3D Robotics

Time Magazine makes a good point about why the new generation of drone pilots are getting in trouble in a way the previous RC hobbyists didn't:

Learning to build and fly R/C aircraft was once a time-consuming, arduous process, factors that kept the hobby from spreading. Now, new technology like user-friendly quadcopter designs, equipped with smaller, high-powered motors and batteries, means that pilots can have their aircraft ready to go in minutes instead of days, greatly enhancing the appeal of the hobby. And while the old-school pilots often met in clubs, which enforced flight rules as a social norm, the newbies are buying their gear off Amazon and heading out solo.

But the real issue here is that many of the new designs come with cameras attached, a feature that has fundamentally changed why people fly model aircraft. Though some old-school R/C aircraft hobbyists experimented with DIY digital camera hookups, they mostly viewed building and flying their aircraft as the endgame of their project. They generally avoided risky flying, as that could cost their club permission to use the local park, or could damage their expensive, intricate model aircraft that took hours to build.

The new wave of hobbyists see their GoPro-equipped drones less as remote-controlled aircraft and more as flying cameras, set to embark on a cinematic adventure. Flying for the sake of flying is no longer the point — the point is getting awesome YouTube footage, which leads to riskier behavior.

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  • FYI - if anyone is interested in a comprehensive checklist that has all the FAA regs and guidance built into it please go to UASchecklist.com.  Its veteran owned and keeps you from doing the leg work.  Also gives other links for registration, no fly zones, and even a link to ask the FAA questions directly.  Please check it out.

  • We've been working on a tool to help people find out how far they are from active airstrips in the US - http://www.caniflyadrone.com - would love to get peoples feedback here!

  • There has never been a shortage of idiots, ever.  Look at the pile of laws and somehow the idiots always crawl out from under it.  The power mad elite keep making the pile higher and wider too and all it does is punish everyone else.   My only recommendation is to not ask the power mad elite to solve anything.  The result is never worth the price.

  • Moderator
    ...Neither does the FAA.
  • Agreed 100%.  I don't know how we solve this problem.

  • I was at one the LHS's near me today. Guy tried to sell me a 250 size quad, flashing lights and all. Even went to the point of going outside for a demo to show me how easy it was to fly. Up and over the traffic he went. 30 feet up and 50 feet away. These guys are located right at a corner of a busy intersection. Didn't care about safety or instructing how to's. Says real easy to fly, anybody can do it and has sold lots of them. IMO guys like this don't help the cause or the hobby. They just wanted the money.

       I did my first video setup on my shuttle heli some 23 years ago and had to build the vtx.

  • Nowdays microcontrollers and sensors are growing rapidly. Not only in our hobby, but in everything. smartphone, self park car, self driving car, segway, etc. They are going cheap. I never image flying autonomously my RC Airplane 10 years ago! The regulator should fact of this and trying to accomodate the technology. Beside a hobbyist should respect his hobby as hobby not a toys. Do it with responsibilty. Frankly, I'm not proud to see a 10 years old boy doing hard 3D with 700 class heli..

  • Guys, I think having built balsa models and flying at a club creates a mindset. Having followed the club rules and understanding the level of respect required to belong to a club. Now, here is the crux - these club rules are common to all RC clubs. If I fly at club b,c or d as a guest, I know the rules because it is the same as my club. Not all dronies grow up in this environment. I've seen many of the RC guys put together dones of various shapes and sizes, but they still respect the rules wherever they fly.

  • Yep! adventures, arts, novelty, freshness, creativities and big fun. and much more casual peoples in dat circle...
    there is modern droning geist =)

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