Tag Archives: dji

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.

Multirotor used to smuggle tobacco inside prison – Drone technology opens new routes for contraband

Staff member from the Calhoun State prison in Georgia spotted a suspicious “helicopter” flying over the prison.

Calhoun State prison
Calhoun State prison

Rather than an helicopter, it looks like something visitors of this site are very familiar with: a DJI F500 hexacopter with a NAZA flight board, controlled by a Spectrum DX radio:

DJI hexacopter used for contraband in an attempt top smuggle tobbacco inside a Georgia prison
DJI hexacopter used for contraband in an attempt top smuggle tobbacco inside a Georgia prison – source

This unusual visit prompted a search on the premises surroundings, and after an hour Deputies noticed a suspicious Dodge car with 4 people onboard, two males and two females, and the multirotor.

“Everybody had several cell phones with different contacts. People try different things but the helicopter was something new. It is a surprise I’ve never seen a helicopter. They were in the woods flying it they had binoculars evidently so they could watch it,” Hilton said.

Multirotor tobacco smugglers - source
Multirotor tobacco smugglers – source

Read the full story at walb.com

This had to happen sooner or later. Quadcopters and multirotors are an obvious easy way to bypass any kind of wall, perimeter, country border et-cetera, and maybe deliver illegal items such as drugs for example.

After all, with multirotor deliveries for books and pizza to start soon, the use of this technology for both law enforcement (12) and all sorts of illegal purposes is just a matter of time.

Gizmag DJI Phantom vision review

Gizmaz has published a nice review of the new DJI Phantom vision quadcopter.

The new DJI Phantom Vision quadcoper
The new Phantom Vision quadcopter from DJI

With it’s on board wide angle, high resolution camera, and the 25 plus minutes of flight time, the Phantom 2 brings a wealth of new features to the lucky owners.

Here are the Phantom Vision camera specs:

Phantom vision camera specs - source
Phantom vision camera specs – source

Click on the image below to go to the DJI Innovations web site.


Let’s see the new features in detail in this Gizmag video:

If you plan to buy one of those you might also want to check out this video from the Roswell Flight Test Crew that covers unboxing and all you need to setup your new little personal drone:

And here’s a solid 28 minutes uncut flight (ok, from DJI) with the new phantom:

DJI releases firmware update 4.02 for NAZA-M V2 flight controllers that fixes the limits feature bug

DJI has recently released firmware version 4.02 for NAZA-M V2 flight control boards.

The NAZA-M V2 Flight controller
The NAZA-M V2 Flight controller by DJI

This release contains a long awaited fix for the well known “limits bug” that resulted in loss of control of the aircraft if it flow beyond limits, as reported in several threads on RC forums, like this one.

In order to upgrade the firmware on your NAZA MC you should first download and install the version 2.20 of the naza assistant software from the NAZA-M V2 DJI downloads page.

On connecting your NAZA multirotor to the new assistant, upgrade to v4.02 of the firmware will be proposed by the software.

Good news for all pilots that were relying on limits for flying their NAZA V2 controlled flying machines.


Terry and Belinda Kilby – Drone photography in Baltimore – Elevated Element

The Baltimore Sun features a terrific interview to drone photographers Terry and Belinda Kilby, who just published a book about drone photography in Baltimore: Drone Art: Baltimore and run the site Elevated Element.

A photo from the book Drone Art: Baltimore by Terry and Belinda Kilby – Source

The interview is very generous and covers nearly all aspects of their activity, from equipment, both drones and cameras, to considerations about the workflow they have established and to the management of security.

They tend to select places and timing to ensure as few people as possible are around. Say sunday at 6AM. If required, they define a clear area for takeoff and landing, and they communicate clearly to bystanders what is going on and where to stay to remain secure.

They apparently are well known drone operators in the area, as they got a phone call from the FBI as someone else was flying a drone outside hotel rooms. They state they would never do that and  take every precaution, such as the ones mentioned above, to ensure everything remains safe for everyone.

They stepped up through a couple of generations of GoPros, to Cannon S90 an then Sony NEX 5N.

They build all their multirotors themselves.

Terry and Belinda Kilby hexacopter equipped for drone photography
Terry and Belinda Kilby hexacopter equipped for drone photography – Source

This was just a little appetizer, read the full article at the Baltimore Sun


Arendatorovnet strikes again – Quadcopter flying in Thailand

New videos posted on the Arendatorovnet youtube account. The guy seems in perfect control of his personal drone, apparently a DJI F450 quadcopter with an enormous battery:

Screenshot from an aredatorovnet video
Screenshot from an arendatorovnet video

piloted either FPV or LOS from a moving motorcycle. Each one of the videos talks freedom and control and is outstanding and inspiring, so we will continue to monitor the account.

Here’s the pilot, click to go to the youtube channel:


And here are a couple of great videos:

LOS from moto: “Thailand, Koh Samui, Chaweng. 2013”

FPV:  “Low flying”

I’d like to thank this guy for inspiration. Keep posting and keep up with the good work!

Pilot of the phantom quadcopter that crashed in Manhattan arrested

We recently reported about the story in which a phantom quadcopter was flown over manhattan, went out of control and landed at the feets of a worried businessman, who handled the little personal drone, with camera and sd card, to the police and ABC News. This is the original story from ABC news:


These is an important update on this story as 34 years old Brooklin musician David Zablidowsky was arrested for reckless endangerment, a class A misdemeanor, for “flying a remote control helicopter off a balcony, losing control, causing it to crash to the ground from an unreasonable height creating a substantial risk of serious physical injury.”

David Zablidowsky self portrait from the footage of the camera on his phantom quadcopter
David Zablidowsky self portrait from the footage of the camera on his phantom quadcopter

This puts flying a personal drone over a populated area in a different perspective for people with this hobby. At the time, police said that “no laws were broken” and it looked like they were not going to pursue the investigations further. Eventually, somebody understood that the phenomena of personal rc drones will probably grow exponentially in the next years and something had to be done to “send the right message”.

You can read the story and watch a video here.

Here’s the original footage from the phantom:

Personal Drones crashing on populated areas, a case in NYC

Here’s another pilot that brings a bad reputation to quadcopters and personal drones. This guy thought he could land his DJI Phantom from his little balcony and very fly over Manhattan NYC at high altitude, what a great idea. Amazing and unique footage, however it’s just for chance that nobody got seriously injured. The FAA says it does not allow the flight of UAV over densely populated areas.

Interesting to note that the phantom looks very resistant to the impact on buildings, seems to hit several times and still fly afterwords. Also, it looks like the pilot is somehow controlling the flight, however he was not wearing goggles, so was this a line of sight flight?

The story:

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Here’s the full video, however it looks like the crash moment is missing.

DJI Flamewheel F450 NAZA M V2 maiden flight (with dogs)

Finally finished the setup of the DJI Flamewheel F450  and went out for a first flight test very early in the morning at the park, with the idea to avoid kids.


Love kids but I feel that at this stage (of my flying skills), it could be dangerous for them, as they tend to come close to see the strange flying thing and are totally unaware of the possible dangers, those rotating propellers are like blades.

I discovered that dogs, that are indeed at the park early in the morning, are as curious as kids:

Just like kids, dogs are VERY curious about drones
Just like kids, dogs are VERY curious about drones

Anyway it was my very first flight with a NAZA quadcopter, and it took a few tries to take off because of my poor acquaintance with the settings and led light codes. The quadcopter needs GPS calibration, entirely forgot about that. Then, in atti and atti GPS modes, the throttle becomes effective only after the midpoint, which was kind of misleading to me. At the end, all was good. Took a couple of short videos while the quad was locked in GPS mode, holds the position beautifully. Video is very short as I did not really trust the quad in this very first flight. Here you go: