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Everything posted by Av8Chuck

  1. I think its great that investors are still investing in drone related companies but we should be careful using that investment as a litmus test for success in the commercial UAV industry. There are a lot of companies that are choosing not to go down the path of debt equity, PrecisionHawk was one of them. They started in the Ag segment and manufactured their own UAV, a very good fixed wing, also created the beginnings of a marketplace where researchers, farmers, and other stakeholders could trade tech that helped make the data collected actionable. It was very impressive. Once they raised $75M venture capital they got rid of their drone and marketplace, refocused on industrial inspection, and essentially became a drone pilot employment agency. They went from being an agile, innovative company to a company that's trying to buy marketshare. So once you get past the hype in their press release, what's the $32M round for? To create the technology that they've been selling to existing customers for the past two years? I guess when you've already successfully raised $75M the concept of "fake-it-till-you-make-it" goes to a whole other level... Like I said, I think its great that people are still interested in investing in the commercial UAV market. It certainly validates the potential scope of the opportunity. The point is there are a lot of companies developing great platforms that aren't funded by venture capitalists looking for smart, experienced people to deliver on what PrecisionHawk is promising. In their press release talk about developing a platform for the future. I dislike that type of hype. Do they mean they're going to develop something similar to what we developed a year ago? https://iplayerhd.com/player/d8295783-f39d-4295-802d-c3e42acb4cb6 I know, jokes are meant to be funny. At any rate, there certainly is a lot of money and opportunity in this market and you don't need to be venture funded or work at some huge company to make a difference.
  2. Av8Chuck


    Here’s a good review and some sample footage. https://www-engadget-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.engadget.com/amp/2019/12/11/skydio-2-review/
  3. Im at the doctors office waiting for my wife so I’m not in a good location to watch the video. I’m just passing time. My comment has more to do with the title of the thread, Mavic Mini - Professional Use and Limitations. Is there an assumption that everything DJI manufactures can be a professional tool? There are quite a few consumer drones with similar capabilities. I realize that this too can be debated but the point is that just because DJI ads “Pro” to the name of something or just for the simple fact that DJI developed it does not mean it’s suitable for professional applications. I’m not suggesting that it isn’t, but common sense should guide peoples evaluations. It’s a bit like a GoPro. GoPros are great crash cams, often used in situations where real, more expensive cameras shouldn’t be used. But no one thinks the image quality is on par with professional cameras. Can Mavic-Mini be used profesionaly? Sure, but at its price point there are less expensive consumer drones that might work for that application, like a crash cam. There are other drone that are a little more expensive, like the Anafi that might provide better image quality or Skydio2 which is much better suited to some professional applications and neither of them are manufactured in China. I have no doubt that the Magic-Mini is an awesome drone. Should it be considered for professional applications? No more or less than any other toy.
  4. Probably the reason for the one year delay to include DJI is because the participants probably couldn’t get a suitable replacement for DJI. Also, another reason for DJIs silence is because it kind of depends on how you define partnering. Just because they provide drones to the participants of this pilot project does not constitute a “Partnership” with the Tennessee DOT and it certainly doesn’t obfuscate them from the impending federal ban. Choosing to use DJI puts the participants of this study on pretty thin ice. Regardless of how difficult it’s is to find an alternative, they are going to be hosed if the federal ban ever happens. We can debate the likelyhood of the ban but the risk to the steakholders of this project is directly proportional to the probability of it taking effect. I certainly wouldn’t want to be the supervisor that has to make that call..
  5. Part of the problem is the the PixHawk is open source, both hardware and soaftware. So technically they aren’t clones. 3DR, the original official manufacturer of the PixHawk, stopped manufacturing hardware in 2016. Most of the manufacturing moved to China. You should contact mRobotics, they have some great PX4/Ardupilot based controllers that are made in the US. mRobotics is owned by the founder of 3DR and I believe they might still manufacture the PixHawk in San Diego. There’s a lot of people using the Cube, it’s a good controller but by in large it’s Chinese.
  6. We don’t have that requirement in the US. Clealy this operator didn’t know what they were doing. Like most things in aviation, bad things happen as a result of earlier bad decisions. When things go wrong they tend to snowball quickly. Most hobbyist have no idea of how to check NOTAMS and what a TFR is. Obviously this should not have happened, but if fining this guy $20K is the FAA making an example of him then it’s probably not a good thing to do. Personally I don’t care about what happens to some unfortunate hobbyist.
  7. Bad to worse for DJI: https://m.theepochtimes.com/doj-updates-policy-on-drone-use-in-investigations-search-and-rescue_3159476.html/amp
  8. We build customs drones, to carry five cameras for an hour is a pretty big UAV.
  9. Yes, another acronym to add to the growing list, UAM, UTM, RPAS, UAS, UAV, PIA... Check out this article/video from Bell regarding Urban Air Mobility. https://www.verticalcentury.com/183700-what-air-taxis-need-to-take-off what do you think? When do you think this might happen?
  10. Av8Chuck


    When people ask for advice I often ask them what problem are they trying to solve? Knowing that helps advise them on the best tools they might need to solve it. Occassionally something comes along that provides us the opportunity to rethink the question. The Skydio2 is like that. Although the drone, in and of itself is not a game changer, the technology that enables it to do what it does certianly is. Being manufactured in the US, not only is this an alternative to Chinese manufactured drones, but it’s also an alternative to the “traditional” drone period. It’s certainly an exciting advancement in UAV technology. So if you compare it to DJI your missing the point. So to illustrate the point, check out this review of the Skydio2 by Evan Ackerman, editor of IEEE Spectrum. https://spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/robotics/drones/skydio-2-review-this-is-the-drone-you-want-to-fly After checking this out let’s see if we can have a discussion about the significance of this new technology and how it could be used differently to solve a problem you might be interested in.
  11. What lens are you using on the Sony? Do you use a gimbal with the Sony on the ground?
  12. There are times that you benifit from the property your shooting, they’re awesome, added to your video they look even better. This property, not so much but you still made it look great. Ok, it’s been a while — I hate you. Nice work.
  13. The only reason the FAA probably even knew about this is because the secret service recovered the drone and turned it over to the FBI. Doh!
  14. If you can be a little patient you could probably get a good used M2Pro, or better yet you can get a Skydio2 for $995 and you’ll be the envy of everyone in the forum.. don’t stress or overthink learning to fly a multirotor, they’re very easy to fly.
  15. Welcome to the forum. The Part107 knowledge test is reasonably easy, you can find a lot of study materials online for free. Having said that, the FAA asks questions in a really funky way and the DronePilot Ground School does a good job of preparing you for how the exam is given. It’s not all about the answers but how the question are asked. If you’ve never taken an FAA knowledge test this advice will sound a little wonky, but for those that have hopefully they can chime in and maybe explain it a bit better. If your considering a DJI you might want to consider a Mavic Mini, I have not flown one but I understand they fly like a MavicPro2. The camera shoots up to 2.7K plenty good enough for online video so you can learn an “aerial” workflow for much less.
  16. Not much of a debate. The ONLY agency authorized by congress to regulate airspace in the US is the FAA. The ONLY way the FAA can create a rule is through the NPRM process. Even NY has to go to the FAA to restrict airspace. Doesn’t mean they can’t do it but if they don’t go through the NPRM process then the rule is illegal. Rules can not be arbitrary or capricious. That’s why we have a constitution. Your right having a politician that was an evangelist for commercial operators would be a plus, but politicians come and go and change their vote depending on public sentiment. I think what we need more is an organization that represents our civil liberties as it relates to our right to choose a career. The FAA is prohibited from regulating commerce. It’s why they’ve lost all the law suites related to what defined the commercial application of UAVs. We started http://www.acuas.org in 2015, about the same time as the Commercial Drone Alliance and a host of other organizations claiming to represent the interest of commercial operators. Most represented manufacturers, trade shows, and manned aviation interests.
  17. Are these shots legal? Are they the type of shots that reflects poorly on our community? Taking these kind of shots will result in more regulations?
  18. If it’s class G then you can do that. If it is then you need permission either by filing for a waiver or LAANC. No one is suggesting people don’t follow the rules, what we’re debating is determining compliance of the rules from the video.
  19. Welcome to the forum. What exactly do you want feedback on? What are you trying to do with your videos? Everyone who gets a drone has to go through the discovery process and get over the excitement of seeing the world and having control over this new aerial perspective. Your footage is no different than the million or so videos previously posted by others who just purchased a new drone. Sounds like harsh criticism but it isn’t. Now that you have a little experience with your new drone, if the goal is to make your videos stand out and reach people you need to start by doing three things: Become a photographer. Take the camera off of auto and set your exposure for every shot. Don’t just fly around taking footage. Compose every shot. Start with a well composed shot that communicates a beginning then transition to a well composed ending shot. Create wide establishing shots, closeups with reveals, create transitions from ground to aerial. Tell a story. Plan your sequence of shots so that you have a beginning, middle and an end. These are are the same rules of thumb that you would use producing video on the ground with the added dimension of altitude. If you practice these three things you’ll get the required dexterity to fly great shots over time. It will all come together.
  20. People have been doing this for several years with few incidents. Interestingly, I don’t know the company that manufactured the parachute system demonstrated at Commercial Drone Expo, but they were saying they were the only system “certified” by the FAA to fly over people, it failed big time. Most parachute systems don’t work. This is kind of a red-neck market survey but if they did you’d see thousands of YouTube videos popping off parachutes. Most of the YouTube videos are from the manufacturer of parachutes being used in “ideal” situations. There are too many variables for this to work consistently, repeatably and safely and yet the FAA appears to have certified some of these systems. Kind of shows you what the FAA actually know about drones and how to use them.
  21. It’s not difficult to “mount” a camera, it’s difficult to control or use it. If your mounting an action type camera, chances are they won’t be any better than what DJI is providing so you may as well use the camera that came with the Mavic. If you want to mount a better camera, like the Sony A7RIII for example then you really need to determine the application. Are you trying to do aerial for online video, broadcast or cinema? Those are three very different types of cameras. Are you doing mapping or surveying with stills? If it’s video for YouTube then probably the easiest is the Mavic2Pro, to be competitive in the lower end broadcast the DJI Inspire2 with an X5S or X7 is a good choice. Although the image quality from the new Skydio2 is probably a little better than the Mavic but not as good as the I2, people are getting shots with it that can’t be done with any DJI. (And it’s realtively cheap if you can get it). It really depends on what you hope to accomplish.