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Does Any Know If Drone Technology Allows For A Predetermined Flight Pattern?

Does any know if drone technology allows for a predetermined flight pattern? In similarity to presets on a PTZ? Maybe a good pitch for a startup venture I'll like to demo that technology. I saw a 1080P 30FPS demo recently that a surveyor was using it was quite impressive to say the least. Camera cost was around $1000.00 he mentioned.

NOTICE: This comment was moved from an existing discussion: Do You Think There Is A Business For CCTV Drones At The Commercial/Integrator Level?

Yes, the "technology" allows for this, and much more. Most drones even in the hobbyist range have GPS options and doing straight-line autopilot and multi-waypoint settings is not that hard in the grand scheme of things.

I still don't see where drones have much practical commercial application in the sense of them becoming some kind of regularly used device and/or PTZ replacement.

I could see them used at temporary events or at facilities that have the budget to cover the cost of owning/operating such a device. It will be a niche market for sure. Far more smaller than the market is currently for PTZ cameras.

Motion sensing activation could be used to launch drone in areas that cannot be reached by PTZ limitations and or stationary cameras. Secom in Japan is currently developing technology testing drone response to alarms then transmitting live video to a Central Station on home network.

If the area can't be reached by a PTZ or traditional camera, what is going to sense the motion? Most traditional motion-sensing products would be fairly prone to false alarms, not to mention by the time the drone gets there, whatever caused the motion is long gone or in a different zone.

Also, it's not like most drone have super long flight times. Batteries are heavy, it's going to be hard to get enough battery for a round trip, camera and decent wireless transceiver to make this practical.

What application cares enough about detecting motion and deploying drones (not exactly cheap), yet is OK with likely missing what caused the motion 90% of the time? It seems like you either have a sever enough problem that you install the equipment to solve it *right*, or you have such a casual problem that even $2000 for some auto-pilot drone wouldn't be a worthwhile investment. I can't think of what the "middle ground" is, where this auto-drone is practical.

All I know is if someone is willing to pay six figures for a a fence mounted robot, surely there is someone willing to buy drones.

What about a miles long perimeter fence with tamper detection alarm? Impractical perhaps for contiguous video coverage, but with drones:

  1. Alarm comes in
  2. VMS plots course, drone takes off
  3. Drone arrives, finds and follows thermal footprint
  4. Alternates between mirroring trespasser's movements and performing intimidating brushbacks
  5. Suggests strongly that suspect retreat before swarm of laser drones arrive.
  6. etc

Absolutely it does, see DJI Lightbridge with Groundstation for rotor based UAV application:

DJI - The World Leader in Camera Drones/Quadcopters for Aerial Photography

One of the biggest limitations though is flight time per battery (dependent on weight of UAV load).

I understand this is not approved by the FAA for commercial use yet.

It's unclear if the OP is located in the US, but the FAA presents fairly well organized information, staring with a brief summary here which confirms Undisclosed B's understanding: Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)

A broader summary of FAA UAS policies can be found here: Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)regulations_policies/

If you're talking about a Business Campus type of situation, I would think a system like the Skycam that the NFL uses would be better than drones. You could get a better camera on that system and it would have way better stablization. You could mount the system between tall buildings or tall poles/towers and have multiple systems. SkyCam

SkyCam in Action