Who watches the watchers? YOU can, if you get ahead of the game. Why let Homeland Security and the NSA have all the fun? Here are three affordable personal drones you can buy TODAY.
Just don’t get carried away like this
fellow in New Zealand, who was eventually shut down by the government.
Remember the good old days, when a US Military drone was something we shot at for target practice? Probably not. I only do because as a kid, I had dreams of being an aerospace engineer, and actually built a functioning model of the Air Force XQ-4 target drone. In any case, guess what! Times have changed, and now, as you probably know all too well, military drones shoot at US! Yes, even “us” as in American citizens. But stop pouting in the corner like some liberal peacemonger about how Skynet and Terminators are just around the corner and we’re all doomed. The fact is, the military has no monopoly on drone technology; in fact non-military drones already outnumber military ones by about 2-1, according to this March 2012 Washington Times piece. Probably just as scary as surveillance and attack drones in American skies is the fact that FEDEX, for instance, is eager to convert ALL their air transports to unmanned vehicles. Ever experienced the minor chaos that ensues when Google Docs or Gmail goes down? Well, imagine every cargo aircraft in America “going down”. But don’t fret, get on board! There are plenty of pretty amazing personal drones on the market, and frankly, the smartest innovators these days are anti-war hacker types who are more likely to be members of Anonymous than the military. So if it comes down to “The Drone Wars”, we have the smarter people on our side. We’ll probably do a more in-depth piece soon; there’s something of a drone boom going on. But rather than, um, drone on about my personal theories on the topic, for now we have a roundup below of drones you can buy TODAY, and prepare for the NEXT trendy end of the world scenario, the Drone Wars.
The Black Sheep Discovery Quadrotor Drone
US$1,599.95 for complete starter kit.
|If you have a couple grand laying around, the geniuses over at Team Black Sheep can hook you up with remarkably sophisticated drones like the Black Sheep Discovery Quadrotor for as little as US$1,599.95. See how easy it is to watch the watchers in their special Christmas video clip below.|
Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Quadricopter
Only $299.99 on Amazon!
|This little puppy has been around for a while already, and is only about 300 bucks on Amazon! You can control it with your iPad, iPhone, or Android device, and it is capable of streaming live 720p high-definition video while flying! All the pleasure of overpriced surveillance drones contracted by a bloated and corrupt government, for less than the cost of bail when you’ve been arrested for protesting a G8 Conference!|
There are tons of videos on the AR Drone YouTube channel, but this is one of the only ones we could find that didn’t have a cheesy heavy metal soundtrack:
Syma S107 R/C Helicopter
Only $25.00 on Amazon
|If your budget doesn’t allow for hundreds of dollars in personal drones, test the waters – or the air in this case – with this cute little thing. It’s only about 25 bucks on Amazon. I bought a couple of these about a year ago, and still haven’t really tired of them. They’re great fun indoors, but be advised that even a ceiling fan is considered inclement weather for a helicopter this small. They’re actually quite sophisticated and surprisingly stable, but definitely a toy.|
But apparently, if you’re technically-minded enough and have that much leisure time, even THIS little thing can be adapted to aerial video. If you call three feet “aerial”:
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