You won’t believe what this egg did next, by Finn Macleod, Zenlike focus
The power of drones depends very much on what you put on them. Put on weapons, and you have a weapon, put on cameras and you have a surveillance. Like other technologies, drones are traversing the path from high end military tech to mass adoption and bizarrely unforseen artistic uses. Put on synchronized LED lights add a group of Japanese musicians and you have this:
Drone Show near Mount Fuji with Skymagic
We went to the London launch of Powervision’s new 360 drone, immersed ourselves with conversations with gadget bloggers and got a chance to catch up on how far drone tech has come in the last few years. Scale is foremost: Powervision itself has over 500 employees. They grew out of commercial contracts, (inspecting powerlines and the like) and are progressing with ever more consumer focused products. Their CEO Wally Zheng is suitably visionary
“In the future every family will have one. The sky is the limit!”
Their latest one looks like an egg the size of a rugby ball, has autolanding gear that emerge within three metres of the ground, and comes equipped with a “parent override” control.
Wally Zheng, CEO of drone company, Powervision
Rarely does the Reddit community get excited by a headline like “How I made over $50,000 in 5 days“, but add “with a drone” and it all changed. Think “disruption of the helicopter”. But it’s gone further than using them for scanning and inspection in areas like agriculture and mining. Drones have now reached the wedding industry, are moving rapidly towards pizza delivery and it’s not long now before they’re ready to displace the selfie stick…If anyone remembers the “control-your-paper-plane with your phone” Kickstarter project going around a few years ago — it has been funded, delivered to the backers in a box as promised, and is now adding cameras.
The ironic thing for commercial drones is that they are often illegal. It’s legal to fly drones in the UK below a certain height, but certain areas, such as London, there’s a blanket ban – which is why the PowerEgg opening event was an indoor demo. Except that people do fly them. Type in “drone, Hyde Park” and there are unashamed, proud drone owners, (equipped with beer in hand). If you have a production line making thousands of these things a day…selling a product that teenagers instinctively love…it goes without saying that they’ll be flown-under-influence and found lurking outside the windows of their ex-girlfriends 12th floor apartment .
One might think of the early introduction of the automobile, and the various ways that were attempted to regulate it. Britain of course, had created legislation (the “Red Flag Acts”) that required any automobile to have flag bearers walk in front of the car to warn any pedestrians – which apparently put the British car industry behind the Germans and they took decades to catch up.
We’re still coming to terms with this technology and existing legislation is designed for much larger aircraft. Lobbying by large companies with interests in the space (Amazon recently received further clearance for testing their delivery drones) will undoubtedly shift things in time, But in the meantime, development and market growth continues.
Which all points to one big need. Every Police department in the country is going to need some method of catching rogue drones.
There’s the ground based bazooka with net – the Skywall 100.
There’s the drone-on-drone strategy:
And finally Police in the Netherlands are training Eagles to do exactly this.
The Dutch always do seem to have progressive government.
By Finn Macleod, founder of Zenlike Focus who we have featured previously here. See more about his work here:
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