Tibor Bijl

The good drones bring us

Participation and innovation rapidly changes the image and usage of drones

Drones have gotten a bad reputation in the past years. Considering the amount of negative media attention they have received, that is no surprise. Drone strikes, innocent victims, privacy issues, there is a lot of controversy surrounding drones and it's only natural for people to question whether drones are needed in our lives. In this article we hope to shed some light on the positive (and entertaining) utilization of drones and the drone community.

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Parrot AR Drone - A Parrot AR Drone taking off in Nevada

ConservationDrones

ConservationDrones seeks to share knowledge of building and using low-cost unmanned aerial vehicles for conservation purposes along with conservation workers and researchers worldwide, especially those in developing countries. They are currently active in creating an anti-poaching video drone in Nepal, seabird monitoring, marine conservation and fighting the destruction of elephant habitats in Sumatra.
Their aim is to inspire others about the emerging technologies available for conservation and raise public awareness of conservation challenges in those regions.

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ConservationDrones - Demonstrating the Vanguard to the Nepali Directorate of National Parks

TravelByDrone

If you're too low on cash or time for a holiday or you simply want to check out some aerial footage of different places around the world, be sure to check out TravelByDrone , a website where drone pilots upload their own videos and pin-point the shooting location on a map. The quality of the footage and film technique varies a lot, but it's really nice to check out some footage of a remote place like Iceland or to get a birds-eye view of temples in Mexico.

Dronestagram

Similar to TravelByDrone is Dronestagram , the Instagram for drone users. It's a platform where people can share pictures and videos taken by drones. It showcases some unique aerial photography and videos. You can check out beautiful images of nature or industrial sites and some nice 'Dronies' (selfies taken with a drone).

Drone Pilot Association

While the rules surrounding the commercial and personal use of drones in the US are still unclear, the Drone Pilot Association (DPA) decided not to wait until the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) would decide on the future of commercial drone usage and took matters in their own hands. The DPA stated: “We all want the ability to operate commercially, and we all want to operate safely and responsibly while doing so” . The group sets out to represent all commercial drone pilots and make it possible for these users to pursue commercial usage of drones in their line of work. With over a 1000 members within the first three days, it shows that there is a wider discontent about the way the FAA works and that commercial drone users are looking for a way to safely and professionally conduct their business, instead of waiting until the FAA decides their future.

Matternet

Matternet believes that drones should be used in the developing world, by delivering food, medicine and other items to areas that are difficult to acces by road. By creating their own network of drones, landing pads and shipping systems, they want to connect and create an infrastructure for drone delivery in areas where it's more expensive and sometimes almost impossible to build decent roads and bridges.

Check out the TED Talk by Matternet's CEO Andreas Raptopoulos: