Hi Canadian Drone Enthusiasts,

Hope I'm not treading on any site policies here -- I guess I'm not technically a DIY UAV enthusiast, but maybe I will be soon!

What I am is a science & technology reporter at the Toronto Star. We're doing a series on drones and I want to talk about all the cool uses that aren't military or law enforcement related. I want to show readers the uber-cool, uber-geeky, how-to side of UAVs. 

I've messaged some you individually if I could find your email addresses but that was getting difficult so I thought I'd post here. I would love to talk to anyone who wants to tell me how they got interested in building UAVs, why, and what they think the best, unreported stories are about them.

I'm also looking for kids who build their own or at least know how to fly them. Can anyone put me in touch with a kid?

Please do get in touch! Really looking forward to hearing from some of you -- I think this could be a really cool story.

Kate Allen


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Replies to This Discussion

Perhaps you may want to include one or more people from Arduplane, Arducopter and Ardurover for a good cross section of this hobby.
There are many talented people in each of those areas.

Kate, this is better than messaging people individually.  In fact mass mailings would be considered spam, and we would have to ban you. ;-)

Maybe I'm not a "kid", but I'm 19 and studying electrical enginneering. I built my own drone two years ago. Didn't use ardupilot either, I designed the PCBs myself and assembled it by hand. Message me if you want to know more.

Hi Kate,

I will be responding to your request directly by e-mail with the address's of several

high-profile UAV people and efforts that are relatively local to the Toronto Stars readership

in Southern Ontario. I do like the post by Randy Brazeau suggesting some coverage of

the Ardu-realm, accept that this is a VERY advanced crowd, and there are very few of them

in the Hamilton and Toronto area. Find them if you can. Include the Ardu-world in your article.

I think you'll have more success finding people who buy Ready-To-Fly solutions for taking

elevated video, harassing squirrels and raccoons, and other such pass times.  Lets continue

this discussion by e-mail.


Unfortunately I have no great experience in UAV, I'm building an arduino based homemade tricopter (with some problems) from scratch. I admit my interest is mostly for the theorical side of UAV control. I'm trying to develop an artificial intelligence more adaptative than what the APM actually does, if my attempt is good I will publish my works here.

So, I think there are many people here who can share their experience, most people take photo and video of their flight/build.


Hey hey there you are Kate, glad you can join us here! 

These guys are the best, I am sure that you will get a lot of information and stories. It was nice talking to you today and as discussed I will setup a time next week for you to come down to the workshop/store to see these in real life.  If weather is good with us we will go flying! 

Guys I will give them the technical side of the story (you can also do it) but what I cannot provide them with is real life experience since I am now spending way too much time running the store and not really flying anymore. 



Hey Dany, I did not know that CanadaDrones had a retail store.

I thought CanadaDrones was an on-line business, only.  Please clarify.


Danny can you help to make sure that Kate gets a good run-down of the technical principles?

For Example, just as Max pointed out in the NOVA post,  I can't count how many times that I've read how GPS receivers "BOUNCE" signals off satellites, which of course is a complete misunderstanding of the technology.

There are also a lot of other misconceptions that get put into print and probably give people the wrong ideas about technology.


All good points so far. But, we have to keep in mind that the Toronto Star

is a major daily newspaper targeting a broad, general interest audience.

I think we have to be careful about "going too far into the weeds."

Kate's interest, as I read it, is mostly to learn more about how average folk

are using this new "toy technology" for brand new purposes: good, bad in

some cases, ugly. Let try to keep this first round of articles about the basics...

...a primer for the serious hobbyist who wants to explore their own interests

and goals....from above....and how to stay out-of-trouble with Transport Canada.


Point well taken Peter.

I guess that I take certain not-so-common knowledge for granted & I get kind of frustrated when technical stuff gets over simplified to the point of almost being incorrect or it gets all painted up to seem like magic.

That said, I will now mellow out.  :)

It was in no way meant as a criticism, Chris....just a reminder that

this site is populated by a lot of folk who are really advanced....I mean

really, REALLY advanced when compared to the average hobbyist.


By the way, the Toronto Star did an (blog article) on the

2010 interns, which includes this brief bio on Kate Allen.

The picture below must be from Kate's high school yearbook ;-)

Kate Allen is happy to be back home in Toronto after finishing her

master of journalism at UBC. She also has a B.A. in Classics --

she spent 10 years studying Latin. She spent the summer as a

national reporter for the Globe and Mail and previously worked for

the Globe's B.C. Bureau. Recently, she traveled to Thailand to film

a documentary for PBS Frontline about shrimp farming. She has

also worked for Toronto Life, the Vancouver Sun, B.C. Business

magazine, and the Tyee.


will tell you when I see her next week! :) 

might even update that picture!  

CanadaDrones is not a retail store, but she is coming to meet me in "the basement"  where the magic happens... :)  Still if it's not a "retail" store I get a lots of friends coming down there to work on their stuff and buy gear. Local Pickup is a very popular option. 

Just to continue on the "technical side" subject, you are right Hamilton, they are not going to cover the super nerdy parts of it.  The subject net is cast quite wide at the moment and she is educating herself on all this.  The angle of the story/suite of article depends on how interesting she can make it for the target audience.  For now data gathering and I am making sure she gets the facts right about it all so we don't get another bad press drone article aimed to put fear in the public perception. 




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