NYCDUG in The Epoch Times – The Community is the thing

Although a bit heavy on tales of crashing, this is a pretty balanced and positive take on our group.

Fact is that we are at a place in sUAS development for civil and commercial use where manufacturing is done in factories making toys and consumer electronics. The reliability and durability, ie., the service life is short and the intended user is underserved and underestimated.

In the years I’ve been involved in UAS, I’ve seen a progression from those that became interested in it as a DIY endeavor because it’s fun, to users with real problems to solve. That embrace of the technology and the realization of what is ever more possible and practical is what will drive this forward and keep it safe.

Our consumer culture expects a product to work as promised with little fuss. When you pick up any smart phone, there is the expectation of functionality – it does what it says it will do. The need to become familiar with the interface is the only obstacle to successful use.

Currently, carrying that expectation when it comes to consumer drones will likely cause frustration in those unaccustomed. Outside of researchers and developers, the two main user segments that have adopted drone use with open arms are those best suited for its vagaries and shortcomings. The first group is radio control (R/C) enthusiasts; these are the people that are accustomed to building and tinkering and learning from failure. The second group consists of visual artists – photographers, filmmakers. Creative people think outside of the lines and see possibilities in things others may not ever consider. Visual Artists are accustomed to trying and failing as part of their process. What the two groups have in common is a passion for learning.

What I’ve witnessed as leader of NYCDUG is that creating and maintaining a community that shares successes and failures makes us all better at what we do with sUAS. It’s been said that the internet era has caused a lack of human connection for many, I must disagree. Without that broad reach we would not be able to pool so much experience and enable learning as we have. 2015-01-18 13.46.59


MSNBC Code Forward


Great experience talking ’bout drones with the hosts of Code Forward on yesterday. They presented a very balanced and clear eyed report on the current state of drone use and regulation and let me fly the Aries X10 Blackbird in the studio. No, you can’t touch it!

Sunrise to Sunset with The Aries Drone

What a fun day today! I had the pleasure of working with National Geographic contributor, George Steinmetz, shooting dusk and dawn exteriors with the nice folks from Aries Drone.

The photo below shows us putting the Aries Blackbird X10 through it’s paces, flying at dawn to capture an architectural exterior in New Jersey, then it was off to participate in a Fly-in with the New York City Drone User Group, followed by dusk shooting in Staten Island.

As much fun as one can have at 6:15a on a cold December Sunday morning!


NPR Weekend Edition

I had the pleasure of being interviewed for NPR’s Weekend Morning Edition this past summer. It was a great experience for our STEM Student Union Interns to demonstrate the work we’ve been doing at Bergen Community College. Exciting for them to hear their voices on the radio and to see their names in print(?), in digits(?) – online!

It’s been a learning process for me in working with the media and keeping my message succinct while maintaining the flow of the interview. I’ve found that the unguarded or offhand comment is usually what ends up in the story – and by the way – I did not coin the term “dronie”!

NPR Weekend Edition

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