3D Robotics

3689514657?profile=originalI'm a loyal AUVSI (Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International) member, but this is just sad. In an effort to distance the industry from public perceptions around the word "drone" at a congressional hearing last week, they said this:

“This is more than a pilotless vehicle,” Michael Toscano, president of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, said at Leahy’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, convened to consider privacy risks. “There’s nothing unmanned about unmanned systems.’’

First of all, what?? Second, it may be that there are 60+ people in ground support for each Global Hawk in the air, but that's sure not the case for the smaller drones, including the ones we fly. At the moment we still usually keep one "pilot" on the ground (guy just watching and able to take over manual control if needed) for each drone in the air, but that's just a safety measure. These things take off, run their mission and land autonomously. When all goes well, there's no human in the loop at all. 

Either the AUVSI is out of touch with what's really going on with drones, or they're backing themselves into a rhetorical corner that they won't be able to get out of. 

(Photo of CyFly tethered drone from Boston Globe article linked above)

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones


  • Just RPAS (FAI term)

  • 3D Robotics

    R.D. Love that! Please put it on Threadless or Cafe Press so I can buy one!

  • Pretty sure that's a CyPhy PARC.

    I personally think tethered multicopters could make great tools, tree trimming, house washing, crop spraying all kinds of things.

    Just need the FAA to set some reasonable ground rules and limitations and get out of the way.

    Wish I thought that was likely.

    By the way CyPhy claims to have patented the thin high power wire they use to tether and power their copters, what a crock, kind of like Apple patenting a rectangle with rounded corners for phone use.

  • Moderator

    The term RPV defines the "Piloted" aspect better than ROV.  (No need to add the Aerial to ROV then)

  • Think I'll start calling them Aerial ROVs, because if I'm behind the stick then they are remotely operated vehicles.

  • doug, went to the "Drone Speak" site... I love it. Clean, ease of understanding / following. On the second front, I could not agree more. seperation between military and civilian operations and use need clear, distinct understanding.




  • @bcrow  ...and so you make the case for what John and I did with the DroneSpeak website and Framework.

    As the technology progresses, it essential to distance civilian use of the technology from the governmental/military use. At this point, the public at large does not differentiate them. This is due, in part, to ignorance, news exploitation, and an absence of effort on our community's part to educate and promote our uses.

    On the other hand, Chris Anderson emphasizes the concept that we will take over the use of the tech each and every time he has public exposure.

    In support of a frequent example Chris provides, I submit the following idea for a 3DR t-shirt...



    Build On! Fly Often!


  • Moderator

    AUVSI is a lobbying organisation for the military industrial complex. They have to say what they are told to say. I believe the Australian UA operators association has distanced itself from AUVSI. 

  • I watched the Senate Hearing on C-Span.

    Two points:

    This was Committee Chair Sen. Patrick Leahy's response to AUVSI's attempt to brief the committee on the "correct" terminology.

    "Mr. Toscano.... I appreciate you telling us what we should call them but you leave that decision to us. We'll call them what we call them - you call them whatever you like to call them."

    Just a couple of weeks earlier the AUVSI chairman had said this:

    "Speaking at the Avalon International Air Show, AUVSI's chairman, Australian Peter Bale, said: "I'm going to roll over on this one, and call them drones from now on. There are just some fights you are not going to win."

    His decision has been extremely unpopular with sections of the aviation industry, but Mr Bale argues there are far more important battles to fight."

    different audience. different message.


  • Moderator

    Rant mode on

    AUVSI is years behind, still as long as the fees keep rolling in what have they got to care. Bugs me a little that they stand up as the largest organisation in the USA. They have 8k members worldwide. DIYD has way more than that..... sUAS News reaches more people daily than them as well. Just have a look at Alexa to see how DIYD and sUAS News stacks up against them.

    As regards integration, no test sites, no start in the process for this sector. The six sites is going to turn into a huge bun fight as the AUVSI sort of has to support every bid. Once again if the FAA had been swifter in selecting them then less places would have had time to put bids in. Originally they were supposed to be 30nm from any charted airfield and that would have sorted the privacy issues but that seems to have gone by the wayside.

    Rant mode off

This reply was deleted.