Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
Government Technology

Drone Flight Takes To Living Rooms, Gymnasiums, and Parking Garages (hackaday.com) 73

szczys writes: The FAA can regulate the skies, but they don't own the airspace inside of buildings. There are many ways to get your flying fix indoors. Perhaps the most obvious is flying tiny quadcopters (about 1 inch on each side) in your living room. But for years, hobby groups have formed relationships with schools and churches to have meetups in their gymnasiums. It's not limited to propeller-aircraft; ultralight rubberband power fixed-wing is a popular indoor option. And FPV enthusiasts can get competitive by setting up race courses in parking garages.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Drone Flight Takes To Living Rooms, Gymnasiums, and Parking Garages

Comments Filter:
  • by iced_tea ( 588173 ) on Friday January 08, 2016 @02:54PM (#51263613) Journal
    A whole new meaning. I smell a new sport.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Dude, underground drone races in steam tunnels, storm sewers, catacombs with the only lighting coming from the drones themselves and Oculus/Cardboard streaming for fans to watch. I will pay money to watch that.

      • How well would the video and control signals propagate in a steam tunnel though? Likely this wouldn't be as cool as you imagine.

    • "The FAA can regulate the skies, but they don't own the airspace inside of buildings."

      Yet...

  • ...hobby groups have formed relationships with schools and churches to have meetups in their gymnasiums.

    Oh yeah sure, lots of churches have gymnasiums.

    • ...hobby groups have formed relationships with schools and churches to have meetups in their gymnasiums.

      Oh yeah sure, lots of churches have gymnasiums.

      My church has a community center with a gymnasium. In fact, many churches have associated schools which have gyms.

    • by ScentCone ( 795499 ) on Friday January 08, 2016 @03:13PM (#51263833)

      Oh yeah sure, lots of churches have gymnasiums.

      Obviously your town hasn't yet been infested with mega-churches. Those have at least one gymnasium. It's just down the hall from the coffee bar, past the giant child-care facility, and around the corner from the logo-wear t-shirt kiosk, the artisan bakery, and the acupuncture practice. Jesus isn't the savior anymore, he's the CEO of a retail empire.

      • by DRJlaw ( 946416 )

        Oh yeah sure, lots of churches have gymnasiums.

        Obviously your town hasn't yet been infested with mega-churches. Those have at least one gymnasium. It's just down the hall from the coffee bar, past the giant child-care facility, and around the corner from the logo-wear t-shirt kiosk, the artisan bakery, and the acupuncture practice. Jesus isn't the savior anymore, he's the CEO of a retail empire.

        Or "infested" with church-run schools. You'd never find gymnasiums in church-run schools. Which oddly, around he

        • Re:Gymnasiums? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by ScentCone ( 795499 ) on Friday January 08, 2016 @03:57PM (#51264169)

          BTW, mega-churches exist because people want them. It's a bit presumptuous of you to claim that your town has been infested simply because a facility doesn't cater to your point of view.

          Actually, they exist in our area because of a perverse loophole in zoning laws. Most are financed by third parties with a business interest in the proceeds from the church-run retail operations, and the bigger the facility, the more cash they make as a non-profit, paid out through very high salaries to key figures, and very high returns on the got-nothing-to-do-with-religion investors. Yes, people want them. Because they are very large recreational facilities that get to benefit from a tax dodge, and they are killing off attendance at the little mom-and-pop social institutions that we used to think of as churches.

          It's not "presumptuous" of me to correctly relate the nature of these facilities and the way they interact with (or don't) the county, municipal, state and federal governments as they move millions and millions of dollars around while enjoying special zoning exemptions, tax avoidance, and all sorts of hiring and labor exemptions. These are large businesses that throw on the hair-think veneer of religiosity in order to avoid operating and real estate expenses that any other operation of that size would have to pay. Investors see that it's a good business model, and clone them until there's literally no room to do it any more.

        • by lgw ( 121541 )

          The question isn't whether "people" want them, but whether God wants them. I have no opinion on the matter, aside from noting the lack of smiting, but it's still a legitimate question. In fact, it's why "evangelicals" and "fundamentalists" are distinct groups in the US.

      • by sycodon ( 149926 )

        The church I grew up in had a gym/meeting place/and stage, circa 1910.

    • Depending on where you live in the country, churches can have a much larger role in the community. I think something like 83% of Americans identify as Christians.

  • The FAA can regulate the skies

    The FFA can regulate the skies only to the extent that the regulations serve the purpose of the FAA as defined in the fucking law.

    https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/... [gpo.gov]

    The law is designed "to provide for the regulation and promotion of civil aviation in such manner as to best foster its development and safety, and to provide for the safe and efficient use of the airspace by both civil and military aircraft, and for other purposes".

    The FAA has been shitting out regs that do NOT promote civil aviation in a manner

    • Banning cell phones on airplanes has nothing to do with safety.

      Actually, it does. And it has to do with the band allocations for cell phone use (FCC issue). You'd be hard pressed to claim that transmitters haven't gotten better over time, since the regulations prohibiting their use on aircraft without the operator's permission were enacted.

      Neither does granting flight attendants unlimited "fuck you, do as I say or I'll make the other passengers hog tie you and when we land you'll head straight to the rape room" powers over passengers.

      Actually, that regulation, too, is based on safety. The fact it may be over-used at times doesn't change the basic reason it is there.

      The captain has overall authority over the flight. The flight crew are acting under his authority.

  • The FAA can regulate the skies, but they don't own the airspace inside of buildings.

    Or salt mines, sewer / storm water drains, underwater (handling may be sluggish).

  • by Anonymous Coward
    The battle is lost already, but I would like to point out that these are not drones, and just because some dumb idiot moron on cnn called it a drone, doesn't mean the idiot moron was right.
  • This is EXACTLY what we are doing while we fight this unlawful FAA guidelines(more lawyers everyday say the FAA is in the wrong with what congress passed in 2012) https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]
  • by ScentCone ( 795499 ) on Friday January 08, 2016 @03:08PM (#51263765)
    The 2012 FMRA law prohibits the FAA from burdening recreational users of model aircraft with any further reguation. There's plenty of debate about whether the administration's recent end-around of using the DoT to push the new Suzy Must Register Her 9-Ounce Pink Plastic Copter In A Public-Facing Federal Database is already a direct and willful violation of that law (to be determined in court).

    So unless we're talking about people wanting to race their FPV quads right next to an airport, there's really nothing driving hobbyists indoors. Especially since going indoors doesn't exempt them from that dubious new registration program anyway: if it flies by remote control and it weighs more than half a pound, it has to be registered before it ever flies if it's purchased new, or otherwise by February 19th. So grandpa needs to get busy with that garage full of 50-year-old balsa wood models, lest he become liable for a $20,000 civil fine (and that's before the criminal penalties, possibly including jail time).

    Sure, those 1-inch-wide micro-quads are under the weight limit. They're also more or less no fun at all, compared to the real thing.
    • I am patiently awaiting the court ruling saying my family can start flying again. They expanded the DC no fly zone to 30 mile radius, which covers my entire county, and indicated that it applied to ALL UAS ("drones").

      https://www.faa.gov/uas/no_dro... [faa.gov]

    • by dougmc ( 70836 )

      Especially since going indoors doesn't exempt them from that dubious new registration program anyway: if it flies by remote control and it weighs more than half a pound, it has to be registered before it ever flies

      No, the FAA says otherwise.

      From their FAQ [faa.gov] --

      Q22. If I only fly it indoors, do I have to register it?
      A. No, the FAA does not regulate indoor UAS use.

      Now, given that they haven't even really written the regulations for much of this stuff yet, and it's largely based on advisory circulars and FAQs and such, it's possible that whenever they do get off their butt and write the actual rules that they could say something else, but for now ... they explicitly say you don't have to register anything that only flies indoors.

      Also, they aren't registering model aircraft anyways -- they're registering pilots, and then requ

      • Except that they're saying that the registration for new purchases has to take place at the time of the purchase, before the device is used.

        Yes, they're issuing all sorts of muddled, self-contradictory nonsense surrounding this nonsensical and illegal (that is, counter to the 2012 FMRA law) requirement. It's a train wreck, and of course won't stop a single die-hard idiot (let along malicious operator) from doing anything dangerous.
        • by dougmc ( 70836 )

          Except that they're saying that the registration for new purchases has to take place at the time of the purchase, before the device is used.

          Where exactly are they saying this?

          Before it's flown outdoors you must be registered and it must be labeled, yes, but I'm not aware of anything saying it must be done at the point of purchase or that it is needed before it's even flown indoors.

          So ... citation?

      • Here's the best part of that FAQ:

        "Q38. Updated: The website said registration is free. Why am I being charged $5?

        A. The credit card transaction helps authenticate the user. You will see a credit for the $5 in 5-10 days after the charge appears."

        I mean, the marketing types have been pushing the limits of "free" for some time now, but the FAA just took it to another level.

    • 50 year old balsa woods are MODELS. They have no camera, and are not Drones. The FAA has made NO requirement for them.

      Simple rule - camera? Drone. No Camera? Model airplane.

      The 2012 FMRA law talks about models, not drones. They are not the same thing and never have been.

      Just as the US can regulate and outlaw machine guns without regulating semi-automatic guns, the US can regulate Drones without regulating Model airplanes.

      • 50 year old balsa woods are MODELS. They have no camera, and are not Drones. The FAA has made NO requirement for them.

        The FAA doesn't use the word "drone," ever. And yes, their new registration requirement DOES apply model helicopters, model airplanes, and multi-rotors. The presence of absence of a camera has nothing to do with anything. If you have a model airplane that flies, and it weighs more than 8.8 ounces, the FAA says you have to register it by February 19th or be subject to fines up to $20,000. They have, as people have asked questions, been explicitly clear that this new requirement includes any and all flying d

  • by tekrat ( 242117 ) on Friday January 08, 2016 @03:08PM (#51263777) Homepage Journal

    Thanks to the FAA, I guess you *can* take the sky from me.

  • In other news, more drones droning about drones, and we had two drones droning about drones today at that. (Though actually, the first story was pretty important and I'm glad to see there's more awarness in recent years)

    As even the summary says, modelers have been meeting in basketball courts and abandoned parking lots for a long time now. I had a friend who was an enthusiast actually, and so I've been to a couple. Of course people fly their drones alongside their model planes in here: not only do you ha

  • ... until a court says otherwise, and even then it won't always stop. Has no one learned anything from the past 15 years?

    There are zero consequences to government overreach and abuses. People in power will abuse that power until they get thrown in jail or personally fined, which is never going to happen.

  • They actually do... Sorry guys. If it flies in the air under its own power, indoors or out, it is subject to FAA regulation.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Just in case Canadian readers think the same applies (and I'm suspicious that the same isn't true in the US), Transport Canada DOES have jurisdiction indoors. They might not pursue you in your own basement, but God help you if somebody is hurt in an public venue (Gym, Parking Garage, arena, etc.). Local law enforcement will have the right to charge you under the current regulations.

  • The (government) can regulate (public places), but they don't own the floorspace inside of buildings. There are many ways to get your redress your grievances indoors, without assembling in groups that make people nervous. For example, you could sign a White House Petition, sound off on an electronic forum, or save time by writing all your grievances down in a Word document and sending it directly to the Recycling Bin.

  • by ClarkMills ( 515300 ) on Friday January 08, 2016 @03:18PM (#51263873)

    Good idea especially for beginners. My first (toy) drone lasted about 2 hours... Learning to fly it in the lounge was interesting but I got ejected outside after shredding the wife's flower arrangement. From there it was up up and blown away... I still haven't found it.

    In a gym you will be hard pressed to lose your done and I'd expect the the environment to be stable.

  • It's about the vantage point, the perspective and the curiosity and exploration from seeing your surroundings from high up. These people have no interest in playing around in a gymnastics hall or an abandoned hangar.
    • This guy was flying his drone at an outdoor football stadium during a skydiving exhibition, the \. article is about flying in spaces with a roof over your head. So yeah this article about a Kentucky idiot is a great illustration.

  • Perhaps the most obvious is flying tiny quadcopters (about 1 inch on each side) in your living room.

    Wow. no way, I never would have figured that one out!

    But they've missed a trick here, because, believe it or not, you can also fly larger drones in your living room! No, it's true! Two, three, even four inches on each side!

    But for years, hobby groups have formed relationships with schools and churches to have meetups in their gymnasiums.

    How many churches have gymnasiums?

    It's not limited to propeller-aircraft; ultralight rubberband power fixed-wing is a popular indoor option.

    Uh... how are those ultraight rubberband-powered fixed-wing powered, if not by propellers?

    • by lgw ( 121541 )

      How many churches have gymnasiums?

      Most of the big ones.

      Uh... how are those ultraight rubberband-powered fixed-wing powered, if not by propellers?

      Slingshot.

    • by dougmc ( 70836 )

      It's not limited to propeller-aircraft; ultralight rubberband power fixed-wing is a popular indoor option.

      Uh... how are those ultraight rubberband-powered fixed-wing powered, if not by propellers?

      I've seen model aircraft that were powered by flapping their wings like a bird.

      Also, it's not really ultralight or rubberband powered, but turbine (i.e. jet) powered model aircraft are certainly a thing.

      And finally ... unpowered gliders are quite popular, even indoors.

      But yes, context suggests that the person who wrote that probably meant "multicopters" or "electrically powered aircraft" rather than "propeller-aircraft". You've done us all a great service in drawing attention to the less than ideal choice

  • by Jeff Flanagan ( 2981883 ) on Friday January 08, 2016 @03:57PM (#51264165)
    I have one from Axis drones, that was the world's smallest quadcopter when I bought it, and avoiding slamming it into the ceiling, then crashing to the floor at my place is the biggest challenge. They're much easier to use in a gym, or at least a house with high ceilings.

    Axis has a new small copter with video, called the VIDIUS, which should be really good for beginners.

    I'm not with the company, just someone who likes playing with new technologies.
  • Perfect indoor drone is at the CES... safe, fun and cute... http://www.popsci.com/fleye-dr... [popsci.com]
  • Drone manufacturers like DGI (Phantom) are being required by the FAA to implement "geofencing" in the drone firmware. This will prevent the drone from taking off if it is within 30 miles of Washington, D.C., for example. Doesn't matter if it is indoors or not.

"It doesn't much signify whom one marries for one is sure to find out next morning it was someone else." -- Rogers

Working...