Researchers in Korea have developed a method to throw off the gyroscopes that keep a multirotor in the air using sound waves. From ComputerWorld:
Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in Daejon, South Korea, analyzed the effects of resonance on a crucial component of a drone, its gyroscope. Their paper will be presented next week at the 24th USENIX Security Symposium in Washington, D.C.
A gyroscope keeps a drone balanced, providing information on its tilt, orientation and rotation, allowing for micro-adjustments that keep it aloft. Hobbyist and some commercial drones use inexpensive gyroscopes that are designed as integrated circuit packages.
The team has been performing small scale experiments and have the able to disrupt the flight of a quadcopter using a speaker at a distance of 40 meters, or about 130.
Based on this research and experimentation, in the future, we might be able to keep pesky “drones” out of sensitive, private or secure areas using soundwaves. Head on over to ComputerWorld Australia for the full article.
Jayson Hanes, a UAV enthusiast, is in the middle of an FAA-induced controversy. He received a letter [pdf link] from the FAA telling him that they received a complaint about his commercial use of UAVs and it appers to be valid because he has monetization on his YouTube channel. He does’t do commercial aerial photography, in other words, he has never been hired nor is he for hire for your next wedding. He simply flies his DJI Phantom Vision around, records the sights and posts the video on YouTube. Ah, he is also enrolled in YouTube’s monetization program, so ads show up either before you watch his videos or a small banner is shown. More…
Paris, the city of light, seems to have a “drone” issue, as reported by the media. There have been many accounts of unmanned aerial vehicles flying illegally around the city, around landmarks, and generally arousing the anger and suspicion of Parisians. According to the reports I’ve read, it is illegal to fly an unmanned aerial vehicle in Paris. The following is a timeline of the events, and they seem to be a recurring issue, as there are still reports coming out. More…
In Episode 02 of the UAVnotDrone podcast, host Julian Melo summarizes the incident where a drone landed at the White House lawn on January 26 2015 at 3 in the morning and the series of events that happened after.
In case you were under a rock last week, a DJI Phantom landed on the White House lawn after a drunk government employee decided to fly this roommate’s “drone” and it flew away. Here’s Jon Stewart’s political commentary on the subject. After all, Obama loves drones, why shouldn’t one land on his lawn?
Here is another excellent example of how UAVs can be used for the greater good: combating poachers in South Africa that kill rhinos for their horns. These horns are sought after because of their magical properties. A team from the University of Maryland’s Institute for Advanced Computer Studies uses mathematical models with satellite data along with different types of UAVs, fixed wing and multicopters, to track rhinos and inform the authorities of the location of poachers.
“Africa is too big to be simply launching small drones into the night sky with the hope of spotting rhinos or poachers by chance. This is where the analytical models come into play. Based on our models, we know, with near 90% certainty, where rhinos are likely to be on a particular night between 6:30 and 8:00, prime time for killings. At the same time, by mathematically recreating the environment when previous poachings have occurred, we have a very good idea of when and where poachers are likely to strike.”
The use of this technology has been proven to be very effective:
[…]and over the past 90 days, there has not been one single poaching incident. Four months ago, this region was losing several rhinos a week.
Check out the full article link below to read the full details.
San Diego, California: Police are reporting that an 18 pound hexacopter has crashed near the US-Mexico border, trying to smuggle in 6.5 lbs of crystal meth. According to the news reports, the multirotor was too heavy and that’s why it fell short of actually crossing the border:
“It has a total take off weight of 18 pounds maximum, that includes the craft, the battery and everything that’s going to be in the air,” said Brian Yates of Drones Made Easy of San Diego.
Its a shame, but it was bound to happen: criminals using UAVs to carry out their illegal activities. Lets just hope these reports are few and far in between.