The news per se is sad but not particularly spectacular, consisting of a report of a huge blaze in an heritage village in southern Norway, known for it’s unique wooden buildings.
The interesting bit for us was a relevant presence, in the story, of drones. Specifically multirotors possibly equipped with video cameras, deployed by journalists to follow and document the event and the firefighters operations. Imagine the scene, can you visualize them, the big multirotors flying and filming over the disaster area?
According to a story published on UT San Diego, authorities in Tijuana, Mexico, are planning to buy several drones/multirotors from 3D Robotics to “monitor traffic, evaluate accident scenes, detect landslides and control wildfires”.
“The main idea is that they help with surveillance of the city,” Major Jorge Astiazarán said in an interview. “This won’t just be used for public safety, but to see how the city is growing, discover clandestine dumps … monitor any land movement in a remote area that has gone undetected.”
A recent episode is raising concerns about the issue of personal drones and the protection of privacy.
As reported in this article from the Washington Times, while some protestors were manifesting outside her house, US Senator Dianne Feinstein spotted a drone, right outside her window, staring a her. We see how this must have been a terrifying experience.
“I went to the window to peek out and see who was there, and there was a drone right there at the window, looking out at me” the senator said.
For a specialized blog such as Personal Drones, it is of interest to ascertain which kind of drone was used to spy on Senator Feinstein’s privacy.
Was it a predator drone?
Or maybe an octocopter equipped with a big camera?
GoPro cameras are widely used in sports and are possibly the more popular action cameras on the market.
They are also possibly the cameras of choice to mount on a multirotor to shoot aerial video. A wide range of accessories, namely gimbals and video-out cables are available to mount and use a GoPro on a quadcopter or multirotor.
The typical, very wide field of view of the GoPro also makes these cameras useful to pilot in FPV, although many suggest to instead use a second, simpler board camera for the flying itself, because possibly more things can potentially go wrong with the GoPro with respect to a simple camera with less functions. However the GoPro often remains the camera of choice to take the footage for video production.
The GoPro wide angle lens gives GoPro images a distinct fish eye touch that is very easy to spot, as in the image below.
The research group of the Institute for Dynamics Systems and Control, led by Raffaello D’Andrea at the ETH of Zurich, in collaboration with a team of architects led by Fabio Gramazio and Matthias Kohler, presented an installation in which a swarm of quadcopters autonomously pick up sequentially 1500 foam bricks (500 gr each) and position them at the right place to build a 6-meter tall tower with a sophisticated shape.