Commercial use of drones stirs privacy concerns

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is considering expanding the number of testing sites for amateur drone makers. Six sites will be selected, including two in California, in a move that the FAA hopes will help it to understand how to integrate future unmanned aerial systems (UAS) into US airspace, something Congress told it to do by 2015. At present, there is only one such site – near San Francisco, California.

Drone hobbyists and do-it-yourself tinkerers gather in the Bay Area to test their inventions, pitting amateur flying machines against each other in battles of strength and flying techniques won by whichever drone lasts the longest and gets back up in the air fastest.

“We were beginners, so just getting off the ground caused damage,” Marque Cornblatt said. So it occurred to him and his fellow hobbyists to build an “indestructible” drone. In cooperation with the Eli D’Elia company, they created an impact-resistant drone from durable plastic called Kydex. It can survive crashes and even shotgun blasts.

This week, a group of amateur drone designers, aerial photographers, robotics enthusiasts and entrepreneurs met in a suburban field south of Napa in the San Francisco Bay Area for a drone-fly-in event organized by the Make magazine. … (Read more)

Commercial use of drones stirs privacy concerns


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