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5 unlikely celebrities who have a drone

Photo: Jefferson Graham/USA Today

Photo: Jefferson Graham/USA Today

1. Martha Stewart

Not only does she cook and decorate, Martha Stewart also has said that she flies drones. She has said in various media interviews that she flies a Parrot AR Drone 2.0, which she uses to photograph her property.

Talk about a must-have accessory.

“I like to see aerial views of my properties, at different different times of the year. Right now, with the autumnal colors, it’s really pretty,” she told USA Today.

Read an editorial she wrote for Time Magazine on her drone.

2. Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and C.E.O. of News Corporation, tweeted out that he was trying out a DJI Phantom drone. The tweet was sent Oct. 27, 2014 from Laguna Beach, California, where Murdoch was attending a Wall Street Journal tech conference.

Trying out my new drone with Paul #WSJDLive pic.twitter.com/o36DF1YVGC

— Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) October 28, 2014

3.  Jorja Fox Actress Jorja Fox, who played Dr. Maggie Doyle on ER and now plays Sara Sidle in CSI: Crime Scene Investigtion, wrote on her Facebook page that she bought a drone with the intent of putting them to good use.

Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 8.03.24 PM 4. Katie Linendoll ESPN host Katie Linendoll also has a drone. She’s blogged about her use here. Talk about the best Valentine’s gift EVER. Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 8.05.04 PM

5. Jamie Hyneman and Adam Salvage

The Mythbusters stars have said they have used drones in the production of the show, including in opening shots and for a recent episode shot at Pebble Beach.

DJI Evolution Inspire Launch November 12th, 2014

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Learning the ArduPilot codebase

I've put together a wiki page on learning the ArduPilot code base. Perhaps you are a ArduPilot user who is looking for something to occupy them while recovering from too much turkey this weekend? Try some of the exercises on this wiki page as a sure fire cure for the effects of overindulging: http://dev.ardupilot.com/wiki/learning-the-ardupilot-codebase/ Best wishes for a great weekend from the ArduPilot team

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Installing APM Planner 2.0 on Ubuntu 14.04LTS

As instructional materials designer for the DaVinci Challenge, I need to provide clear and concise guidance on all aspects of building and operating drones including preparing ground control systems. With Microsoft as a sponsor of the DaVinci Challenge, I usually start by encouraging installing Mission Planner or APM Planner 2.0 on Windows, despite the difficult of installing unsigned drivers on Windows 8. For those participants with a MAC, guidance is to install APM Planner 2.0. Inevitably, a few students will arrive with a Ubuntu 14.04 as the only operating system. I can't help but smile, because I prefer Linux over Windows, but it does mean extra effort to guide the students through a more complex install process.

So to smooth out the process, one of our Interns created a shell script that checks the version of Ubuntu, installs that latest version of APM Planner 2.0, and creates a desktop icon -- all with a single command.

We are making this available to the public via our Guthub  

DaVinci Challenge

Please let me know if you have any difficulty.

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New Transport Canada UAV Regulations Arrive!

Well, the moment we have all been waiting for in Canada is finally here.  Transport Canada has published the new UAV regulations.  It is important to understand that these regulations effectively come in 2 parts.  Basically, you have one set of regulations for UAV's less than 25kg and for simple operations.  Then another set for UAV's larger than 25kg and/or complicated operations.  Then, within those two groups, there are more groups.  For the first, it's broken down into <2kg class, and 2<>25kg class.


The rules allow quite free operation of <2kg UAV's.  In a nutshell, you have to not be stupid, and fly safely.  You can't be drunk.  Know how to fly.  Have a plan.  And remain at least 30m away from people and things not involved in the operation.

For UAV's less than 25kg, there are a few additional, reasonable additions.  You must have a fire extinguisher, and remain 150m away from people and things not involved.

The only question I have is, what does it mean for a building to "be involved in the operation"?  If I am taking photo/video of a building, does that mean it's involved?  I would assume so.  But, what about neighboring buildings?  Are they involved?  Because, it is uncommon to have solitary buildings 150m away from any other buildings. If this rule is rigidly applied, then it means you can pretty much only fly larger craft in remote areas.

Now, for UAV's over 25kg and/or operations not meeting these simple rules, there is a much more complicated document which applies:


I've skimmed through this, and it appears to be similarly reasonable.  There are various levels of permissions, etc.  too much to get into in detail here.

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Zubax GNSS Black Friday Special

NicaDrone offers obligatory Black Friday discounts on Zubax GNSS and accessories. For those unaware what we're talking about, please read the announcement athttp://diydrones.com/profiles/blogs/zubax-gnss-positioning-module-gps-glonass-compass-barometer-can (TL;DR: it's a GPS/GLONASS receiver of insane performance). http://zubax.com/sites/default/files/zubax-gnss-top.jpg" width="224" height="166" class="CToWUd a6T" tabindex="0" /> http://zubax.com/sites/default/files/zubax-gnss-bottom.jpg" width="224" height="144" class="CToWUd a6T" tabindex="0" />

This video features a highly precise, fully automatic landing of a Pixhawk-powered quadrotor with Zubax GNSS below
On a related note, this thread covers the current status of UAVCAN support in APM: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/drones-discuss/P5MqTgdF8N4 (APM users, check it out) ORDER HERE: http://nicadrone.com/index.php?id_product=56&controller=product Attachments area
PX4 Pixhawk + UAVCAN GPS Landing

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