They're into letting you do what you want in Texas. As long as it's not with another man, and you're white.
The Dallas Cowboys have located the quadcopter which a self-confessed "dumbass" pilot planted on the roof of the team's AT&T Stadium in Arlington, the local Star-Telegram reports. The unnamed operator's DJI Phantom Vision went into "return to home" mode when he "let the building get between me and the transmitter", as he …
"When the Chinese, and Russians start demanding payment..."
You assume the Chinese economy doesn't go pop like Soviet Russia did. The situation is the same, of vast misallocations of capital, although the Chinese have built infrastructure rather than military hardware, but the outcome will be the same. The Russians would be ****ed in a rather different manner, in that if the US economy went pop, their economy would deflate quickly with a rasping wheeze, because half of government spending is financed by oil & gas revenues. If the US or China hit the stoppers, demand falls, prices collapse, and suddenly they don't have the money to spend - Russia, like most other energy resource economies has got its government spending critically leveraged against high oil and gas prices.
"Eh ? So the return home mode amounts to "crash into any object that blocks radio contact". Some mistake surely."
Not for kamikaze missions. I would guess that ne'er do wells around the world have been looking at this (and mooted parcel/pizza delivery by drone), and thinking "we too have packages we'd very much like to deliver".
Maybe the drug mules and suicide bombers could go on strike against the threat of disintermediation of their bit of the value chain? That Ned Ludd, he was right all along!
"Do none of these drones allow you to control them through, say, mobile phone tech?"
AFAIK not out of the box. But a highly competent home-brewer could cobble together a lightweight phone into the onboard control system. For the truly ambitious it might be feasible to relay the onboard camera as a video call to the controller's smartphone on the ground, given a bird's eye view. Probably not feasible at the same time as a video call, but linking the GPS to give height speed and location data would give the ground controller data when out of sight.
Nah. RTH mode meens "Fly back to launch coordinates at X altitude, and land vertically. X is something like 50 meters so would pass over trees and the like and most normal suburban structures. Unfortunately this structure was taller than the RTH altitude, so the quad hit the structure when it lost contact with the pilot and automatically entered RTH mode. The quad doesn't have anything in the way of vision systems or terrain radar so this is about the best you could do.
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