3D Robotics

Finally, a good article on "drone journalism"


ABC News Australia has a thorough piece on the state of "drone journalism", which gives some good examples and cuts through the sort of silliness that characterized some earlier reports, such as those featuring Occupy Wall Street types flying a Parrot AR.Drone inside.

It includes an important quote from Matt Waite, who runs the Drone Journalism Lab at the University of Nebraska

Despite America's love affair with new technology, Professor Waite says the rate of take-up of drone journalism is still very slow - for one single reason.

"Here in the US the law doesn't allow it - plain and simple," he said.

"The rules right now in the US are basically this: nothing over 400 feet, nothing out of sight, nothing near people and no commercial purposes.

"If it were (just) the first three, drone journalism would have a fighting chance. The commercial restrictions are the hardest to overcome."

Sounds like Professor Waite, at least, is taking a realistic and responsible approach. 

[Thanks to Gary Mortimer/sUAS News for the link]

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  • Yes.. thank you for pointing that out:) sounds like a plan!

  • Douglas, notice in the process flow, that AMA members are part of the process too.  You can obtain a SFOC in Canada, and come fly our friendly skies any time. ;-)

  • @Ellison, no, I was being serious.  Wishful thinking that maybe if you talked to them and said "Yeah, it's just a 10 pound model and I'll be flying under 400feet."  "Oh, low altitude ok, no problem, here you go."

    @Stephen, interesting.  So you had to define the sites.  Do you have any idea if it could be a wider area?  Does it matter that it's for research instead of commercial profit?  I'm just wondering if I could get an SFOC for flights in various *remote* areas over crown land without having to continually resubmit for each new location.

    The idea is just to do AP work in remote locations.

  • Thank you Ellison...but I'm not sure this will do anything for me here in the states.

  • I posted the link a few message back.

    Here it is again, here.

  • @Stephen Could you point me in the correct direction for this(SFOC) licence? google no help

  • @Robert and Ellison, my lab has an SFOC for sUAS research in Edmonton. It took us about 3-4 weeks for the process. The first time we chatted with our local official to clarify some requirements and ensure we were prepared. Our current SFOC is valid for 1 year at 2 flying sites. The trick is to show to TC that you have worked to mitigate risk and prepare in the case of emergencies. You also need the insurance and any land use permissions. Overall, it is a good exercise anyways, since what is required for the SFOC should be what you are doing for safe UAS operations anyways.

  • Hey Robert, are you REALLY asking me how long, or just being sarcastic? ;-)

    I suspect that like all things governmental, that it's not going to be overnight.  But people do get them.  For instance that's the same certificate that crop dusters have to get.  From the reading of the process flow charts, I think you have a better chance if you're a member of MACC or AMA.

  • I am not sure if that is correct.  I just seen that article yesterday and was wondering if it had been true.  Because now I see a post like this and has me wondering

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