Saturday, June 6, 2015

Drone, Drones, Drones and more Drones.

Schottland, Piper, Dudelsack, KiltWhen you hear the word drone, what do you think of.  I think of a professor I had in college who droned on and on and on and tried to put people to sleep with just his monotonic voice.  I also think of the drone of my fathers bagpipes when he was learning to play.  He locked him self in the bathroom but the sounds of the choking cat (the bagpipes) still slipped through under the door. 

Thursday, I had the pleasure of watching a 6 rotor helicopter drone in action at the rocket range!  It was way cool and was amazing.  Two young men were checking it out because they were getting it ready to take pictures of a bridge

and had moved the camera up to the top so it could go under the bridge.  The picture on the right shows the drone. The orange part on top is from a 3D printer.
The camera is the little knob on the front of the drone.  That camera can be moved around the drone as needed, depending on what type of job it is doing.

They flew it for us using a manual joy stick.  They explained they had some automatic piloting features but for landing and take off, they prefer to control it manually because of sudden gusts of wind.  They have it programmed to use GPS signals to hover in one place or they can give it a specific path to fly if they desire.  This is a drone designed to complete data collecting for various companies and the state. 

I had a really good time watching the drone. They indicated this particular model cost several thousand dollars but you get get simpler ones.  I think Make magazine put out an issue on drones you could do yourself. 

If you are wondering why I'm talking about the rocket range, the geophysical institute (more on it tomorrow) and drones, its because I am a geek and love scientific things.  To me, it is paradise getting to take tours of things like this, going off to view a 3D printer in action.  For my sister, she is ecstatic when she gets to go shopping at large shopping centers, or little whole in the wall auction places where she can find bargains. 

Enjoy your day.  Next week I"ll be reporting from Hawaii with some cool things I have fun stumbling across and learn. 

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