You thought drones were just for warfare in far away lands? Thank again. As I watched the CBS Sunday Morning report Drones: Eyes in the sky (w/video) I liked the idea of using a personal drone to get good aerial photos to use here.
Suppose you’ve got a dangerous hostage situation; an unmanned aircraft can track the gunman. It can evaluate flooding, or help firefighters cheaply and safely without endangering lives, the argument goes.
But today, you or I could go online, order a drone kit for a few hundred dollars, and fly the thing anywhere, legally.
Terry Kilby, a smartphone app designer, and his wife, Belinda, an art teacher, use theirs to take bird’s-eye view photographs of Baltimore.
“We can get something that is a totally unique and fresh perspective on images that you would ordinarily think that you’ve already seen before, but now it’s a completely new take on it,” said Belinda. (CBS Sunday Morning)
Their photos shown in the CBS report forced me to imagine the possibilities, although the cost is too steep for my purposes:
Now they shoot with a custom hexicopter, an approximately $3,000 flying photography studio that can climb as high as 400 feet. It’s outfitted with two cameras, GPS to lock and hold an altitude, and a gyroscope to keep it level. There are goggles Kilby can strap on to see exactly what the drone is seeing. (Baltimore Sun)
But Amazon has one for $299 that I could control from my iPhone (pictured). But I also thought I’d be concerned about someone controlling a drone outside my 4th floor windows. In December a bill was introduced in the Missouri House regarding drone use:
The bill proposed by State Rep. Casey Guernsey, R-Bethany, would require law enforcement officers to get a warrant before using drones to gather evidence or other information about criminal activities. It also would ban people, organizations and state agencies from using unmanned aircraft to conduct surveillance of people, farms or agricultural operations without the owner’s permission. (KMOX)
The bill is HB46.
The poll this week seeks your thoughts on drones. Would this bill protect your privacy or infringe your rights to use a drone? The poll is in the right sidebar, mobile users need to switch to the full layout.
– Steve Patterson