Category REPORTING JOURNALISTS

Drone Heavens: The Unmanned Aircraft Age Is Coming

It’s a quiet morning in San Francisco, with soft sunlight illuminating patches of thick fog billowing over the Golden Gate Bridge. A solitary unmanned aircraft—a 4-pound, battery-powered wedge of impact-resistant foam with a 54-inch wingspan, a single pusher-propeller in the rear, and a GoPro video camera attached to its body—quietly approaches the landmark.

Call them what you want—flying robots, unmanned aircraft, or drones are coming in swarms
Raphael “Trappy” Pirker controls the aircraft from a nearby hill. The bridge is within sight, but the 29-year-old enjoys the scenery through virtual-reality goggles strapped to his head...

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THE DRONE CULTURE IN REPORTING VIA FLYING CAMS

SPY DRONE CAMERAS MOVE INTO MAIN STREAM

But while some major TV networks are already putting the new technology to the test for the screen, there are fears the devices could also be used to replace the paparazzi’s prying long lenses.

”Kate Middleton and many other people besides can rest assured that their bare breasts are fair game, anywhere, any time,” the Australian Privacy Foundation’s Roger Clarke warned, in a week when snaps of the pregnant Duchess in a bikini made international headlines.

Fox Sports began using drones for aerial coverage of Twenty20 Big Bash cricket last year, while the Nine Network has conducted similar experiments at Perth’s WACA ground in Australia.

ADAM MORTON DRONE STORY SUPPLIED PIC OF COPTERCAM  10/9/2012Moving to mainstream … remote-controlled aerial devices equipped with a camera can cost as little as $350.

Seven’...

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