Multi-copter Blitz

The multi-copter blitz is on.  One of the very cool things about DIY/rapid-prototyping technologies approaching ubiquity is that prognostication over the near-term can be a somewhat self-fullfilling thing. The emergence of multicopter drones in particular applications provides a good example of this.
  1. Predict that drone journalists will take to the sky. 
  2. Advertise the tentative steps by various groups towards that reality.  
  3. Natural competitive instincts, invisible certification and hacker attitude throughout the weakly associated network fuel more steps  in the right direction.
  4. Advertise those additional steps
  5. Repeat 3&4 until prognostication is true.  
If you can imagine the physical mashup and use-case, then you (or someone like you) will make it happen, and it will mainly be a result of advertising and one-upmanship.

eye3 video below the fold.

The eye3 project on kickstarter is an interesting step by one group towards the drone-photo-journalist future.

Based on what we saw of Angus' AR.Drone though, that thing is just about the solution.  I think it will be hard to beat the $300 price point plus the fact that there's probably a physical location nearby where you can already pick one up.


  1. More Drone Muckraker action (by way of the prognostication feedback loop at Makezine).

  2. UAV Provision To Benefit Cinematography Industry.
    The New York Times (2/19, Wingfield) "Bits" blog reported on a provision contained in FAA reauthorization that requires the FAA to draft rules governing the widespread use of commercial UAVs, a welcome move for cinematographers. Aerial cinematographer Russell Freeman "said he was contacted by the FAA last year and told to stop flying his drone. He's still using unmanned helicopters to shoot commercials and television shows outside the United States, but he says many of his competitors are ignoring the ban." Cinematographer Tabb Firchau said he moved his business abroad after FAA restrictions prevented him from working in the US. He said, "There's an entire industry sitting on the fringes, just waiting."

  3. This TED talk that is getting lots of mainstream media coverage has some good multi-copter info. 600Hz control updates --> more than an order of magnitude faster than X-29.