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What's the big picture for the future?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by greytail, Jan 23, 2015.

  1. greytail

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    From reading some of the posts on this forum, the commeicial use issue is so uncertain that wonders who would be foolish enough to buy the DJI Inspire or any other drone costing about the same. Surely this state of affairs is effecting sales of upper end drones which can carry cameras like the Panasonic GH4. So I am wondering, are you one of those sitting on the fence waiting to see what the FAA finally does before shelling out big bucks for a bird that might never pay for itself?
     
  2. LandYachtMedia

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    I'm not buying a UAV for hire till I know what the hardware requirements are.

    A lot of people are sweating the rules for the operators and not paying attention to what is likely coming on the hardware side. Like most things under government regulation it won't be simple and it won't be cheap AND none of the off the shelf DJI products will make the grade when the rules come out (in my opinion).

    I expect the minimum cost for an airframe that will be OK under the FAA rules for commercial use will be north of $10k.
     
  3. sherpa

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    People will always spend money! After I retired I worked part time in a bicycle shop and was always amused by people coming in and spending $9000.00 on a bike they ride once a year! Same thing with Quads! Look at all the people asking the same questions...same thing at the bike shop!
     
  4. RichWest

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    I believe the hardware will require standards to be set. As it is, from what I gleaned from the RC industry, very few items are set to meet any particular standard. Examples like IEEE, ANSI, ASTM or otherwise. Currently, if you can solder a chip or wind a motor in this industry you're good to go.

    For commercial application, where public safety is concerned, you'll have to have some minimum standards with proof of conformance. We may even have to have an AASHTO or similar to play a part to make things agreeable. The FCC requires communication devices to conform to a certain standard. Nothing related to reliability, just not/do allow interference to other devices.

    I think the cost to conform to a meaningful standard would be minimal once as standard was established. I'd be willing to spend 100% more for what I'm presently flying to have more confidence that less will go wrong.... As it is today for my P2V+, I've spent well over $800 to correct what I feel are the short comings in the material. So in hind sight, $2600 spent on a completely functional product would have made better sense, if it were available and proven by testing.

    Sorry, No I don't think the Inspire one is that answer either.... Just a revamped P2V+ in a prettier package. Buyers are paying more to have DJI respond to service issues 24/7, makes the user feel better but still the same random issues or mishmash of parts...even on the initial released units...think CF arms on the Inspire as an obvious indicator of random or fix on the fly...they have different performance properties related to torque.
     
  5. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    Here's what I see in the crystal ball:

    • Prices will continue to drop. Today's $10k drone will be half that within 3 years.
    • Smaller, cheaper RTF drones will rival their bigger hobbyist brothers in capability but there will always be a pro segment.
    • Viable alternatives to DJI's flight control systems will gain traction.
    • Reliability and customer services will improve as a growing Western and non-RC consumer base demands it.
    • Collision avoidance systems and traffic avoidance systems will start appearing. Positioning systems will move beyond GPS only. That will all happen within 3 years but will take a longer time to mature.
    • Regulations will continue to be stuck in a quagmire until they reach a tipping point. Countries that haven't yet adopted exemptions for <5lb vehicles will slowly do so over the next 2 - 4 years. These countries will slowly realize that they have no way to enforce rules for small vehicle use and the threat to full-sized air traffic is much less than anticipated. They shift their approach to a public education program.
    • A small drone will hit a plane. The plane will land without incident.
    • People will get more comfortable with drones as they see them more often though a small percentage will still fear them as they become even more automated and appear to be acting like actual drones. Eventually the news will tire of reporting on silly little incidents.
     
  6. PhantomFanatic

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    I'm somewhat on the fence as I might develop a business, but it isn't a big deal to me. That doesn't mean that I don't care what happens on the commercial end, as I do. But, I'm more concerned about any actions taken against the multi-rotor hobbyist.

    The media is really slamming us and that worries me. The media doesn't seem to care about the loss of life from military drones or our loss of our freedoms overall, with cameras everywhere.

    No, they are focused on hobbyist's flying 'drones' in their own property, a park, a field, all with permission. Some of these military drones could cause a LOT of damage, or loss of life if crashed on private or public property. It is SO unfair and we are catching the heat from our RC crafts, being 'drones.'

    Since they are considered drones, by the media, ours seem to be considered as very dangerous and they are capable of spying on a neighbor. Yes, we could do that. But, so can military and private sector satellites. There is public access to satellites, with their imaging equipment aiming at planet Earth! So can low flying public, military and private aircraft.

    Then, high flying planes, with the right equipment could do the same. Mainly military planes. As I recall, a lawsuit against Google, resulted in lowering the resolution of the images we can access.

    YET, WE are what concerns, at least, America at this point in time!! Careless operators will destroy it for all of us. It isn't fair, but that is where we are. A VTOL plane, that I posted about, can carry a pound of cargo. This could be two Heros or a small bomb. Yet, multi-rotors, AKA drones, is the focus.

    Maybe I'll just buy the VTOL PLANE and avoid all of this! No. I will hang in to the end, doing what I can to defend our rights, along with buying the new Ora and the VTOL plane!
     
  7. MadMitch88

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    Hopefully, the flight controllers will move towards open-source and flourish, allowing an endless amt. of tweaking and innovation. All we have to do is look to the Android OS developer community for proof of how it can work and thrive.

    I can see collision avoidance happening to some degree in the big commercial drones, but I can't see this working too well with sub-$5,000 consumer drones. Just too much weight and complexity to make it effective. Besides, I think the whole industry it moving towards "GPS navigation with control over cell tower". This type of system could greatly mitigate the need for complex collision avoidance systems since every commercial drone will know where it is and communicate with other drones to avoid collisions. I just can't see a future where thousands of these machines are each flying some random path through the sky and being totally oblivious to each other. Seems like a very Stone Age way to manage the airspace. This is where the FAA can really be effective --- creating air corridors that commercial drones must fly in.

    I agree, and it might've already happened but wasn't widely reported.

    Yep, just like all the media frenzy over brain tumors supposedly caused by cell phones in the 90's. Caused a lot of unfounded fear, but that's par for the course with any new technology that's hitting critical mass.
     
  8. SteveMann

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    Not likely to happen. Maybe in ten years, but the technology barely exists today and the cost per aircraft is high. General Aviation aircraft are mandated to have ADSB-Out on their aircraft by 2020 so that other ADS-B equipped aircraft will have some visibility of the sky around them, but the GA groups are pushing back because the cost of each box is north of $5K and few have been certified.

    I am not saying it won't happen, but it's unlikely. If it does it will be a non-event because other than a paint scrape, it's quite likely that the pilots won't even know it happened.
     
  9. Narrator

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    Aviation regulations always try to align internationally. That said, the US doesn't like to follow anyone else's lead. But if the FAA do follow the rest of us, DJI products will be legal under one category or another, and a commercial license/endorsement will be available for each category.

    I'm told that here in Australia, we currently have weight categories combined with control module (e.g. Naza or other), but there is talk that commercial use here will soon be free under 2kg, while over 2kg it will be according to the control module. Thank the gods drone use is legal here (within the rules) and commercial use is sanctioned by license.
     
  10. lake_flyer

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    http://tusexpo.com/ The Unmanned Systems Expo in The Hague, Netherlands. Have a look at this link and you get a feeling what drones can do in the future and already can do now. It's a lot more than just filming and photography of course.
     
  11. LandYachtMedia

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    I think its not likely that a certified system would be open source. The requirements for software validation run counter to the open source method. The development cycle with certified systems is much longer than with open source but that is how mission critical systems are done. As an example have you ever seen an open source insulin pump? I'd be surprised to see an open source anything as part of a certified UAS platform.
     
  12. Hughie

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    +1

    I have worked developing software systems for a number of years, including integrating with other systems. The ones which have caused us the biggest quality issues tend to be the open source ones. The attraction of open source means poor quality seems to be made more acceptable since any bugs "can be easily rectified if you have access to the code base". Thank's a lot, but I would just like it tested properly in the first place, access to source code or no access to source code.