Dronin' On newsletter
Sunset, the Pedernal

Hi all –

Well looky here at Mr. Bobby D. #NobelPrizeLiterature. How cool is that for a kid named Zimmerman from Hibbing, Minnesota. Turn, turn, turn.

I am pleased to announce that I have been invited to moderate a panel at IDE on “Funding Your Drone Company.” I look forward to seeing some of your smiling faces in Los Angeles December 9-10.

I would like to thank Scott Scanlon who makes a nifty product called Curation Suite that is an essential part of the workflow here at DroneBusiness.center. Scott did a profile called The Making Of DB.c: An Authority Drone Website. Good story and kind words.

Another quiet week with the FAA – no news though there is a fair amount of frustration and confusion showing up on Facebook about getting airspace authorizations, as well as the difference between authorizations and waivers.

As you know, I stay away from military drones like Reaper and Predator because there are plenty of other folks who cover that. I do post on military innovations that may some day yield a peace dividend. That was all working pretty well till a few months ago.

ISIS Is Impacting The Battlefield With sUAS is the tip of a fast growing story we have been tracking since early August. The US military is getting hit and is scrambling to respond. This time the bad guys put some explosives in a Phantom, the drone was captured, clever Kurdish fingers opened it and boom. I am collecting a lot of these stories in Quick. Turn Off Your iPhone And Dig A Hole which is the post I started in August.

No surprise that More Companies Are Piling In To The UAV Countermeasures Market based on a story in the LA Times. This is the next gen version of a cat and mouse game that will play out for years to come.

A fresh perspective from Perran Bonner, a commercial UAV pilot in the UK who wonders Is Worker Safety The #1 UAV Benefit? Along with some thoughts on how one mans toys are another mans tools, and what the government should be doing – familiar themes.

Also on the subject of safety is a provocative interview with the manager of driver-assistance systems at Mercedes-Benz, Christoph von Hugo, The Moral Dilemma Of Autonomous Technology. All about a decision none of us hope to ever have to make. Worth a read.

Mercedes-Benz and BMW find themselves in a conundrum. China’s e-Car Requirements Mean No Privacy is an article from Handelsblatt, a German newspaper. The essence of it is that the Chinese government wants all the data from e-cars, and the Europeans feel an obligation to protect the privacy of their customers. Among other things, it offers some cultural insights into DJI’s data gathering practices.

Reminding us why this is a fun and exciting business is the “product launch of the week,” Intel Falcon 8+ – The Shape Of Things To Come. This is a very advanced octo design from AscTec in Germany that is clearly intended for the commercial drone business. As one wag noted, “It has Intel outside as well as inside.” Going to be interesting to see how Intel takes this to market – definitely not a Christmas stocking stuffer in most homes.

The flip side is the news that GoPro apparently suspended sales of their new Hero 5 camera to Amazon while they negotiated prices. Dourgherty & Co analyst Charlie Anderson said GoPro told them they are doing this because retailers like Best Buy (GoPro’s No. 1 customer most quarters) now price match Amazon.com. GPRO closed at $13.50, erasing all of the gains since the launch.

Two stories on the drone service business. The Winning Approach To A Drone Service Business is by Dustin Price who works for a land surveying company serving the oil and gas business. Tremendous advice about the need for domain expertise. This is a theme that you are going to be hearing a lot more about.

DroneDeploy is working to leverage their installed base with a new matchmaking service, Drone Service Providers Focus Of New Campaign. The real headline is hidden – service providers can now private label the maps and reports they deliver to their customers – a classic software upgrade play.

Continuing on the service theme is another analysis by Colin Snow, Need Help Picking An Online Drone Data Service? Some common sense, some interesting lists and the reminder that you are “choosing a trusted business partner.”

Looking for a new UAV opportunity? Terry Miller has an idea for you Why UAV Salvage Will Be A Thing. I like this story because it portends good things for my friends at Robotic Skies who are located in Albuquerque and have a worldwide network of 130 Part 145 repair stations. Terry thinks they might be just the folks to fix what sounds to be a growing number of busted up drones.

Finally, the Eye Candy Tag Award usually goes to pretty sparkly things that remind us that we live on a glorious planet. But there is also the opportunity to use drones for good. A Drone Documents The Devastation Of Aleppo is a visceral reminder of the storytelling power of our tools. Gut wrenching essay along with the footage.

Thanks for reading and for sharing.


Christopher Korody
follow me @dronewriter



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