3D Robotics


From Gawker:

TMZ today responded to a widely circulated report recently published in the San Francisco Chronicle claiming the gossip site was among the myriad public and private entities flooding the Federal Aviation Administration with applications for their own private drones.

"TMZ is NOT getting in the DRONE business," the website exclaimed in its statement. "We don't have a drone; we don't want a drone; we never applied for a drone; despite a bogus report to the contrary."

According to the Chronicle story, which was linked to earlier today by Drudge, a rush by the government to allow domestic use of drones has resulted in the FAA being inundated with applications "from police departments, universities, private corporations and even the celebrity gossip site TMZ."

"Truth is," TMZ says, "while drones are, in fact, awesome, it just ain't true."

E-mail me when people leave their comments –

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

Join diydrones


  • peoples privacy.....ha ha ha

    look around where peoples privacy is invaded by the goverment........

  • T3

    Ever wonder why the DHS wants those test sites? I will be anyone a beer they have a lot of grant money tied up with local entities to start unmanned programs and they cannot play because of the COA and Special Airworthiness process.

  • Moderator

    The regulation is not yet off the starting blocks. Yes 2015 is being touted but nothing has been done. ASTM F-38 have chosen the biscuits and moved onto selection of coffee. 

    The CAA in the UK stepped royally on the Merseyside Police after they touted the first sUAS arrest. It made all the legally licenced operators chuckle I can tell you I was working for one at the time. 

    For Merseyside police, the “eye in the sky” arrest was a landmark moment in policing history. The force had managed to track down and apprehend a teenager who had fled from a presumed stolen Renault Clio, senior officers revealed, by using a remote-controlled flying robot equipped with thermal imaging cameras.

    But the attempt to claim credit for the UK’s first arrest using a surveillance drone backfired tonight after it emerged the force itself could face prosecution because officers flew the surveillance aircraft without permission – a criminal offence.

    The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which regulates UK airspace, confirmed it was investigating Merseyside police over the apparently unauthorised use of its drone to pursue the 16-year-old after he fled from a suspected stolen car in Bootle. It is one of three UK forces using the drones.

    Officials from the regulator’s Aviation Regulation Enforcement Department (ARE), which investigates and prosecutes alleged breaches of airspace, are investigating the incident, and Merseyside police has told regulators the drones have been grounded with immediate effect.

    Did you see the Seattle Police Ops manual John?

    The other thing that happened in the UK was that folks protesting against a right wing group that were photographed by another quad in a high profile media event to show us how cool UA were, put a freedom of information request for copies of the images. This meant the cheap UA became a mighty expensive exercise as policemen licked stamps and sent off all the requested images.

    I just checked, wow that was back in 09, lets put that in context if 2015 happens a cool six years after the UK learnt that lesson.

    I do agree John, a close watch should be kept on what the police want to do but I really can't help feeling capability is being vastly overblown.  

  • My point was that when given the opportunity to use drones, police find them useful for domestic surveillance.  Even the cops in Grand Forks, pop. 50K.  For now they borrow big drones from agencies that can afford to train pilots to fly a $4M vehicle and deal with the FAA, but since the trend is toward smaller, easier-to-fly drones, with less restrictive regulation, I don't think it's a big stretch to believe that drones will be used by local police more in the future, and that we should consider how we want those drones to be used.

  • Moderator

    That's big one's John and it could be argued they operated outside of their COA on the farm flight. The border patrol flights have some strict rules. 

    The small ones have been tried and failed in Europe.this is one example of a handful http://www.suasnews.com/2011/10/9678/merseyside-police-microdrone-l...

    Agencies buying time from persistent platforms will probably become the standard. Orbits set up just like in Afghanistan. 

    Lets see what happens over time with the law enforcement use of sUAS, I personally remain to be convinced. Perhaps in 10 years time, but at the rate you guys are travelling you won't have regs by then anyway. Not to worry the rest of the world will have done the R&D for you.

    @KernalPanic, I am lucky I fly in countries that have clear cut rules so can fly for fun or commercially and not operate in a grey area. I am just not liking what I am seeing happening over there, its just plain silly. 


  • T3


    There are approximately 12000 police departments in the US. If there are more than 50 using unmanned aerial systems I would be surprised. 


  • Gary, I'm not sure why you think drones aren't being used or able to be used by police.  Even local police in the U.S. have been using drones for surveillance for a while.  For example, from http://articles.latimes.com/2011/dec/10/nation/la-na-drone-arrest-2...:

    Local police say they have used two unarmed Predators based at Grand Forks Air Force Base to fly at least two dozen surveillance flights since June. The FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration have used Predators for other domestic investigations, officials said.

    "We don't use [drones] on every call out," said Bill Macki, head of the police SWAT team in Grand Forks. "If we have something in town like an apartment complex, we don't call them."

    The drones belong to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which operates eight Predators on the country's northern and southwestern borders to search for illegal immigrants and smugglers. The previously unreported use of its drones to assist local, state and federal law enforcement has occurred without any public acknowledgment or debate.

  • Geoffrey, your device sounds very interesting.  I bet you if it's man-portable, and you were trying to avoid detection while performing surveillance, you could make use of existing flora to hide your location.  Perhaps even wearing clothing of a colour which matches the existing plant life.

    Now, does your device provide magnification for only one eye at a time, or both eyes simultaneously?

    I can see why your investors would be concerned.  I'm sure once the ACLU hears that you might be able to watch somebody from 1 mile away, they will be very concerned and might try to block sales of your device.

    Now, I'd like to talk to you in private, as I have this idea about a support stand for these devices. Something that would hold them at comfortable eye level, and steady the device.  

  • A little off topic, but this whole "privacy thing" has my potential investors worried. You see, I just invented a device that you can hold in your hand and point at someone or something very very far away. You look into it and the person appears much closer, maybe even 100x as close. The device is also so energy efficient it runs for 100 years on a single AAA battery. I was thinking of putting it into production and maybe selling it to police forces for $100,000 apiece. We can make a special MIL-SPEC version with a camo color scheme (ITAR, of course) and sell it to the military for $250,000 apiece. But do you think the ACLU would try to block us from doing this? My investors are scared about that and this is the last think keeping the deal from going forward.

  • T3

    What the FAA teaming up with the ACLU...another day when I could slit my wrists through frustration..

This reply was deleted.