Here’s a great article citing drones doing good, from Gizmag. The article talks about how drones can reduce the cost of forest conservation. I love seeing articles like this to help counterbalance the complete paranoia there is regarding drones.
I especially liked the part where they say that a $1500 drone could be used to replace LiDAR (short for light detection and ranging) flights, which can cost $20,000 PER FLIGHT!
A couple of nights ago my doorbell rang. It was after dark and I wasn’t expecting anyone. Before I could get five feet closer to the door the doorbell rang again. Someone was in a rush. When I opened the door it was two neighborhood kids, one about 8 years old and the other perhaps 6. He had one of those tiny mini-quads which, as you can see below, had some battery connectivity issues.
“Can you fix it mister?” the kid asked… I told him I could probably fix it, but it would take me a couple of days because I was busy. So he left his quad and went home.
After dinner I decided to to my best Scotty from Star Trek and fix the thing in a fraction of 1/1000th of the estimated time. “I can’t fix the warp engines for 2 days, but I can get you warp speed in 2 minutes.”
I looked closely at the circuit board and could see markings for + and – battery connections. I re-stripped the leads, soldered them on, and the bird powered up perfectly. The kid was blown away when I rang his doorbell some 30 minutes after he rang mine. He was thrilled to have his bird up and running again. His parents asked me if I would mind “teaching” him some stuff about drones.
A few times a week if it isn’t too windy I take my lunch break to a local park and fly my 250mm quadcopter racing drone for three batteries worth of flying. The parks are not terribly large but they’re forcing me to learn to fly, or deal with the consequences of crashing. Flying this type of drone is a departure for me, as my other birds are all slow-moving GPS based photo/video rigs. They’re about stability. This copter is about speed and agility.
This past weekend I dragged the wife and kid to a big park which has several soccer fields and two baseball fields side by side. There are some light poles too, which provide for some good obstacles to fly around. I found it to be an absolute blast to fly this speedy copter in a bigger open space. It’s SO fast that it needs a lot of space and I can do some crazy turns around the poles.
Thankfully the wife was able to capture some decent pics of the quadcopter in action. Unlike my bigger GPS birds this one needs 100% attention and I can’t let go of the controls to snap a picture.
This 250 quad is the Arris X-Speed 250 which I will be posting a full review of as soon. It is super fun to fly this compared to the big and slow moving GPS based photo ships I typically fly. This thing needs much more space and boy is it fast.