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The future of drones

post #1 of 82
Thread Starter 

Drones have become a big part of discussion in most avenues about photography in "hard to get" places. 

Last summer we saw concerns about drones in the middle of fireworks displays 

 

The officials for the Golden Gate have concerns about drones being piloted by inexperienced people causing issues with the bridge. 

 

Vail Resorts has banned the use of drones at all of its resorts, now they're starting to react to drones at resorts down under. 

You can follow the discussion here. Falls Creek bans use of Drones at the resort

 

 

The biggest current issue:

Today in the news we see a big concern with a drone causing the grounding of air fire support in California. 

Plane Battling Southern California Fire Grounded by Drone

 

While I hate to see more regulation in our world, I can see a big problem with inexperienced pilots and those who don't use good common sense creating a world of havoc. 

 

 

Phil and I toyed with the idea of a drone last year but we held off.  Not sure if I want to get into something like that now. 

post #2 of 82

R/C aircraft have been around for quite some time but the diffusion to the masses was limited by the level of expertise and expensive learning curve required to enter that hobby.  Planes are more difficult to fly and are usually totaled when something goes wrong. And, most noobs wreck a plane or two in the first hour of learning to fly them.

 

Enter the copters, then quad copters, and at easy to reach prices.  This has done to R/C flying what fat, rockered skis did to powder stashes... wrecking it for everybody with too many inexperienced or inconsiderate folks suddenly having access to airspace/terrain few could handle before.

 

No real hate here though, I'm all for being able to fly them over privately owned property but with so many now out there and up there we probably need to look at banning them in public parks and general city limits airspace. I sure don't want them flying up and down the street around my house.  I can just see idiots crashing them in to children that are out playing in their yards or at the park.

post #3 of 82
I'm anti-drone. They clearly have some utility and they can produce a lot of stunning photography, but in the balance the key factor is that people are idiots and I think it's just a matter of time until drones cause catastrophic issues. And they're disturbing - I'm not looking forward to getting buzzed on mountain routes, either going up or down.
post #4 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

...the key factor is that people are idiots...

 

The root cause of sooooo much havoc and heartache out there in the big, wide woild...

post #5 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

I'm anti-drone. They clearly have some utility and they can produce a lot of stunning photography, but in the balance the key factor is that people are idiots and I think it's just a matter of time until drones cause catastrophic issues. And they're disturbing - I'm not looking forward to getting buzzed on mountain routes, either going up or down.

Yep. Someone is going to get hurt due to someone else's drone/quadcopter/whatever. Private drones should be banned from ski areas. 

 

A much better way to assist all skiers who want to video themselves on vacation ( at least at big mountains) is to dedicate a run where a drone with camera will follow them. This service should be for profit, allowing the mountain operator to make some money and pay employees to operate the drone filming.  It would also be cool as a teaching tool for racers, taking videos similar to the drone that followed Ted Ligety practicing GS ("See, Little Johnny, this is how the coach takes the turn and this is where you started it"). But those things aside, some skier is going to get hurt after crashing into or avoiding a drone belonging to someone else if these things are allowed on the mountains.

 

Outside of skiing, the future of drones is bright. Military use is growing fast, as is commercial use (farming, ranching, construction, delivery, photography,etc.) and personal use.

post #6 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by quant2325 View Post
 
[snip]

 

A much better way to assist all skiers who want to video themselves on vacation ( at least at big mountains) is to dedicate a run where a drone with camera will follow them. This service should be for profit, allowing the mountain operator to make some money and pay employees to operate the drone filming.  It would also be cool as a teaching tool for racers, taking videos similar to the drone that followed Ted Ligety practicing GS ("See, Little Johnny, this is how the coach takes the turn and this is where you started it"). But those things aside, some skier is going to get hurt after crashing into or avoiding a drone belonging to someone else if these things are allowed on the mountains.

 

Outside of skiing, the future of drones is bright. Military use is growing fast, as is commercial use (farming, ranching, construction, delivery, photography,etc.) and personal use.

Big White in Canada provided a drone-based video service for a week in March 2015.  Used a drone that follows someone wearing a controller on a wristband. The cost in March 2015 was CDN $64 (US$50). Was set up by a California-based company that plans to be back at Big White for the 2015-16 season. The price is not only for the use of the drone, but also for creation of a finished video.

 

From FAQ:
How does it all work?

It’s simple! Sign up in advance or on the spot at our advertised on-mountain locations. We give you a wristband and use it to launch the drone. All you need to do is ride down and the drone will fly down and film you. Our engineers have developed advanced technology to ensure that the drone flies safely and avoids obstacles like trees and chairlifts. When you’re done, you return your wristband and receive your professionally edited video within 72 hours on YouTube. You can then share your video online with your friends and family.

post #7 of 82
Thread Starter 

In case you didn't follow the link in my OP about the Golden Gate Bridge, they talk about a drone that crashed on the bridge.  

I'm not sure how critical the crash was but I'm sure it wasn't a small incident. 

post #8 of 82

Some U.S. ski resorts already have rules about drones set up.  Each country is going to have different regulations.

Here is one from Red River Ski and Summer Resort in New Mexico (bold added). Came up when I searched on "ski resort drone restriction". Steamboat and Mt. Bachelor use similar language.

Drone Policy

Out of safety concerns for guests, employees, and ski and summer area property, as well as concerns for individual privacy, Red River Ski & Summer Area prohibits the operation or use of unmanned aerial systems, or drones, by the general public – including recreational users and hobbyists – without the prior written authorization from the Ski Area. This prohibition includes drones used for filming or videotaping, as well as any drone use by media or journalists operating above or within Red River Ski & Summer Area boundaries. This prohibition on drone operations or use extends to any drones launched or operated from Red River Ski & Summer Area special use permitted property, as well as drones launched from private property outside of the RRSA boundaries. Please contact a Walt Foley, Deputy General Manager of the Red River Ski & Summer Area, at 575-754-2223 x 204 if you have any questions or if you seek prior authorization to operate any aerial drones. Any authorized operation of aerial drones may be governed by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules and regulations, local law enforcement, and the U.S. Forest Service rules, as well as those policies separately established by this Resort, which may include certification, training, insurance coverage, indemnification requirements, and waivers or releases of liability. Any violation of this policy may involve suspension of your skiing or snowboarding privileges, or the revocation of your season ski or summer pass, as well as confiscation of any drone equipment, and may subject violators to any damages, including, but not limited to, damages for violations of privacy and/or physical or personal injuries or property damage, as well as regulatory fines and legal fees.

post #9 of 82
Thread Starter 

As I stated in the OP, Vail Resorts has a policy in place for all their resorts. 

Here is the written policy on Kirkwood's page. 

I believe its the same on all of the VR web sites but I only found it on Kirkwood and Park City's pages 

 

http://www.kirkwood.com/mountain/drone-policy.aspx

 

Quote:
 

DRONE POLICY

 

In recent years, unmanned aerial systems (more commonly known as “drones”) have become increasingly popular among guests, event promoters and marketing teams.  For safety reasons, recreational drone use is not permitted under our operating plans with the USFS. Likewise, commercial use is also prohibited on Vail Resorts’ property, except in limited circumstances when an approved operator has obtained an FAA exemption and received written permission from the resort.  This includes use associated with special events, marketing and in film/photo applications. 

We believe this approach is necessary for the safety of our employees, guests and property at our resorts.

 

And this from Park City's website. 

 

Quote:

 

Vail Resorts Statement: Usage of Drones (5.28.15)

In recent years, unmanned aerial systems (more commonly known as “drones”) have become increasingly popular among guests, event promoters and marketing teams.  For safety reasons, recreational drone use is not permitted under our operating plans with the USFS. Likewise, commercial use is also prohibited on Vail Resorts’ property, except in limited circumstances when an approved operator has obtained an FAA exemption and received written permission from the resort.  This includes use associated with special events, marketing and in film/photo applications.

post #10 of 82

So the question for next season may be the other way . . . which ski areas do NOT have a policy restricting personal drones.

post #11 of 82
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by marznc View Post
 

So the question for next season may be the other way . . . which ski areas do NOT have a policy restricting personal drones.


That and it also brings up the question about the United States Forestry Service.  According to both of those postings by VR properties,  Quote:  For safety reasons, recreational drone use is not permitted under our operating plans with the USFS.  This brings up the question about what the permissions are on USFS land in general.  I have not looked into that, yet. 

post #12 of 82
Pointing out that drones are so much more than just light-hearted toys for fun:
http://www.economist.com/node/21650071
post #13 of 82

Drone -- even the word places a stake of fear in my heart...

post #14 of 82
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

Pointing out that drones are so much more than just light-hearted toys for fun:
http://www.economist.com/node/21650071

That is an eye opening article. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbinder View Post
 

Drone -- even the word places a stake of fear in my heart...

Right?? 

 

 

When I first head of drones it was in reference to military use.  I felt that it was good for unmanned military recon and (possibly) a tool for Big Brother.  My fears of Big Brother soon faded as I saw it as a cool way to take photos of hard to get places. 

These days I'm gaining my fears and wondering what is happening with all this.  @Bob Lee's link is one reason that I'm getting a little creeped out by them again, which is in addition to being pissed about the twits that are crashing them into bridges and stopping fire fighting efforts. 

post #15 of 82
Between hunting enthusiasts and castle doctrine, I don't expect to see many around here for a while.
post #16 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by quant2325 View Post
 

Yep. Someone is going to get hurt due to someone else's drone/quadcopter/whatever. Private drones should be banned from ski areas. 

 

A much better way to assist all skiers who want to video themselves on vacation ( at least at big mountains) is to dedicate a run where a drone with camera will follow them. This service should be for profit, allowing the mountain operator to make some money and pay employees to operate the drone filming.  It would also be cool as a teaching tool for racers, taking videos similar to the drone that followed Ted Ligety practicing GS ("See, Little Johnny, this is how the coach takes the turn and this is where you started it"). But those things aside, some skier is going to get hurt after crashing into or avoiding a drone belonging to someone else if these things are allowed on the mountains.

 

Outside of skiing, the future of drones is bright. Military use is growing fast, as is commercial use (farming, ranching, construction, delivery, photography,etc.) and personal use.

Good post and I bolded a comment I concur with.  I see a lot of foreign export requests for drone technology in my real job in defense trade control/regulation.  The key technologies on the micro UAVs are payload, guidance, and data link.  When the US opens its skies for lots of commercial drone use the market will explode and maybe the airspace:eek 

post #17 of 82

Wait for your first drone spree killing and the NDA lobbyists pointing to the bit of the 2nd amendment about the right to bear (4 small very spinny) arms;).  

 

Somewhat ironic if something which is essentially a toy ends up more heavily regulated than a product which has and does get used to kill people on a daily basis. 

 

FWIW I agree with heavy regulation due to the douchebag factor.  These things would be a disaster in the hands of holiday heroes on the slopes (they find it hard enough to demonstrate control without being distracted using a remote) and though cool footage might arise I don't relish being buzzed by them when out hiking/biking etc.  Certainly I could see a don't fly within 50 feet of people or property rule being useful.  Even more useful the fist kickstarter for an antidrone targetted EMP gun.

 

 

That said I've seen them advertised for well under $100 equivalent and have thought - well that would be cool for filming my nieces running around the park or the beach so I am a bit of a hypocrite.

post #18 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post
 

Good post and I bolded a comment I concur with.  I see a lot of foreign export requests for drone technology in my real job in defense trade control/regulation.  The key technologies on the micro UAVs are payload, guidance, and data link.  When the US opens is skies for lots of commercial drone use the market will explode and maybe the airspace:eek

China will eventually be the leader according to some white papers written on the subject. Perhaps you can PM some better research. Right now the designs they ripped off from others aren't working too well. My favorites in the UAV market are ELBT (the new models were highly successful in the war last summer) and AVAV, but it is all changing too fast to look at any company that has a large % of revenue from UAV as a long term investment.

post #19 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post
 

That is an eye opening article. 

 

Right?? 

 

 

When I first head of drones it was in reference to military use.  I felt that it was good for unmanned military recon and (possibly) a tool for Big Brother.  My fears of Big Brother soon faded as I saw it as a cool way to take photos of hard to get places. 

These days I'm gaining my fears and wondering what is happening with all this.  @Bob Lee's link is one reason that I'm getting a little creeped out by them again, which is in addition to being pissed about the twits that are crashing them into bridges and stopping fire fighting efforts. 

When a quadcopter can be flown onto the White House grounds, and when consumer UAVs can be flown around French landmarks without being stopped, the potential for terror is great. Right now, there is no way to stop these things since a electronic net has not yet been developed.  

 

In term of the military, it isn't just about delivering recon or getting material to soldiers in difficult positions. If we could get live results all day long with drones or satellites our jets could have done some serious damage to ISIS by now, but that isn't happening. One better use is for the daytime and nightime pinpoint guidance of bombs, reducing civilian collateral.This is what we saw last summer.  A soldier in a bunker can fly a drone kilometers above the ground targeting the window of a building, firing only when a legal expert says it is safe to do so (when it is reasonable civilians are out of the area). Another use we see now is going after known targets with bombs. We could have had bin Laden years before when he was spotted by a drone. The big problem, of course, is that terrorists can get their hands on these things. For example, think of what could happen if a larger drone laden with explosives is released 1/2 mile from the White House by a nutcase terrorist. If the White House cannot stop a postman flying  an ultralight aircraft onto the White House grounds, how will it stop a terrorist remotely flying a drone? How can we stop a terrorist using a drone to poison a water supply? This is scary stuff.

 

Big Brother is already here. 


Edited by quant2325 - 6/26/15 at 5:48pm
post #20 of 82

Just for fun...

post #21 of 82
Good for it.
post #22 of 82
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowfan View Post
 

Just for fun...


That's funny!

Not that I want to encourage someone to buzz wildlife with a drone for viral video prestige, but that drone pilot clearly lost his toy being an idiot. 

post #23 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post
 


That's funny!

Not that I want to encourage someone to buzz wildlife with a drone for viral video prestige, but that drone pilot clearly lost his toy being an idiot. 

 

In looking at Angryram's other videos it appears he owns the ram and its flock.  In another video he and a friend shear angryram.  There are some funny ones where angryram plays with a tetherball very skillfully, and another with a heavy body bag.  We had an angus bull with a similar personality.  He would chase me if I got within 20 feet or less.  Fun stuff.

post #24 of 82

There are a few animal vs. drove videos being circulated. This one involving a human is something I can see happening on a ski hill:

 

post #25 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by quant2325 View Post
 

There are a few animal vs. drove videos being circulated. This one involving a human is something I can see happening on a ski hill:

 

 

post #26 of 82

Drunk KingKong

post #27 of 82

So if electronics retailers can sell these devices that buzz all around our neighborhoods and resorts maybe someone will also marked a device that blocks the ability of the enthusiasts to fly them/control them... so we can cause them to crash or keep flying away from the owner?:devil:

post #28 of 82
Well seems you might not be able to just shoot em down if you think they're the CIA or something
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/06/man-shoots-downs-neighbors-hexacopter-in-rural-drone-shotgun-battle/
post #29 of 82
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbob View Post

Well seems you might not be able to just shoot em down if you think they're the CIA or something
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/06/man-shoots-downs-neighbors-hexacopter-in-rural-drone-shotgun-battle/


That is insane.  The guy operating the drone in this story seems to be trying to be responsible, but his parents live next door to a nut. 

post #30 of 82

I am against the drone use for "entertainment". I do believe that drone use should be regulated the same way that airplanes and helicopters are regulated - not everybody can fly them with cameras attached to it. Commercial and regulated use is fine with me. Having a camera attached to the drone is not to my liking. Privacy issues.

 

Basically, it is not the drone itself, but the cameras attached to it. Satellites have cameras also and are mostly put for good use.

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