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Thread: The Utility Locating Drone... IT"S HEEEERE

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    Administrator TheCableVine's Avatar
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    Default The Utility Locating Drone... IT"S HEEEERE

    Okay... maybe not. I ran across this request for funds to develop and Underground Utility Locating Drone. I don't know how it works so I can only guess. Maybe if the requester gave a better description of how it works they could convince others to get behind it. Here is the description and link:

    Working on an idea for a underground utility locator drone, still in early stages of idea and trying to make it real. Just want to provide for my family and create an irreplaceable tool to the construction industry. I am a utility locator and this would create an amazing help in every aspect of construction. It would help prevent injuries to locators on and around busy job sites, it would provide the contractor with accurate line placement and depth. And it would be available to locate all underground lines, pipes, and cables. And of course provide a Birdseye view of job sites to contractors . All available in real time or download able for later viewing and analysis.
    https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/u...r-drone#/story

    At the time of this post they have $20 of a $500,000 goal. Almost there.
    yahoo likes this.
    "Change does not always equal progress."

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    Premium Member daman1's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Utility Locating Drone... IT"S HEEEERE



    Yeah I don't see how it would work. Maybe hook up the transmitter and then have receiving electronics on the drone that would follow and paint the line? Have to be an awful big drone to outfit it with paint and flags. Even then, you still have to physically hook the transmitter up to lines and operate the drone on site. How could you tell when the signal bleeds off?

    I'm guessing it could only be used to document the locate with video but that wouldn't really save any time as you'd have to operate the remote. Certainly wouldn't save money as it'd take about the same time to walk the pics out and now you are saving video streams to the ticket so that's a lot more bandwidth. Training techs to fly them isn't cheap or easy and would they work on windy days or bad weather? Wouldn't work real well at busy intersections or sidewalks either and could you imagine the lawsuit if it actually crashed and hurt someone??

    Then there's the dog who chases it down thinking it's breakfast and I'd love to see the homeowners face when the drone heads into a rear easement and paints an orange stripe across his daughters back while she gets a sun tan.

    Maybe I'm just a cynic but I've wandered if people just put things out there on gofundme hoping to go viral when they never really plan on using the money they bring in to do what they claim.
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    Senior Member UULC's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Utility Locating Drone... IT"S HEEEERE

    20150823_090847_resized.jpgThis is my drone.

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    Administrator TheCableVine's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Utility Locating Drone... IT"S HEEEERE

    Well the guy wants $500,000. So this thing must dig up the utilities too. If all it is for is to document the locate with photographs or video then that can be done with an off the shelf DJI phantom equipped with a camera for about $1300.

    I'm still in the dark on what it will do.
    "Change does not always equal progress."

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    Senior Member UULC's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Utility Locating Drone... IT"S HEEEERE

    Having one; I can't see it working. My battery only last 20 min with a camera and Gimbel.

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    Senior Member jayc's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Utility Locating Drone... IT"S HEEEERE

    This is the dumbest thing I've ever heard of. Most locators can't get an accurate tone on a line when putting the damn receiver to the ground. How the hell do you expect it to work from 100' in the sky?

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    Right Wing Conspirator GWJ_CAS's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Utility Locating Drone... IT"S HEEEERE

    Would love to show you guys some really cool utility marking data collected with one of our drones, but it is a proprietary thing...

    I can tell you the basic concept is that the drone does not mark the facilities, BUT, the drone does collect all the markings with a LiDAR system to create a geospatially accurate aerial image of the site and markings at <1" resolution accuracy. We will probably debut some of the data at the Midwest Damage Prevention Conference in Indiana this November...
    UULC, yahoo and daman1 like this.

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    Administrator TheCableVine's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Utility Locating Drone... IT"S HEEEERE

    I thought it might have more to do with data collection rather than "locating" as the description page (or whatever it is called) states.

    So locating is done the old fashioned way and then the drone flies overhead and captures the information using the LiDAR. If you are already doing this then what could this person be doing? Or, wanting to do?

    I have a drone that is programmable. You can tell it to fly a certain pattern or path and take pictures the whole time. I think this would be useful in Utility Locating for large areas or street projects. A whole project could be filmed so to speak in a matter of minutes. I will have to say that the operator would have to be experienced. I'm afraid to fly my drone because if I wreck it, which I have, it could easily cost me $200 or more to get it fixed, WHICH IT HAS. They are easy to wreck.

    I wonder if the person requesting the funds is a member of this board.
    "Change does not always equal progress."

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    Administrator TheCableVine's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Utility Locating Drone... IT"S HEEEERE

    Quote Originally Posted by UULC View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	20150823_090847_resized.jpg 
Views:	26 
Size:	85.9 KB 
ID:	1359This is my drone.
    I got the DJI Phantom drone. I crash it too much so I'm a little scared to fly it.
    UULC likes this.
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    Administrator TheCableVine's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Utility Locating Drone... IT"S HEEEERE

    Quote Originally Posted by jayc View Post
    This is the dumbest thing I've ever heard of. Most locators can't get an accurate tone on a line when putting the damn receiver to the ground. How the hell do you expect it to work from 100' in the sky?
    Maybe you should develop a drone with boring capabilities. Now that would be something.
    "Change does not always equal progress."

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    Right Wing Conspirator GWJ_CAS's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Utility Locating Drone... IT"S HEEEERE

    To fly a drone for commercial purposes, you must be a licensed pilot and you must receive an FAA section 333 exemption. There are literally thousands of "no fly" zones for drones and getting caught flying one in a "no fly" zone can cost big $$$. You have to file flight plans, have radio communication with the local control tower/center, and reasonable protection for the public in the event of a crash. There have been a number of cases where folks were caught illegally flying a drone for commercial purposes, such as a photographer in Florida who was selling his services of taking photos and videos of houses for sale via his drone...he was caught an arrested when he was operating too close to a municipal airport and a pilot reported the drone. The FAA confiscated his drone, fined him $10,000 and now he is facing charges of interfering with aviation.

    From the FAA website:


    By law, any aircraft operation in the national airspace requires a certificated and registered aircraft, a licensed pilot, and operational approval. Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (FMRA) (PDF) grants the Secretary of Transportation the authority to determine whether an airworthiness certificate is required for a UAS to operate safely in the National Airspace System (NAS).

    This authority is being leveraged to grant case-by-case authorization for certain unmanned aircraft to perform commercial operations prior to the finalization of the Small UAS Rule, which will be the primary method for authorizing small UAS operations once it is complete.

    The Section 333 Exemption process provides operators who wish to pursue safe and legal entry into the NAS a competitive advantage in the UAS marketplace, thus discouraging illegal operations and improving safety. It is anticipated that this activity will result in significant economic benefits, and the FAA Administrator has identified this as a high priority project to address demand for civil operation of UAS for commercial purposes.

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    Right Wing Conspirator GWJ_CAS's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Utility Locating Drone... IT"S HEEEERE

    sam-8rotor.jpg

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    Administrator TheCableVine's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Utility Locating Drone... IT"S HEEEERE

    Something I don't understand. People have been flying radio controlled aircraft for many years without any concerns from the FAA. Attach the word drone and suddenly their is a huge problem.

    What is the difference between a "drone" and an RC helicopter? Or an RC Airplane? It is a rhetorical question. There is no difference because they've been attaching cameras to RC aircraft for years.
    "Change does not always equal progress."

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    Administrator TheCableVine's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Utility Locating Drone... IT"S HEEEERE

    Quote Originally Posted by GWJ_CAS View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	SAM-8rotor.jpg 
Views:	22 
Size:	87.0 KB 
ID:	1360
    If that is yours... That is NICE.
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    Right Wing Conspirator GWJ_CAS's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Utility Locating Drone... IT"S HEEEERE

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCableVine View Post
    Something I don't understand. People have been flying radio controlled aircraft for many years without any concerns from the FAA. Attach the word drone and suddenly their is a huge problem.

    What is the difference between a "drone" and an RC helicopter? Or an RC Airplane? It is a rhetorical question. There is no difference because they've been attaching cameras to RC aircraft for years.
    Actually a big difference. Most remote controlled aircraft are flown in areas designated for their use. Secondly, they are flown under a "hobbyist" exemption but with remote radios with specifically licensed frequencies AND they are not flown for commercial purposes. The other big issue is that nearly all remote control aircraft are flown "line of sight"". Drones, depending on investment, can be flown well out of line of sight and somewhat autonomously, many are guided by GPS and can transmit live imagery to an iPhone or iPad.

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