Drones!

Wave_copyright-Mark-A-Johnson

So my buddy Andy Aronson over at honored competitor Texas Instruments mentioned he has a photographer buddy in Australia (check out his pic above) that just bought a new HD camera drone. No footage from it yet, the fellow is still sussing it out.

Phantom-2-Vision_drone

Andy also sent me a link to a video honoring my dear departed mentor Bob Pease. It must be drone season since that video had an advertisement for yet another HD camera drone, but one not yet in production. They had a video of the commercial as well.


I sent the link to a bunch of friends, noting that Arthur Clarke said “A sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” but magic only sells when narcissists can use it for selfies. I also wondered if you had to have the fighter-pilot vision and reflexes of my buddy Bob Dible, who is an RC model racer champion in order to fly them. I guess so. My crack protege Francis Lau wrote back, noting:

My buddy got one and was showing if off to a few friends. He launched it and flew it straight up about 30 meters. It then promptly lost the GPS lock and started tilting forward towards the river. Controls were lost too and it was on its own in a trajectory towards the river. It wasn’t smart enough to just stay still if it lost connection. Alas, it was a short 30 seconds in the air before it hit the side pier wall of a house next to the river. It fell in and the quadcopter was lost forever. At least the thing was a freebie for my friend.

This was the model:

http://www.gizmag.com/dji-phantom-quadcopter/25672/

I’ve heard other stories of similar nature where the control isn’t very good and needs some work. Thousands lost and the promise of having an easy to fly drone not met.

Well the drone website says it will “…land automatically,” and I guess it did. So yeah, before you drop acid and take your new drone to the beach, you might want to work on your RC skills a bit, and make sure you know the limitations of the craft you just spend a few thousand bucks on. Otherwise what starts out like a Pepsi commercial might end up like a Greek tragedy.

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