RTF Drones

Ready To Fly Drones UAVs

Monthly Archives: March 2013

University of Missouri providing classes in drone journalism

The University of Missouri's efforts to encourage its journalism students to use drones for reporting assignments are indeed pioneering. Drone journalism could represent the next big leap in the media industry, enhancing the ability to gather and disseminate news in an unprecedented fashion. By their very nature, remote-controlled drones exponentially increase our reach and ability to see things. Deploying them to cover, let's say, forest fires or other natural calamities would not only provide comprehensive footage for publication but also keep reporters out of harm's way. It also represents the increasing domestication of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that were hitherto synonymous with deadly military applications in theatres of war. Greater commercial use of drones would qualitatively change our lives the same way mobile phones have revolutionised the communication industry. Given advances in technology, it is not hard to imagine a not-so-distant future where drones find applications across a variety of fields. UAVs are fast becoming favourite playthings of policing agencies, providing law enforcement officers, park rangers and customs officials with eyes in the sky. Drones could also help farmers study agriculture fields and weather patterns. A US-based company's plans of establishing a network of drones to deliver emergency packages could revolutionise the postal delivery industry. True, drones could also be used for mischievous ends. Spy camera-fitted UAVs could pose a challenge to privacy. Security is another issue. But that should not impel us to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Whether it is nanotechnology, nuclear power plants or personal automobiles, every technology ever invented has a negative side to it. It would impede human progress to only focus on the downside. Similarly, drone technology holds out tremendous potential for transforming our lives. With the right regulatory framework, drones can make our personal and professional spheres more efficient. We must not let technophobes deter us. Read more...

Drone will range freely over farms to keep tabs on animal welfare

Animal Liberation's Mark Pearson with the drone. Photo: Ryan Osland An animal welfare group is about to become the first in Australia to deploy surveillance drones to hunt for evidence of animal abuse on private property. The group Animal Liberation will operate a drone, equipped with a powerful camera, above free-range egg farms, sheep farms and cattle yards, to gather evidence of abuse. There appears to be little farmers can do to stop coming under drone surveillance - flying drones above tree height is legal. ''Our legal advice is that if you're no nearer than 10 metres above ground, and you're not filming in anyone's houses, you can go ahead,'' said Animal Liberation NSW executive director Mark Pearson. Advertisement ''For example, if an egg producer says that they are free-range, it would be helpful to check their claims by filming from above the property. You can gather the evidence, and there's no need to trespass. Or, let's say we find a sheep dying from fly strike, we can record the location on a GPS and notify the authorities.'' The group bought its six-bladed, helicopter-type drone for $14,000 from a commercial supplier, using public donations, and its members have completed a training program. It will start using the drone next week, with several farms and businesses already earmarked for surveillance. Farmers were dubious about being watched by drones. ''Many people in rural communities would see this as another attack on their peace of mind and an invasion of their privacy,'' said the president of the NSW Farmers Association, Fiona Simson. She said farmers recognised that safe food meant healthy and happy animals. ''NSW Farmers does not condone any acts of animal cruelty and farmers are committed to high animal welfare standards,'' Ms Simson said. Mr Pearson said the drone would not just be used to gather evidence of illegal cruelty, but would also film some routine, legal farm practices that might upset non-farmers. ''We're not interested in what farmers may be doing in their daily activities, and I completely respect people's privacy,'' he said. ''But there are lots of cases where farming activities cause horrible distress to animals, mulesing being a common example. People are entitled to know and see what's going on. ''So, even if it is lawful, if we think the public is going to be outraged or if we think they need to be informed, we will show it.'' Earlier this month, Animal Liberation exposed horrific acts of cruelty at an Inghams turkey abattoir, near Sydney, after anonymously produced footage handed to the group showed turkeys being bashed and trodden on. The Australian Privacy Commissioner, Timothy Pilgrim, has said ''the potentially intrusive nature of the technology'' meant there should be a public debate about regulations covering drone use. Environmental groups overseas are also starting to use drones, and the anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd was rebuked by the Australian Antarctic Division last year for flying drones in a region covered by the Antarctic Treaty without having done an environmental impact assessment. Last month in the US, an animal rights group used a drone to monitor pigeon shooting in South Carolina. The hunters retaliated by opening fire and shooting down the drone. Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/national/drone-will-range-freely-over-farms-to-keep-tabs-on-animal-welfare-20130330-2h0a4.html#ixzz2P83YMjvy

Domestic drones and their unique dangers

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/mar/29/domestic-drones-unique-dangers The use of drones by domestic US law enforcement agencies is growing rapidly, both in terms of numbers and types of usage. As a result, civil liberties and privacy groups led by the ACLU - while accepting that domestic drones are inevitable - have been devoting increasing efforts to publicizing their unique dangers and agitating for statutory limits. These efforts are being impeded by those who mock the idea that domestic drones pose unique dangers (often the same people who mock concern over their usage on foreign soil). This dismissive posture is grounded not only in soft authoritarianism (a religious-type faith in the Goodness of US political leaders and state power generally) but also ignorance over current drone capabilities, the ways drones are now being developed and marketed for domestic use, and the activities of the increasingly powerful domestic drone lobby. So it's quite worthwhile to lay out the key under-discussed facts shaping this issue. I'm going to focus here most on domestic surveillance drones, but I want to say a few words about weaponized drones. The belief that weaponized drones won't be used on US soil is patently irrational. Of course they will be. It's not just likely but inevitable. Police departments are already speaking openly about how their drones "could be equipped to carry nonlethal weapons such as Tasers or a bean-bag gun." The drone industry has already developed and is now aggressively marketing precisely such weaponized drones for domestic law enforcement use. It likely won't be in the form that has received the most media attention: the type of large Predator or Reaper drones that shoot Hellfire missiles which destroy homes and cars in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan and multiple other countries aimed at Muslims (although US law enforcement agencies already possess Predator drones and have used them over US soil for surveillance). Read more...

DJI Phantom how to help guide

Congratulations you've got your first multirotor aircraft and its the DJI Phantom quadcopter. First off we must say that you have the correct path to enlightenment and a big thank you if you bought the phantom from us. The DJI phantom is a great little quadcopter and I wish it was around when I first started flying. The great people at DJI have made some online videos to help you on your way to a better flying experience. #1 DJI Phantom Unboxing & Assembly #2 DJI Phantom Pre-Flight Checklist #3 DJI Phantom First Flight #4 DJI Phantom Flight Modes #5 DJI Phantom Intro to IOC ( intelligent orientation control ) #6 DJI Phantom Naza Assistant Download and Installation #7 Naza Assistant Enabling IOC and Manual Mode #8 DJI Phantom Maintenance Calibrating the IMU (  inertial measurement unit ) #10 Resetting the Compass of the DJI Phantom ( when Calibration fails )    

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