One day unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are going to be ubiquitous around wildfires, if we can work out the FAA and flight coordination issues.
A German company is now mass producing kits for the “MikroKopter” demonstrated in the video below. The kit for just the basic aircraft sells for about $1,140 at today’s currency exchange rate. It can be accessorized with a real time video camera with downlink capabilities, a still camera, a GPS receiver, an altitude sensor, a Bluetooth receiver and transmitter, a camera mount, and other items.
If equipped with GPS, the aircraft can be ordered to hover at its present location, or to “come home” to the spot where the motors were turned on. It can even be controlled and monitored with an Android-powered cell phone, but a conventional radio-control unit works better. It has a flight time of 36 minutes and can carry a payload of up to 2.2 pounds.
I want one.