Struktur3D's Posts (5)

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(photo: Flitelab)

Back in July of this year, I announced the premier episode of The WorkNotWork Show was available and featured Mark Langille of Flitelab, a successful drone venture based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia.  It's must listening for current and would-be drone start ups.  We just moved our hosting of the Show to the new Fireside platform which offers a much wider range of listening options and sparkling performance. Check out the full, in-depth interview with Mark at  If you like what you hear, please rate us on iTunes, it really helps.

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The massive Mexican flag flying on the Cuauhtémoc at Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. (photo: Flitelab)

A new podcast, The WorkNotWork Show, recently launched on iTunes and the premier episode will be of interest both to would-be drone entrepreneurs and those already operating a drone business: we interview Mark Langille of Flitelab, a successful drone business based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

In the show we talk to Mark about how he got started, the ins-and-outs of getting past the early stages of establishing his business, the current challenges facing the industry as well as both the science and art of drone photography and video.  We also ask Mark for advice for others who are contemplating doing something similar.

The WorkNotWork Show is going to be a continuing series covering those who have managed to turn their passion into their profession in a variety of fields.  It is anticipated that a number of episodes will feature people and businesses focused on the use of drones in a variety of scenarios. Subscribing to The WorkNotWork Show is entirely free.

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3689503720?profile=originalTim Harford, in Adapt, talks eloquently and favourably about the use of innovation prizes to spur innovative thinking.  He concludes that, hands-down, it's the most cost-efficient way to conduct research and development.  The success of the Kramer prize and the various X-Prizes, as significant examples, also demonstrate the ultimate effectiveness of the approach.  More recently, the DARPA-sponsored UAVForge event was intended to provide an incentive to solve the intractable 'perch-and-stare' requirement.  Although the prize was not claimed, it seemed to drive some very innovative thinking.

What I'm trying to determine the level of interest in one, or maybe even a series of innovation prizes aimed at driving innovation and deployment of UAV/UGV technology in the oil & gas industry.  There is no pre-conceived notion as to what the applications might be, but the one that most use as an example is pipeline and facilities inspection.  But realistically, any of the dull/dirty/dangerous jobs of the oil & gas industry would be candidates for a competition.

I would be very interested in hearing the membership's thoughts on this topic.  In particular, what specific tasks would be valid for such competitions, the level of award that would get potential participants fact, anything which would help evaluate the idea.  Thanks very much for your help.

(Photo courtesy of djmacpherson)

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Over the last few of months I have been making regular visits to the lab of Dr. Alejandro Ramirez-Serrano at the University of Calgary.  Called the Autonomous Reconfigurable/Robotic Systems Laboratory (AR2SL) it specializes in research related to (from the web site): 1) Ground and aerial unconventional unmanned vehicle systems (UVS), 2) reconfigurable intelligent mobile robotic systems, 3) swarm robotics, 4) intelligent control for UVS, and 5) search & rescue applications of mobile robotics.

Roughly once a month, and on a very informal basis, a tour is organized where there is a walkthrough of the lab followed by lunch and discussion.  The objectives are simple: expose Dr. Ramirez-Serrano's work to a broader audience, and try and coalesce interest in UAV work in Southern Alberta.  Thought is also being given to setting up a semi-permanent Meetup group to pursue these objectives.

If you would like to be included in one of these upcoming tours, by all means, please get in touch and we can make the necessary arrangements. A photo from a recent tour, which shows the Evader bicopter prototype.  Additional pictures can be found at shard Photo Streams for the tours that ran on 2012-10-18 and 2012-12-13 

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Initiating Micro Quad Copter Build

22607-6.jpgHaving had my curiosity peaked by a recent DIY Drones post, I decided I would go ahead and purchase the Turnigy Integrated PCB Micro-Quad from HobbyKing, along with all the accessories necessary to complete the unit.  As seems to be quite often the case with HK, when I finally put in the order, the Turnigy motors were backordered, as were the motor mounting bolts and nuts.  I decided to order what parts were available, and seek to source the deficiencies elsewhere.  Shipping for two kits (my nephew and I are each going to build one) was $29 CAD, which seems a little steep, in my opinion.

I found a supplier for what appears to be a compatible motor (Suppo A1504) and I exchanged emails with Garret at Altitude Hobbies.  I have put my name on the four he had in stock, and asked him to hold another four when it gets them in.  If others are considering building the Micro-Quad, you might consider getting in touch with Garret regarding the Suppos if you don't want to wait for HK to get their Turnigy units in.

The objective of this build is to get a little practical experience with a multi-rotor with a modest investment.  Undoubtedly, the initial payload will include the HK HD Wing Camera, which is the same one used in the Yachats video posted a while back.  For the price and weight, you just can't beat the quality of video it produces.

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