Astronomy News

Human vs. Machine

I will bet the result doesn’t stand for long. The pre-loaded map won’t be necessary for too long either. Let’s hope JPL repeats this in a years time.

You may have also noticed “I” was not the one flying the drone either. Perhaps JPL and Google have heard about my expertise in this area. I have a drone well suited to be flown inside. Instead I took it outdoors and flew it around for about three-minutes when a gust of wind took the drone on a ride of it’s own.

Last I saw of the thing, it was passing over the top of the house towards the other side and losing altitude, although rather smoothly. I knew the drone was going to cross the road but would it be smashed by the truck and couple of cars going by at the time?

I ran around the house, all the while madly operating the flight controller in some sort of effort to do something.
Just what the something was supposed to be is still a mystery but it seemed like the thing to do. Well I did not see any wreckage in the road. Great, the drone is one piece, but where is it? Immediately on the other side of the road it is thickly wooded.

That seemed like a plus, so I looked in a grid search quite a large area, twice. Nearly two-hours later I had nothing but a bunch of Ticks to show for my effort, I took a break. After running around doing errands, I returned to the search and expanded the search area well outside the area I figured drone could reach given the angle of descent (as reckoned by me at the time).

Almost immediately I found the drone, it had flown about twice as far as I thought! The battery was dead and after charging it up I found I had a motor problem. So, I have to fix the motor and I do have new ones, otherwise everything is good.

Yes! There is video, it seems I quite accidentally hit the “record” button during my frantic attempt “to do something” as described earlier, and perhaps someday I will get it to YouTube although it’s really rather dull. The video showed the drone had hit a Pine tree branch about 3 or so meters up and dangled there for about as long as I was doing my search. A gust of wind shook it out to where it was easily visible from the road. I am pretty lucky nobody spotted it before I did because it is a popular dog-walker stretch of road. Anyway, there you have it, how not to fly a drone.