“Spot” Plans World Domination

2 December 2020 | Propeller Heads Newsletter


Image Courtesy: Percepto
If you’re unfamiliar, “Spot” from Boston Dynamics is both amazing and terrifying rolled into one. But don’t worry, it gets much more terrifying. We as a society have decided to give robots on the ground, eyes in the skies. Let’s just hand over the keys to the A.I. Overlords now. It’ll save time. 

Percepto is a drone company that has partnered with Boston Dynamics to aid “Spot” in seeing further than before. 

“Why does this matter, PropellerHeads people?” you might be asking. Settle down. Heat up some leftovers from Thanksgiving and enjoy this break down. 

It doesn’t. 

Not now, anyways. But this could be big for the future. A drone could hover over a work site and watch all of the machinery to make sure nothing is overheating or broken down. If it notices something wrong, it could send out one of Spot’s pups to repair the machinery. This is also applicable in public safety. Eyes in the skies can spot the missing person and dispatch a medical robot out to get there faster than people could. 

But it’s only a matter of time before Boston Dynamics gets bought out by someone called “Skynet” or something. And then the Spot-600’s will be released. (That’s a Terminator joke for the uninitiated)



Image Courtesy: Flyability
The French Ministry of Defense has started a project and only named it “Sauron”. Which is pretty nerdy to be honest, but when you look into the reference, it makes sense. For the uninitiated, Sauron was the giant eye thing from Lord of the Rings that saw everything.

And that’s fitting because the end result of this project should be a device that can detect, locate, and identify radio communication transmitters. Hopefully, jam them also, but that’s just icing on the crepe. They’ve opened up the bidding process to either create new technology or improve old technology to be outfitted to a drone weighing less than 55lbs with the device attached. (Sounds like a rule we’re familiar with, huh?)

The technology they’re talking about is useful in countless ways, like stealing croissant recipes from famous bakers, or something else French like that. Don’t worry, we’re not dusting off our high school French notes and catching snails. We’re having far too much fun here in the U.S. to leave!


Image Courtesy: DroneRush
Let’s face it, if you’re reading this, you’re probably in the 19%. Your average drone pilot isn’t reading PropellerHeads. Probably because they’re super dumb. We may be biased. 

Recently in Britain, a survey was done to gage people’s thoughts on drones. The results were… not good. Twenty percent thought drones were an invasion of privacy, thirty percent think they’re a danger to manned aircraft, fourteen percent think that drone deliveries are a good idea. But that final number of 81% of drone owners not knowing when and where they can fly them. Mind blowing. Especially when you have new options coming out for consumers like the Mavic 2 and the Mavic Minis. Yes, those have built in geo fencing, but not all small drones do. Should that become a requirement for all drone manufacturers? 

It’s not like there aren’t a lot of rules in the U.K. for flying drones, but just like in the U.S. you get into this gray/Wild West area when the drone weighs less than 250 grams. At the very minimum, education on where and when drones can be flown should become more mainstream if not mandatory for all drone flights. Maybe like a mini Part 107. A Part 53.5?


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

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