Drones at #CheltSciFest


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This week, I took part in a panel at the Cheltenham Science Festival focused on the use of drones in every day life. I talked a lot about Project Daedalus and some new innovations, particularly high authority autonomous systems - essentially completely intelligent drones - while Gerry Corbert from the Civil Aviation Authority gave a run down of the rules and regulations surrounding application. He was quick to point out that the guidelines that surround UAVs were never designed for the very small UAVs which can now be picked up in toy stores or even the Apple store, but there were some key issues that seem unresolved. One of them relates to this video:  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZkZ4FONiiw

This example of a form of augmented reality glasses being used to give FPV perspective of the drone's camera is provocative because the CAA guidelines stipulate that flying with FPV goggles is actually not legal, since the pilot must always have visual line of sight (VLOS). However, these glasses offer transparency which permits VLOS, while locating the drone's camera feed within the glasses as well. So the question is, 'is this legal?'

This seems one of the future directions around the use of augmented reality devices with drones, making even more complicated the way in which the rules operate.

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 11.50.45
Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 11.50.45