An aerial view from Los Angeles

Aerial videographer Ian Wood has created a cinematic short exploring all Los Angeles has to offer by way of architecture, street art and natural beauty. “I continue to be awe struck by how much of this vast city I have partially or completely overlooked before undertaking this video. And like most voyages of discovery, I’ve realize there’s so much more to find,” Wood describes. For a complete map of the locations click here.

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Toronto Councillors eye permits for drone use

City councillors want to explore the idea of forcing aerial drone operators to get permits and comply with restrictions on flying them over outdoor city spaces including playgrounds.

Mayor John Tory’s executive committee unanimously approved Councillor James Pasternak’s motion asking city staff to report back on a “strategy governing the use of drones in the City of Toronto’s outdoor spaces.”

The rules could apply to residents with increasingly popular recreational drones now exempt from many Transport Canada restrictions on larger commercial drones used for film production and other tasks.

City staff are to report back on a strategy to include, but not be limited to:

  • Any current policies that can be leveraged to ensure the safety of Toronto’s airspace.\
  • Any safety concerns or potential liability issues the City could face due to the use of drones on City of Toronto property.
  • Investigating the need for possible restrictions on the use of drones and photography above outdoor recreation and park facilities;
  • The potential to permit the use of drones in designated spaces.
  • Restrictions on the types and/or models of drones that can be operated in the City of Toronto.

(Via The Toronto Star)

Solar-powered internet drone completes first test flight

drone

A Portuguese startup that aims to use solar-powered drones to provide wireless internet access to offline areas of the world claims to have successfully completed its maiden test flight.

The company Quarkson plans to use the SkyOrbiter drones that will stay airborne for weeks, months or even years at a time and will fly at altitudes of up to 22,000 metres. The drone was equipped with Wi-Fi-transmitting equipment that can provide internet access to local users on the ground via a patch antenna that receives the signal.

(Via The Economic Times)

What You Need to Know Before Flying a Drone

Photography by Photosebia / Shutterstock.com

Drones are awesome fun. They can bring out the inner kid in even the most jaded individual, but they can also land people in a lot of trouble. Here are some things every new drone owner should know before taking to the skies.

How far you can fly is going to be limited to the space you’re flying in and line of sight. Flying beyond your line of sight increases your risk of losing control and crashing. You might think simply that you can fly via the radio controller’s screen, or your phone or tablet (ala first person view or FPV), but we should strongly caution you against doing that.

You can certainly fly beyond your line of sight but then you risk possibly hurting someone, damaging property, and running afoul of the law. Therefore, you should stay within the 400-foot ceiling and maintain visual contact with the aircraft at all times, unless you’ve obtained an exemption from the FAA.

You should avoid flying your drone in residential or highly populated areas. Drones tend to raise privacy concerns, so if you’re a courteous pilot, you’ll try to allay those concerns by flying in sparsely populated or rural areas.

Don’t fly near airports, schools, churches, and stadiums. This also goes so for flying around power stations, water treatment facilities, prisons and detention facilities, and busy roadways. Find a wide open treeless field without buildings, cars, towers, trees, and other potential hazards. Also we’d like to stress that your shouldn’t operate around people unless you’re flying as a group or club. The simple fact of the matter is drones attract attention, and they also crash.

Finally, if you’re planning on using a drone for profit, such as to film a movie or a commercial or any project where you’ll be paid, then you will need to apply to the FAA for a commercial exemption. Even if you’re simply planning on doing a site survey or mapping out an area, you’ll still need to seek out approval.

(Via How To Geek)

The first 4K footage taken from a drone

The Phantom Flex4K camera, which can shoot more than 1,000 frames per second at 4K resolution, weighs 14 pounds without a lens or viewfinder. To get it off the ground, Brain Farm got help from Swedish drone manufacturer Intuitive Aerial to enhance an Aerigon drone with 40 percent more power, according to Popular Mechanics. The finished product was a six-armed, 12-propeller drone capable of lifting a 30-pound setup, which included the camera and a special cradle.

The resulting slow-motion footage of an SUV and pickup truck plowing their way through muddy water is a sight to behold. Droplets of mud have never looked so graceful.

(Via Digital Trends)

Flying a drone is as simple as drawing a picture

What if the process of flying a drone were more simple, streamlined and more automated so anyone, regardless of skill could do it? That is the goal behind Ares, a new drone manufacturing startup. One major advancement has to do with drone flight safety and abiding by FAA regulations. If you happen to draw a flight path through a no-fly zone, the app will let you know that you need to check the path before you take-off. it will even keep an eye on weather conditions to make sure that wind speed and other factors won’t negatively affect your flight.

(Via No Film School)

Flying a drone is as simple as drawing a picture

What if the process of flying a drone were more simple, streamlined and more automated so anyone, regardless of skill could do it? That is the goal behind Ares, a new drone manufacturing startup. One major advancement has to do with drone flight safety and abiding by FAA regulations. If you happen to draw a flight path through a no-fly zone, the app will let you know that you need to check the path before you take-off. it will even keep an eye on weather conditions to make sure that wind speed and other factors won’t negatively affect your flight.

(Via No Film School)

Postcards from Pripyat, Chernobyl

Earlier this year Danny Cooke had the opportunity to visit Chernobyl while working for CBS News on a ’60 Minutes’ episode. Described as one of the most interesting and dangerous places he has ever been. The nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl in Ukraine happened in 1986, but the crisis is still with us today. That’s because radiation virtually never dies.

Continue reading “Postcards from Pripyat, Chernobyl”

OK Go!

A new music video from rock band OK Go is a dazzler: One long camera take shows the four band members lip-synching their song “I Won’t Let You Down” while smoothly gliding around on motorized unicycles. They’re joined by more than 2,000 precision-trained Japanese dancers with umbrellas—some of them also riding the unicycles—for a Busby Berkeley-scale dance routine, before the camera itself (which we realize is a drone) soars high into the sky.

The not-so-secret star of the show is a “personal mobility device” called the Uni-Cub, made by Honda, which sponsored the music video. The Uni-Cub turns out not to be a unicycle, technically speaking—it’s a battery-powered self-stabilizing vehicle with a number of interlocking wheels that allows for travel at 6 kph (3 mph) in just about any direction. Drones, sponsorships, rock stars…this is the future of content marketing.