Dronecode: Open, community-maintained firmware for UAVs


Dronecode started as 3D Robotics' free/open codebase for UAVs, and it has grown to the point where it has flown off on its own, with a formal, community-run board and an ambitious roadmap for the future.

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Man arrested for shooting drone

A man in New Jersey was arrested after using a shotgun to shoot down his neighbor's drone. The neighbor was using the drone to take photographs of a nearby home undergoing renovations.

Police arrested the man and charged him with “possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and criminal mischief.” Lawyers are trying to determine how to proceed, because without direct precedent for people shooting down flying camera robots, the future of drone laws may hinge on one annoyed New Jersey man with a shotgun.

[It's a good time to re-read Larry Niven's 1972 short story, "Cloak of Anarchy" - Mark]

Hong Kong protest: drone flyover

The throngs of Hong Kong pro-democracy demonstrators, captured by Nero Chan's drone.

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Cirque du Soleil's dance of drones

Cirque du Soleil, ETH Zurich, and Verity Studios choreographed a dance of drones and people titled Sparked. Below is a behind-the-scenes video.

Drone flythrough of Toronto's magnificently renovated reference library

Ab writes, "Toronto Reference Library (TRL) recently completed a multi-year revitalization project (to spotlight the new changes in the Reference Library, we also flew a mini drone around TRL to get a bird's eye view of what's new): the library is celebrating the completion of this project with an event on Friday, Sept. 19."

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Panoramic drone-flight over Prague

Jeffrey Martin sez, "I've spentthe summer getting up to speed with quadcopters, floating above the rooftops in the early, early morning in one of Europe's most beautiful cities: here is the result."

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1974 young adult novel that forecasted the politics of drones

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Over at Medium's The List, Clive Thompson argues that a 1974 science fiction novel for teens called Danny Dunn, Invisible Boy "nailed everything we’re arguing today about personal drones, privacy, and the danger of government overreach." I can't wait to read the book!

Drone's eye view of Burning Man 2014

Beautifully shot and edited, a rarely seen vista on one of the most amazing places in the world.

Quadcopter vs. ram

The ram wins. After taking the quadcopter out of commission, the ram goes after its operator.

Google's drone delivery program, unveiled

For two years, Google has been running secret drone delivery tests with their own UAV prototypes. Over at The Atlantic, Alexis Madrigal has the first look at Google's Project Wing. From The Atlantic:

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Taken with the company’s other robotics investments, Google’s corporate posture has become even more ambitious. Google doesn’t just want to organize all the world’s information. Google wants to organize all the world.

During this initial phase of development, Google landed on an unusual design called a tail sitter, a hybrid of a plane and a helicopter that takes off vertically, then rotates to a horizontal position for flying around. For delivery, it hovers and winches packages down to the ground. At the end of the tether, there’s a little bundle of electronics they call the “egg,” which detects that the package has hit the ground, detaches from the delivery, and is pulled back up into the body of the vehicle.

"Inside Google's Secret Drone-Delivery Program"

Drone video of downtown Los Angeles

Ian Wood's beautiful drone footage of downtown Los Angeles. (via Laughing Squid)

Want to fly a drone at Burning Man this year? Better read this first.

Camera-equipped drones, like the one that shot the video above, are a wonderful tool for photography at the annual Burning Man festival. But "if you're planning on flying a drone at Burning Man this year," says BB pal Eddie Codel, "You'll need to register and follow a ton of new rules."

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How Dan Shapiro created the most-backed game in Kickstarter history

This episode of Gweek is brought to you by Bombfell, the glorious clothing service for men that sends handpicked outfits to your door. Go to bombfell.com/gweek to get $10 off your first purchase. And by Stamps.com — get a $110 sign-up bonus with the offer code GWEEK!

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New FAA rules class toy UAVs as illegal drones


The latest FAA rules on UAVs are so broad that they class adorable toy quadcopters as drones and require special permits to operate them. Meanwhile, hot air balloons and unpiloted model aircraft are fair game for unlicensed play. The drone hobbyists are pissed:

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Lurking inside Obama's secret drone law: another secret drone law


Remember the secret memo explaining the legal justification for assassinating Americans with drones that the ACLU forced the Obama administration to release? Turns out that that memo relies on another secret memo that the Obama administration is also relying on. Obama is a no-fooling Constitutional scholar; you'd think that he'd be wise to the idea that secret law is not law at all.

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