Italian police starts a drone surveillance program in Turin for security and law enforcement purposes

Italian Police have started a program to use multirotors for surveillance and law enforcement purposes in the city of Turin.

The drones – quadcopters in the available videos – are provided by the Italian/Swiss company Aerial View.

Aerial View Logo
Aerial View Logo

Click on the image below for the full story and the video on the Euronews website:

The quadcopter used in Turin, Italy, for law enforcement and surveillance purposes
The quadcopter used in Turin, Italy, for law enforcement and surveillance purposes

Here’s a statement from Omar Morando, Aerial View pilot:

“All the drones have a transmitter that sends in real time the video signal from the camera to a ground station, where there is a HD monitor that can visualise what the camera is recording. Besides you can see the same pictures with special glasses which have inside a micro-monitor. When you wear these glasses, you have the same sensation as you would watch a 42-inch monitor”

Source: Euronews

Related posts


Lens protector now available for wide angle Mobius camera, to be used for FPV

As it happens, care to details and sometimes the use of some dedicated, although simple and inexpensive devices can go a long way in protecting your expensive equipment. One piece of delicate equipment used in RC models, and in particular for FPV, are indeed video cameras, with their exposed lens.

We have been discussing the setup of the Mobius camera for FPV in a previous post. Since then, a nice new model with wide angle lens came out:


Mobius camera, wide angle version
Mobius camera, wide angle version

This is even better than the original version as for FPV it is great to have an as wide field of view as possible.

The wide angle lens is however somewhat bulky and protrudes prominently from the camera body. In the event of a collision, the lens will make for a great shock absorber for your multirotor, especially if the camera if mounted on the front of the aircraft, as it usually happens.  But of course you see the point here: chances of damaging the precious optical element are significant.

There comes to the rescue a great, lightweight, little custom piece of equipment designed by Bo Lorenzen (check out his Blog at as a shock absorber / lens saver to protect the lens of the wide angle Mobius camera.

I tried it and it is a perfect fit. Once in place the piece will grip strongly to the camera. A little pressure on the two little “wings” will release grip and allow a smooth removal.

Wide angle mobius camera with lens protector from FPVGuy
Wide angle mobius camera with lens protector from FPVGuy – Top view
Wide angle Mobius camera with lens protector from FPVGuy
Wide angle Mobius camera with lens protector from FPVGuy – Front view

The mobius wide angle lens protector is described here and can be ordered from Shapeways. It is made with a 3D printer from the original Bo Lorenzen design.

FPVGuy Mobius lens protector - Source
FPVGuy Mobius lens protector – Source

At 7$ + shipping this little accessory simply cannot be missed if you use a wide angle Mobius camera for FPV.

Safeflight Chopter’s SFC4410-1 Quad H Airframe unboxing

Received a couple of days ago the SFC4410-1 Quad H Airframe from Safeflight Chopters. It is a quadcopter frame designed mostly with security in mind. Here’s a picture of the mounted Safeflight quadcopter from the website:

SFC4410 Safelight Quadcopter
SFC4410 Safelight Quadcopter

and some action:

I had noted this frame a while ago, made a post on it, and placed an order. Since I live in a heavily populated area, the idea to be able to fly a quad in a city park, without worries about the propellers cutting something they should not, is very attractive and worth a test.

In this model the propellers are entirely caged in a plastic structure, with a strong nylon net above and below each propeller.

After flying the mini h quad for a while, the structure looks quite big, it can be virtually fitted in a square with approximately 67 cm edges. Each of the 4 plastic circles has a 26,5 cm internal diameter and 33 cm external diameter.

Safeflight SFC4410-1 Quad H Airframe
Safeflight SFC4410-1 Quad H Airframe

The frame feels extremely lightweight. It is made of molded light plastic, similar to the one that you can often find inside consumer items boxes, to shape the inside of the box so as to fit the various components of the product. This plastic is however strategically reinforced in key places, like the motor mount for instance

Close up of the motor mount
Close up of the motor mount

and the upper and lower frame components that are reinforced with carbon bars.

One of the components is reinforced internally with bars
The lower and upper “plates” are reinforced internally with carbon bars

Very lightweight overall. How will it hold crashes? We might well check this out soon 🙂

The purpose of this post is to share some very first shots of components during the unboxing. Build details and more photos will be posted while construction advances.

Secom’s surveillance drone – An advanced flying security camera

As reported in this Nikkeibp story, Japanese firm Secom has released an innovative security camera, able to get close to the target and shoot pictures and videos to be used for information and evidence in security investigations. It is actually a medium sized  (80cm diameter) quadcopter with an unusual shape that offers way more flexibility and maneuverability than a fixed camera, even with PTZ control.  This one will track the target anywhere even in a huge area.

Images souce: Nikkeibp

Surveillance quadcopter by Secom japanese security firm
Surveillance quadcopter by Secom japanese security firm
Secom surveillance drone, rear side
Secom surveillance drone, rear side

When a non authorized person or vehicle enters the secured area, the quadcopter will get close and gather evidence about the intrusion by taking pictures and video. The drone can take pictures of a car license plate for example.

A licence plate picture taken by Secom's security quadcopter
A licence plate picture taken by Secom’s security quadcopter
Secom's quadcopter is equipped with a camera and two leds, and can determine the color of a vehicle even et night
Secom’s quadcopter is equipped with a camera and two leds, and can determine the color of a vehicle even et night

Another great nine minutes of FPV on Ko Samui by Arendatorovnet with the TBS Discovery quadcopter

Here we go with another exciting nine minutes video by Arendatorovnet. The quad appears to be a TBS discovery pro with apparently  standard DJI equipment (ESC, motors, arms).

A video transmitter with a linearly polarized antenna is visible on the front of the quad, whose brand and frequency remains to be identified/disclosed. A we have already discussed here, the tech specifications of the video equipment are a puzzle as the pilot appears to be flying long distances and down roads under loads of electrical cables without loss of the video link.

The video promotes the link for aerial video service. The link actually points to the Arendatorovnet youtube channel, click to check out.

Related posts

Police search for flown away Phantom quadcopter

According to this report from, on your next Phantom fly away you could have a full police department to the rescue. Just ask.

A Greenland resident alerted police that he suddenly lost control of his DJI Phantom quadcopter. The personal drone flew away carrying, you had guesses it, a GoPro camera attached. Should the quadcopter be recovered it would be nice to see the full flyaway video recorded by the Phantom, finally free from the chains of the owner’s radio commands.

The DJI Phantom quadcopter. This great model have reports of an occasional  "fly away" behavior that can lead to crashes, and possibly loosing the aircraft.
The DJI Phantom quadcopter. This great model have reports of an occasional “fly away” behavior that can lead to crashes, and possibly loosing the aircraft.

The police asked residents to be on the lookout of the flown away quad. Flying the quad was not done illegally, so possibly it could be returned to the owner after rescue. Indeed Police Chief Tara Laurent said Thursday that  “He can’t locate it, so we’re trying to help him get it back”.

Are personal drones a concern for privacy? Do people actually use multirotors to spy on neighbors?

Local 6 found a drone that was hovering over central Florida and then crashed on the ground. It appears to be a DJI F330 quadcopter with a NAZA flight controller with GPS.

The quadcopter had a camera GoPro attached to it apparently with generous footage inside. This provided clues on the flight activities of the quadcopter and, as it happens, on the actual owner of the quad.

The video below reports this interesting story by Local 6 and some examples of the footage recorded from the quadcopter.


Self portrait of the pilot, from the footage in the GoPro from the DJI F330 quadcopter that crashed in florida
Self portrait of the pilot, from the footage in the GoPro from the DJI F330 quadcopter that crashed in florida

The video features an interview with the pilot, who comes out as a nice guy passionated with multirotors. In short, one of us. He explains that his only purpose was to take some nice footage to upload on youtube. Local 6 in my opinion is “pumping” an otherwise ordinary quadcopter crash to make a story out of it and point a big accusative finger on personal drones, as if they were mainly used for voyeuristic purposes, which indeed is not the case.

Using a quadcopter with such purposes, by the way, is not that easy. They are quite noisy by nature, not so discreet, and the carried cameras are in most cases wide angle cameras not really good for taking footage with voyeuristic interest. Not that this could not be done in principle, by selecting particular gear for the video footage, but it is technically far more complicated than it might seem to an inexperienced average person expressing his opinions on the matter. Hopefuly reports like the Local 6 above will not lead to issuing over-restrictive legislation on our nice hobby whose main purpose is to have fun and take some special video from an original perspective.

Check out the original article at clickorlando

Birds successfully attack and take down DJI Phantom quadcopter – Animals and multirotors, the saga continues

After the reports on swarm of bees attacking a quadcopter and the controversial relationships between dogs and quadcopters/multirotors, we now have a clear case of a group of birds partnering to attack and take down a DJI Phantom quadcopter.

This is documented in the video below, by youtube user Buddhanz1, that indeed ends with the crash of the Phantom after a strong hit by a bird from above:

This video contributes to increase our knowledge about the possible animal species – quadcopter/multirotors interactions and relationships. These interactions should be probably taken into consideration on planning drone delivery services such as Amazon Prime Air or the recently announced DHL quadcopter delivery services for urgent goods and medicines. Should researchers who are developing these aerial delivery services consider adding some devices to deter various animal species, including at least dogs and birds, from attacking or approaching the flying machine, in order to provide a secure and undisturbed delivery of the ordered goods? This might well be an important evolutionary step that the present generation of multirotors will have to face in order to be safe from animal attacks.

As a very basic first step, what about some camouflage like the following (just a joke here)?  Might make birds more friendly (hey, it’s one of us..) or more aggressive (hey, a big bird we are not familiar with..). Testing and research required 🙂

Quadcopter bird - Source
Quadcopter bird – Source: snapshot from this video from Shadowstudiosllc

Here’s another interesting example of bird attack on a quadcopter. In this case it looks like the bird had excellent motivations, as the quad was really flying very close and over the bird’s nest. The attack of the bird in this case is just an example of excellent parental care and protection of the brood.

The pilot and maker of the video above recognizes that he was disturbing the birds and states he won’t do this again, which looks like a great idea. Still interesting to see how birds likely perceive multirotors as other, possibly dangerous, big birds, and feel in competition for the control of their aerial space.

Swarm of bees attacks quadcopter – Animals and multirotors, a complex relationship

We have been discussing in a recent post the “controversial” relationship between dogs and quadcopters.

I came across a special video that documents the interaction of quadcopters with another species, the honeybee:

Honey Bee - Source
Honey Bee – Source

In the following video a big swarm of bees repeatedly attacks a quadcopter during a flight. What triggered the reaction? Possibly the quadcopter casually encountered the swarm and the blades caused some casualties that were not appreciated by the bees. The bees attack the quad twice. After a moment in which they seem to be gone, back they are with full force.

As user MsMzphit commented on youtube, this is un-bee-lievable!

With the exponential diffusion of quadcopters and other personal drones, we’ll probably witness more quadcopter-animal interactions in the future. We’ll keep an eye on those as they are also part of the game.

DHL plans to launch drone/quadcopter based delivery service

After the news about books and pizza drone delivery services, and the recent announcement of the launch of “Amazon Prime Air”, now also the German express courier delivery service DHL wants to enter the game of quadcopter deliveries.

DHL quadcopter for the new drone delivery service - source
DHL quadcopter for the new drone delivery service – source

For the test drive, or maiden flight, the selection of what to carry and deliver was highly significant and probably want to send a message: a packet with a medicine was delivered from a Bonn pharmacy to the DHL headquarters, a two minutes journey.

This screenshot from the DHL web site indeed is indicative of an attention of DHL to the logistics of deliveries for Life Sciences and Health Care:

DHL dedication to Life Sciences and Healthcare
DHL dedication to Life Sciences and Healthcare

The quadcopter weights about 3Kg and was called the  “Paketkopter”.

The DHL "Packetcopter" quadcopter for urgent deliveries - Source
The DHL “Paketcopter” quadcopter for urgent deliveries – Source

The test flights required permission from local aviation authorities.

Souces: DailymailMyfoxny

Check out this video by a DHL fan who built a supposedly unofficial DHL helicopter before the official quadcopter was released :

So in one way or another, we’ll probably see DHL in the air soon.

DHL unofficial helicopter - Source: screenshot from the video above
Unofficial DHL helicopter – Source: screenshot from the video above