All posts by Sally French

6 ways law enforcement uses drones

As drones become safer, cheaper and more reliable, there’s one field that has found tremendous success in using drones: law enforcement.

Drone and camera technology allows law enforcement officials to have a better viewpoint of chaotic situations where having ground personnel is too risky. Aerial points of view also allow post-accident or crime scenes to be better evaluated to help understand the timeline of events that took place.

First responder situations are the 6th most common use for drones according to a report from Skylogic Research, behind other popular uses like aerial photography, mapping and construction.

But use of drones by law enforcement is also highly controversial. A pair of drones donated to the Los Angeles Police Department was actually locked away for three years, collecting dust after a public outcry over the idea of police using the controversial technology.

But it seems drones are here to stay, and plenty of police departments are adopting them.

The team at dronefly.com, a commercial drone distributor, created a graphic to show all the ways law enforcement teams are using drones: Continue reading 6 ways law enforcement uses drones

Halloween Drone Contest: win a drone!

Time to test your luck and possibly win a drone!

Drone Girl has partnered with TRNDlabs to giveaway one FADER drone (valued at $129), and one SPECTRE drone (valued at $149).

To enter, simply comment on either the Instagram or Facebook post below with your best idea for using a drone on Halloween!

I’m thinking candy delivery device! Or how about this drone-turned-pumpkin cannon?

**The winner must also ‘like’ BOTH @TheDroneGirl and @TRNDlabs on Facebook OR Twitter in order to be eligible to enter.

Two winners will be chosen at random on Sunday, Oct. 29 at noon PT. The first randomly chosen winner will receive the FADER drone, and the second winner will receive the SPECTRE drone.

The winner will be contacted via Instagram or Facebook message and have 48 hours to respond with shipping information, otherwise a new winner will be chosen.

Want a bonus entry? Tag a friend (or five!), and both you and your friend(s) will receive a bonus entry! Bonus entries are limited to five per person.

Good luck!

Check out my review of the TRNDlabs Fader and Spectre drones here.

DJI AeroScope brings electronic license plates to drones

Your drone could soon get its own ‘license plate.’

Chinese dronemaker DJI this week unveiled DJI Aeroscope, a system that acts like an “electronic license plate for drones” and is intended as a way for authorities to identify and monitor drones while in the air.

DJI AeroScope is a software that works on both DJI drones as well as other manufacturers’ drones without any hardware modifications.

To work, the software uses the existing communications radio transmission between a drone and its remote controller to transmit their location, altitude, speed, direction, takeoff location, operator location, and an identifier such as a registration or serial number. That information can be transmitted to any AeroScope receiver within radio range. Continue reading DJI AeroScope brings electronic license plates to drones

Trump calls for private companies, local governments to show him how to regulate drones

President Donald Trump and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao today launched the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program, an initiative to test drone operations including night flights, flights over people and flying drones beyond visual line of sight.

While light on details, the announcement of the program could be a gamechanger for how and when drones are integrated into the U.S. airspace on a large scale.

The FAA currently bans a variety of advanced drone operations, including those mentioned above, without a waiver of exemption, which has frustrated companies who feel their business is being stifled by the rules.

“If you are wanting to do drone operations beyond the normal part 107, this appears that the FAA will be moving the direction to allow more of the complex and difficult types of operations many of us have been wanting,” drone attorney Jonathan Rupprecht wrote in a blog post.

The new Drone Integration Pilot Program is calling for prospective local government participant to partner with the private sector to develop pilot proposals.

From those proposals, the U.S. Department of Transportation will select at least five groups to join its pilot program. Continue reading Trump calls for private companies, local governments to show him how to regulate drones

Trackimo tiny GPS can help you find your lost drone

True story: a friend of mine had just purchased a DJI Mavic Pro. He was flying it in San Francisco, and a few minutes in, the drone started flying away, out of his control.

He tried to use the video footage recorded to his phone to hunt it down, but to no avail. The $1,000 he spent were lost.

I can’t help but think, if he had taken this one simple precaution, this wouldn’t have happened! A GPS tracker for your drone.trackimo drone gps tracker

Trackimo has been making 3G GPS tracker devices for years — to give to kids or elderly relatives who might get lost, or to add to cars. But the company recently developed one specifically designed for drones.

Trackimo’s 3G GPS Drone Tracker is about 1 ounce and sticks anywhere on your drone (typically the top is a good place to put it). Once activated, you can see on your smartphone app exactly where the drone has been.  Continue reading Trackimo tiny GPS can help you find your lost drone

This AirVuz drone racing video contest comes with a $1,000 prize

There’s no shortage of drone photo and video contests for those images of stunning landscapes and unique angles.

But what about those sweet FPV racing and freestyle videos? There’s a contest for those too.

Even better, the best FPV Video comes with an $1,000 prize.

AirVuz is hosting its first-ever 2017 AirVūz Drone Video Awards. AirVuz is a drone video site with a heavy emphasis on racing and FPV freestyle drone videos. 36,000 videos have been submitted and uploaded to the site between the time it launched in 2015 and Oct. 1. Continue reading This AirVuz drone racing video contest comes with a $1,000 prize

The one quality every successful drone delivery service must have

The key to a successful drone delivery service isn’t necessarily using the fanciest, most expensive drone. It’s not necessarily the ability to fly hundreds of miles on a single battery. It’s also not necessarily the ability to carry tons of weight.

The key to a successful drone delivery service is mastering the process.

“The process is more important than the technology,” said Patrick Meier, co-founder of humanitarian drone group WeRobotics. “The workflows and standard operating procedures, preventative maintenance strategies are so key.”

WeRobotics, which has been testing delivery drones for humanitarian aid in Peru, today released a highly detailed report on cargo drones, which they are making free to the public — something rare for the highly secretive drone delivery business. Continue reading The one quality every successful drone delivery service must have