As I type this I've had this drone a couple of weeks or so. It's fun to play with. At first I wasn't sure what it could do at all, so I just checked out the systems one by one. Flying the thing is not that hard, but you do have to develop the touch. When I got to the camera I found out it worked. Yay!


What happened was I crashed the thing. Then I noticed the camera button and figured "better try it". Yup. Drones eye view of the ivy. Then I held it and took a selfie. Then I started trying to fly the thing and take pictures.


The above is the better half of the pictures I took on that first mission. When I went inside the battery was dead. That took about five minutes of flying. It was fun though.

After I charged the battery it took me a while to get around to flying it again. Took it over to the girlfriends house and showed her the thing.


Yup. That time I found out that the thing really doesn't do good pictures in the dark. No flash. Not that sensitive a light sensor array. Even just before dark it looses a lot of detail.


Results in my living room were not much better. By this time I'm good enough at flying the thing to keep from hitting walls and knocking over stuff flying it in indoors when I'm lucky. Still not willing to try and fly it through doorways or anything like that. I can see that if I work at it I'll get nimble at flying the drone.


I suppose I can use it to look under cars and over parking structures. The only problem is that the controls don't have a screen. To find out how the pictures worked out I have to bring it inside, plug it into the computer, download the things and look at them there. It feels like an open loop system compared to using nice tools.

I can get a good picture of someone when the drone is about five feet away from them and about chest height. Helps a lot if they aren't moving.


I had to give a speech about my activism to this WILPF meeting in Palo Alto. As an example of how bugs have evolved since the days when I was debugging computer systems I brought out the drone and flew it up and took their pictures. Only took a couple. You see them above. Later in the evening I did about the same thing at my old friend Sylvia's, but that time none of the pictures worked out. Darn!

I'm hoping to get good enough with the thing to wander around at parties and events taking pictures with it. The thing is a nifty toy, and people react to it more like it's a dog than a bug.