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As an early adopter, Eddie has done a lot of drone work at events as well as other commercial and creative work with drones so we wanted to give you some insight into how drones and events can go together and what to look out for and what to inspire your events with! (Hint: to see some of the amazing work that can be done with drones, check out the Flying Robot international Drone Film Festival, which Eddie is the founder of).

 

What are some of the main types of drone shots that are most useful in the events industry?

A couple drone shots that work well for events are the orbit and the dronie. An orbit is where you circumnavigate around a point of interest with the drone’s camera fixed inward. It’s a cinematic way of showcasing a particular venue or event.

Dronies are always fun, which are essentially drone based selfies. A dronie begins as a close-up of one or more people and zooms (flies) out to an extremely wide shot that showcases the venue and the surrounding area, such as a cityscape or mountains.


What are some innovative uses of drones you’ve done and/or would love to do?

Some uses outside of aerial photography are in Film and TV. This is something that is becoming more commonplace in small business promotion. For pure fun, flying or racing mini-quads is always a hit. When it comes to racing drones and making movies there are people that are a lot better at it than me, which is one reason I started a film festival specifically for drone-based filmmakers.

What are some misconceptions about drones and drone use?

A big misconception some people have is that you can just pick up a drone and start flying. Drones are definitely easier to operate than ever before, but there are safety considerations and laws in place regarding where and when one can fly. 

There are many places where it’s unsafe and illegal to fly a drone which could land a naive drone pilot in hot water. If you plan on making money with your drone, you have to become CASA certified That requires understanding regulations, airspace classes, sectional maps and understanding aviation weather reports among other things. Getting your certification is a requirement for any sort of commercial work, including simply monetizing your online drone videos with ads.


How did you get into using drones?

I jumped down the drone rabbit hole four years ago after watching a friend shoot a beautiful short summer video at conference event in Palm Springs. When I  saw the resulting video I was hooked. I soon pieced together my own camera drone rig with a GoPro, motorized gimbal and video downlink system. Back then, there was no all-in-one solution like is common with today’s drones, you had to piece together the components to build your aerial photography platform. I brought my rig to Burning Man in 2013, resulting in a video that clocked up almost 2 million views in a week.


What do you see coming as trends and evolutions of drones and drone usage?

Consumer drones will continue to become smaller, cheaper, smarter and safer. DJI, the undisputed leader in the consumer drone space, has just released their smallest and cheapest drone yet.  It can be completely controlled through gestures. I see more autonomous features and AI being integrated as drones continue to evolve.



23/06/2017

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As an early adopter, Eddie has done a lot of drone work at events as well as other commercial and creative work with drones so we wanted to give you some insight into how drones and events can go together and what to look out for and what to inspire your events with! (Hint: to see some of the amazing work that can be done with drones, check out the Flying Robot international Drone Film Festival, which Eddie is the founder of).

 

What are some of the main types of drone shots that are most useful in the events industry?

A couple drone shots that work well for events are the orbit and the dronie. An orbit is where you circumnavigate around a point of interest with the drone’s camera fixed inward. It’s a cinematic way of showcasing a particular venue or event.

Dronies are always fun, which are essentially drone based selfies. A dronie begins as a close-up of one or more people and zooms (flies) out to an extremely wide shot that showcases the venue and the surrounding area, such as a cityscape or mountains.


What are some innovative uses of drones you’ve done and/or would love to do?

Some uses outside of aerial photography are in Film and TV. This is something that is becoming more commonplace in small business promotion. For pure fun, flying or racing mini-quads is always a hit. When it comes to racing drones and making movies there are people that are a lot better at it than me, which is one reason I started a film festival specifically for drone-based filmmakers.

What are some misconceptions about drones and drone use?

A big misconception some people have is that you can just pick up a drone and start flying. Drones are definitely easier to operate than ever before, but there are safety considerations and laws in place regarding where and when one can fly. 

There are many places where it’s unsafe and illegal to fly a drone which could land a naive drone pilot in hot water. If you plan on making money with your drone, you have to become CASA certified That requires understanding regulations, airspace classes, sectional maps and understanding aviation weather reports among other things. Getting your certification is a requirement for any sort of commercial work, including simply monetizing your online drone videos with ads.


How did you get into using drones?

I jumped down the drone rabbit hole four years ago after watching a friend shoot a beautiful short summer video at conference event in Palm Springs. When I  saw the resulting video I was hooked. I soon pieced together my own camera drone rig with a GoPro, motorized gimbal and video downlink system. Back then, there was no all-in-one solution like is common with today’s drones, you had to piece together the components to build your aerial photography platform. I brought my rig to Burning Man in 2013, resulting in a video that clocked up almost 2 million views in a week.


What do you see coming as trends and evolutions of drones and drone usage?

Consumer drones will continue to become smaller, cheaper, smarter and safer. DJI, the undisputed leader in the consumer drone space, has just released their smallest and cheapest drone yet.  It can be completely controlled through gestures. I see more autonomous features and AI being integrated as drones continue to evolve.




23/06/2017

Read full article


As an early adopter, Eddie has done a lot of drone work at events as well as other commercial and creative work with drones so we wanted to give you some insight into how drones and events can go together and what to look out for and what to inspire your events with! (Hint: to see some of the amazing work that can be done with drones, check out the Flying Robot international Drone Film Festival, which Eddie is the founder of).

 

What are some of the main types of drone shots that are most useful in the events industry?

A couple drone shots that work well for events are the orbit and the dronie. An orbit is where you circumnavigate around a point of interest with the drone’s camera fixed inward. It’s a cinematic way of showcasing a particular venue or event.

Dronies are always fun, which are essentially drone based selfies. A dronie begins as a close-up of one or more people and zooms (flies) out to an extremely wide shot that showcases the venue and the surrounding area, such as a cityscape or mountains.


What are some innovative uses of drones you’ve done and/or would love to do?

Some uses outside of aerial photography are in Film and TV. This is something that is becoming more commonplace in small business promotion. For pure fun, flying or racing mini-quads is always a hit. When it comes to racing drones and making movies there are people that are a lot better at it than me, which is one reason I started a film festival specifically for drone-based filmmakers.

What are some misconceptions about drones and drone use?

A big misconception some people have is that you can just pick up a drone and start flying. Drones are definitely easier to operate than ever before, but there are safety considerations and laws in place regarding where and when one can fly. 

There are many places where it’s unsafe and illegal to fly a drone which could land a naive drone pilot in hot water. If you plan on making money with your drone, you have to become CASA certified That requires understanding regulations, airspace classes, sectional maps and understanding aviation weather reports among other things. Getting your certification is a requirement for any sort of commercial work, including simply monetizing your online drone videos with ads.


How did you get into using drones?

I jumped down the drone rabbit hole four years ago after watching a friend shoot a beautiful short summer video at conference event in Palm Springs. When I  saw the resulting video I was hooked. I soon pieced together my own camera drone rig with a GoPro, motorized gimbal and video downlink system. Back then, there was no all-in-one solution like is common with today’s drones, you had to piece together the components to build your aerial photography platform. I brought my rig to Burning Man in 2013, resulting in a video that clocked up almost 2 million views in a week.


What do you see coming as trends and evolutions of drones and drone usage?

Consumer drones will continue to become smaller, cheaper, smarter and safer. DJI, the undisputed leader in the consumer drone space, has just released their smallest and cheapest drone yet.  It can be completely controlled through gestures. I see more autonomous features and AI being integrated as drones continue to evolve.




23/06/2017

Read full article


We are all hearing about how drones can play a vital role in precision agriculture efforts to ensure better decisions are made throughout the growing season. Whether it's for compiling plant counts, assessing crop damage, detecting parasites and fungi, or planning drainage and irrigation repair, the below 2 drones are a good starting point. 

If you are curious about having some drone test flights on a section of your land, tryDrones For Hire - the largest online community of drone operators in Australia. You may also be interested in this article: 6 ways farmers are using drones in 2017


The SenseFly eBee SQ

This one is a 'fixed-wing' design. It can fly for much longer distances at a time than the quad-copter but needs to be moving forward continuously to sustain flight. SenseFly are very highly regarded in this industry. 

Great for
Generating NDVI maps of your crops - the sensor can determine crop variability using
the plant health algorithm called the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI).

Notable features
Can scan up to 500 acres per flight. 
Designed specifically for agriculture use.
Built-in multispectral sensor. 
55 min flight time, 3 km range, 100 kph. 
FMIS compatible.


The DJI Mavic ($1569)
This one is a 'quad-copter' design. It can hover in a fixed position for taking photos and can take-off and land just about anywhere. The Mavic is generally regarded as the best quad-copter available today regarding its versatility, features, and price. 

Great for
-Getting a general bird’s eye view of your crop 
-Checking fencing, sheep/cattle, water troughs
-Spotting feral pigs   

Notable features
Very compact – throw it in the passenger’s seat of the ute. 
Long range: flys up to 7km away, and for about 24 mins. 
Way-point navigation support.
Good 4K camera (higher definition than HD) with image stabilization.
But not very stable in winds higher than 20kph and not water resistant.
See video review



23/06/2017


This vaulted arch bridge in Magdeburg, Germany was completed in 1882. In 2016 a drone operator reproduced it in 3D in less than 2 hours.

Method

1. Quick and safe data acquisition by drone operator with zero traffic interference.  

2. 3D reconstruction including decorative elements, true to scale. 

3. Accuracy <.5mm, 40 images, 34 million points (point cloud). 

Result

Precise construction plans for damage detection, documentation and deformation monitoring of the bridge.

Drone used

The AscTec Falcon 8. German made, designed for commercial inspection work Specs




22/06/2017


1. For encompassing aerial views of their entire property and land - the 'zoomed out' perspective allows the drone operator to bring all of the surrounding features into one shot – the gardens, pool, tennis court or granny flat. A well edited aerial video of a property, with fitting background music can inspire a potential buyer much more so than a regular video.


2. For confirming the condition of the roof, fence lines, large trees and other property features that are difficult to see from the ground.


3. To show what the drive home or the kids’ walk to school looks like, the drone operator can go up to 400 feet and catch shots of the neighbourhood and surrounding area. Later they can overlay graphics to show the number of km’s to local schools, train stations, hospitals, parks and shopping centres.


4 things your drone operator must not do

1. Fly at night (unless they have a special exemption)
2. Fly in or through cloud or fog 
3. Fly over populous areas such as beaches or heavily populated parks
4. Fly higher than 121 
metres (400 feet) above the ground 

Watch 1 min safety video

Make sure your drone operator knows all the rules set out by CASA and has downloaded this easy-to-use app illustrating where they are not allowed to fly.

Find a drone operator near you with Drones for Hire - Australia's largest directory of CASA approved drone operators.



19/06/2017

Drones and virtual reality are leading the way forward for film and TV production in Queensland, as the state remains on track for its best year yet.

Screen Queensland chief executive Tracey Vieira said the 2016/17 financial year was set to be "the pinnacle in the history of the organisation, in terms of outcomes for local filmmakers".

Ms Vieira said drones and VR were having a dramatic impact on the industry and establishing a "fairly significant role in terms of filming".

"Every big international production we've had here in recent years has been using drones for both shooting and lighting," she said.

Being relatively quiet and manoeuvrable, drones are particularly useful for lighting sets during night filming and Ms Vieira believes having such advanced technology readily available was changing the way films are being made.

In the 2015/16 financial year, Australia's first television series in VR was made, produced by Queenslanders.

Untold Australia Season 2 chose three Queensland teams to develop, produce and market VR short-form documentaries exploring the diversity of Australia's people, their cultures and lifestyles.

"It's a real shift in how we are working with the broadcaster, how the stories are told," Ms Vieira said.

"The empathy that sort of storytelling can create for a viewer is beyond anything you can see on the screen, because you are there and in the middle of whatever is happening."

Other significant areas of focus for 2017 were increasing female involvement in the industry as well as continued support for Indigenous productions.

Mentorships, attachments and planning sessions were being held, specifically focusing on changing the legacy of the industry to become more female-friendly.

Ms Vieira said cameras used to be very heavy pieces of equipment and typically big men were responsible for them, creating a very male-dominated environment.

But now equipment is much lighter, yet it is still mostly men behind the cameras, which Ms Vieira said needed to change.

One significant success so far is...



15/06/2017

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8 Reasons Why Drones Are a Breakthrough for Environmental Experts

 

The terrain they can cover

Wanting to survey difficult terrain with little to no established vehicle access? Hiring a drone operator to fly across areas such as this, rather than putting people on the ground, can reduce the exposure of those people to potential hazards. For example to evaluate vegetation health along rivers or drainage channels, do inspections of elevated cave entrances or to search for rare flora along ridge lines.

 

The sensors they can carry

Multispectral sensors are much smaller these days, enabling a drone to carry them and map natural phenomena that could not been possible with just the human eye.

LiDAR capability — which measures the distance from a target using a laser — can see through a forest canopy to determine the fuel density on the ground, as well as accurately plot coastal erosion

A high-resolution camera on a drone is ideal for creating 3D photomosaic images for cultural heritage mapping and coastal erosion monitoring.

Thermal and infra-red cameras, aside from detecting fires, can find wildlife in dense forests, survey solar farms hot spots, or inspect mine site machinery or wind turbines.

 

They can take off from anywhere

Drones don't need a lot of aeronautical infrastructure, they launch with a catapult and land with a parachute – you don't need a runway. Manned planes need to either fly there expending a lot of fuel, or can't get there at all.

 

Example application 1: Planned Burns

Drones can be used to evaluate an area prior to a planned burn taking place in terms of topography, hazardous trees, nearby infrastructure, and vegetation types and densities that could lead to the crossing of containment lines. And later for monitoring the planned burns while they're taking place and post-process mapping.

Drones also enable better communications for people on the ground, especially in remote areas, which in turn means increased safety for staff.

 

Example application 2: Animal Counts

Wild pigs can get into shrubby areas, cause destruction and nest inside the scrub. They are difficult to spot during the day and from ground level. A drone with a visual or thermal camera can detect them and send a live video link to people in vehicles on the ground. 


Vertebrate pests impact both the environment and primary producers causing irreparable damage to native land, Flora and Fauna along with significant losses to the agricultural sector. Queensland based business Skies Eye Drone Services is now using thermal imaging equipment to identify animals in the darkness of night, plus the aerial advantage covers more ground cost effectively as opposed to being ground based. And the data and imagery they capture is non-invasive, keeps humans at distance and allows natural monitoring of even the most elusive native animals.


Surveying animals such as koala population sizes at sites - drones are quieter than traditional aircraft, making the animals less likely to be disturbed and therefore easier to count.


Example application 3: Mapping Emissions

One start-up in Finland, Aeromon, is mapping something less tangible than land: industrial emissions. It has built a drone and software platform capable of tracking invisible gases from above.

 

And it’s not been easy. In order to accurately map gases as they enter the atmosphere, Aeromon team has developed a sophisticated sensor package, ‘BH-8’, which can be attached to a drone to capture data in the field. A connected analytics platform takes the information from these airborne sensors and lets plant operators and regulators map emissions in real-time. This can help governments and authorities keep factories and fossil fuel companies in check.

 

Example application 4: Catching Poachers in Africa

We all know that illegal poaching is causing the numbers of certain animals to dwindle to the point of near-extinction, including elephants and rhinos. One tech startup, Air Shepherd, is using drones to stop this from happening. The organization uses drones to capture evidence and survey huge areas of land. Not only do they help provide the proof that results in convictions, they also actively repel poachers on the ground. See video https://vimeo.com/183221312

 

Example application 5: Water Preservation

Equipped with infrared cameras, drones are being trialed in hot and remote locations, to detect leaks in underground water pipes in the desert. Research led by Professor Amin Al-Habaibeh at Nottingham Trent University in the UK aims to prevent water loss using infrared technology to spot leaks that are invisible to the naked eye.



14/06/2017

Drones will transform the way buildings are designed, the way they look and the way they are used, according to architect Mark Dytham.


Dytham, co-founder of Tokyo-based studio Klein Dytham Architecture, said that unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) would soon replace road transport for deliveries, meaning buildings would start "sprouting branches" for them to land on.


Further ahead, people-carrying drones would lead to a complete rethink of the way buildings work, since occupants and visitors would no longer need to enter at ground level and could instead fly directly to any floor.


This will begin to alter people's spatial perceptions, as they get used to seeing the world from the air rather than just from the ground.


"In the future you'll experience architecture from drones," he said. "They will change the way architecture is perceived. We'll all see buildings from above. We'll cease to be ground-dwelling creatures; we'll see things in a vertical dimension."


Dytham already uses a quadcopter to survey sites, inspect construction quality and photograph completed buildings. But he said the next few years would bring more dramatic changes, as battery technology improves and UAVs become able to carry heavier loads.


UAVs will start to become a key mode of transport in urban areas, he predicted, which would further change the form of buildings.


"You'll be able to land on a balcony,” he said. "You'll be able to land on a roof and other perches. Architecture will start sprouting branches for you to land on."

Delivery companies were already making plans to deliver goods via drones, he said, which would save time and reduce road congestion. "One of the biggest problems in cities right now is all these vans delivering things to buildings," he said. "In future, deliveries will be landed on the roof by a drone. It's a profound change."


Since the first experimental drone delivery company launched in 2013, interest in using autonomous flying machines to dispatch goods has rocketed. Amazon is investing heavily in drones and last December made its first commercial delivery, using a UAV to deliver a bag of popcorn to a home in Cambridgeshire, England.


Transport will move from roads to skies


This would change the fabric of cities, Dytham said. "Warehouses that are outside the city will get smaller and come closer to the city to be within range of battery-powered drones. Cities won't have to repair their bridges and roads. We're going to be flying 50 or 60 kilometres in 20 minutes in drone taxis."


Dytham bought his first drone two years ago and immediately began using it on projects, for example to explore sites and photograph completed buildings. He recently upgraded to a Mavic Pro, a folding quadcopter that boasts a 4k camera and which can be controlled by a smartphone.

"It gives a different spatial awareness of the site," he said. "Recently we were working in the countryside and we needed to survey the trees. Getting a tree survey is very expensive but we can do that very easily with a drone. We flew the drone at a height of 100 metres, and assembled the photos in Photoshop. We surveyed the site in a morning, we printed the photos out and calculated the canopy sizes of the trees."


Dytham uses the Mavic Pro to photograph his firm's buildings from both the outside and the inside, using its "tripod" mode to capture still shots as well as movie footage as the drone moves around.


As drone photography becomes more widespread, architects will start to consider how their buildings look from the air, he predicted.


Buildings will have to look good from the air

"You've got to be careful what your roofscape looks like now," he said. "You can't just dump all the plant on the roof any more. You've got to be really careful where you put things."


Another benefit of drones is their ability to fly close to buildings and spot problems, said Dytham, who recently used his Mavic Pro to identity the cause of a leak on the roof of his sister's house.


"For building maintenance, to fly round a building and look at what's wrong, the potential is phenomenal," he said.



30/05/2017

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While drones are spreading into industries from warehousing to oil exploration, precision agriculture remains one of the most robust segments of the market.  The ROI for drones in agriculture is compelling: and farms of every size are taking advantage of drone technology.

Three years is almost a lifetime in the drone industry, and much has changed since DRONELIFE first published our first list of the 7 Best Agricultural Drones on the Market.  With new technology, new regulations, and new software and service offerings farmers have more tools to work with than ever before.

Some of the drones on our list remain from the original: PrecisionHawk (Lancaster) and SenseFly (eBee) have been major players in the drone industry and are continually improving their offering.  The AgEagle is a drone specifically designed in collaboration with researchers at Kansas State University for precision agriculture, and it does the job well; HoneyComb’s AgDrone is another drone designed with agriculture in mind.  But the rise of the prosumer drone, and the move by traditionally recreational drone companies like DJI into the professional space, have created more options.  New services that provide qualified drone pilots have created a realistic choice for agronomists who don’t also wish to become Part 107 certified.

Let’s start with some of the leading commercial manufacturers in the industry: North Carolina-based PrecisionHawk and Parrot’s Switzerland-based senseFly.

PrecisionHawk takes a forward position not only in the production of commercial drones, but in all aspects of UAV technology.  They are instrumental in the work of drone integration in the US, and are a prominent voice in drone regulations efforts.  And while the company sells commercial packages that include DJI prosumer drones, their own Lancaster model remains an industry leader.  The Lancaster can be used across industries: including mining, energy, and inspection; but its ease of use and durability make it ideal for agriculture, especially in difficult conditions.  Lia Reich, PrecisionHawk’s VP of Marketing and Communications, says the platform is perfect for precision ag – and has stood the test of time.  “PrecisionHawk’s first platform, the Lancaster, has been consistently updated as we learn and better understand the needs of our customers. Currently on its fifth iteration, the Lancaster fits the agriculture market’s need of capturing consistent data across large areas, but we have also seen significant growth for research applications,” says Reich. “The platform is well suited for enterprise seed and chemical companies and university researchers who need to fly various types sensors for advanced remote sensing applications. Engineers at PrecisionHawk have been able to differentiate the Lancaster from the other platforms the company sells, including the DJI M100 and M600 Pro, by integrating sensors like thermal and LiDAR while also improving durability and overall flight performance. In the end, the goal is to ensure accurate data collection on every flight. To do so, we continue to make the platform more autonomous and user-friendly to ensure the seamless integration of drone technology into our client’s existing workflows.”

senseFly’s eBee drone is another industry name found on our original list.  Referred to then as the “eBee Ag Drone” it’s now the eBee SQ, a lightweight fixed-wing with Parrot’s fully integrated Sequoia camera.  eMotion Ag flight planning software is designed to help integrate the drone into existing workflows.  And the flight range – which senseFly says results in fewer flights – makes it an effective tool for large scale farms.  The company has been diligent in keeping the platform evolving.  “The eBee SQ allows agricultural professionals to collect highly precise data on the health of their crops, efficiently and cost-effectively,” says Jean-Christophe Zufferey, senseFly’s CEO. “It represents a platform-proven upgrade for those who may have been trialing drone technology—for example by flying quadcopters over their crops—including those who already own a Parrot Sequoia. By upgrading to the eBee SQ, these operators gain a professional-grade, easy-to-use system that can cover many more acres in a single flight.”



30/05/2017

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