3D Robotics


Worth watching the video of the ABC Denver news report of a drone flyaway (it was a Storm Drone 6 with a DJI Naza controller).  A screenshot of DIY Drones makes an appearance ;-) I can't embed the video, but you can watch it here

DENVER - We've seen flyers for lost dogs, lost cats, even lost birds, but never a lost drone -- until now.

Loyal Merrick says his $2,000 Storm Drone 6 with a $400 GoPro camera attached just floated off like a balloon.

He has posted flyers around the Denver metro area.

7NEWS has discovered that drones floating away from their operators are becoming more common with this new technology.

"This one makes it bank, this one makes it turn," said Merrick as he showed how the controls work on the transmitter.

He still has the transmitter, but as for the aircraft itself, it's gone.

"I tried to run in the direction to get closer to it, and I don't know," said Merrick. "I just lost track of it. It's that simple."

Merrick was flying the drone on Friday over the now closed Rosedale Elementary School.

"And then it got a little bit too high," he said.

So, he hit the fail-safe button on the transmitter.

"It's supposed to return to its exact take-off spot," said Merrick. "Just like a boomerang. It didn't do that. It just kept flying off in the same direction."

7NEWS discovered several drone blogs indicate this is a common problem.

Merrick invested in his drone for a possible future aerial photography business.

"If you can get a GoPro up in the air at the right place, it just can capture the beauty of Colorado," said Merrick. "I could use it to photograph real estate, especially high-end real estate, weddings, bike races, events. Right now it's just a hobby, but it could be a career."

Even though the FAA has declared you can't fly drones for commercial gain, Congress has mandated the FAA integrate drones into commercial airspace next year.

"I took a big risk, but that's what entrepreneurs do."

As for the liability of the drone flying off, Merrick says even if it crashed it wouldn't do much damage because the carbon fiber is so lightweight, and the drone itself is noisy.

"So it's not going to sneak up on people. It's not going to be hitting people. People are going to see it and get the heck out of the way," Merrick said. "For me, this was just a very expensive first mistake."

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  • @Bill, I'm not sure I agree.  If cars were just invented yesterday, they probably would not be allowed to be used by the general public.  The only reason they are, is because they were invented before the nanny state, and the nanny state now knows that it can't take them away.  It's not the same thing for UAV's.  It was invented yesterday, and the right to own/operate one is not yet interwoven in the social fabric.

  • at 16.00 + an active SIM this option would seem to be a good one(

    SMS the device and it SMS(s) the latlong back to the originator  


    very small it seems also..

          HZL(who is ordering one)

    ps aluminum orchard labels are very light and waterproof I have mine ziptied in a visible location


  • @4:31 extremely lucky: didn't hit tree and landed on someone's head at the beach

    @4:52 are those leave from the tree by the beach? more @5:29

  • Developer
    @joeseph:i'm not sure the "idiot few" will get drones banned. If this was really the case we would all be getting public transport as cars would be banned. It may formalize licensing aka drivers license, and maybe thats a good thing?
  • He even outright said things that are only said by amateurs " it just flew away", if you were intelligent you would have cut throttle when it continued and dealt with a pile of bit rather than no pile. 

    Good point.  I've had one flyaway... well, it wasn't really a flyaway.  I had an F330, and it didn't have a GPS on it.  I got hit with the "Alt Hold Runaway" problem because I hadn't done any vibration damping at all.  If flew so high and far, so fast, I lost orientation.  It was out over an area of forest.  I had manual control, but couldn't hardly see it.  Rather than letting it fly out over houses, I just cut the throttle and let it fall.  Never found it.

  • Lucky Bloke!

  • Breaking news ABC news knows how to use google, but is not able to read.

    That post they shows asks why failsafe wont enable, he PWM was not set up correctly, if he has lost control the multirotor would have fell from the sky, this guy was using a DJI also which i dont need to point out is not an APM

    he is a prime example of someone who bought it and didnt really build it, in the sence that he didnt really know how it worked past "it says online this wire goes here, so this wire goes here, dont ask why"

    He even outright said things that are only said by amateurs " it just flew away", if you were intelligent you would have cut throttle when it continued and dealt with a pile of bit rather than no pile. 

  • I have a friend who flys naza and he can kick it out of RTH and manually fly it.  It happened the other day when we were range testing his new transmitter.  Once it got in close he took over manual control again.  It isn't like arducopter though.  You have to switch to a certain mode or in and out of a certain mode to regain manual control.  And I think you have to set it up properly.  Strict no control RTH or RTL should be almost a last resort failsafe for use when you can't control the copter for some reason.  Didn't arducopter add a orientation feature in one of the last updates?  So when you hit the switch it reorients itself to tail in/points the direction it took off?

  • I found RTL being very usefull,,, saved my ass, was flying on Sunday evening on 2.4frsky lost orientation, stirred the copter for another 20sec trying to figure out if it is moving towards me or away, until the copter was right above a high school  with a strong wifi (I guess) telemetry was showing 147 meters from my position when the RSSI alarm on my taranis went off, at that point it came to me: RTL (I've set it up couple days ago and was planning on testing it, but was busy experimenting with other stuff, totally forgot about it) .....  flipped the switch and apm brought the copter home.... so.... the lesson learned: set up RTL, test it and don't forget you have it! 

    setting up a failsafe is also useful, especially if you loose RC link and cannot use RTL! 

  • It actually makes sense.... your Super HighTech loaded drone $6k + $100? GSM/GPRS tracker, yet many of us don't equip aircraft with those relatively cheap trackers.... I guess it takes away from the thrill of the flight. 

    Someone flying a NAZA the other day at the park was testing its RTH feature, he mentioned once you hit failsafe it engages RTH and you can't control aircraft anymore. It will head to home location and autoland. It will not allow you to change flight mode or any control. 

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