05.04.2021 – Insert Star Wars Reference

5 May 2021 | Propeller Heads Newsletter




Image Courtesy: Skyfire’s Art Department
Happy May the 4th everyone, or rather May the 4th be with you? Dunno, never been a big Star Wars fan, but there was a whole movie about drones… What’s that? It wasn’t drones. It was clones… Oh. Embarrassing. Well. It doesn’t change the fact that nerds who do like the movie are using drones to try and get sneak peaks at the sets of the new series Andor, which is being filmed in Clevelys. It’s a town South of Fleetwood, but north of Blackpool. Ya know? Southwest of Cockerham? If you hit Poulton-le-Fylde you went too far. 

It’s hard to keep track though, there are approximately 1,000 Star Wars spin offs these days. And they all seem to be short names. What happened to the old days of sentence long titles?That’s right, you heard it here first Star Wars: Jack Sparrow Goes to the Moon II. Bet you didn’t know we had an “in” with the execs at Disney, did you? 

There’s nothing to really see while they set up the shots, but they did say that drone detection equipment will be utilized on the days when actual filming takes place. Wouldn’t want a drone flying by in a show set in the future, right? What’s to stop a Jedi from sneaking on set and saying, “These are not the drones you’re looking for.”?



Image Courtesy:Skyfire’s Art Department 

There’s one day a year that is better than all.
Before the heat of the summer, but after the Fall. 
The day is not known, not even to Matt. 
But we know when it happens. We hear a great splat. 
At the door sits a box, filled with sweet treats. 
A gift from the Cookie Fairy, but there are no receipts.
Befuddled again, by the box at our feet.
The mystery goes on, the story incomplete. 
Traditions are set, we must stick to the plan. 
An unknown beginning, or how it began.
An employee is sacrificed for next year’s cookie pile. 
Can you keep it a secret? This year it’s Kyle. 

This fever dream of a poem was inspired by the tradition at Skyfire where Ben sends a giant box of Girl Scout cookies to the office and makes all of us eat them. He, of course, is not in Georgia, so he doesn’t feel obligated to eat box after box of cookies. The story for this particular article is about Girl Scouts using drones to deliver their product to the masses. The company Wing has partnered with the Girl Scouts to make getting cookies fun and futuristic. As if we needed a reason to order them! Like Ben doesn’t single handedly send a Girl Scout to college every year. Is that what they sell them for? Probably should have looked that up. Either way, if you ever come to the Marietta HQ, check the top of the fridge. There will probably be a half eaten box of Tagalongs up there.



Image Courtesy: Skyfire’s Art Department 
Lots of things can go wrong when flying a drone. You can lose signal, fly into a tree, but the worst is a death spin. A death spin can happen when you hit an obstacle, a motor can fail mid flight, or even when your props might have been damaged and you didn’t notice before take off. It’s basically when one corner of the drone isn’t balancing the other props that are creating lift, causing the drone to spin out of control due to the lack of balance. 

The mighty death spin is definitely on the bingo card of drone piloting. It’s something that you only have to see once to know how unbelievably scary it is. Not only do you have a falling brick coming down near you or others, but that brick is also carrying 1 or 2 batteries that could start a fire. And the props are probably still spinning. And you can’t remember if you turned the stove off. And what if your kid doesn’t get into your daycare of your choice? 

There are solutions to this problem. There are parachutes that will deploy in the event of an emergency. And even drones that will go into a controlled spin if a motor fails. But up until now, those systems have all been based on GPS. What happens when you’re flying indoors or any GPS denied area? The University of Zurich has developed a vision-based solution to keep your drone from crashing. Though, let’s be honest, if you hit a tree it’s probably still going to go down. This system can also handle two motors failing at once and still stay in the air. They have to be diagonal from each other. But that’s impressive nevertheless.




June 14th – Online Part 107 | One-Day Class
June 14th – Two-Day Basic Training
June 14th – Integration of UAS into Law Enforcement Field Operations


Alright, folks — that’s it! Hope you have a great week!

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