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General Chat Thread, Building Inspection Quadcopter in General; Hello All, I've just been discussing wirth the school's caretaker how we might go about organising an external building inspection. ...
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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Building Inspection Quadcopter

    Hello All,

    I've just been discussing wirth the school's caretaker how we might go about organising an external building inspection. In the past we've had drains overflowing and flooding parts of the building (including the old server cupboard), so this is something we want to do fairly regularly to make sure that things like drains are unblocked and so forth. Inspections currently involve either hiring a cherrypicker or abseiling off the roof of the building, both of which are fun but a bit expensive. We're rather thinking a quadcopter might be cheaper - can anyone recommend a particular model? If figure @JAB1a might be the person to ask for this kind of thing.

    In the past, I've often thought a Raspberry Pi would make a good controller for a quadcopter - are there any quadcopters out there that use a Raspberry Pi as their central computer? We'll be needing something with real-time camera capabilities, and that can be flown outdoors in reasonable weather.

    Does anyone know if there are any current regulations regarding flying quadcopters in built-up areas - we're in central London (Knightsbridge), we don't want to annoy the neighbours or attract the attention of the Diplomatic Protection branch of the metropolitan police police based just over the road.

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    plexer's Avatar
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    A pole with a camera would be simpler.

    Ben

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Not a Pi, to power hungry, heavy and likely to crash you want ardupiolet ArduPilot - DIY Drones there are stack of implementations and prebuilt ones plus you don't need to piolet it just feed it some gps co-ordinates and it will do it itself.

    Add your own gopro and get inspectin http://store.3drobotics.com/products/IRIS
    Last edited by SYNACK; 24th July 2014 at 05:02 AM.

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    unixman_again's Avatar
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    You could buy one of these Syma S107C 3 Channel RC Helicopter With Camera! and Gyroscope Stability Control: Amazon.co.uk: Toys & Games Bargain price. I read about them being used to check the gutters on houses.

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Hs anyone used the Parrot AR.Drone 2.0? Available on Amazon for around £250, it would seem to be just the kind of thing we're looking for - built-in stabilisation autopilot, HD camera and control via tablet. Does anyone have experience with flying one - are they actually as simple to fly as their website makes out? Are they much good as a camera platform? I'm thinking the next end-of-term video is going to end up with a bunch of gratiutous ariel shots in it...

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    I think you have two problems both in the same vein, Health and Safety and insurance. Typical insurance for RC model aircraft flying won't cover you flying for commercial/professional purposes and your standard public liability insurance is likely to be stretched if you have an accident with a 'toy' quad being flown by an 'unlicensed' operator around public buildings. Quads aren't as bad as (say) a 250 helicopter if they hit someone, but they are still capable of causing serious injury, possibly if they happen to fail at height or at speed and hit someone in the head, death. A camera on a stick is a much simpler proposition to properly risk assess!

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    Oaktech's Avatar
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    I was about to say this... Drones operated commercially need insurance and I believe registration and a pilot test. Unmanned Aircraft and Aircraft Systems | Aircraft | Operations and Safety

    I have a friend who runs an octo for surveying churches, he is unpaid as he is member of the catholic mafia(!) and can escape the piloting test but he still has insurance which is paid for by the church as it's expensive. He has to complete extensive technical risk assessments and has to cordon off the areas he is working in and he also has to set a home location and check the octo will go home on signal loss before each sortie.

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    A camera on a stick is a much simpler proposition to properly risk assess!
    That makes sense - what are the most recent advances in stick technology? We could probably do with some kind of gimbal on a boom that we can extend up (or down) a couple of building stories to examine guttering and pipework. Would we need something that can be fixed to a tripod, weighted for balance at one end?

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    plexer's Avatar
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    A carbon fibre pole either one specifically made for the purpose of drain inspection, windows cleaning or a fishing one would be fine I wouldn't expect you to need to counterbalance it tbh.

    A camera mount possibly with an attachment that allows you to tilt it up and down using a couple of cords would be more than enough really.

    2.4GHz 4CH Wireless 1/3in Sony CCD Bullet Security Camera 480TVL PAL [E71505] : Electronic Gadgets, Home Gifts & Unusual Novelty Gifts - BestOfferBuy

    Ben

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    That makes sense - what are the most recent advances in stick technology? We could probably do with some kind of gimbal on a boom that we can extend up (or down) a couple of building stories to examine guttering and pipework. Would we need something that can be fixed to a tripod, weighted for balance at one end?
    Heh! Window cleaners seem to have access to good extendible sticks. Counterweighting the end might be a good move. Film makers also seem to sport some nice jib arms/booms which can be quite extensible but also eye wateringly pricey. How about a few helium balloons on the end of some string :-).

    There are companies who offer a professional service using quads. They might be cheaper than scaffolding/cherrypicker in certain situations but the prices they charge probably reflect the costs of all the insurance and certification gubbins.
    Last edited by pcstru; 24th July 2014 at 05:48 PM.

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