GUEST BLOGGER: Freybott from Team AirVuz FPV! Racing Drones 120m below Ground!

Yes – you read that right.

Awhile back, I had the opportunity to race drones *below* ground.  Not just in a cool sports court /basement type room either.  I’m talking about something much cooler…the retired Salina Turda salt mine in Romania, which has been renovated into a world class entertainment and amusement center!

Organized by the Drone Champions League in Europe, this drone racing event pulled together the world’s best FPV pilots into the depths of these salt caves, making the most of it’s still air, expansive space, and 3D track.  It was a challenging and exhilarating course, and proves that the DCL’s choice of racing locations is pretty much unparalleled.

I’m proud to race with the DCL and look forward to future races too.   You can see my video of the event here on AirVuz, in which I show a bit of my arrival in Romania, a quick tour of the salt mine venue, and then the race itself.  It was a pretty unique and unbelievably cool set up…I’ll never forget it!

If you’re looking for more videos of DCL events, good news!  A great (and growing) collection of Drone Champions League races has just been created (including vids from the recent Paris event), and you can only find it here on AirVūz!

Let’s go fly!

Phil Freybott   |    Team AirVuz FPV

Your Fathers Day plans included flying a drone, right?!?

Because he may have said he’d be fine grilling, but he really just wanted to fly his drone…😉

What better way to capture the father/son,  father/daughter, father/doggie, father/whole family dynamic than from above!?

Seriously though, if you were out flying, you were out of the house, together, doing something you both enjoy, and now you may even have the best souvenir of it too…a dronie!!

Whether you’re doing a little FPV racing or freestyle, or hiking out to a scenic vista, your drone is the best tag-along to make the day memorable.  We’ve got the proof too…we see lots of drone videos of fathers, hanging out with their families, making the memories an old school video camera couldn’t possibly create!  (Hint hint: these fun videos are now spending some quality time together in a great collection of Dads and drones...you’ll want to stop over and see them too!)

Hope all you Fathers of all types had the best Father’s Day ever!  And if you were out there flying, we hope you enjoyed the best of blue skies and big smiles, and that you’ll share your goods with us on AirVuz!

Happy Flying!

Team AirVuz  |   #UnitedbyDrone

Get to know IG superstar @dirka!

If you’re a drone pilot, there’s a good chance you’re familiar with Dirk Dallas.

Perhaps you don’t know his name or his face, but you might know Dallas for the hashtag he created: #FromWhereIDrone.  Dallas, a long-time photographer and a drone pilot for the past several years, came up with the now-popular hashtag when posting his own aerial work to Instagram.

As one of the first-ever users of Instagram — he downloaded it on the day it launched — Dallas has made a name for himself on the platform. He routinely posts drone images and videos to both his personal account (@dirka) and his drone account (@fromwhereidrone).

Dallas discussed all of that and more on The Drone Dish on AirVuz.com.  The California-based Dallas also talks about how he first got into drones, what his inspiration is for his photographs, what types of drones he flies and more.  And he explained the idea behind launching his website, fromwhereidrone.com.

Be sure to check out Dirk’s profile on AirVuz. And catch more episodes of The Drone Dish featuring some of the world’s best and most influential drone pilots.

Happy Flying!

Team AirVuz   |    #United by Drone

Go Ahead. Rock the boat (video)!

A sure fire way to stir up some FOMO? Killer drone footage of boats is a good place to start.

Of course riding on a boat is the best way to enjoy the water.  But let’s not underestimate just how stunning the view from above is!  Taking the sights of a gorgeous sailing regatta, a luxury yacht, or a string of tied up boats replete with friends and fun conjures up the best of water and warm weather memories.

Hardworking and historic boats make for great footage as well!  Have you ever seen a cruise ship bust through the dicey waters of the Antarctic?  Or the historic Mayflower II passing through the gorgeous Cape Cod canal?  Maybe you’ve seen ocean liners like the QE2, but you’ve never seen them like this! We’re betting you probably haven’t had the birds eye view of moving cargo ship either (yep – that one took some nerves!) but you can find it on AirVuz!


…and there are of course plenty of cool videos of boats that have unfortunately seen better days. Abandoned ships and half sunken boats also are interesting subjects to capture!

We’ve found all of these (and more!) in our recent uploads, so naturally, we had to anchor them into a beautiful group for everyone to enjoy.

So make waves and set your course for this fascinating collection of boats…and then when you’re back in safe harbor, share your boating goodies with us too!

Happy Flying!

Team AirVuz   |    #United by Drone

 

How To Make Money Flying Your Drone

By Tyler Mason

More and more drone pilots are making money by flying their drones, and now you can too on AirVūz!

A few simple additions to your AirVūz profile can help increase your visibility as a commercial drone pilot. Make sure, though, that you have the proper certification in your country to be able to operate a drone for commercial purposes.

AirVūz offers a few different ways for drone pilots to make money. The first is the “Donate” button. The second is a “Hire Me” button. Both can be added by editing your profile page. To do so, click on the top right corner of the home page and click on “profile.” 

From there, click edit to make changes to your profile. 

You’ll see two boxes you can check to activate both the “Donate” and “Hire Me” buttons on your profile. Add a PayPal address to the donate section. Your email will be used for the “hire me” function. 

That’s it. You’re all set up. If someone sees your work and is interested in donating to a project you’re working on or wants to hire you for a project of their own, you’ll be ready.

Both ThisIsTilt and LA Drones are prime examples of drone operations and creative content creators that have turned their love of flying into full time careers.

Check out the Tilt Demo Showeel

The DroneDish interview of LA Drones gives insight into their process and style –

Abandoned, but not forgotten. (Thanks to your drones!)

Drone videos of abandoned places are showing up pretty often on AirVuz! Maybe it’s because of the ultimate challenge they pose to drone pilots?  Maybe it’s because they illicit an emotional response from us, reminding us of  days gone by.  Or perhaps, it’s because nobody likes to see anything left behind – anywhere.

Whatever the case, your drones (per usual) have outdone themselves this time.   They’ve created awareness of these abandoned spots and provided us – as enthusiastic viewers – a vantage point we simply wouldn’t otherwise have.

We’ve pulled together a collection of the best footage of abandoned places: an abandoned ship, abandoned towns, an abandoned psychiatric hospital, the lonely Pontiac Silverdomean empty Air Basea retired mill, and plenty more.  These cool finds are simultaneously both chilling – and – stunning!

We know your curiosity is piqued, so we won’t fault you a bit if you abandon us now here to take it all in for yourself…

Happy Flying!

Team AirVuz   |   #UnitedByDrone

Announcing the #SmokinDronesContest with #TinyWhoop and #Tattu!

Calling all Tiny Whoopers!  Win a brand new Tiny Whoop, custom-built by none other than Mr. Tiny Whoop himself, Jesse Perkins!

Here’s all you need to do: Upload to AirVūz your fully edited, 2+ minute video flying a Tiny Whoop or Inductrix (or any other micro-class quad), and share it to the Smokin’ Drones Facebook Page!

The more creative you can get with showing your Whoop skills, the better chance you have of winning!  Set up an awesome track, show off your acro skills, or think up something that has never been done before!  The sky’s the limit!

The fine print:

  1. Upload your video to the Tiny Whoop / Inductrix FPV category on AirVūz (last day to upload is Friday, June 16, 2017 at 11:59 pm PST).
  2. Include these 3 hashtags as keywords: #SmokinDronesContest #TinyWhoop  #Tattu
  3. Share your AirVuz video link to the Smokin’ Drones Facebook Page  by Friday, June 16, 2017 at 11:59 pm PST.   (Not a member yet?  Just submit a request and they’ll get you added!)
  4. Stay tuned for more info for voting, once the submission deadline has passed!

Prizes will be distributed to winners once they are announced!

1st Place:  One (1) Tiny Whoop custom-built by Jesse Perkins, using the latest and greatest motors, FC and camera/VTX, all components handpicked and recommended by Jesse.  Also included in this prize package is a 5-Pack of Tiny Whoop Tattu batteries (1s 220mAh)

    2nd Place: One (1) Inductrix FPV RTF. Also included in this prize package is a 5-Pack of Tiny Whoop Tattu batteries (1s 220mAh
        3rd Place: One (1) 5-Pack of Tiny Whoop Tattu batteries (1s 220mAh)

For more inspiration, we’ve pulled together the coolest Tiny Whoop videos on the site!  And while you’re at it,  you can find more information there too about the contest, prizes, etc!

Good luck to all those who plan to whoop it up!

AirVūz | United by Drone

Your drone called and says its 🌞 TIME TO FLY! 🌞

Let’s face it: this summer’s going to be flat out remarkable, so you’re going to need some killer mementos!  (and yes!  your drone is totally up to the challenge!)

Summer opens to the door to many great drone projects…from documenting a road trip , capturing the crowds at a local game, scoring those epic water shots (surfing 🏄 / sailing  ⛵️/ beach bumming 🏖, anyone?),  to ripping up a crazy drone racing course.

Plus, we’ve found that travel vlogs and drone compilations (complete with fun editing and sweet tunes, of course) are the new fangled creative photo albums our parents couldn’t have even dreamt of.

Don’t leave those awesome aerial shots to just the birds!

1.   Upload your summer drone videos to AirVūz

2.   Next, share them from AirVūz to your fave social media haunts

3.  …and then, think about whom else may want to see them!  There are plenty of travel sites/ forums where users ask questions about potential destinations!  Your video might nudge them to check out that fantastic spot too! (and then you and your video will get all kinds of attention and glory!)

Need some inspiration?  Of course AirVuz is ready to help!  We’ve pulled together some of the coolest summer drone videos for you to enjoy!

Enjoy the holiday weekend!

Team AirVuz   |   #UnitedbyDrone

Exploring the Potential of Drones and the Internet of Things

By Tyler Mason, Digital Media Director, AirVūz

When people hear the phrase “Internet of Things (IoT),” many of us think of obvious applications, like being able to adjust the thermostat of your home so it’s set to the right temperature when you get home from a day of work, or like warming up the oven for dinner with the click of your iPhone on your way home from grocery shopping.

But for those following this growing industry, these applications represent just the tip of the iceberg. Drastic change is coming. IHS Markit predicts that within the next three to five years, more than 17.6 billion things will be connected to the Internet.

If you’re not familiar with the Internet of Things, here’s the overall concept. Devices such as sensors connected to the Internet provide data remotely and/or allow people to control or adjust the device to obtain a specific outcome through the Internet. Some examples of what the IoT may offer include:

  • A person in Minnesota monitoring and adjusting the temperature and humidity of their second home in Fort Myers, Florida – through a thermostat that is connected to the Wi-Fi signal in the home — during the summer months to prevent mold.
  • A farmer monitoring his herd of dairy cows through RFID tags to conduct predictive forecasts on milk production.
  • A data center manager monitoring the heat build-up on each server within the data center to reduce the risk of server failure.
  • A couple monitoring their exercise and fitness with FitBit and sharing with their friends through Facebook.

Drones and IoT

Drones are included in the growing number of Internet-connected things. Drones with cameras can not only provide real-time information about a situation, but also capture information that can be analyzed in the future.  For instance, I recently saw an online video advertising a drone for farmers. The farmer does not have to walk or drive to the field and inspect crops. Instead, drones allow a farmer to fly over the fields to do a video inspection of crops. This video can be collected and viewed later that day, or for that matter, from year to year, allowing the farmer to compare conditions of his crop on specific days throughout the growing season. 

Fire, Rescue and Law Enforcement

For example, we’ve seen many instances of drones used by law enforcement over the last few years. Drones have been used for search and rescue operations in areas that are difficult to search by foot. Recently, I talked to a police officer in Iowa who used a drone to find a man and his granddaughter on the river. Their boat became stuck on a logjam and he called the police for help. Because the area was swampy, officers could not easily reach them. Within minutes of putting a drone up in the air, though, the man and child had been located and were rescued shortly thereafter.

I’ve also seen examples of fire departments using thermal imaging cameras on drones to survey and inspect fires before sending in fire crews. The cameras on the drone detect hotspots in the building, providing valuable information to the firefighters about how to more effectively fight the fire.

Police have also been able to follow or find suspects by chasing after them with drones. Having an aerial vantage point can make those types of searches much easier than a pursuit on foot.

All of the data, including video images, can be collected in databases and used over and over again to help fire and police better understand how to react to future emergencies.

While it is not allowed for hobbyists to fly drones over large crowds, I believe law enforcement will soon use drones to monitor large public events with an eye toward watching for potential riot situations or looting. Drones may also be used for security reasons, to monitor for potential threats when a major political figure visits a city, for example.

Retail Applications

A lot of hurdles need to be cleared before Amazon or other companies can roll out drone delivery services. Some of these issues include: flying outside the line of sight; flying over and near people (delivering a pizza to a park filled with people, for example); and flying near utility lines as well as other sensitive areas, such as homes and businesses near airports. All of these issues need to be reconciled by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Another issue is verifying the identity of the person receiving a package. Currently, many deliveries often don’t require confirmation of identification, and packages are simply dropped off on someone’s front step, even if they’re not home.

But, for businesses that do want to verify an identity, such as in the case of alcohol delivery by drone, there is a chance that facial recognition technology could make drone deliveries more secure. The technology already exists and I think people are trying to figure out what, if anything, the technology can be used for.

What about drone video applications connected to farming (inspecting fields), ranching (monitoring cattle) and remote energy applications (pipeline monitoring, wind turbine inspections)? Could drone video provide added value to those IoT applications?

Agriculture and Ranching

Agriculture is quickly becoming one of the biggest adopters of drones among any industry. Farmers can much more efficiently monitor their crops from the sky using a drone instead of hiring an airplane (or by walking the land on foot). Thermal imaging through the use of FLIR cameras or other infrared technology can let farmers know which crops might need additional watering. With $1,000 drones capable of flying up to four miles away, many farmers could easily survey their entire field of crops by standing on their front step.

Some farms are also finding ways to employ drones to spray fields for pesticides. Flight software allows for drones to follow a specific pattern that can be repeated time and time again, meaning pesticides can be sprayed in a consistent manner from the drone.

Conducting remote equipment inspections is also possible with drones. Inspecting wind turbines, pipelines, oilrigs, irrigation systems, etc., are among the biggest commercial applications of drones. Similar to farming, the use of a drone saves man-hours and, in many cases, eliminates possible safety risks. Instead of a worker climbing a turbine or power line, a drone can be flown to the same places that need inspection. High-definition cameras give a good look at what may need repairs or maintenance.

Drones using sensors and similar technologies will be paramount for digital mapping. Already, LIDAR has been paired with drones in a variety of uses. These range from inspections of buildings to topography mapping to surveying of mining sites to farm planning. LIDAR has been used for these purposes without drones, but adding a UAV to many of these applications makes it even more effective.

Citizen Journalism

Here at AirVūz, we’ve live streamed a few different events from a drone. One of them was Air + Style, a snowboard competition and music festival that was held in Los Angeles earlier this year. Our drone was used in the live stream of the snowboard event as the broadcast cut to our aerial shots to give the viewers a different perspective on the action.

We also live-streamed ultimate Frisbee games for the Minnesota Wind Chill’s Facebook page. Ultimate Frisbee is a great sport to view from the drone, as it’s able to fly along with the action and show the play unfolding while capturing the movement from end to end. The reception has been very positive, as those viewing the live stream have enjoyed the addition of the drone to the broadcast.

There have been other examples of citizen journalism or important events that have been uploaded to airvuz.com. One recent case was of two drone racing pilots who saw a man illegally dumping trash and chased after him with a drone to get the license plate number. We’ve also had videos of flooded areas where pilots have used their drones to make others aware of the devastated areas. Another example: drone video coverage of the protests of a new oil pipeline near the Standing Rock Reservation.

Travel Planning

When it comes to travel planning, drone videos are a great way to prepare for a trip. If you’re able to find an aerial video of a location you plan to visit, you can get a better feel for the destination.

AirVūz recently partnered with a start-up called Vugo, which places tablets in the back of ride-share vehicles (Uber and Lyft) to allow drivers to make additional money through advertising. Videos from AirVūz were used on the tablets, which had the ability to recall specific videos of locations or landmarks based on where the rider was traveling.

There are plenty of untapped possibilities for travel and drone videos as well. For example, travel apps could use geolocation of a traveler’s phone to show them drone videos of their current location to show them landmarks nearby, or an aerial overview of the city. Travel and drones are becoming more popular as the drones themselves are becoming more portable. That means pilots are able to capture footage of more places than ever and, as a result, travelers can now find videos of just about anywhere.

What Lies Ahead

I definitely think the amount of commercial drone pilots will continue to increase at a steady rate in the next handful of years. When the FAA introduced the Part 107 test — which drone pilots need to pass to fly commercially — standardization made the point of entry much easier for anyone wanting to become a commercial drone pilot. Before that, you had to first obtain a pilot’s license before getting what was called the Section 333 exemption. The current format is much easier, and the FAA has said that more than 30,000 pilots have passed the Part 107 as of early April 2017.

As more people become professionally licensed to pilot drones, I believe you will see an avalanche of applications involving drones and the Internet of Things. With tens of thousands of drone videos on AirVūz, we can see the difference in just the two years that our website has been functional. Drone videos are not just becoming better produced and edited, partly because people are getting better at operating their drones, but we’re seeing more diverse uses for drones. Like the entire category of IoT, the creative applications seem endless.

Ok, this is just cool (and we are totally committed to it 💎)

You’ve heard, right? We get the most remarkable stuff on AirVuz!   And since (cue the music 🎶 )   we ❤️ to ❤️ your videos, we like to draw lots of attention to them — however and whenever we can.  Doesn’t hurt when they’re about ❤️, either!

Like, for example, this fab couple “O+A around the world who just returned from their 3 month honeymoon (yep – you read that right. A whole season. Literally) with the most fantastic souvenir ever from their first marital trek: an amazing drone video of South America.   Except this wasn’t just a reel of the best aerial footage of Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Columbia; rather,  it’s a perfectly framed, beautifully edited, visual tale of them at each stop along the way.

We could just be jealous of their adventure bound by wedded bliss…but they look so happy and had so many awesome dronies that we sincerely simply toast them congrats and look forward to their next production!

Ready to take the plunge and see more drone videos of proposals, weddings, and honeymoons?  Then say “yes!” (because you know you’ll find on them on AirVūz 😉 )

Do you have a wedding themed drone video to share? (or maybe this just got your wheels spinning?)  Well, then stop jumping on the couch professing your love and share those videos to AirVūz!

Team AirVuz   |   #UnitedbyDrone