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Science and Technology "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan.

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Old August 18 2014, 12:30 AM   #1
Wingsley
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Aerial drones & GoPro

Where is the best place to shop for a drone? Any hints on what brand names and features to look for? I want to hook it to a GoPro or other video camera and take aerial footage. Any hints on what to get in a GoPro?
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Old August 18 2014, 01:29 AM   #2
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Re: Aerial drones & GoPro

I'm no expert on quad-copters and the like, but many have a camera (perhaps a GoPro) built-in. That video, aside from recording on-board, also feeds live to the smart phone or tablet being used to control the craft.

RC cars and "tanks" are similarly equipped these days. I use an RC tank to run cables.
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Old August 18 2014, 03:45 PM   #3
intrinsical
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Re: Aerial drones & GoPro

It really depends on the level of video quality you want out of the quad. There are professional gigs with built in camera stabilizer that will allow you to take really amazing shots. There are also dirt cheap tiny amateur quads with built in cameras too.

In fact, my dad's always been interested in flying machinery so I just ordered a Hubsan X4 H107C via a web store as a birthday gift. I've seen several great reviews on the web about how easy it is to fly and its built-in 2MP camera does a decent job as seen from this video. What's more, its just USD70.
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Old August 22 2014, 01:59 AM   #4
ThunderAeroI
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Re: Aerial drones & GoPro

As someone who works an airport, I say don't....
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Old August 22 2014, 04:31 AM   #5
Tosk
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Re: Aerial drones & GoPro

ThunderAeroI wrote: View Post
As someone who works an airport, I say don't....
What does that have to do with it?
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Old August 26 2014, 03:14 PM   #6
Haggis and tatties
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Re: Aerial drones & GoPro

How long before the sky's are filled with home use drones that we send to the shops to pick up our milk and bread.

Amazing things.
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Old August 27 2014, 06:51 AM   #7
intrinsical
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Re: Aerial drones & GoPro

Haggis and tatties wrote: View Post
How long before the sky's are filled with home use drones that we send to the shops to pick up our milk and bread.

Amazing things.
Depends. A couple of years ago I was asked if I would be interested in doing my doctorate in autonomous drone navigation. I ultimately decided its not my area of interest, but I did ponder deeply about the issues involved.

In terms of technology required, its all nearly there. Especially if you're talking about dumbly flying between a limited number of waystations and fixed routes with no obstacle avoidance of any kind, its already been implemented in Africa to deliver medicine, blood samples and AIDS test results.

Directly delivering goods to an arbitrary house, that's a whole order of magnitude increase in the level of difficulty. Primarily, GPS-navigation alone won't be enough. For example like automated cars, the drone will need to be equipped with sophisticated sensors such as LIDAR and computer vision to detect the local environment in 3D, advanced dynamic route planning and obstacle avoidance algorithms. Its going to require a beefy processor and a huge power supply to carry heavy loads. Likely, it will have to be at least the size of a small motorcycle given current tech. Not impossible, but its going to be quite expensive to develop.
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