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Sochi Drones Are Shooting the Olympics, Not Terrorists 108

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Rachel Feltman reports that drones are being used to film ski and snowboarding events at the Winter Olympics in Sochi and unlike military drones, which often look like a remote-controlled airplane, the creature floating around Sochi resembles a huge flying spider. The legs of the flying spider hold the rotors that spin around to keep it airborne. The drone then has a flight deck that holds the flight control system with GPS for navigation, sensors and receivers. The camera can be mounted in the middle or suspended below the flight deck. A drone with mounted camera can cost anywhere from a few thousand dollars to $37,000 for a top-of-the-line Ikarus from Britain's Heliguy, which is advising broadcast clients in Sochi on using drones. That compares with the cost of a few thousand dollars an hour to rent a helicopter with pilot, not including the camera crew and equipment. Cameraman Remo Masina says he can fly a drone at up to 40 mph while transmitting a high-definition, live image and says the chances of drone crashes are close to zero when a drone is handled by an experienced pilot, because the drones are programmed to return to base at the slightest problem — such as a low battery, rough winds or a malfunction. 'There have been mishaps, however. In one case last year, a drone filming an imitation version of Spain's running of the bulls in Virginia crashed and injured a few spectators.'"
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Sochi Drones Are Shooting the Olympics, Not Terrorists

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  • Re:Lame (Score:3, Informative)

    by Chrisq ( 894406 ) on Friday February 21, 2014 @06:44AM (#46302745)

    Ugh. Close to zero chance but then tells of crash.

    Be fair - he said "close to zero when a drone is handled by an experienced pilot". We don't know who was flying the drone in that crashed in Virginia!

  • Re:No Brainer (Score:4, Informative)

    by Sockatume ( 732728 ) on Friday February 21, 2014 @07:48AM (#46302903)

    I'm pretty sure that "drone" to mean "remote-controlled military aircraft" predates the sense of "autonomous military aircraft". That was the usage in my old flight sim manuals in the '90s at any rate. The terminology is correct here, the issue is that public perception that drones are autonomous has built up a second meaning in direct conflict with the first.

Disks travel in packs.