If you are a regular reader of online news, it is quite likely that you have noticed more and more media attention on drone devices. Once a word used only when discussing military tactics, a drone is now seen more as a unique tool for many types of work or recreation.
There are several designs for autonomous helicam systems that stay wirelessly connected to their owners through the use of smartphone apps. As an example, one helicam syncs with the phone and then stays roughly 70 feet from the owner and uses the helicam to film whatever they do. This is popular with surfers, snowboarders, and many athletes. It could also be great for online tours, nature films, and so much more.
However, as amazing and innovative as drone technologies have become, they still face challenges from some regulating agencies. A recent news item out of Texas illustrated the need for the Federal Aviation Administration to quickly create guidelines for helicam enthusiasts and aerial filming experts.
In the story, a firm in Texas was described as resuming business in spite of an FAA ruling that it should cease using a helicam. The story is fascinating because the firm was a non-profit (meaning not a commercial entity), and yet the lack of clarity in the current FAA guidelines for multi-rotor devices created some confusion.
The company, known as EquuSearch uses a helicam in order to search for missing persons. Essentially, a quadcopter helicam unit is sent up in an area to look for signs of a missing person. The company has been extremely successful in the use of a flying camera to discover clues or even find the missing person.
Certainly, not all of the company's cases have a happy ending, but according to the news article, the firm has used its helicam gear to locate eleven people since 2005.
However, this is not the only group seeking to use flying camera equipment for humanitarian purposes. For example, a startup known as Matternet is currently looking to use drone technologies purely for humanitarian purposes. (CTVNews)
The group performed a trial flight in the beleaguered country of Haiti, and used the flying camera gear to transport blood samples to the Doctors Without Borders offices. The company's founder also explains that they intend to use the drone gear to carry food and medicine to individuals and groups caught after natural disasters or warfare.
What It Means for the Drone
All of these unique and heartfelt reasons for using aerial filming gear prove that the FAA can no longer delay its rulings. The current focus has been on dealing with commercial use of the helicam, but that is what caused the problem with the humanitarian agency in Texas. Not operating for profit, they still fell into this gray area.
As the FAA reaches its final decisions and formulates its guidelines, it is important for any group interested in mastering flying camera equipment for humanitarian purposes to learn as much as possible. At store.helivideopros.com, visitors will find the latest flying camera tech, including the popular DJI brand. The shop also has opportunities for those who want to become flying camera experts to get training. Of course, the store is also a place to get in touch with the aerial filming experts at Heli Video Pros, too.
This group has long recognized the many benefits of the helicam and has already become a recognized force in the world of helicam equipment. They offer a good introduction to the world of drone devices, and can help any humanitarian group understand how technology can help them meet their missions regardless of confusing rules and guidelines around the globe.
Associated Press. Texas EquuSearch Says It Will Resume Drone After Federal Court Ruling. ABC13.com. 2014. http://abc13.com/technology/texas-equusearch-says-it-will-resume-drone-use/199199/
- Drones Finding Work in Many Aspects of Live. CTVNews.ca. http://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/robo-world-drones-finding-work-in-many-aspects-of-life-1.1922552