Tag Archive | accident

Drone Startups part 17: Spark Aerial – Your Aerial Cinematography Flight School

Dear friends,

Although only five months young, dronologista blog has grown and needs a new attire.

As of 1st of September, dronologista.com moves to a new hosting, new address and slightly changes the appearance . Content will remain the same, and dronologista will continue to provide information about non-military drones only.

Enjoy!

The proliferation of UAV means that there is a growing number of UAV operators. Sometimes these operators have some experience, but in most of the cases they have none. To make things worse, nowadays, everyone that buys DJI Phantom and attach a GoPro to it, instantly thinks that he is in the aerial filming business. FAIL. The results are bad videos at the best, and serious accidents in the worst case scenario. To get an idea of the type of mishaps that can happen, check out the video below:

Scale of this problem was identified by some smart people from Spark Aerial. And the solution they are offering is simple and obvious now: an Aerial Cinematography Flight School. Spark Aerial Kickstarter project aims to build an Aerial Cinematography video training series and accompanying online resource center for anyone interested in aerial filming. The free video training series (with some premium content) is intended to emphasize flight safety, and would move from such basics as taking off for the first time to advanced piloting maneuvers like the buttonhook sweep, which enables a video camera to remain focused on one place while the drone circles around.

Founders of the Spark Aerial are Radley Angelo, Kurt Selander, and Austin Hill, three engineers from the University of California, San Diego. They said that the goal behind the school is “to teach the world how to have fun, fly safe, and capture amazing content”. They certainly have the know-how and experience to reach that goal, since their work has been already featured on CNN, TechCrunch, Buzzfeed, Good Morning America, the National Geographic Channel, just to name few.

Spark Aerial Team

Spark Aerial Team

Project was successfully funded within three weeks of its launch, no wonder, since among the backers are UAV industry leaders such as 3d Robotics, DJI and Flytrex. Kickstarter campaign runs for twelve more days, so there is still time to get some Spark Aerial goodies for backing this project.

There is one thing in particular that I would like to point at the very end of this article: at the bottom of the Spark Aerial Kickstarter page, there is a section called “Risks and Challenges” in which Spark Aerial guys said that “We are not accredited by the FAA…”. A prudent move by FAA would be to actually give accreditation to Spark Aerial Cinematography School, since it is perhaps the first institutionalized attempt to systematically improve the safety of UAV operations. And that could be one of the cornerstones of the safe commercial application of UAV.

Interesting articles about Spark Aerial Cinematography School Kickstarter Campaign can be found at Yahoo! Finance and Xconomy.

Images and videos courtesy of Spark Aerial.

M.A.R.S. Parachutes – How to save your equipment

Dear friends, Although only five months young, dronologista blog has grown and needs a new attire. As of 1st of September, dronologista.com moves to a new hosting, new address and slightly changes the appearance . Content will remain the same, and dronologista will continue to provide information about non-military drones only. Enjoy! Couple of weeks ago, I […]

DJI DropSafe System

Dear friends,

Although only five months young, dronologista blog has grown and needs a new attire.

As of 1st of September, dronologista.com moves to a new hosting, new address and slightly changes the appearance . Content will remain the same, and dronologista will continue to provide information about non-military drones only.

Enjoy!

One of the main concerns about UAV, apart from privacy, is their safety. No one really wants to have a flying lawnmower falling from the sky, or buzzing near passenger aircraft. With apparent ubiquity of drones, safety systems are becoming increasingly important. The company that realized that, and is making a constant progress in UAV safety systems is DJI Innovations.

Their consistent effort to improve the safety of their aircraft and to decrease the risk they pose, already brought us No Fly Zone software, that prevents DJI copters from flying around airports and other prohibited areas. This time they are introducing a “Drop speed reduction system”, a complex name for something that is in essence a parachute.

The system weighs around 500gr (~1.2 lbs), can be mounted on top od DJI S800 or S1000, and is deployed in half a second, in case of emergency. It also includes automatic power-off function, and is compatible with WooKong-M and DJI A2 flight controllers.

Though the DropSafe system is designed to minimize damage to the drone and the camera carried in the event of an accident, it is not guaranteed that there will be no damage at all. And there is also possibility that the drone with the parachute gets blown away and stuck on top of a tree. Still, it is better to have just the camera smashed then camera, drone and someone’s head.

As with the above mentioned “No Fly Zone” firmware, it is reasonable to expect that the DropSafe, or similar parachute systems become standard equipment of UAV in the near future.

Triathlon drone accident

Dear friends,

Although only five months young, dronologista blog has grown and needs a new attire.

As of 1st of September, dronologista.com moves to a new hosting, new address and slightly changes the appearance . Content will remain the same, and dronologista will continue to provide information about non-military drones only.

Enjoy!

Although I intended to post an article about Flying Donkey Challenge (Flying Donkey is, yes, a cargo drone), unfortunate event that happened in Australia has the priority, in order to highlight the need for safe drone operation.

On Sunday 6th of April, during Endure Batavia Triathlon, in Geraldton, Australia, a female competitor was hit in the head by an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. The drone was operated by local videographers covering the event with live footage, when the owner lost the control of the copter. In his statement, the owner said that it seems like someone hacked into the system, and caused drone to lose control and crash into the athlete.

 

Courtesy of Peta Kingdon and Everything Geraldton

Mrs. Ogden treated by paramedics

 

Whether that is a case or not, will be established by Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Australia, that has launched serious accident investigation.

This event is the clear showcase of the stage in which civilian and commercial UAV operation is at the moment. Lack of regulation makes this domain of human activity very uncertain, or, as in this case, outright dangerous. But, similar to the beginning of last century when traffic safety was an unknown term, I expect that something like ‘drone safety’ concept will spring up soon. Hopefully, the price for it won’t be paid in injuries and bystanders lives.

The injured athlete from the beginning of the story, although shocked by the event, luckily sustained minor injuries, and is in stable condition.

Dronologista wishes her a quick and full recovery, and many medals in future triathlons.

 

Picture and text courtesy of Everything Geraldton and Peta Kingdon. Thank you!