scenario and dig into it. It creates a cinematic feeling in your video which should be your main target.

3. Fly low

As an aerial videographer, you should always keep in mind that flying high endangers your drone and your footage, especially when the wind speed is high.
Flying high is good but it doesn’t mean that you should do it all the time. It’s very risky if the wind is around 15-20 mph, it could probably damage your drone. Thus, to capture some nice and steady footage, I recommend flying lower, where the wind speed is not that high, the drone will be more controllable.

4. Fly backward

Flying backward is one of the cool techniques to make your drone footage more natural and cinematic. When you move forward, you’re focusing only on one specific detail. But when you’re flying backward, it reveals more details in your footage such as
trees, lakes, buildings, hills, people, etc.
Though to some of you, flying backward might seem difficult, which is totally okay. You can use the speed duration tool in your video editor to reverse your footage.

5. Avoid rough movements

You can’t just move your camera here and there to bring the cinematic feeling to your footage. Jerky movements are really disturbing to the viewers and it kill the liveliness of the footage. They make the video look robotic. I recommend you not to switch your speed and angles constantly but rather keep your position steady and use controlled and smooth movements as much as possible. By doing so, the video will feel natural and cinematic.

6. Don’t rush to the main object

It is a common rookie mistake to start shooting your main object at first sight. You must always keep a storyline in your footage. Add some contexts first, it brings excitement to the viewer’s eyes. Build up your shot, and slowly fly over your object and reveal it.

7. Golden hour light

The term Golden Hour refers to the period before the sunset and after the sunrise, when the sunlight is warmer and softer than the usual. Using the camera in the afternoon can damage the exposure because of the bright harsh light of the sun. Thus, I highly recommend that you shoot right before or after the sunset. It
will make your landscape shot look professional and beautiful.

9. Add a zoom

Adding a zoom is an easy way to create that nice and cinematic atmosphere to your shot. Keep it small and smooth, don’t make it too clear-cut or too obvious. This way, the viewer gets carried in really slow. The dolly zoom effect can also be a very cool technique, it is very effective for 4k footage which is outputed at 1080p for
the final video.

8. Add a sound clip

Music is like wings to the viewer’s mind. A piece of perfect matching music with your footage could help making your video popular. It beautifies your footage and brings the natural feeling in the video. Do not add music which doesn’t suit to your video, your video
might end up being weird in the end. It’s difficult but there are a million of audios on the Internet, get one with the permission and add it to your video.

10. Edit your video

To get the best out of your shots, you need to know how to edit your drone footage. It is one of the most important post-production processes. It manipulates and rearranges your shots for your the final product. Titling, color grading, sound mixing are very important tasks for aerial videography. Remove the unwanted footages, pick the best ones, create a flow, add effect, graphic, and music and you’re ready to shine.

Always bear in mind that, safety first. Drones are tools. You can’t treat them as toys.

Launch the drone into the sky within the law in your area and within your limits.

I hope with these quick tips you can explore and generate some cool content.

If you have more tips or ideas on how to make cool and professional videos please post them below!

Thanks!

Author Bio

John O. Brooks is a photographer, videographer, and a technology freak. He loves to live in the camera world. His camera is the best friend of him in this world, he says. He finds peace sharing his knowledge through developing contents about
photography and videography.

Stay tuned on the Personal Drones Blog for the latest quadcopter and multirotor news!

SOURCE: Personal Drones – Read entire story here.