This week was pretty busy, both here at Dronelife and around the UAS community. In the wake last week’s announcement from the FAA that granted six aerial imaging companies permission to fly their drones on movie sets, there was a lot of discussion this week about the rate of UAS integration into the national airspace.
At the same time, there were plenty of other drone related headlines this week. Such as…
– On Monday, California governor Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that would have severely limited law enforcement agencies’ use unmanned aerial drones for surveillance. Brown said in a statement that the bill appeared too narrow and could go beyond state and federal constitutional prohibitions.
– On Tuesday, a New Jersey man was arrested for shooting down a drone that was flying over a construction site next to the man’s house. The pilot of the drone had been shooting video for a friend, the owner of the lot under construction.
Following this summer’s incident wherein a woman attacked a drone pilot (and was subsequently arrested) in Connecticut, it seems like it’s good policy not to interfere with someone flying a drone unless you have incontrovertible evidence for doing so- otherwise, you will be the one going to jail.
– On Wednesday, several companies leading the charge in drone development announced the creation of the Small UAV Coalition to “help pave the way for commercial, philanthropic, and civil use of small unmanned aerial vehicles in the United States and abroad.” Founding members include 3D Robotics, DJI, Parrot, Aerialtronics, Airware, Amazon, Google[X] and GoPro.
– On Thursday, a drone was launched in the search for missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham.
– Two new “Follow-Me” drones burst onto the scene this week: Nixie, the ‘wearable selfie drone’ is a finalist in Intel’s Make is Wearable competition and the PlexiDrone launched on IndieGoGo to make swarm-able selfies a reality. (The “Follow-Me” feature is the concept of having a drone follow you and take pictures and video, autonomously, as you move around. To learn more about all the companies working on this technology check out Are Selfie Drones the Next Big Thing?)
– DJI’s Eric Cheng posted on his blog this week about using his drone to shoot video of the Bardarbunga volcano in Iceland. The footage is awesome and you should definitely watch it right now. Cheng got his Phantom so close to the lava it melted his GoPro.
Seriously. Watch this right now.
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com