Public demonstration of the P3 today

Apr 12, 2015
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Had an interesting day today. I was invited to display my P3 at a local robotics festival (I used to build robots from scratch). This festival was held in a college building in the middle of the college grounds. I brought my P3, set it up and answered questions for a few hours. Also exhibiting was the local police force bomb disposal robot.

After a few hours the manager of the festival asked me if I would provide a flight demonstration. I declined because flying in the middle of a college campus was probably in violation of something or other. Eventually after some persuading, I went to the two police officers and an interesting conversation ensued.

When I asked if they had any objection if I flew my ACP (I kept referring to my P3 as an Aerial Camera Platform), they said "Help yourself. We see these things all the time a we don't bother them. Just yesterday there were three of them flying in a local park. There are probably some rules about that but we don't bother with it. They were not causing any trouble."

I was quite surprised...but the manager announced the "demonstration flight of a drone" and about 30 people gathered around to take a look. I had already calibrated the compass, so I just set the P3 down in a clear area about 75 feet across. One the rest of the area were college students reading, throwing Frisbees, sunbathing etc.

I lifted off about 8 feet and just let the P3 hover for 15 seconds or so, slowly rotated it 360 degrees, slowly ascended to about 50 feet and let it hover some more. Then I gently flew it left and right, forward and back about 30 feet each.

Finally I brought it down to about 10 feet, let it hover for about 10 seconds, then ascended to about 150 feet at full "thrust". I could hear some Oooohs and ahaaaas, I let it sit up there for a few more seconds, then descended, hovered 12" off the grass, then gently landed exactly where I had taken off. They all loved it. It was a very safe routine as you can see. I then had another 45 minuets of questions to answer. All was good.

Here's the blurb I gave them for their publicity. They said it was in the newspapers but I haven't seen anything.

Phantom3 Quadcopter Arial Camera Platform

The Phantom3 is the latest and most sophisticated aerial camera from DJI industries. Released just a month ago it is the latest in what they call their “Consumer” quad. It weighs about 3 pounds, can fly about 40 mph and can fly up to 400’ in altitude. Even in winds up to 15 mph it can hover so steady that photos can be taken. It can automatically return to the place it took off from if anything goes wrong. A tablet connected to the controller lets you see what the camera sees. Built-in maps let you safely navigate the quad wherever you want. Maximum distance it can fly is about 2 miles…well beyond visual range.

It’s typical usage is to capture videos of natural landscapes, provide photos and videos of houses for real estate salesman, and capturing photos of biking, boating, and other activities. It is an engrossing hobby, combining cutting-edge computer technology, video and photo technology, and flying skills.


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Sep 12, 2014
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Los Angeles, CA
Well done @-terry. Sounds like a very responsible and well versed demonstration for what the technology can offer. Props to you.

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