Showing posts with label drone. Show all posts
Showing posts with label drone. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Are Dutch policemen as smart as they think they are?

I've watched with amusement a small video that shows a few smart Dutch policemen using a trained eagle to attack and destroy a drone. If I understand correctly, no eagle has yet had its head chopped off by a drone propellor.

The policemen surely know what they're doing. But I think they're encouraging a deadly arms race. The next thing we know, smart drone engineers will invent some kind of eagle-killer device. Truly, this is not what I think of as the march of science and technology.

Monday, January 18, 2016

HAPS (high-altitude pseudo-satellites)

The expression HAPS (high-altitude pseudo-satellites) is a roundabout way of designating an unmanned aircraft (in other words a drone), flying very high in the sky, that can perform tasks of the kind that are normally in the domain of satellites. Now, one way of creating such an aircraft would be to start with a successful device, the Solar Impulse, and replace the human pilot by a small payload of the kind handled by satellites. And that's exactly what is planned, one of these days, by the Swiss owners of that illustrious aircraft.

On 3 July 2015, the pilots of Solar Impulse, André Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard, were obliged to terminate their last adventure at Hawaï. The aircraft had suffered considerable battery damage, necessitating major repairs, and their flight will not be resumed until April of this year. That lengthy delay seems to be giving them time to think about a HAPS project, for an unspecified date in the future...

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Beware of bugs

Back in the days when I earned my living as a computer programmer, we coexisted constantly with bugs. I believe that such tiny evil spirits still exist, even though a lot of publicity talk tries to give the impression that they've been eradicated forever.

Click here to see the presentation of a marvelous little drone, made in China, called the Ehang 184, priced somewhere between US$200,000 to $300,000. It's designed for a personal owner, who isn't necessarily a licensed pilot, who has to get somewhere in a hurry. The above publicity photo seems to suggest that the owner lives in a romantic spot—in the vicinity of trees, statues and rusty old boats—alongside the water.

Charging the drone with electricity takes a few hours. The owner can then press a magic take-off button and set out on a trip that lasts for 23 minutes. The Ehang's automated flight systems will manage tasks such as communication with air traffic control and other aircraft, obstacle avoidance and navigation. In other words, if the drone doesn't collide with a tree (or anything else in the vicinity), that's because it's a smart machine... with no bugs whatsoever. In other words, faultless.

Well, thanks for inviting me to borrow your drone, to drop in at a nearby place. It's nice of you... and you assure me that your aircraft is both simple and perfect. But I prefer to travel romantically, by bicycle.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

A drone flew over Gamone

Using drone images obtained by Hakim, I attempted to learn enough about the Final Cut software to put together the following short video: