Let the drone games commence

There has been a number of incidents and reports on irresponsible hobby drone pilots having flown their multi-rotors into restrictive and sensitive airspace. Does this mean that we need to further tighten rules, regulations and be more restrictive as to where one can fly. From the security perspective, one can understand the dangers arising from drones in the wrong hands. Lately, National Geography aired a documentary where drone detection and prevention of incursion was carried out to see how both the perpetrators as well as the security personnel deal with the threat. Fly safe

DJI Mavic Pro vs DJI Mavic Pro Platinum

This post is long overdue considering I own a DJI Mavic Pro and the DJI Mavic Pro Platinum was unveiled end of August 2017. The biggest difference between the two is the Mavic Pro Platinum’s enhanced endurance of 30 minutes as compared to 27 minutes on the Mavic Pro. Three additional minutes may not seem much, but to a serious aerial photographer it could make a world of difference in taking that shot or to return to home. The second significant difference is that its much more quieter. The 8331 propellers along with the Electronic Speed Controller (ESC) on the Platinum contributes to a quieter flight since it controls how fast and efficiently the motor spins. However, it would not make much of a difference if its flying further from you for you can hardly hear both.

Personally, I am not too excited by both. After all, the DJI Mavic is not meant for professionals but more for armature aerial photographers who wish to learn the ropes before migrating to the more sophisticated and professional drone platforms. The video I have attached, also states that both the batteries and propellers are compatible. In fact, when using the Platinum propellers on the Mavic Pro, there seem to be a slight reduction in noise as well as the RPM of the motor.

So, if you are considering which one to buy, price could be another issue depending on your budget. The DJI Mavic Pro fly more combo is priced at RM4,819.00 while the Mavic Pro Platinum is priced at RM8,323.20 on 11 Street. Fly Safe


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Parrot’s New Releases

Parrot is planning to launch two new prosumer drones that certainly has its practical use. One has firefighters in mind while the other is for the farmers.

The Bebop-Pro Thermal
This drone has been designed with aerial thermography in mind and proves to be very useful for firefighting, construction and inspections. Equipped with both a 14MP camera and a FLIR One Pro thermal imaging camera it has a flight endurance of 25 minutes on one battery. It retails with a Skycontroller, 3 batteries and a backpack. It should be in the market by November 2017and is priced at $1,400.00.

Bebop-Pro Thermal Specs & Features
• RGB camera Full HD 1080p
• Thermal imaging: FLIR One Pro thermal imaging camera
• Battery life: 25 minutes flying time (with Power Battery)
• Internal memory: 32 GB Extended memory
• Max horizontal speed: 16 m/s
• Weight: 604g / 1.33 lb with the FLIR ONE Pro camera
• Range: up to 2km with Parrot Skycontroller 2 in an interference free and unobstructed environment
FLIR One Pro Thermal Imaging Camera Specs
• Thermal resolution: 160×120
• Visual resolution: 1440×1080
• HFOV / VFOV: 55 ° ± 1 ° / 43 ° ± 1 °
• Frame rate: 8.7Hz
• Scene dynamic range: -20 °C to 400 °C (-4 °F to 752 °F)
• Accuracy: ±3 °C (5.4 °F) or ±5%, typical Percent of the difference between ambient and scene temperature. Applicable 60s after start-up when the unit is within 15 °C to 35 °C (59 °F to 95 °F) and the scene is within 5 °C to 120 °C (41 °F to 248 °F)
• Size: 68mm W x34mm H x14mm D (2.7in x 1.3in x .6in)
• Weight: 36.5g

The Parrot Bluegrass
Designed especially for agricultural applications, the Parrot Bluegrass comes equipped with an HD camera and a a special sensor called the Parrot Sequoia. It is designed to detect problem areas in the many different types of crop fields. can fly 30 hectares at 70m/230ft flight altitude per battery. It retails at $5,000.00 and will also be available in November 2017. The price includes a year’s access to Parrot’s software that allows autonomous flight path.
Bebop-Pro Thermal Specs & Features
• Area Coverage: 30ha (74ac) in a single flight at 70m flight altitude (230ft)
• Range: Up to 2km – 1.2 miles, in an unobstructed area free of interferences
• Ground resolution: 7.4cm/px (2.7in/px) at 70m (230ft) flight altitude
• Automatic flight plan powered by Pix4Dcapture mobile app
• Vertical take-off and landing
• Weight: 1850g / 4lb
• Size: 50 x 44 x 12 cm / 20 x 17 x 5 in.
• Removable propellers for transport

Fly Safe
Source: UAV Coach


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The Blade Inductrix 200 FPV

The Blade Inductrix 200 FPV drone is a lightweight fully assembled airframe. It has an exclusive SAFE (Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope) technology in controlling that simplifies flying it. It comes with a beginner, intermediate and experienced modes of flying. It has a fully integrated FPV flight camera that is compatible with FatShark headsets and video monitors on 5.8GHz. Its durable rotor guards help prevent damage which is a plus point for beginners both to normal flying as well as FPV flying. It comes with powerful brushless out-runner motors as well as brilliant LED status lighting. It is powered by an 800mAh 3S Li-Po flight battery. Fly Safe
Source: Horizon Hobby.com

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Eagles to the Rescue

No matter what regulations are put in place to safe guard security, privacy and safety; there are always some rogue drone pilot who gets a thrill by flouting these laws, rules and regulations. Authorities, on the other hand are looking at new means to curb these rogue pilots and to bring down their drones. There is really no one size that fits all in that there is no one best way. One could jam its radios to force the drone to Autoland, use bigger drone to capture it or merely shooting it out of the skies.

The Dutch National Police, however, had come up with an ingenious economical way to bring down rogue drones (I suppose there really is no such thing as a rogue drone but only pilots). They have embarked on training eagles to take down menacing drones that are being problematic. The eagles are natural when trained to take down a drone. They are trained to identify and capture drones. On snatching the drones, they then find a safe place to land. The advantage here is that one doesn’t have to worry about a disabled drone falling on the heads of the public. The Dutch are not the only ones who have embarked on training eagles for this purpose. the French Air Force are also doing it. Fly Safe and Responsibly
Source: https://spectrum.ieee.org/…/dutch-police-training-eagles-to…



The GDU 02 Plus

DJI had just revamped their Mavic Pro to Mavic Pro Platinum and before you know it, GDU Technology, a Chinese based drone company, had come up with the GDU 02 Plus that’s said to give the Mavic Pro Platinum a run for its money. According to WETALKUAV, the GDU 02 Plus can record videos in time lapse and slow motion, which is a first for a drone. Its propellers slide out of its body instead of swinging out like in the Mavic Pro. The arms are of aviation aluminium alloy which gives it light-weight durability. The Radio Controller for the GDU can be latched to the drone for portability. Together it looks like a brick. The endurance of the drone is 20 minutes and can reach speeds of 54 kph which is pretty fast for this range of drones. The camera is a 1/3 inch CMOS 13 MP capable of taking 4K videos with a resolution of 3840×2160 in 25 and 30 fps. It can reach up to a distance of 6.5 km. Fly Safe

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Introducing Airdog ADII

Said to be the most intelligent, flying camera: the Airdog ADII has a built in sensor (LiDAR) that prevents collision in varying terrain and extreme change in elevation at high speeds.

Instead of a remote control that comes typical with joysticks and display screens, the ADII is controlled with AirLeash. With just a press of a button you can initiate take-off and make quick inflight adjustments. The highly durable and light weight, waterproof tracking device enables simple mid-action control of the drone. Its high quality propulsion system provides superior tracking and camera control in high wind conditions up to 30 knots. It is capable of:

• Advanced high-precision tracking in the most challenging elements
• Durable and waterproof, tracking device
• Fully autonomous from take-off to landing
• Customizable flight path and free follow modes
• Three axis gimbals optimized for GoPro HERO5®*


Fly Safe

Source: https://www.airdog.com/