Parachute Gives Falling Drones a Chance (video in link)

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I ran across this on Drone Life, and I thought you guys might be interested in this:

Article: http://dronelife.com/2015/05/11/smartchutes-gives-falling-drones-a-chance/

More videos and pics: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/742279450/smartchutes-quadcopter-parachute-recovery-system
.



 
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The problem with that is the canister would not fit between the props on any P2 or P3.
 
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It's still well short of the target, shame...

Probably because it won't fit the P2 which is one of the most common drones out there, nor the P3 which will likely end up catching up to the P2 in popularity.
One I looked at would fit but ONLY IF you drop to using the 8" props.
They're not going to succeed by telling people they can use their product but only by dropping the speed and takeoff weight of their craft (while adding the weight of the chute system).
I think something like this is a brilliant idea, and would love to see one up and running that is cheaper than the existing systems, but it's going to have to do it without asking people to drop the size of their props.
 
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Probably because it won't fit the P2 which is one of the most common drones out there, nor the P3 which will likely end up catching up to the P2 in popularity.
One I looked at would fit but ONLY IF you drop to using the 8" props.
They're not going to succeed by telling people they can use their product but only by dropping the speed and takeoff weight of their craft (while adding the weight of the chute system).
I think something like this is a brilliant idea, and would love to see one up and running that is cheaper than the existing systems, but it's going to have to do it without asking people to drop the size of their props.

They now support 9" props for the P2 and P3: https://www.kickstarter.com/project...opter-parachute-recovery-system/posts/1230953
 
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Overall the idea of a parachute system is fairly ridiculous for a $1,000 quadcopter. It's a disposable product just like an iPhone. You drop it and it breaks --- you get a new one.

The only real use I see out of systems like this are for commercial drone operators who fly over large groups of people. Liability insurance for UAVs will most likely require this as a safety feature so that bodily harm is greatly mitigated.
 
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Overall the idea of a parachute system is fairly ridiculous for a $1,000 quadcopter. It's a disposable product just like an iPhone. You drop it and it breaks --- you get a new one.

The only real use I see out of systems like this are for commercial drone operators who fly over large groups of people. Liability insurance for UAVs will most likely require this as a safety feature so that bodily harm is greatly mitigated.

There's a huge market for iPhone cases for the same reason: to protect your purchase. Anyway, I personally see there is market for it, IF it doesn't impair performance to a large degree though for the most part I fly over water so the end result is likely to be the same :)
 
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My P2 is around $3,500 not $1000, so I don't consider it disposable.
The GoPro H4 Black was something like $600 alone, as was the gimbal, so that's a lot to lose in a crash.

Secondly, my biggest concern isn't the quad, it's property. Have it smash down onto the bonnet of someone's Audi, Merc, et al, and the cost of the quad will be small fry. Hit a person at the same time, and the insurance company will be studying every single frame of the video to find a way to skimp on the claim - go just 1" over the legal height limit, or beyond VLOS, or break any other law related to the use of these, and you're not covered.
So yes, I'm keen on anything that will potentially bring it down safely.
 
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My P2 is around $3,500 not $1000, so I don't consider it disposable.
The GoPro H4 Black was something like $600 alone, as was the gimbal, so that's a lot to lose in a crash.

Secondly, my biggest concern isn't the quad, it's property. Have it smash down onto the bonnet of someone's Audi, Merc, et al, and the cost of the quad will be small fry. Hit a person at the same time, and the insurance company will be studying every single frame of the video to find a way to skimp on the claim - go just 1" over the legal height limit, or beyond VLOS, or break any other law related to the use of these, and you're not covered.
So yes, I'm keen on anything that will potentially bring it down safely.

I completely agree. Saying that a parachute is irrelevant because the aircraft is disposable is just missing the point. If my Phantom drops out of the sky 400' up and travels sideways and down it could go anywhere and hit anyone. I know only too well how insurers do not stop wriggling until they are sure they have to pay up. I understand that even the BMFA insurers who are insurers of some repute, recently wriggled out of a R/C claim because the aircraft appeared to be fitted with long range equipment.

Having said that, they would have to be a limit to the cost of a parachute relative to the aircraft. It is all a matter of risk balance.
 
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It's great that they are supporting larger props and the P3. One thing I noticed on the Kickstarter page was that they recommend flying above 50m to give the parachute time to deploy. Also, the parachute deploys on tip over, free fall or flip.

Some people in our community almost always fly over 50m, but many others do not. In fact, almost all of the crashes that have been reported on the P3 Discussion forum are from much lower altitude and with crash details that don't involve free fall, tip or flip over.

This seems like a truly interesting device but one should consider they type of flying that you do and the types of incidents that you are protecting against.

Chris
 
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Ideally, any chute system needs to deploy on detection of rapid descent.
But you sure wouldn't want this thing going off on false readings, and nor would you want it to be too slow to notice a rapid descent.
I don't envy people doing this sort of research and development, it has to be pretty hard to come up with something that is going to work reliably in all situations.
 

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