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UAV Operator Blames Hacking For Malfunction That Injured Triathlete 178

Posted by timothy
from the convenient-line dept.
jaa101 (627731) writes "The owner of a drone which fell and reportedly hit an athlete competing in a triathlon in Western Australia's Mid West has said he believes the device was 'hacked' into." From the article: "Mr Abrams said an initial investigation had indicted that someone nearby "channel hopped" the device, taking control away from the operator. ... Mr Abrams said it was a deliberate act and it would be difficult to determine who was responsible as something as common as a mobile phone could be used to perform a channel hop. The videographer added that there had been a similar incident when the drone was flown earlier in the day."
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UAV Operator Blames Hacking For Malfunction That Injured Triathlete

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  • Evolution (Score:5, Funny)

    by SuperKendall (25149) on Sunday April 06, 2014 @11:44PM (#46680599)

    This is why, as a professional athlete, I always make sure I'm fielding my own anti-drone drone to take out drones that get close to me.

    • Re:Evolution (Score:5, Insightful)

      by davester666 (731373) on Monday April 07, 2014 @12:20AM (#46680783) Journal

      This is the funny part "The videographer added that there had been a similar incident when the drone was flown earlier in the day."

      If he drove a car, and he noticed that the brakes had failed earlier, but instead of getting it repaired, he started a new trip, eventually plowing into a group of people, he would be in jail...

      I guess it's different if you are piloting a toy plane over a crowd.

      • Re:Evolution (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Architect_sasyr (938685) on Monday April 07, 2014 @12:38AM (#46680865)
        Reads like bullshit anyway. Something went wrong, he throws up the "it wasn't me it must be those evil hackers" defence rather than accepting the blame for putting his device together poorly or letting it go out of range. There would be no way of knowing for sure if another device took control during the incident (because who would build that in to a home made UAV), so he *may* be telling the truth, but if it happened twice in one day either someone is out there deliberately hashing the channels to mess with everybody, or he just went out of range/did something wrong/etc.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          but if it happened twice in one day either someone is out there deliberately hashing the channels to mess with everybody, or he just went out of range/did something wrong/etc.

          Or someone on the track next door has a track cleaning machine with bad shielding around the motor. They clean the other track whilst everyone is looking at the athletes competing over on the other side.

        • Re:Evolution (Score:5, Informative)

          by niftydude (1745144) on Monday April 07, 2014 @02:46AM (#46681223)

          Reads like bullshit anyway..

          \ This is correct. According to the drone operator: "She looks over her shoulder and gets frightened, falling to the ground and bumping her head, but the drone didn't actually strike her"

          But according to the triathlete: "I have lacerations on my head from the drone and the ambulance crew took a piece of propeller from my head"

          I reckon the drone operator is full of shit and just making up whatever comes to mind. In the same breath he claims that the drone didn't hit her, that she fell on her own, and that anyway the drone was hacked so it isn't his fault. Typical blame everyone but himself personality disorder.

          • He's basing his claim on the drone footage showing it crash to the ground. That doesn't mean she didn't get hit: Depending on how fast the drone was going, the shrapnel could have been pretty nasty - particularly pieces from the propeller.

            • He's basing his claim on the drone footage showing it crash to the ground. That doesn't mean she didn't get hit: Depending on how fast the drone was going, the shrapnel could have been pretty nasty - particularly pieces from the propeller.

              None of that gives him any evidence or indication to support his claim that his drone was hacked. He's completely plucked that excuse out of thin air to avoid personal responsibility for his actions.

              If you had ever been to Geraldton, you would know that it is a small country town on the edge of nowhere, and that the idea that there are some uber-hackers floating around a local triathlon hacking into drones is ridiculous.

          • Agreed, and furthermore, even if he 'merely' spooked the runner to the point where she fell, then he was operating the drone irresponsibly.

            This jerk needs to man-up and learn to take responsibility for his own actions. Until then, he shouldn't be operating a drone - or a car, for that matter.

          • by camg188 (932324)

            according to the drone operator...
            according to the triathlete...
            I reckon the drone operator is full of shit and just making up whatever comes to mind.

            Why do you automatically believe the athlete?
            Something strange is going on with "her". The article refers to Raija Ogden as "her", "she", and "Mrs".
            But that picture with the article... IT'S A MAN, BABY! [youtu.be]

        • Re:Evolution (Score:5, Interesting)

          by ozmanjusri (601766) <aussie_bob@NOsPam.hotmail.com> on Monday April 07, 2014 @04:02AM (#46681535) Journal

          Something went wrong, he throws up the "it wasn't me it must be those evil hackers" defence rather than accepting the blame for putting his device together poorly or letting it go out of range.

          The drone looks like a DJI Flamewheel F550, and I'm guessing by his comments he was using the DJI iPad Ground Station (or equivalent) to bluetooth to his iDevice.

          That gives any hacker two vectors of opportunity, but also the operator two transmitters to get out of range from, with the Bluetooth connection being the shortest range and most likely culprit. And if it was really a bad guy taking control or disrupting the connection, I suspect the iPad's Bluetooth is again the one any opportunistic villain would be more likely to be familiar with.

        • Re:Evolution (Score:5, Insightful)

          by NoKaOi (1415755) on Monday April 07, 2014 @04:19AM (#46681597)

          Mobile phone 'could have been used to channel hop'

          Um, so pretty much doesn't that mean the drone was running on WiFi? So it was most likely simply interference, another device was trying to use the same channel has his device. Lesson 1: If you're going to operate a UAV over WiFi, check to make sure nothing else is on the channel. Lesson 2: If you're going to operate a UAV over WiFi, don't fly it where it could crash into somebody because you never know when another device is going to interfere with the channel you're using. Lesson 3: If something in the area interfered with it in the morning, don't fly it over humans without figuring out the interference.

          He said a full check was conducted and the device was taken elsewhere for a test flight, but he said no issues were detected.

          Which means whatever it was interfering with was in the area you were operating it in when it crashed, not the area where you tested it.

          Mr Abrams said an initial investigation had indicted that someone nearby "channel hopped" the device, taking control away from the operator.

          So somebody switched on their mobile hotspot and it was on the same channel as your UAV.

          The videographer added that there had been a similar incident when the drone was flown earlier in the day.

          Wow. Had this not happened I'd say the guy doesn't understand technical stuff (he's a photographer, not an IT guy) and that this was an unfortunate accident, but considering it happened earlier, he didn't consult with a technical person, and he still flew it over humans that's downright negligence and he should be responsible for the competitor's medical expenses, entry fee and any travel expenses. Perhaps even prosecuted for endangerment (either reckless endangerment or public endangerment, I think Australia has those laws similar to most US states).

      • Or if there's a guy clearly in your back seat that you noticed was driving your car previously, lol.
    • Re:Evolution (Score:5, Informative)

      by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Monday April 07, 2014 @01:08AM (#46680959)

      This article [yahoo.com] has a much better photo, including the "drone" right after it smacked into the guy's head.

  • by tlambert (566799) on Sunday April 06, 2014 @11:45PM (#46680603)

    If only it were possible to do challenge/response! Using a pre-arranged CERT, so that the drone sends a challenge for each command that has to be encrypted with the shared secret before the drone would accept it!

    Oh... wait... it's completely possible.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 07, 2014 @12:10AM (#46680723)

      In the US, properly designed 2.4 GHz RC radios, at least for model aircraft,
      do in fact authenticate control signals. The best of the lot use a
      channel hopping technique that is effectively all but totally imune to interference.
      I assume that such equipment is available in Australia, and should have been
      used.

      • by Opportunist (166417) on Monday April 07, 2014 @02:03AM (#46681103)

        Frequency hopping RC radios are pretty much the standard today among model plane enthusiasts. My dad happens to fly them and IIRC the freq hopping technology went into mainstream a good decade ago, as far as I know you can't even get "old school", fixed-channel controls anymore. It's also low-tech-person compatible technology (my dad most definitely is one), you simply press a button on both sender and receiver to "attune" them and you're set.

        The technology is also quite tamper proof. Short of full frequency spectrum static flooding, there is very little you can do to disable communication between sender and receiver, let alone "take over" control of such a plane.

        Of course, I don't know what the current tech standard for drones is like. I would have thought, though, that the standard would be higher than it is for toys.

      • by Platinumrat (1166135) on Monday April 07, 2014 @05:42AM (#46681867) Journal

        But what kind of person is going to research all the information needed to fly and operate a drone safely. Mostly, they'll buy the cheapest unit that the retailer sells them.

        The fact that he crashed it, is likely to put him into trouble, especially since he was using it for commercial purposes. In Australia, a license is required to operate a UAV commercially, with adequate certification of the pilots.

        From the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

        1. It's Illegal to fly Remotely Piloted Aircraft for money or economic reasons...

        2. You must not fly closer than 30 meters to vehicles, boats, buildings or people

        3. FPV flying is illegal without an Advanced Amateur Radio License

        ....

        I guess he's in a lot of trouble.

      • by Max Littlemore (1001285) on Monday April 07, 2014 @12:29PM (#46684917)
        In Australia it's illegal to fly a UAV within 30 meters of a human. This donkey was using an iPad to fly it 10 meters above the track. Even if quality radios are available here (of course they are) it sounds like he's a 'creative' type with little regard for anything without a brand name he reckognizes, physical reality or the law.
    • "It looks like you're trying to maim an athlete. Move Left to proceed, Right to cancel"

      Wait - my left or its left?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 07, 2014 @02:34AM (#46681183)

      Depending on the model of drone, NO IT IS NOT
      The parrot AR drone in particular has no security, and you can't add any ontop of it (We've tried, and it wants to be a black box, and me trying is why posting as AC)

      Many of the drones out there are NOT meant to be tinkered with, and I haven't yet seen one (non military) that has any level of encryption at all or really even authentication...

      The first good drone that runs something like the Google Android that is going to be for ultra low energy use for smart watches, etc that is suppose to be coming out this summer... or something similar will probably be the first reasonably priced drone with any decent encryption, let alone tinkering

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        arducopter + android otg.

        pretty cheap and you can build anything you want to it, security etc.

        but most importantly have the failsafe mode to not crash down straight like a rock.

  • by whois (27479) on Sunday April 06, 2014 @11:47PM (#46680613) Homepage

    If it's subject to interference caused by someone broadcasting on the same channel and it can't compensate for it by switching channels or in some way authenticate it's control traffic, then it's a poorly designed toy and shouldn't be used commercially.

    Reading the article:

    "Operators of all unmanned drones used in a commercial capacity are required to be certified.
    Neither Mr Abrams nor his business appear on the list of the 92 operators certified nationally."

    So it sounds like he should be charged with some form of negligence if that is applicable to Australia. In the US the FAA would also probably be fining him.

    • by ScentCone (795499) on Monday April 07, 2014 @12:09AM (#46680717)

      In the US the FAA would also probably be fining him.

      Well, that's not entirely clear just this moment. In the now-headed-into-appeals area of Huerta v Pirker, it kinda looks like the FAA doesn't actually have any formal, properly constructed rules in place. Guidance only. Their distinction between recreational and commercial use of the very same RC machines used by the same people in the same place at the very same time is pretty ridiculous - and the administrative law judge handling round one of that case agreed. But the case is still baking.

      So, if you dropped your camera drone on someone's head in the US right now, and weren't flying next to an airport or beyond line of site or over 400' ... then the trouble you're in is roughly the same as if you'd hit the same person in the head with a lawn dart or a football. Good ol' fashioned reckless endangerment, having nothing to do with the FAA pe se.

    • by mjwx (966435)

      If it's subject to interference caused by someone broadcasting on the same channel and it can't compensate for it by switching channels or in some way authenticate it's control traffic, then it's a poorly designed toy and shouldn't be used commercially.

      Reading the article:

      "Operators of all unmanned drones used in a commercial capacity are required to be certified.
      Neither Mr Abrams nor his business appear on the list of the 92 operators certified nationally."

      So it sounds like he should be charged with some form of negligence if that is applicable to Australia. In the US the FAA would also probably be fining him.

      Negligence is more heavily punished in Australia than in the US... As such professional indemnity insurance costs a lot over here.

      I have no doubt he'll be hearing from CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority), Australia's FAA.

      Sounds like this is a dodgy operator who's trying to get an amateurish legal defence started from the word go.

  • by bloodhawk (813939) on Sunday April 06, 2014 @11:48PM (#46680621)
    "honest sir I didn't crash it, someone took control away from me", firstly Bullshit. secondly it is your drone, you are responsible for it, if you can't secure it then you should not be using it around people.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by aardvarkjoe (156801)

      Really, this story is just "Some idiot injured someone, and is now lying to try to dodge legal responsibilities." This happens every day; it's just "news" to slashdot because he used the magic word "hack."

      • And it's a drone that whacked the triathlete. The only thing that doesn't fit well into a /. story is that there's sports outside the e-sports field involved, but, well, you can't have everything.

        Now if he fell someone competing in a LOL tournament, that would be the story of the week!

    • Re:yeah right! (Score:5, Informative)

      by exomondo (1725132) on Monday April 07, 2014 @12:54AM (#46680925)

      secondly it is your drone, you are responsible for it, if you can't secure it then you should not be using it around people.

      thirdly, it should not have been flown within 30 meters of another person. [comlaw.gov.au]
      fourth (ly?), as it was used in a commercial capacity it should have been certified but neither Mr Abrams nor his business appear on the list of the 92 operators certified nationally. [abc.net.au]

    • by tgv (254536)

      Precisely. And the fact that it had happened before, should have made him extra cautious.

    • "honest sir I didn't crash it, someone took control away from me", firstly Bullshit. secondly it is your drone, you are responsible for it, if you can't secure it then you should not be using it around people.

      Heh, you'll see the error of this statement soon. The black-boxes are mandatory in new cars. The cars themselves are hackable. Soon they'll have even more than just "parking assist" and "auto-break" functionality baked right in, we'll have a whole pool of "self driving" input to fudge on the attack surface.

      "honest sir I didn't crash my car, someone took control away from me!", firstly everyone knows that's Bullshit. Secondly it is your car, you are responsible for it, if you can't secure it then you shou

  • I saw this on HAK5. (Score:5, Informative)

    by jeek (37349) <jeek@je[ ]net ['ek.' in gap]> on Sunday April 06, 2014 @11:50PM (#46680633) Homepage

    http://hak5.org/episodes/hak5-... [hak5.org]

    Even if you can't issue commands, you can knock out the control chanel.

    • not all "drones" are the parrot.

      • by jythie (914043)
        No, but the point is, a lot of these 'rush to market' drones we are seeing are not exactly secured, and there are a lot of bored people out there that loves screwing with other people's stuff. In the same way there are people who get giggles out of shining lasers at passing helecopters, I would not be surprised if there are people around that decide to see if there are vulnerable drones around and mess with them. If it was also happening earlier in the day, I would not be surprised if some spectator said
    • by TubeSteak (669689) on Monday April 07, 2014 @01:00AM (#46680933) Journal

      It shouldn't matter if you knock out the control channel.
      Remote control [anything] should always be set up to fail in a "safe" manner, for various definitions of safe.

      Here's a picture of the aftermath, with someone picking up the hexacopter [yimg.com] and its pieces.
      The triathlete is on the ground with blood, if you're squeamish about that kind of thing.

      • by fnj (64210)

        Remote control [anything] should always be set up to fail in a "safe" manner, for various definitions of safe.

        You can't make a remote-controlled or autonomous flying vehicle which cannot endanger anyone. You can mitigate the likelihood of endangerment, but ten seconds of thought will make it obvious you can never ensure it will always fail "safe".

    • by thegarbz (1787294)

      Even if you can't issue commands, you can knock out the control chanel.

      In which case any properly configured even $300 piece of shit drone would go into a programmed failsafe. In a group of really crowded people the sensible programmed failsafe is either to return home to a location or slowly descend, land and disarm.

      I bet the pilot either lost control or the device suffered a malfunction and the pilot is doing the "It's everyone's fault except for mine" dance.

  • The person that chose to use a "drone" that could be taken over by a mobile phone, and had already experienced "a similar incident" earlier that day.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      pretty sure wasn't taken over by a mobile phone.
      to that you could easily build security into... pretty sure it was just regular rc controller. which makes it irresponsible to use over people.(wifi controlled autonomous altitude etc hold device would be much more responsible to use).

  • What BS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NewtonsLaw (409638) on Sunday April 06, 2014 @11:59PM (#46680667)

    Modern 2.4GHz RC gear requires a significant level of tech-expertise to "hijack" in the manner suggested.

    Occam's Razor has the answer...

    Simple mechanical, electrical or operator failure -- nothing more, nothing less.

    Too many would-be "drone" operators have scant understanding of the need for a maintenance schedule and proper planning before deploying even the smallest and most lightweight of craft.

    The problem is that far to many people buy these things and then treat them as if they'll just keep working forever -- simply charge the battery and fly!

    Unfortunately, props fatigue, motor bearings wear, ESCs can overheat and flight controllers can fail.

    There's a hell of a lot more to safely deploying one of these craft than flipping a few switches and wiggling some sticks.

    I'm not a commercial operator -- I fly for fun but even *I* am very much aware of the importance of good housekeeping and planning when it comes to using these things safely.

    • by thegarbz (1787294)

      The problem is that far to many people buy these things and then treat them as if they'll just keep working forever

      Most drones won't take two trips in the air without screws falling out of the airframe.

      • by geekoid (135745)

        Who the hell is making your drones? Anyway, just put a drop of nail polish on the scree and it will stay fast with the bonus you can get them unscrewed later. Lock tight on small screws can sometimes be more permanent then one would like.

    • Actually, it doesn't require much expertise at all. All you need is a frequency-hopping radio, an amplifier, and perhaps a directional antenna, all of which can be obtained for not a lot of money on the interwebs. Then you simply blast the drone with RF noise thus drowning out the operator's transmission. Most 2.4GHz R/C radios these days have a failsafe feature which gets engaged when the receiver no longer can hear the transmitter. That failsafe puts the servo outputs into a preset position. If it wa

  • I don't buy that excuse for a second. But let's say, for the sake of argument, that he's right. That means he was using cheeseball home entertainment mall kiosk grade equipment. Nobody doing for-real media coverage of a sporting event and intending to fly over people's heads is going to be using anything that could possibly be so easily "taken over." If nothing else, the drone should have a good enough flight controller to allow it to realize that something is swamping the RF control side, and have it climb
    • actually most of the equipment people have can be taken over, its not trivial tho. basically all that "1k" stuff which is channel hopping isn't encrypted or anything. if you find the hop algorithm, which is often not that hard, you can indeed control the aircraft.

    • The guy's obviously a jackoff with a toy quadcopter who shouldn't be flying it over peoples' heads.

      Forget $1k setups, even a properly-configured $100 Chinese flight controller would've RTL'd when he lost control. There's absolutely no excuse.

      Sadly, no one in the media is going to make note of the fact that this guy is a jackoff, so it's just "Some schmuck with a commercial drone injures athlete, story at 11!" and the rest of us are-- once again --one step closer to being branded terrorists or something.

      • by Lumpy (12016)

        The Parrot AR is known to just fail on it's own. It is a steaming pile of crap. It freaking uses ultrasonics to check altitude, making it unreliable as hell, and to avoid the complaints from the 1.0 of devices flying away on them the firmware was changed to cut power and drop like a stone if they lose ground reference.

        I spent a summer fixing and hacking on one. They are complete crap. I cant believe that anyone would buy one and keep it.

  • Reminds me of a student, many years ago, who told me very seriously that hackers regularly broke into his home computer to mess with him. The evidence? Visual Studio (IIRC) kept changing between "inserting characters" and "overwriting characters" when he typed.

    I asked if he might be accidentally hitting the Insert key. He had no idea what the Insert key did.

    To his credit, when I explained, he acknowledged that this might have been the cause and perhaps there weren't any hackers in his computer after all.

    • by I'm New Around Here (1154723) on Monday April 07, 2014 @12:42AM (#46680881)

      After that, you erased all traces of your invasion, and left his computer alone?

    • I had a similar problem with Visual Studio on XP. Every so often I would be in the middle of coding and it was like someone had hit the page up key: The cursor would jump higher up in the document. I'd stop, take a deep breath, look at my fingers, look across the keyboard at the Page Up key to make sure it hadn't leaped under my hand and just glare at it, sitting there, mocking me innocently, as if it had done absolutely nothing wrong!

      It was only mildly irritating at first, by using some Ctrl+Z, Ctrl+Ys t

  • A likely story (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Brett Buck (811747) on Monday April 07, 2014 @12:25AM (#46680813)

    I have been flying model airplanes for 50ish years now, and in that time, I have never ever heard of any RC pilot crashing due to pilot error. In every single case, it was "radio failure"

  • by ausoleil (322752) on Monday April 07, 2014 @12:25AM (#46680815) Homepage

    Multicopter pilot here. In short, it looks like the pilot was a hobbyist out of his depth and was performing dangerous maneuvers before any so-called hacking with equipment not meant for the job.

    I don't know a lot about the specifics of the accident, but the multicopter that was involved in the accident was using a very outmoded form of technology to control the multicopter (wifi) rather than the far more reliable multichannel failsafe 2.4GHz DSMX systems that are in common use with bigger multicopters. While it may be possible to "hack" the signals controlling the 'copter, it's more likely that the control loss was due to RF interference, either by purpose or accident. I would imagine that a sporting event such as the one where the incident occurred would be awash in wifi signals from dozens if not hundreds of sources.

    Secondly, the multicopter pilot was doing something that experienced pilots / cinematographers strongly avoid: flying directly over people. Even the best control systems and multicopters can malfunction, and hovering over a crowd is obviously a bad place for that to happen.

    The type of multicopter also gives away the apparent lack of skills or experience of the pilot. Parrot AR 'copters are not professional-grade equipment and they are not devices that someone who earns a good bit of money from aerial filming would use.

    (note: apologies for a double post, I forgot to log in to post this reply.)

    • Multicopter pilot here.

      You seriously call yourself that?

      the multicopter that was involved in the accident was using a very outmoded form of technology to control the multicopter (wifi) rather than the far more reliable multichannel failsafe 2.4GHz DSMX systems that are in common use with bigger multicopters.

      It's all wi-fi. Fancy wi-fi may more reliable than crap wi-fi, but it's still all wi-fi, and it all has a range which when you go past, you still lose control.

      (note: apologies for a double post, I forgot to log in to post this reply.)

      Deja vu...

      • What are you talking about? 2.4GHz DSMX model control gear is NOT WiFi!

        Who's the idiot then?

        • by AK Marc (707885)
          WiFi is a common way to refer to ISM wireless of any kind. Proprietary wireless printer (non 802.11) is called "WiFi", as is bluetooth. 802.11n is a technical term. WiFi is a meaningless marketing term. 2.4GHz DSMX is WiFi, if the 2.4 spectrum it uses is in the ISM band.
          • by Megol (3135005)
            I have never heard anyone, technical or thoroughly non-technical, refer to generic wireless communication as WiFi. I call bullshit.
            • by AK Marc (707885)
              Call it all you like, bluetooth has been "WiFi" since Apple used "WiFi" to mean unlicensed wireless only, and 3G to mean licensed wireless. And go to a place that sells printers with proprietary wireless connections (I've not seen many, but all that I have seen were described as "WiFi", though none carry the trademarked WiFi badging).
        • by Lumpy (12016)

          It's also low grade dog food. the 2.4ghz DSMX stuff has ZERO reliability and ZERO use in professional devices.

      • by ScentCone (795499)

        It's all wi-fi. Fancy wi-fi may more reliable than crap wi-fi, but it's still all wi-fi, and it all has a range which when you go past, you still lose control.

        This is factually incorrect. If you're out of range, the bird falls back on another kind of control that you exerted before you even took off (a GPS-based return-to-home waypoint and associated climb/travel/descend procedures - all things the operator controls). Never mind that the pro-level RF gear one would use with a "real" bird for RCAP isn't WiFi at all, and doesn't resemble WiFi in any way that matters.

    • A pilot here as well. This article and incident has so much fail in it. There's NO information about the incident aside from the person being injured.

      Wifi flying? Only the AR.Drone has it.

      All the photos show a DJI flaming wheel 550 hex. It likely runs a NAZA or ACE system. Likely a NAZAv2 as the camera looks like a GoPro and every article mentions iPhone(!). NAZAs only use WiFi for camera and ground station supervisory, not actual flying. It's is a man in the loop system. The pilot still has control via a 2

  • Even most wireless mice these days don't channel hop and they cost like $20 tops. Channel hopping isn't even hacking. I'm pretty sure it's extremely analog in most cases. And if he built a device with no authorization codes or encryption, he's an idiot...except he's obviously just lying out his ass about it all.
  • by Jinker (133372) on Monday April 07, 2014 @01:24AM (#46681005) Homepage

    While learning to fly full scale airplanes it was drilled into me over and over, it is *always* the pilot/operators responsibility.

    You either screwed up, or failed to ensure you were using reliable equipment, or failed to account for uncertainties in how you operate it.

    Running what is essentially hobby hardware (radios, speed controls, batteries etc.) over top of people is just plain irresponsible.

    "Oh, but I haven't crashed before."

    Yeah, until you do.

  • by dozr (70892)

    So apparently when I switched the channel on my walkie talkie I was hacking, damn I am such a bad ass.

  • by viperidaenz (2515578) on Monday April 07, 2014 @04:16AM (#46681587)

    Warren can also fly but admits he’ll never be able to manipulate the controls as well as a younger person.

    http://www.sciencewa.net.au/to... [sciencewa.net.au]

  • The Drone owner was too stupid to understand 2.4ghz and there is a strong signal source nearby. If you fly big drones and dont have a WiSpy and a laptop to check the area for heavy 2.4ghz interference (that is what RC plane controls operate on now) then you need to be liable for all damages due to being stupid.

  • This only shows that UAV's should only be used by licensed people with certified/licenced UAV's.. Some people think UAV's aren't the same as RC planes/helicopters, but they are wrong, in most countries they fall under the same law's as RC planes/helicopters (because that's exactly what they are).. So this UAV shouldn't have been near/over any person at all.. This moron should stop blaming other people, he decided to use the UAV and therefore he's responsible.. Epecially if the consumer UAV is so easily take
    • by ScentCone (795499)

      This only shows that UAV's should only be used by licensed people with certified/licenced UAV's ... they fall under the same law's as RC planes/helicopters

      Maybe we can apply the same thing to language, including - especially - the dangerous mis-use of apostrophes near crowds of people. Punctuation should only be used by licensed people certified in the language being used. We could avoid so many horrible, fatal collisions between plural and possessive traffic. Think of the children.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      UAV is not the same as RC.

      That said - whyn would you say that? millions of people fly R/C and UAV millions of miles a year without injury. Compared to the minimal impact of an injury the vast majority of time, not worth having a general license.
      Now, a license to fly within 50 meters of a crowd? sure.

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