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Project Daedalus

A Drone's Eye View of the Future

A Drone's Eye View of the Future

TEDx talk for University of York, looks at the many ways in which drones are being developed and utliized for a range of social goods.

 

Making Digital Work

Making Digital Work

As part of the Digital R&D for the Arts funding stream overseen by Nesta, they put together a programme of presentations as a final showcase. I was asked by their new Director for Digital, Tim Plyming, to make a contribution to the final session of the day, looking at future directions. It was a really fun panel with Freya Murray, Director, Stamp House; Anthony Lilley OBE, Interim CEO and Creative Director, The Space and CEO, Magic Lantern Productions; David Watson, Head of Digital, Hull UK City of Culture 2017.

Drones in the House of Lords

Drones in the House of Lords

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This week, I received a report from Lord Haskell, detailing the House of Lords debate of 8th September, in which he kindly mentioned my work on drones. This is an important citation for Project Daedalus and great to have made a link there for NESTA. Here's the report, crucial reading for all UAV/drone users. Our online toolkit is also online now! Here's a link to get started on learning about drones.

Abandon Normal Devices

Abandon Normal Devices

AND festival went to Grizedale forest this year, a return after 5 years. We delivered a number of drone activities over the weekend, including a networking event for drone enthusiasts and some flying experiences for beginners and experts. We were incredibly lucky with the weather and had some great people come along and learn.

Project Daedalus London Showcase

Project Daedalus London Showcase

On 22nd July, Project Daedalus set up an exhibition space to launch our new toolkit for drone artists. Here's a bit of a glimpse into what took place.

#SciFoo @Google

#SciFoo @Google

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My first #SciFoo (Science Friends Of O'Reilly Media) event just came to a close and it was a marathon of crazy conversations with people doing remarkable things in science, art, and technology. Some of my highlights were a conversation with a paleontologist about using a probablistic approach to explaining why mammoths became extinct, chatting with the Pope's astronomer, and running two sessions in the programme, one on Drones, the other on Google Glass. Here's a glimpse from start to finish...

#Scifoo about to kick off here at @google in Mountain view! Excited! @makingscience@TechMoonshotspic.twitter.com/qKxLcHRQ3N

— Georgia Dienst (@georgiadienst) June 26, 2015

at the Google holodeck for #scifoopic.twitter.com/MgieukSU1s — Professor Andy Miah (@andymiah) June 27, 2015

googling #scifoo (@ Googleplex - @google in Mountain View, CA) https://t.co/drwfXkOuh5pic.twitter.com/HJIU981h4g

— Professor Andy Miah (@andymiah) June 27, 2015

Google's driverless car shown at #scifoopic.twitter.com/fpqzbxNgJ6 — Professor Andy Miah (@andymiah) June 27, 2015

check out this 360 filming @GoPro rig at Googleplex #scifoopic.twitter.com/YXzpm4aRfU

— Professor Andy Miah (@andymiah) June 28, 2015

Google glass session. main room at tent, in 5. #scifoopic.twitter.com/xIzzHk1kBY — Professor Andy Miah (@andymiah) June 28, 2015

Drone Society

Drone Society

Video essay, from my talk at #YorkFoi York's Festival of Ideas.

Drones at #CheltSciFest

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

Project Daedalus with Arts Orgs

Project Daedalus with Arts Orgs

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Last week, we ran a second event with people from arts organizations, talking about Project Daedalus. As for London, we showed them a range of applications, discussed all kinds of issues surrounding drone use, even gave them an overview of Amazon's new delivery drone patent, awarded in just April 2015. Many of the things we played are located in this Project YouTube playlist, which covers some of the things that are informing what we are doing.

Project Daedalus Art Event

Project Daedalus Art Event

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In the first of our Project Daedalus events with arts organizations, we all went over to the Pleasance in London to offer some demos, talks, and sandpit style discussion, thinking about how to use drones in creative contexts. Attendees had a chance to fly some micro drones and a Parrot Bebop using the iPad control interface, while also hearing about 360 degree film making, design for virtual reality interfaces, including Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear, and generally think about how to interate a range of digital technologies around drones, to create immersive, compelling, and different audience experiences.

Project Daedalus is a Digital R&D for the Arts project, funded by Nesta, Arts Council England, and the Arts and Humanities Research Council. It was born from a collaboraiton between myself, Abandon Normal Devices, and Marshmallow Laser Feast.

 

 

Drone Testing for #ProjectDaedalus

Drone Testing for #ProjectDaedalus

Yesterday, Anna Frew and I spent the afternoon testing out minidrones for some workshops we have on soon with the BBC, a disability group, a school, and some arts organization employees. Each of the workshops aims to provide a flight experience and an insight into some of the things that drones can be used for within an creative setting. Here's what we got upto...

and here's the full edit of our 2hour session.

Drone Island #Bebopyourworld

Drone Island #Bebopyourworld

I was out flying again yesterday and managed to capture my son playing in the nearby islands. I find it really wonderful that he will have such films about his life captured in this way and it's another reminder of how drone technology is providing new memories of our lives. In the end, the best drone cinema experiences may be those simple, personal movies that are made, which tell us more about what life we have had. Oblivious to my filming him, or the wider perspective on where he is located, the film situated him within the place far more effectively than he could ever hope to perceive from ground level. I have no idea what he will make of a film like this when he is grown up, but, as his parent, I am sure I will find it very moving to look back and know more fully that he had all of this around him growing up and I think drone film making has the potential to make us feel this way, one way or another, wherever we live. That wider perspective we have on the world around us is simply breath taking.

My First Dronie

My First Dronie

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We are half way through the 12 month Project Daedalus, a Nesta Digital R&D for the Arts creative technology research prohect in which we have been exploring the creative potential of drones. Over this period, I've been learning to fly drones and am at a point where I feel pretty comfortable with control sticks, the conventional way of flying. However, the new Parrot Bebop drone uses a mobile device for flight. It's a very differnt experiece. The interface looks like this on the screen of the iPhone I use. The camera of the drone is visible as the background, with the controls overlaid onto it, from which you can control flight and camera.

So, after spending a few flights practicing, including some quite hair raising moments, here you have my first effort at shooting a dronie.  One of the tricky things about the dronie is that controls are back to front, but this the first time I tried to think about film making while flying, which feels like a big step. Next is to choreograph an actual story.

ps. A Dronie is the new Selfie :)

International Drones for Research Network

International Drones for Research Network

This week, I've launched the 'International Drones for Research Network', an initiative that emerges from my thoughts around Project Daedalus, but also from the many conversations I have had with colleagues over the year about the utilization of drones for a whole range of research projects. Personally, I am curious to learn about new projects and want to share experiences and knowledge about how drones are developing and how they might be used. The network starts of as an email group, we will see where it goes from there.

Project Daedalus Lab

Project Daedalus Lab

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This week, the crew from Marshmallow Laser Feast came up to Manchester for the first of our lab events. Conversations focused on the scope of Project Daedalus, and a whole lot of playing with new tech, like Google Glass, Oculus Rift, Quadcopters, and Google Cardboard to explore fist person view perspectives on drone cameras. Here's a brief overview of some of the highlights: The wonderful Museum of Science and Industry was our creative platform for the three days...

Our amazing venue for #projectdaedalus lab s @voiceofmosi an inspiring place to work!

A video posted by Andy Miah (@andymiah) on

Glass vs Cardboard #Google

A photo posted by Andy Miah (@andymiah) on

The beauty of drone films at human eye level #projectdaedalus

A video posted by Andy Miah (@andymiah) on

This is work, honest! Testing FPV with drones. Manual mode @marshmallowlf @andfestival

A video posted by Andy Miah (@andymiah) on

Project Daedalus needs a Producer & Research Assistant

Project Daedalus needs a Producer & Research Assistant

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As I start at Salford University, there is an opportunity for a talented producer and research assistant in a new Digital R&D For the Arts project for which I am the research lead. The fund is jointly awarded by Nesta, AHRC, and Arts Council England. Please find the details below:

"An exciting opportunity has arisen for an experienced academic researcher and creative producer to join Project Daedalus, a new, Nesta project led by Abandon Normal Devices (AND), Marshmallow Laser Feast (MLF), and the University of Salford (UoS). Project Daedalus aims to liberate geographic constraints on artistic experiences and live events, using quadrotor technology (flying drones), combined with custom-made applications, to test new ways of engaging audiences remotely with content in real-time. Project Daedalus will test the limits of non-linear storytelling by creating interactive environments, which allow audiences to engage remotely by creating and sharing content in real-time.

The position will be based across Salford’s School of Environment & Life Sciences (ELS) and AND’s office in Manchester, with some presence in Media City Salford, an exciting, state of the art destination, which fosters new, creative connections between scientists, the media and various publics. In 2014, the School of ELS invested into 6 new appointments, including a Chair in Science Communication & Digital Media, with which this post will be associated.

AND is a catalyst for new approaches to art-making and digital invention, commissioning ground-breaking projects which challenge the definitions of art and moving image. Inviting artists to hijack the imagination, by developing projects which abandon traditional settings and partnerships, with a distinct emphasis on creative enquiry and provocations, AND brings together an eclectic mix of academics, filmmakers, scientists and anarchists to actively push the boundaries of audience experience and arts production.

Informal enquiries in the first instance to Professor Andy Miah email: email@andymiah.net"

If you would like to apply, please use this link You can also find out more on the research side of the role here

Application deadline: 18th October, 2014.

Hours: 0.5 FTE, 12 months

Project Daedalus

Project Daedalus

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Ok, there are grants, and there are grants. This one is pretty, pretty, pretty, damn cool. We've called it Project Daedalus, after the creative father of Icarus, artist, crafter, mindful of technology's limits. Project Daedalus is an experiment into digital enabled flying technology. Myself, along with the truly amazing Abandon Normal Devices and Marshmallow Laser Feast won funds from the Digital R&D in the Arts programme, funded by Nesta, AHRC, and Arts Council England. Here's the one pager. And here's something MLF made with drones a couple of years ago. Mindblowing..