[Page 2] UAV roundup 2/27: The latest in unmanned aerial vehicle news

Content Dam Vsd Online Articles 2015 February Salina500
  • Asymmetric Technologies (Bridge inspections)
  • Viafield (Precision agriculture)
  • Blue-Chip UAS (Aerial photography, variety of industries)
  • Capital Aerial Video, LLC (Aerial photography of property)
  • Chevron UAS, Inc. (Aerial imaging for safety and monitoring of controlled access oil and gas facilities)
  • State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (Roof inspections)
  • Picture Factory, Inc. (Aerial filming in motion picture, video, photography, and television)
  • BOSH Precision Agriculture DBA Digital Harvest (Precision agricultural surveys)
  • LowCountryRD (Research and development of economic platforms for aerial survey, law enforcement, first responders, search and rescue)
  • Commonwealth Edison Company (Electric transmission and distribution utility system monitoring, power line inspections, and damage assessments)
  • VDSO Global – Amended (Flare stack inspection)
  • State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (Aerial inspections, insurance)

In addition, Kansas State University Salina received FAA approval to fly UAVs in statewide airspace, for purposes of research for the university. (UAV pictured above.)

“Our statewide access will allow us to continue to provide practical applications of technology to our students and will further develop our research abilities for the university, the FAA and our industry partners,” said K-State Salina’s UAS Flight Operations Manager Kurt Carraway.

Curious about UAVs?

This past Christmas, I bought a miniature quadrotor UAV for my niece, thinking it would be a cool gift for an 8-year-old. Once I got it out of the packaging and powered it up, I tried flying it around my house. I promptly crashed it into my kitchen wall and I broke one of the propellers. No worry, I had extras. (Also, I went and bought plenty of backups immediately after this mishap.)

Once I realized how sensitive it was, I moved it up and down a bit more easily without crashing it. My next step was to bring it outside. While I did a decent job of taking off and landing, moving it from side to side was an entirely different and incredibly difficult task. From there, I let my niece have a go at it. While she was definitely excited over the idea, I realized rather quickly how ill-advised this purchase was (age-wise, anyway) when she promptly flew it into the air, and several houses over into a neighbor’s yard. (Somehow, we found it sitting perfectly in a driveway, completely unscathed.)

The point here, other than some self-deprecating humor about the gift-gone-wrong, is that these things are not easy to use. With that in mind, UAV Coach, a community for drone enthusiasts, has put together an extensive guide on flying a quadcopter, including a step-by-step description. So if you are anything like me, and are considering the purchase of a model UAV, this may be something to consider.

Check it out here.

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