Tag Archive | aerial filming

Drone Startups – Announcement

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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!

Two of the startups mentioned here, Easy Drone and AirDog, smashed their way through the Kickstarter in rather amazing fashion. Both projects successfully reached their goals in just a couple of days ,  and are now definitely becoming more than just a great idea.

And in case of Easy Drone, there is a stretch goal #1 that will be incorporated in the original product, giving some extraordinary capabilities to an already extraordinary drone.

Great job guys!

 

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FIFA World Cup Drones – How to spy on your opponents

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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!

For quite some time now, UAVs or drones are present in sports. Mostly they are being used for aerial filming of open air games and races. S.L Benfica, a Portuguese football club from Lisbon, even used a drone to hand out shirts during their game, two months ago.

S.L. Benfica drone

S.L. Benfica drone

Two weeks ago, ESPN had a very cool report on how drones penetrated sport events, first as a way to offer  a new perspective to viewers, and then as a tool for coaches to capture data in order to analyze and improve teams performance.

But if a coach uses aerial filming platform to analyze his own team performance, what stops him to use a drone to analyze opponents performance?

Apparently, exactly that happened last Tuesday on a closed training session of the French national team. French national team coach Didier Deschamps is reportedly calling for an investigation into a quadcopter drone that was spotted spying over his team’s closed training session, and local police is promising a quick resolution.

Closed training sessions are being used in order to check physical fitness of key players and to decide on gametime tactics and player selection. If rival managers acquire that information, that would be a distinctive tactical advantage during the actual game. Taking into consideration the amount of money that is involved in every aspect of the FIFA World Cup ($14 billion cost to Brazilian Government, ~$500 million is the prize money pot), it is no wonder that the French coach is upset about the drone with camera flying over his team.

Using drones for military reconnaissance is long known fact, and it is almost a standard on any given battlefield. In Brazil, however, we saw for the first time a drone being used to acquire intel on a football battlefield. Dronologista thinks that Pandora’s box of drone enabled sport espionage is officially open, and we can expect more events like this to happen.

Interesting article about the case you can find on Motherboard and Yahoo! sport.

Image and video courtesy of 101 Great Goals and ESPN.

AirDog – The Drone You Can Not Get Rid Off

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!

How cool would it be to record all perfect moments while performing outdoor activities? Furthermore, to put them all in a compilation and share them widely, easily and instantly? How demanding that UAV system might be?

The answer comes with a funny name – AirDog drone. It provides such an exclusive and dedicated service to its owner. Technical details of the AirDog are scarce, but what is known is that the drone will feature a stabilized mount for a GoPro camera and will track the film-subject via bracelet, 3d printed by the Baltic 3D.

AirDog control bracelet printed by Baltic 3D

AirDog control bracelet printed by Baltic 3D

The concept, however, is not completely new: One of the first videos of auto-follow drone that appeared on the Youtube, was uploaded almost exactly one year ago. In it you can see the engineer behind the project explaining how he turned a Parrot AR drone 2.o, into a pet that will lock on person’s face and follow it like a good puppy.

It is going to be interesting to see how the manufacturer is going to prevent drone from colliding with other static and movable objects around the individual with the wristband (think of downhill bike ride through the woods). Moreover, it will be challenging to see how the drone is going to act on the unfavorable atmospheric conditions, which it might get exposed to, while closely following the subject.

If AirDog is not a prank like the Gofor was, we can soon expect a storm of AirDog made extreme sports videos all over the net.

What is really exciting about this concept that was finally made available, are other possibilities: imagine an NFL game where a couple of players would have similar tracking devices in their helmets, and the director can choose which one of them the AirDog should follow. What a touchdown video that would be… And if you think outside of the sports, what if a reporter in a warzone could have such gadget, and record him/herself dodging bullets on the frontline?

Be that as it may, AirDog will probably be the bestseller that will offer a very unique perspective of unfolding events, and dronologista will keep track of the project.

Pictures and videos courtesy of AirDog and Popular Science.

Drone Startups part 8: Easy Drone

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!

If you would like to make a good aerial photos and videos, you should have at least some knowledge of all the nuts and bolts of the gear you want to use. You must be able to set up your equipment, or in extreme cases you need to build, modify and calibrate the UAV you want to use, almost from scratch.

There are people, believe it or not, that are not that technically inclined, and they just want to take the flying machine, attach a camera to it, and fly it while making some breathtaking shots. They cannot choose a lot. One of the bestsellers that caters for that group is the DJI with the Phantom series of quadcopters. However, beside all the good sides, Phantom is not quite modular, and not that easy to transport.

That is where Easy Drone steps in. It is a flight ready, plug-and-play, out-of-the-box solution, for taking high quality aerial shots.

Easy Drone with Turnigy 9x RC

Easy Drone with Turnigy 9x RC

A modular frame, designed for the ease of transport and assembly, consists of detachable carbon rods with integrated motors and contacts, and can be assembled in mere minutes, without any tool. The Fly Bot command unit is then plugged in, and you are ready to go.

 

Frame assembling steps

Frame assembling steps

Plug the bot

Plug the bot

Impressive video of how small the transport box is and the ease with which the Easy Drone is assembled, you can see below.

The frame can carry up to 1,5 kg of load, which can include Sony NEX, Panasonic GH or Black Magic Pocket Camera with standard Sony lens. The command unit, Fly Bot is programmed to handle any combination of motors and blades, and will auto configure best settings without manual tuning.

Some of the key features of the Easy Drone are:

  1. Unique, light-weight frame – it is a proprietary design, that makes transportation and assembly breeze, while providing incredible strength
  2. One command unit – the Fly Bot, plug-and-play solution
  3. Fly Bot use on multiple frames – whether you prefer larger props and slower motors or other way around, just load the settings, and it will be optimized to a new frame
  4. Auto tuning – Easy Drone determines its own optimal settings
  5. Telemetry module built-in – connect to your computer or tablet to wirelessly change settings or choose a new flight path
  6. Video stream comes as a standard feature
  7. Flight data on the video screen – Altitude, speed, battery life and other data available on the preview video

 

Easy Drone mission planner

Easy Drone mission planner

Flight times are depending on the combination features and equipment turned on, but some average times are:

  • all features on (camera power, gimbal power, video link on) – approx. 12 minutes
  • gimbal on – approx. 14 minutes
  • no additional equipment – 16 minutes

Easy Drone is featured on Kickstarter. After only a couple of days the project has gathered 75% of the funds, and backers can grab their Easy Drone for $900 already. The success is no wonder, since it is an advanced modular multicopter (with built-in features such as automatic landing – check the video below), designed  for videographers that need quick, easy and affordable aerial shots. For more info on Easy Drone check their Easy Aerial webpage.

Launch date will be towards the end of the year. Parts are 95% finished, which means that assembly and shipping will start as soon as project is funded.

Dronologista considers Easy Drone one of the benchmark projects that can influence the design of multicopter UAV in the future, and will keep a close eye on new developments of Easy Drone.

Easy Drone – well done!

FAA to Consider Exemptions for Commercial UAS Movie and TV Production

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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!

On 2nd of June, FAA issued a press release considering a petition submitted by the Motion Picture Association of America. Seven aerial photo and video production companies, the MPAA, are asking the agency to grant exemptions from regulations that address general flight rules, pilot certificate requirements, manuals, maintenance and equipment mandates. They are also asking for relief from airworthiness certification requirements as allowed under Section 333. Under that section of the law, certain airworthiness requirements can be waived to let specific UAS fly safely in narrowly defined, controlled, low-risk situations.

In order to have the exemption granted, the companies must prove that their plan would benefit the public good, and that it would not create unsafe conditions. If the FAA approves those exemptions, it will still need to approve individual operations.

The fun part of the story is that rules for which MPAA asks to be exempted actually don’t exist yet.

Anyhow, if the FAA approves the exemption, it will be a step in the right direction.

Full press release is available on FAA web page.

Interesting articles about this petition you can find in The Verge and in The Guardian.

 

 

Drone Startups 7: Flexbot

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!

Flexbot is the smallest UAV featured here so far. It is a tiny, crowdfounded, open-source nanocopter, which can be controlled by a smartphone. A successful Kickstarter project has more than $500K pledged, and a small army of followers and users worldwide.

FlexbotBut it was not always peachy keen for Flexbot. When it was founded it was called Hex, and the whole fundraising campaign was run under that name with large Hex logo included. However, at the end of 2013. backers were informed that due to copyright conflict, the name of the quadrotor has to be changed. It had a snowball effect on production, and the pre-Christmas launch was delayed until February this year. But that story is a history now, and Flexbot is shipping their product on a massive scale.

With the price of only $49 for the basic product, Flexbot is inexpensive and fun to fly. It is world’s first consumer electronic product that uses 3D printing technology to achieve personalization. Users can select one of several shell designs for their copter, or they can send their design and Flexbot will print it out for them.

Flexbot at the beechTiny drone comes with a cool app for a smartphone that is open-source and hackable. One of their more expensive  products, costing whooping $159, comes with a small 720p webcam that sends real-time video to users mobile device.

Flexbot App Screenshot

Assembly of the drone takes less than five minutes, and requires no soldering, which is kind of cool if you don’t have a soldering gun at your disposal. How easy it is to assemble this nifty little drone, you can see in this video:

Flexbot is a perfect device for everyone interested in flying drones, but not interested in tinkering with the frame, motors and other pieces of hardware. But if you do want to do that, you can create your customized, personalized, pimped out copter, you can hack the app and get the drone you always wanted.

Pictures and video courtesy of Flexbot.

Air-Vid: The Worldwide Directory of Drone and UAV Pilots

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!

Aerial pilot directory Air-Vid is announcing the milestone of their 500th drone pilot to join its community, now encompassing UAV pilots from over 44 countries.

Air-Vid_logo_400_aniGIF3B

Air-Vid is a web-based community of remote aerial pilots, built with both pilots and anyone looking to hire an aerial photographer in mind. UAV pilots can upload their contact information, location, photos and demo reels, while anyone who needs aerial video, stills or surveys can easily search the directory to connect with a pilot whose UAV flying capabilities meet their needs. The site benefits both parties, helping pilots and customers to connect their businesses.

“It’s an easy process to find a videographer,” said Air-Vid Chief Marketing Officer George Gooderham. “It’s like a matchmaker service.”

No transactions are done on the site; pilots manage the transactions with their customers after getting connected through Air-Vid.

Pilots in the Air-Vid community range from hobbyists to professionals who have worked on Hollywood films — among them are Drone Dudes, whose clients include Nike and GoPro. Customers can search pilots based on the skill level they’re looking for, whether they’re looking for someone to fly over an event, rescue mission, news story or even a wedding. “Air-Vid is a one stop shop to find and compare companies from all over the world,” said Eric Maloney, Head of Production at Drone Dudes. “It will allow clients to quickly decipher who the real talented high-end guys are and who is just getting started.”

Air-Vid pilots are capable of doing flights including: search and rescue, cinematography, mapping, roof inspections 3D Imaging and asset management.

The site, unlike any other drone community in existence, was founded by Patrick Egan, George Gooderham and David French, all self-described “serial entrepreneurs wearing 400 hats.”

Gooderham, an accomplished aerial photographer, had the idea to crowd-source a UAV pilot when his daughter went on a school trip to Italy.

“Wouldn’t it be cool if I could watch their outdoor concert in Rome from my home in Toronto?” he said.

Meanwhile Egan, a licensed pilot, who separately works for a major commercial real estate firm, wanted a way to show off multi-million dollar parcels of land in order to differentiate his marketing.

“Typically there’s always a photo with no context looking out over a green field, but there’s no proximity to retail, roads or traffic,” Egan said. “An aerial image would give context to that property.”

Over coffee one day, they realized why isn’t there an easy way to find a UAV pilot online?

Air-Vid does just that.

“Finding a pilot in the Turks was really easy,” said Sarah Matthews. Matthews Consulting, a project manager for a major resort development on the Turks and Caicos Islands. “I reviewed his previous work from my office and arranged to have him meet me at the property 2,500 km away. I needed a flyover of the property and wanted some stills for my portfolio.”

Since its inception, pilots have participated in aerial cinematography opportunities including: a lifestyle clothing brand shoot, monitoring ice flows in a river for a township and aerial video for resort marketing. Air-Vid looks to find pilots that use innovative ways to use aerial photography to solve problems.

“These technologies have taken root,” co-founder David French said. “They are powerful tools with limitless consumer and commercial applications, and this industry is poised for growth.”