Join me and Mark Harrison for a drone demo at East Bay Maker Faire tomorrow

If you're in the Bay Area and looking for a great place to take the kids this week, the East Bay Mini Maker Faire is a delight. For the second year in a row, we're going to be doing a drones presentation at 11:00am, and Mark Harrison will be doing ArduCopter demos at the front grass area of the school afterwards. Details here

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3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on October 14, 2012 at 2:52pm

That was a blast! A packed house inside for the talk and a huge crowd to watch Mark demo loiter with an ArduCopter. All went well and everyone was good about keeping a safe perimeter around the grassy area where Mark was flying. Thanks to Mark for bring a range of copters and planes and to everyone else for coming out!

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on October 14, 2012 at 4:26pm

Assuming it's a small machine, mostly doing hovering, I'd say that a perimeter equal to the height being flown is a reasonable place to start.  So if you're flying 50 feet up, a 100 foot diameter circle under the machine.  Now, assuming you were flying in a 50 foot box, then 150 feet.  That would be bare minimum in my estimation.

AMA or MAAC rules would dictate a "flight line" where the aircraft cannot pass, and then people standing... 100 feet behind it?  Pilot between the people and the flight line.

Comment by John C. on October 15, 2012 at 10:59am

Were you there?  Unless you were it's pretty hard to make an accurate comment based upon one picture obviously using depth of field.  I think you should give the experts the benefit of the doubt that they are operating safely rather than assume they're not.  Regardless, Agent P is on the case.

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on October 15, 2012 at 11:16am

Have Chris or Mark ever harassed anybody about flying around people?  I've never seen it, so I don't think there's any hypocrisy going on here.

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on October 15, 2012 at 11:26am

I can't speak for everybody, but myself... Chris is a big boy.  He can make his own decisions.  He doesn't need to hear from me.  What goes on at these shows is between Chris, his insurance company, and the event organizer.

I've only ever attempted to educate people who are obviously new to this and don't understand the risks.  And I don't consider myself as "harassing" people.  I try to simply state what I personally feel are safe practices.

Comment by John C. on October 15, 2012 at 11:41am

Sorry for reviving this one guys...I was gone all weekend, and after trying to catch up I saw this was already covered by Mark in the report on the event.

I love to see these events that get kids fired up about building practical technology that is still FUN.  Can't wait to make it to one myself.

Comment by Mark Harrison on October 15, 2012 at 12:37pm

@DS, I would put it down to my charm and boyish good looks!

Comment by Mark Harrison on October 15, 2012 at 12:43pm

BTW, that was with my new APM2.5.  I was able to install, configure, test, and have it in the air within an hour.  


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