Just when you think you’ve seen all there is to see in the world of drones, some crazy Scandinavians come along and start tearing up snowmen with their very own ‘Killer Drone’. We’ve seen plenty of things attached to drones over the years, but the chainsaw fixed onto this DJI S1000+, an octocopter designed to carry heavy DSLR cameras, is definitely a first. Watch the full video below.
This all took place in snowy Niinikoski, on a farm in southern Finland. Both the drone and the video are the work of team NoodleTail, a group of friends into making movies and working with UAVs. Speaking with DroneLife, Miika Ullakko, a member of the film crew, told me about the challenges of building a deadly drone, and the motivation behind it.
“There were, obviously, some huge difficulties”, he said. “The system wasn’t as straight forward as you might assume from the video. The drone was on the limit of its weight carrying capacity, and couldn’t fly longer than approximately 5 minutes with one battery. It was also super unstable – something the pilot reminded us of every couple minutes – because the saw creates huge momentum, not only because of its weight, but also because of its length.”
And what about the reaction that the team expects to its newest film? Miika told me, “We struggled about whether we should publish this video, since it may shock people and make restrictions more and more strict all around the world. Our team flies drones for living, but it’s a fact that the bigger ones are dangerous, with or without a chainsaw. Obviously, the main question is where you fly them.”
So what about the reason behind the movie; is there a point being made here? Miika and the team rely on using drones for filming purposes, but he remains sceptical of the hype surrounding the industry. “Drones are cool. They are so great at what they are designed to do. But somehow the hype has gone too far about what people think you do with them. The reason for this video was to make a parody about how the media has shown news, for example, about delivering mail with drones. In my opinion that idea is a total joke! You could write a book about why it is so bad.”
Regardless of the message behind the video, I think we all want to have a go – it looks like a lot of fun. As well as causing chaos among a field of happy snowmen, the drone also has a go at cutting down some branches and slicing through icicles. It’s all going pretty well, until the menacing octocopter attacks a balloon. The resulting rubber and string gets caught up in one of the rotors and, unable to continue bearing the weight of a chainsaw, the drone plummets to the ground. A satisfying end to any true slasher movie you might say.
So was that fatal crash the end of Killer Drone? “Happily there was lots of soft snow, and only a couple of parts broke. The main problem was that the moisture got everywhere and for a while it seemed like the drone would never fly again. But it did”, said Miika.
Although this is obviously just some guys having some fun and making a point with the latest in drone technology, it’s not ridiculous to assume that the logging industry will eventually look to drones to chop down trees in a similar manner. Let’s just hope that there are no snowmen, or people, around when it happens.