3D Robotics


From The Wire:

To reinforce her concerns about the use of commercial drones, California Senator Dianne Feinstein told her peers on Wednesday about an encounter she had with a drone at her house. 


Feinstein said she encountered the flying robot while a demonstration was taking place outside her house. She said she went to the window to peek out — and “there was a drone right there at the window looking out at me.”


The Wire spoke by phone with Feinstein's spokesman Brian Weiss, who confirmed that the incident happened at the senator's house in San Francisco several months ago. At about the time, it seems, that Code Pink showed up to protest Feinstein's support for the NSA.

On June 15, the anti-war group held a protest focused on Feinstein, which included activists in disguises and, yes, two remote-controlled helicopters, which might creatively be described as drones. Here's video of the event.

If you skip ahead to the one-minute mark you can see the two helicopters that were at the scene, including one very similar to the small pink helicopter at right. Photos taken that day show the helicopter more clearly. Steve Rhodes, who took the photos, confirmed to The Wire that the helicopters flying around outside Feinstein's home didn't have any cameras, so they weren't "looking in" anywhere.

Code Pink's Tighe Barry, coordinator for the group in D.C., told The Wire that flying these toy helicopters is common at their protests. He participated in one such protest in San Diego at the home of the president of General Atomics, makers of the much-more-scary Predator and Reaper drones. The toy helicopter, Barry said, was purchased on Amazon, as this one might be. And Feinstein is a regular target for the group. "We've held many, many, many vigils there over the years," he said.

So was this the drone that frightened Feinstein so much? Weiss, the senator's spokesman, didn't know what kind of drone the senator was describing. But if it was a blind one the size of a crow, the Senate Commerce Committee can sleep a bit easier tonight.

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  • It' so funny, I wish drone will can replace camera in the future, If we have a expert pilot to control it.

  • It's the spy on a string...get one now. They won't last long and are patented.

  • I think her fears are rational - that having been a target in the past, she is still a target today.

    However, her fear is misdirected - the "drone" is just a new delivery mechanism for her antagonists vengence. Just like email is the delivery mechanism for child porn, cyberbullying, ransoms demands and death threats. But nobody is banning the internet, because that would be stupid. She should be campaigning for better transparency and accountability on drone use, not trying to ban them altogether.

    And arming a drone is surely covered by "the right to bear arms". What's next - no gun racks in your pickup? And in this case, arming drones would be exactly what the legislate should fear. Oh god, as a staunch anti-gun European, I can't actually believe I just defended the right to carry arms...:-)


    She should perhaps have a long hard look at herself to identify why she's the target for so much hatred in the first place; she incurred enough hatred that people want to kill her for it.

  • I totally get where she is coming from. I swear my daughter's dolls are looking at me every time I go in to her room... I just don't broadcast my irrational fears, except this one time...

  • Harry - I am sorry she was the target of assassins too! As I wonder whether a safer more secure experience might have equipt her with a much less well developed 'us and them' mentality.
    As for the rest of us not being the target of assassins, well, I think that all comes down to your interpretation of the meaning of the words "target" (select as the object of attention or attack) and "assassin" (a person who kills someone, usually for political reasons or for money). Could one not be forgiven for thinking we may both be living in glass houses in this regard?
  • I am suggesting that personal agendas have no place in making laws that affect everyone. I'm sorry she was the target of assassins, but most people are not and the purpose of law making isn't to satisfy one Senator. 

  • She sure likes their campaign contributions.  

  • Harry - Are you suggesting that there is something wrong with, or unhealthy about, an elected official allowing their personal experiences to influence their position on policy?  I can't speak for Senator Feinstein's determination to represent her constituents, but her long career and recent record suggests that this may not be a particular weakness.

    Josh - I think it would probably be more accurate to say that she once held a Concealed Weapons Permit. Or, to go a bit further, that over 40 years ago, while the target of the New World Liberation Front and at a time when her predecessor had been shot by a disgruntled colleague, she once held a Concealed Weapons Permit.  Do you have any idea what it was like to be her, in her position, way back when she was (probably) hot?  I certainly don't, but I bet it was a different world and that she had a whole lot less tax payer funded protection to insulate herself with. 

    All - Please note: I have yet to say anything nice about Senator Feinstein.

  • Obviously, everyone with the right is a short fuse. 

  • I'm surpised she didn't did shoot it.  You for someone that's such a big fan of "sensable firearms legistation" she has a concealed carry weapon license.  

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