The FAA is NOT taking down YouTube videos about Drones flying

12 Mar , 2015   Video

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…


Drones over Paris: A recap and timeline

12 Mar , 2015  


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…


Episode 3: Episode 3: The FAA Takes Steps Toward Regulating Commercial UAV Use – – Wireless Charging Tech for UAVs

20 Feb , 2015  


In this episode of the UAV not Drone podcast, I talk about the new set of proposed regulations by the FAA for commercial UAV use in the United States. I interview Brant Hadaway, a practicing attorney that specializes in UAS laws and regulation to discuss the FAA’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for small unmanned aerial systems.




Star Wars style racing mini multirotors in the Bronx

12 Feb , 2015   Video

Motherboard has a very interesting article/video on a bunch of guys who race their mini multirotors in the Bronx, in freezing weather. An interesting take on “drones”. Watch out the one of the guy’s comments regarding the FAA and how he isn’t afraid the the government agency banning “drones” because they say below 100 ft. Check it out.

Drone Racing, 'Star Wars'-Style, in the Snowy Bronx | Motherboard.


Episode 2 – A Drone Lands at the White House, and Saving Rhinos

6 Feb , 2015  


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.




The “Drone lands on the White House lawn” incident: A timeline

5 Feb , 2015  

White House Drone

One of the most talked about events of in the realm of UAVs in the recent months was the “Drone lands on the White House lawn” incident, which occured on Janurary 26, 2015. First, lets describe the events and the way the media reported on it.



It OK to discuss potential nefarious uses of UAVs

5 Feb , 2015  


Wired magazine just published a very interesting article titled “Why the US Government Is Terrified of Hobbyist Drones” where they discuss an eye-opening conference about the potential malicious uses of “drones” that happened just days before the “Drone at the White House” incident.

The conference was open to civilians, but explicitly closed to the press. One attendee described it as an eye-opener. The officials played videos of low-cost drones firing semi-automatic weapons, revealed that Syrian rebels are importing consumer-grade drones to launch attacks, and flashed photos from an exercise that pitted $5,000 worth of drones against a convoy of armored vehicles. (The drones won.)

This is a subject that many UAV enthusiats, including myself, would rather ignore, but we are very aware of the potential harm that off-the-shelf “drones” could inflict. I imagine we all have theorized how an individual with malicious intent could set out to harm and destroy people and property. They also had on display a DJI Phantom with 3 sticks of mock dynamite attached to it, as seen below:


But the most striking visual aid was on an exhibit table outside the auditorium, where a buffet of low-cost drones had been converted into simulated flying bombs. One quadcopter, strapped to 3 pounds of inert explosive, was a DJI Phantom 2, a newer version of the very drone that would land at the White House the next week.

They also discussed the new geofencing-enforcing firmware that will get pushed out to the DJI Phantom 2, how its basically ineffective and user reactions:

“One could theorize that every zone anywhere could be a restricted zone,” wrote another. “Thank you but no thank you. If I spend thousands of dollars then I want to fly wherever the heck I want as long as it is under 400ft and 500ft away from airports.”

Check out the full article below and let me know what you think.

“Why the US Government Is Terrified of Hobbyist Drones” – Wired Magazine


UAVnotDrone Podcast 1 – Intro, CES 2015 & Flying Drugs

22 Jan , 2015  


In the premiere episode of the UAVnotDrone podcast, host Julian Melo explains the purpose the podcast, along with his background in unmanned aerial vehicles. He discusses the use of the word “drone” and its negative connotation.

He also talks about the AirDog, an autonomous quadcopter with a successful Kickstarter campain and their latest prototype unveiled at CES 2015.

Finally, “Drones in the News” a segment that highlights the latest stories that the media is talking about.

These are the articles referenced in this podcast:

*Update: this podcast has been accepted into the Apple iTunes ecosystem. Click below to view in iTunes or the iOS Podcast App.

*Update #2: Accepted into Stitcher! Now you can listen via the Android app.

Listen to Stitcher



A small UAV flew on the floor of Congress

22 Jan , 2015  


The Verge is reporting that during a hearing at Congress a small UAV, more specifically a Parrot Bebop was flown, while Collin Gunn from 3D Robotics gave a presentation about the many potential uses of unmanned aerial vehicles and how they can help generate jobs:

It wasn’t much of a demonstration, but it got the point across. A number of representatives broke into smiles and voiced the opinion that drones could be useful for work in agriculture, disaster relief, and natural resource management. That would mean jobs: something every politician likes to stump for. “I was hoping you would fly over the whole room, not just one location,” said Smith, after the Bebop landed.

The last time I remember a radio controlled craft being flown inside the chambers where politicians work was the whole flying penis episode, but even more interesting is that since a multirotor from 3D Robotics is probably too big to be flown safely indoors, Collin decided to have a competitor’s quad flying while he spoke.

A drone was flown on the floor of Congress | The Verge.


CNN signs a research agreement with the FAA

14 Jan , 2015  


CNN, everyone’s favorite cable news network (*cough, sarcash *couch) released a press release where they state they they’ve entered a UAV research agreement with the FAA. Its a really short press release, only 4 paragraphs, but the last two paragraphs, which are quoted, are very revealing.

“Our aim is to get beyond hobby-grade equipment and to establish what options are available and workable to produce high quality video journalism using various types of UAVs and camera setups,” said CNN Senior Vice President David Vigilante. “Our hope is that these efforts contribute to the development of a vibrant ecosystem where operators of various types and sizes can safely operate in the US airspace.”

“Unmanned aircraft offer news organizations significant opportunities,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “We hope this agreement with CNN and the work we are doing with other news organizations and associations will help safely integrate unmanned newsgathering technology and operating procedures into the National Airspace System.”

Anyone care to speculate?

[CNN] via [Politico]