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NickStan

Drone Search and Rescue

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I'm being a little bit facetious here, but I see a need for a company that finds and rescues lost drones.  

I've read a lot of stories about hobbyists, particularly, who write about their drone adventures, and often end with, "...and then it flew away."  Never to be found again.  Some of these are very expensive drones with pilots who like to push the limits beyond the radio range of their controllers.  My neighbor just recently got a drone as a gift from his wife.  His wife told me that on his first flight he was pushing the limits and went beyond them.  "...and then it flew away."

It occurred to me that there may soon be a business case for a company that specializes in finding and recovering lost drones.  Yes, I'm aware that there are drones with homing capabilities, but they may not work perfectly, either.

I have no idea how to get around all the rules that would probably govern such a business.  E.g. flying over property, getting permission to do a rescue operation, etc.

Or the mechanics of doing this kind of business.  How would you get a drone that is stuck in a tree 150 feet off the ground?  Climb up the tree?  Use a "wrecker drone" with a hook on the end of a rope or chain?  Use a tethered balloon with a radio-controlled hook-and-chain mechanism?  Engage the fire department hook and ladder truck--if they can rescue cats, surely they could rescue a lost drone.  

The Drone Search and Rescue company could probably sell Tiles® or some kind of Bluetooth tag system to attach to a drone that would broadcast its position.

Well, it was a thought. :D

Stan Nickel

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Hi Nick.  You have to be careful being a little bit facetious...  

Most of the drones that fly away are toys and probably not worth recovering.  There are devices you can purchase that will help track your drone.

The thing that prevents operators from flying beyond their capabilities is when they have to knock on the door, apologize for literally crashing the party and having to recover the drone themselves.  Most, don't have the nerve.

Part of the reason drones aren't used more by first responders is that the drone is often the thing that needs rescuing. 

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Av8Chuck  Maybe I misunderstood the purpose of this particular forum, the sentence used to describe it goes like this:  Humor, rumors, and off-topic chat is permitted. Keep it classy and respectful.  Being facetious is generally thought of as being humorous.  I'm sorry if I offended you Av8Chuck, I didn't mean to.  Also, I read on the droneflyers.com website that people were routinely losing $500 drones.  To me that begins to leave the toy quadcopter range.  My thinking is that it becomes worth it to recover equipment like that.  Again, maybe not.  Maybe $500 drones are only toys, especially in light of the $5,000 drones that are becoming more popular.

Steve Bennett - The Trackimo device sound like the thing that would work and be worth the $120 price.  Now to get that $5,000 drone out of the Big Gumball tree! 

Edited by NickStan
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No worries Nick, I was joking too, I was not offended in the least.  Its more about the lack of humor in forums...

Its not for me to say where the threshold is between where someone is prepared to get a drone and just leave it.  How much someone is willing to pay to recover a drone might have as much to do with the circumstances it was lost as it does the initial purchase price.

For the more expensive professional drones, a drone that costs $5K to $8K it usually carries a payload that costs as much, so they rarely end up with a $16K drone in a tree.  

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I was considering developing a "rescue drone" for my local RC model aircraft club to recover lost planes. They currently have a guy fly over the surrounding fields on powered paraglider to locate lost planes.

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