Should Consumer Use of Drones be Regulated or Banned in the U.S.?

 

As a hobbyist, I think these little gadgets are fun to play with but they are getting a lot of bad press lately.

http://www.cbsnews.com/drones/

http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/27/politics/drones-everywhere-ter...

There are already regulations in place that control the use of drones in certain areas but no practical way to enforce them.

I’m generally not a fan of government regulation but perhaps requiring all drones to carry an on board GPS enabled chip is all that is necessary. The chip could be programmed to disable the machine in certain areas or above certain altitudes. No, it won’t keep a terrorist from modifying one but an outright ban on drones won’t keep a terrorist from getting his hands on one either.

I have no strong opinion on this either way. I am curious though about the thoughts of others here at the Factory.

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may be the way to go

bdhsfz6 wrote:

As a hobbyist, I think these little gadgets are fun to play with but they are getting a lot of bad press lately.

http://www.cbsnews.com/drones/

http://www.cnn.com/2015/01/27/politics/drones-everywhere-ter...

There are already regulations in place that control the use of drones in certain areas but no practical way to enforce them.

I’m generally not a fan of government regulation but perhaps requiring all drones to carry an on board GPS enabled chip is all that is necessary. The chip could be programmed to disable the machine in certain areas or above certain altitudes.

Geo-fencing may be the only practical way to limit the abuses taht seem to be reported daily.

--
Illiterate? Write for free help.

I'm not in favor of regulating them

but if I see one hovering over my backyard I will use a 12ga and 00 Buck smile

--
"You can't get there from here"

Nothing

Put as many laws, regulations and whatever you want in place, and bad people will still do bad things as if the laws did not exist.

There has got to be enough laws and statutes in place that when someone does something dangerous to others, they can be prosecuted regardless if it was with a drone.

We shouldn't put laws into effect to attempt to prevent something that might happen. If we have learned anything, deterrent does not work. There are people that will do whatever with complete disregard for the law.

"If people are good only because they fear punishment, and hope for reward, then we are a sorry lot indeed." -Albert Einstein

And it is most likely that the simple hobbyist that loves flying a drone would be subject to all sorts bureaucracy and potential scrutiny if drone laws were enacted. Legislation would simply make the hobby a displeasure with permits, licensing, background checks, and all sorts of strange rules that just ruins the hobby.

--
GPSMAP64s, iPhone XR w/Garmin North America, Yaesu VX-8R w/GPS.

Nothing Wrong With Drones

Just the idiots that operate the drones dangerously.

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GPSMAP64s, iPhone XR w/Garmin North America, Yaesu VX-8R w/GPS.

Nope

A model RC plane can do the same thing a drone can but much faster. You would have to regulate the whole RC industry but that would not stop determined people for 99.9% of all RC equipment is manufactured outside the U.S. so the only people you regulate are the law abiding ones. We have traffic laws but how many people break them every day.
I am into RC cars (had 5)and Boats (have 6)and spend my money all over the world. I am in the process of scratch building a 6 foot long RC model of the paddle wheel river boat "Delta Queen". The hull was made for me in upstate NY. The paddlewheel parts were laser cut in Australia. The steam module was made in Korea. The 7 channel transmitter and receiver and speed control was made in Japan. The camera was made in China. The decks are Birch panels from Indonesia.
One only has to go online and see how many stores there are willing to sell you all the parts you need to build anything you want.
The question is "How would you regulate this since there are laws already on the books governing flying over certain areas?"

Control is in the works

There's already a company that uses sound to detect RC flying devices. Add RC frequency jamming and they can be disabled over restricted areas.

--
Zumo 550 & Zumo 665 My alarm clock is sunshine on chrome.

Drones vs RC Helicopters

If you think about it, there's really not much difference between drones and RC helicopters other than the fact that drones such as quadcopters are much easier to fly, so more people are flying them.

If you do pass a no-drone law, what is the appropriate altitude for the law to take effect? Tree top level? Even at tree top level, the drone that breached the white house fence would have been legal.

If it starts at the first inch above ground level, then any flying toys would be illegal even in your own yard.

It's not an easy answer.

It's an easy answer.

DiQuest wrote:

It's not an easy answer.

I think that is easy to answer. Currently the FAA wants to ban all commercial use of drones. The means that you couldn't fly a low level drone over your own property for commercial purposes or hire a commercial firm to do it. That is absurd, there are plenty of legitimate and perfectly reasonable uses for this (think farming). The nonsense of banning this should be stopped immediately.

On the other hand, there are people who would try to fly their drones over your property and use that ability to spy on you. (Think paparazzi, perverts and so called law enforcement officers.) That should be prohibited.

There are some grey areas, such as proposed use of drones for delivery. But until we can establish people's right to use low level drones over their own property and show that we can prohibit the abusive use of drones, then we don't have enough experience with the technology to reasonably consider such uses and they should be tabled.

Drones that are intended to fly higher than low level drones over one's own property do present real dangers to other air traffic. I see no reason why, if allowed at all, they shouldn't be licensed at least as rigidly as an aircraft is. It would not be at all unreasonable to require them to include transponders and adhere to other regulations, and their operators be trained, licensed and accountable. And their uses, such as invading privacy, be regulated by law.

I'm waiting for the drone 'gun'

A very acute yagi antenna that electronically cripples communication to a drone. I would gladly use one if someone was flying that device near my house over my property. No projectiles... No permit required if using RC frequencies... I don't see a fault, again unless in the wrong hands...

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Striving to make the NYC Metro area project the best.

See

except

camerabob wrote:

A very acute yagi antenna that electronically cripples communication to a drone. I would gladly use one if someone was flying that device near my house over my property. No projectiles... No permit required if using RC frequencies... I don't see a fault, again unless in the wrong hands...

You would be breaking the law and subject to hefty fines from the FCC. It is illegal to willfully interfere with or disrupt a lawful signal so, pointing your antenna at the drone with the intent to disable it's connection to the controller would be against the law.

Marriott was fined $600,000 for blocking WiFi signals from hotspot transmitters from the cellular companies in their hotel meeting rooms. Truck drivers and others have been fined over $25,000 for using "GPS Blockers" that disrupt signals. In fact, the regulation state your unlicensed device must not cause interference and must accept all interference from licensed devices (Part 15 of the FCC Regulations).

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Illiterate? Write for free help.

All new capabilities force

All new capabilities force the existing system to change. There are security & other considerations to be dealt with in integrating the use of drones into our system. I have no doubt that it will be done with subtle & not so subtle changes to a host of operations - & that's not just security.

You'll be able to say that you lived thru one of the US's large scale modifications to operations.

Fred

Yep!

TMK wrote:

but if I see one hovering over my backyard I will use a 12ga and 00 Buck smile

00 buck and a shotgun ought to do it.

--
It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible. ----George Washington

OK

Box Car wrote:
camerabob wrote:

A very acute yagi antenna that electronically cripples communication to a drone. I would gladly use one if someone was flying that device near my house over my property. No projectiles... No permit required if using RC frequencies... I don't see a fault, again unless in the wrong hands...

You would be breaking the law and subject to hefty fines from the FCC. It is illegal to willfully interfere with or disrupt a lawful signal so, pointing your antenna at the drone with the intent to disable it's connection to the controller would be against the law.

Marriott was fined $600,000 for blocking WiFi signals from hotspot transmitters from the cellular companies in their hotel meeting rooms. Truck drivers and others have been fined over $25,000 for using "GPS Blockers" that disrupt signals. In fact, the regulation state your unlicensed device must not cause interference and must accept all interference from licensed devices (Part 15 of the FCC Regulations).

I feel like Wile E Coyote trying to figure out ways of catching the Road Runner... Launch my own ACME attack drone... smile Drop and ACME bomb or even an ACME anvil on that sucker!

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Striving to make the NYC Metro area project the best.

Paintball Drone Gunship

I just had to share this...

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

also check out how accurate they can be...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jplh7uatr-E

--
Bobkz - Garmin Nuvi 3597LMTHD/2455LMT/C530/C580- "Pain Is Fear Leaving The Body - Semper Fidelis"

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diesel wrote:

Just the idiots that operate the drones dangerously.

Exactly right.

Drones/quadcopters/multirotors are fine when used responsibly (Like anything else.)

And they are FUN!

banned

they don't serve any legitimate purpose

my son is only 1, but if I had a teenage daughter and one were flying around the pool....

I disagree

johnnatash4 wrote:

[Banned] they don't serve any legitimate purpose
...

Already drones have given farmers a bird's-eye view of their crops which lets them do more targeted use of fertilizer and weed killer. This benefits all of us because farm runoff form such substances is fouling rivers and groundwater.

Drones have a potential valuable use in giving first responders a view of disaster areas - think tornado and flood situation where people cannot quickly get into an area to assess damage and find people.

Drones have a potential valuable use in assisting Law Enforcement in assessing situations of many types. Right now the battery is a limiting factor but those should improve.

I feel that all of these uses are "legitimate".

This is not saying that drones won't be used in negative ways. But, guns can be used in negative ways. Cars can be used in negative ways. Cellphones can be used for criminal purposes.

Well...

johnnatash4 wrote:

they don't serve any legitimate purpose

my son is only 1, but if I had a teenage daughter and one were flying around the pool....

A fire department recently used a drone to survey a fire scene to assess the risk to life and property.

And radio control flying has been around for a long, long time. This shouldn't be an issue now all of a sudden.

--
GPSMAP64s, iPhone XR w/Garmin North America, Yaesu VX-8R w/GPS.

,

johnnatash4 wrote:

they don't serve any legitimate purpose

my son is only 1, but if I had a teenage daughter and one were flying around the pool....

This is completely wrong and misguided.

1. Most people are using them for aerial photography of scenery. Not "snooping" on someone's teenage daughter at the pool.

2. The cameras on the most popular models do not zoom. They have to physically fly close to get close shots of people. And at that point, you will know that it is there. They aren't loud, but they are not quite by any stretch either. It would be easier for someone with a good zoom lens and a DSLR to get a good picture at a distance. Or a telescope. Or either a set of binoculars.

3. Saying that they serve no legitimate purpose is just showing ignorance of the subject matter. A modicum of research would show that this is completely incorrect. As I mentioned, people are by and large using them for scenic photography. Scientists have used them to monitor whale pods. Volcanoes. There are TV shows that are using them. Farmers monitoring crops. Vineyards doing the same. College football teams monitoring and assessing practice. There are literally hundreds if not thousands of legitimate, non-threatening, legal, useful and innovative uses for them.

distracted operating

Some idiot cop will likely give someone a ticket for operating an rc device and eating a hamburger! smile

--
Never argue with a pig. It makes you look foolish and it anoys the hell out of the pig!

here's obe approved

--
Never argue with a pig. It makes you look foolish and it anoys the hell out of the pig!

I Own One...

…and I fly it frequently. Can't see the value of passing laws limiting their use, except around airports and highly congested areas. The most popular, the DJI Phantom already has limits built into its control software prohibiting its ability to fly into (5 mile radius) zones around airports. (The software has built-in GPS coordinates of many airports). It will be near impossible to enforce laws prohibiting radio controlled hobby aircraft.

There will always be crazies abusing most anything. Laws usually don't stop their activities.

--
Tuckahoe Mike - Nuvi 3490LMT, Nuvi 260W, iPhone X, Mazda MX-5 Nav

Interesting

Tuckahoemike wrote:

…and I fly it frequently. Can't see the value of passing laws limiting their use, except around airports and highly congested areas. The most popular, the DJI Phantom already has limits built into its control software prohibiting its ability to fly into (5 mile radius) zones around airports. (The software has built-in GPS coordinates of many airports). It will be near impossible to enforce laws prohibiting radio controlled hobby aircraft.

There will always be crazies abusing most anything. Laws usually don't stop their activities.

I wasn't aware GPS is already being used to limit where drones can fly.
Thanks for the information.

Is there a way to update the on board software as new "no fly zones" are created? For example, the recent FAA drone ban at the Super Bowl which prohibits their use in just about the entire Phoenix area:

http://gizmodo.com/the-faas-drone-ban-at-the-super-bowl-is-a...

A bit of an overkill IMO.

After The White House Incident

After the White House incident, they will be regulated. The question is how will it be done effectively to prevent their use as weapons.

Fred

hopefully

FZbar wrote:

After the White House incident, they will be regulated. The question is how will it be done effectively to prevent their use as weapons.

Fred

There will be a modicum of intelligence applied and not some panic-driven piece of legislation that has no hope of being enforced.

DJI has already announced they are modifying their firmware to include no fly zones in DC but the upgrade/change is optional to existing units.

--
Illiterate? Write for free help.

Yes

bdhsfz6 wrote:
Tuckahoemike wrote:

…and I fly it frequently. Can't see the value of passing laws limiting their use, except around airports and highly congested areas. The most popular, the DJI Phantom already has limits built into its control software prohibiting its ability to fly into (5 mile radius) zones around airports. (The software has built-in GPS coordinates of many airports). It will be near impossible to enforce laws prohibiting radio controlled hobby aircraft.

There will always be crazies abusing most anything. Laws usually don't stop their activities.

I wasn't aware GPS is already being used to limit where drones can fly.
Thanks for the information.

Is there a way to update the on board software as new "no fly zones" are created? For example, the recent FAA drone ban at the Super Bowl which prohibits their use in just about the entire Phoenix area:

http://gizmodo.com/the-faas-drone-ban-at-the-super-bowl-is-a...

A bit of an overkill IMO.

Yes, DJI regularly updates its software, in the Phantom and in the remote controller. It is, naturally, up to the user to decide to update.

BTW, there are also flying height limits imposed by the software: 600 ft for the US and 400 ft for Canada. These, like the airport limits can be overridden in the software by the user.

--
Tuckahoe Mike - Nuvi 3490LMT, Nuvi 260W, iPhone X, Mazda MX-5 Nav

No

There should be no legislation regarding drones.

But then, there are probably plenty of statutes already that would apply to acts where a drone or other misused object is used for deviant purposes.

--
GPSMAP64s, iPhone XR w/Garmin North America, Yaesu VX-8R w/GPS.

New Release

Box Car wrote:
FZbar wrote:

After the White House incident, they will be regulated. The question is how will it be done effectively to prevent their use as weapons.

Fred

There will be a modicum of intelligence applied and not some panic-driven piece of legislation that has no hope of being enforced.

DJI has already announced they are modifying their firmware to include no fly zones in DC but the upgrade/change is optional to existing units.

DJI has released the new firmware update for the Phantom Vision. Among other upgrades, it prohibits the quadcopter flying within 15.5 miles of the White House, assuming the user updates the firmware and is flying in GPS mode.

If the quadcopter flies to within that range, it will automatically land. If user attempts to launch within that range, the motors will not start. I updated my Phantom today...

--
Tuckahoe Mike - Nuvi 3490LMT, Nuvi 260W, iPhone X, Mazda MX-5 Nav

Thanks for the Update

Tuckahoemike wrote:
Box Car wrote:
FZbar wrote:

After the White House incident, they will be regulated. The question is how will it be done effectively to prevent their use as weapons.

Fred

There will be a modicum of intelligence applied and not some panic-driven piece of legislation that has no hope of being enforced.

DJI has already announced they are modifying their firmware to include no fly zones in DC but the upgrade/change is optional to existing units.

DJI has released the new firmware update for the Phantom Vision. Among other upgrades, it prohibits the quadcopter flying within 15.5 miles of the White House, assuming the user updates the firmware and is flying in GPS mode.

If the quadcopter flies to within that range, it will automatically land. If user attempts to launch within that range, the motors will not start. I updated my Phantom today...

A 15.5 mile radius around the white house encompasses a sizable portion of the Washington DC Metro area. That must be tough on the local drone enthusiasts.

Is there a website where you can view these exclusion zones? It would be good to know if you can use a drone in your area before buying one.

I wonder how many drone manufacturers provide this update-able GPS firmware with their products?

Use of Drones Should Not Be Banned

Some sort of safety rules, such as no flying near airports makes sense. Sadly, some people need to be told this.

What deficient people are allowed to do is another thing. Need plenty of rules regarding the people that fly drones, even out right bans if they have a criminal record.

But do not encumber the fun good people get out of flying RC and drone models.

--
GPSMAP64s, iPhone XR w/Garmin North America, Yaesu VX-8R w/GPS.

Regulation is Needed

FZbar wrote:

After the White House incident, they will be regulated. The question is how will it be done effectively to prevent their use as weapons.

Fred

I agree with the above - regulation is the only way to allow drones.

--
romanviking

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bdhsfz6 wrote:

Is there a website where you can view these exclusion zones? It would be good to know if you can use a drone in your area before buying one.

http://www.dji.com/fly-safe

https://www.mapbox.com/drone/no-fly/#

Very simple

RC helis, drone can be dangerous, a out of control heli, drone can seriously injure or kill someone. As with firearms, you point a firearm at someone without legal justification its Felony Endangerment, create a similar law for RC. I fly RC Helis and plan on getting a Camera Quad (RC name for drones). They should not be flown closer then 30'minimum to operator and never near people.

Drone Regulations

It appears congress is moving forward with legislation that would regulate the operation of small drone type aircraft.

http://makezine.com/2015/02/15/faa-releases-small-drone-prop...

Agree ...

Frovingslosh wrote:
DiQuest wrote:

It's not an easy answer.

...

Drones that are intended to fly higher than low level drones over one's own property do present real dangers to other air traffic. I see no reason why, if allowed at all, they shouldn't be licensed at least as rigidly as an aircraft is. It would not be at all unreasonable to require them to include transponders and adhere to other regulations, and their operators be trained, licensed and accountable. And their uses, such as invading privacy, be regulated by law.

Especialy when you consider the possibility/probability of drones analogous to the larger UAVs rather than the quadcopters most of us think about.

--
Nuvi 2460

Ban them.Privacy.

Ban them.Privacy.

What If They

What if they are operated by terrorists to take out specific targets with bombs?
What will the Federal Government do then?

Fred

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triliby wrote:

Ban them.Privacy.

Again, making a comment like that shows ignorance of the subject matter.

Should powerful telephoto lenses be banned for "privacy" as well.

What about telescopes?

Binoculars?

,

FZbar wrote:

What if they are operated by terrorists to take out specific targets with bombs?
What will the Federal Government do then?

What if a van is filled with fertilizer and diesel fuel and parked next to a Federal office building by a "terrorist" and detonated?

What will the Federal government do then?

Should fertilizer, diesel fuel, and vans be banned?

.

bdhsfz6 wrote:

It appears congress is moving forward with legislation that would regulate the operation of small drone type aircraft.

http://makezine.com/2015/02/15/faa-releases-small-drone-proposed-legislation/

Note that these regulations were proposed by the FAA not by Congress.

And they are directed at regulations for commercial usage not at consumer usage.

oh my... wbere have I been ??

All this time I waz of the under the understanding tbey had been declared vermin and to be used as sleet on sight mrgreen

--
Never argue with a pig. It makes you look foolish and it anoys the hell out of the pig!

free country

It's a free country, they should be flown wherever anyone pleases, for whatever reason. Once teenie weenie itsy bitsy telephoto zoom lenses with German optics are introduced at a low cost, they will be even more useful and people will like them even more.

Back to the drawing board for amazon

Amazon hoped to use drones for low-cost speedy parcel delivery in cities, but they're going to have to rethink their plans because though the FAA proposed regs for drones was seen as low in impact overall for commercial use, one thing the FAA did propose was requiring the drone to be within sight of the pilot (which amazon was not planning to do).

http://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/amazon-drone-delivery-...

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JMoo On

Not just non-commercial then?

triliby wrote:

Ban them.Privacy.

I agree that privacy is a concern, but then allowing the commercial use makes it even worse. It really should be "no" for every one (not a longterm solution) or "yes" for all. Not a separate rule.

Apply some aircraft rules?

Motorcycle Mama wrote:
triliby wrote:

Ban them.Privacy.

Again, making a comment like that shows ignorance of the subject matter.

Should powerful telephoto lenses be banned for "privacy" as well.

What about telescopes?

Binoculars?

I think as regards paparazzi and privacy, they are not allowed to overfly private property for the purposes of taking photos in private back yards, estates, etc. They may take photos of anything that is visible from public areas like the street, etc. I thought it was illegal to use any means to see 'over' a privacy hedge, for example.

And aren't there some current rules over how low an aircraft can fly over before it's considered an invasion of privacy?

I don't see any reason why the same standards should not apply to drones.

The real problem here is that anyone can buy one and have no restrictions at all, not even common sense. You can get a basic drone for under $100 and give it to an 8 year old for his birthday. Most of the cheapies don't even have propeller guards.

I don't care for a lot of red tape or regulations, but putting a moderately dangerous toy like that in the hands of just about anyone (even kids) is a little scary.

Also very dangerous

Jamming the drone could cause operator to lose control, even a small RC Heli could seriously injure or even kill someone, those blades are going around at some serious RPM's.

That's why I am against Amazon delivering by drone. Those drones will be large and powerful enough to kill someone if they crash or get out of control. Imagine thousands of drones delivering packages, how many will crash or hit some one, its a matter of numbers and odds!

I think..

I think drones are pretty cool, glad I don't have to make the decision if they will be available to the masses or not.

Boom...!

TMK wrote:

but if I see one hovering over my backyard I will use a 12ga and 00 Buck smile

That only works if you're good enough to hit what you're aiming at!

Nuvi1300WTGPS

--
I'm not really lost.... just temporarily misplaced!

Drones should not be banned

Drones should not be banned from the US. If they are banned then radio controlled helicopters, and planes should also be banned. Maybe there should be some regulations regarding the use of video cameras recording of sensitive high security areas. There should be regulations on how high they fly and how close to airports you can fly your drones for safely reasons. The only thing I do not like about drones, is that they can video record people on private property without their permission.

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