Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: 9W9W's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    2,593

    using drones to film cycling and other endurance races, a commercially viable service

    I've been thinking about starting a company that uses drones to film cycling and other endurance events. The broadcasting would still be done by legacy players who would contract us. I see this is as a last mile solution to ditch the choppers and bikes, clean up transmission issues, offer new viewing angles, increase viewership and relevance in a digital age. Who wants to kick this around? If you work for dimension data, call me.
    "That pretty much sums it up. I'm 43 and my max is ~178-180. If that HR chart was mine or Froome's, we'd be on the verge of death. But for you it probably looks like a normal workout." -TLG

    LOLOLOL

  2. #2
    Adorable Furry Hombre
    Reputation: Marc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    26,355
    Funny thing...Eurosport has a Watts Zap collection of nothing but quad copters crashing into active sporting events, including races.


    Part of the limiter is optics. They cannot lift very big cameras/lenses. And even the GoPros they can lift are time-limited.
    "Refreshingly Unconcerned With The Vulgar Exigencies Of Veracity "

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    1,693
    There's a thread on this touring forum, the French couple toured the SW USA this past
    spring, used a drone for a lot of footage. It was very well done, a new aspect to touring video.

    https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/1...s-we-love.html

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: 9W9W's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    2,593
    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    Funny thing...Eurosport has a Watts Zap collection of nothing but quad copters crashing into active sporting events, including races. Part of the limiter is optics. They cannot lift very big cameras/lenses. And even the GoPros they can lift are time-limited.
    Commercial off the shelf drones are probably not fit for purpose. But there are drones out there capable of holding commercial AV equipment with extended run times, except prices are out of reach for individuals/prosumers. I also think it is possible to replicate helicopter style wide pan shots. With the advent of AI, machine learning, in a decade it will be plausible that these units will be able to follow the pack detect and self pilot around trees, overhead banners, etc. There is already budding consumer technology in this area and there is a drone pilot league with competitive events.

    It's going to happen, it is inevitable, at least I think it is. I don't believe that 15 years from now we're going to have ye old-timer volunteers on motorcycles crashing into riders. Cycling is unique in this regard, and there's no similar need in football or any other arena based game.

    Was curious if anyone has given this some good thought, from the perspective of drone rotation, battery time, air density at altitude, mobile base stations, unit redundancy, etc... if you have PM me and let's chat.
    "That pretty much sums it up. I'm 43 and my max is ~178-180. If that HR chart was mine or Froome's, we'd be on the verge of death. But for you it probably looks like a normal workout." -TLG

    LOLOLOL

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    2,604
    U should do a little research into flying air rights. You can't fly within miles of an airport & many communities have flying restrictions.
    BANNED

  6. #6
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: 9W9W's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    2,593
    Quote Originally Posted by duriel View Post
    U should do a little research into flying air rights. You can't fly within miles of an airport & many communities have flying restrictions.
    That's the thing, I'm looking for a hobbyist well versed in all those laws so that I don't have to research from scratch, and possible misinform myself. I actually went to a local airfield on the weekend but didn't make much progress.

    Am also curious how much it costs to film one stage of the TDF. No ancillary stuff, just the helis/motos.
    Last edited by 9W9W; 07-10-2018 at 10:14 AM.
    "That pretty much sums it up. I'm 43 and my max is ~178-180. If that HR chart was mine or Froome's, we'd be on the verge of death. But for you it probably looks like a normal workout." -TLG

    LOLOLOL

  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    1,873
    Well, there is currently a lawsuit or two and with the current political climate, who knows how the FAA is going to move forward (no I am not making this about politics, so don't start). Originally the FAA required all drones to be registered, a lawsuit occurred, the rules where thrown up, but then upheld again on appeal.

    As it stands right now, you have the register a drone by law, but I have also heard that the FAA under current leadership may not enforce it (although if you do something stupid with your drone and you are not registered, I suspect they will add that as one of the charges in addition to whatever you did).

    Currently, without a special license, you are limited to below 400 feet and line of site. Within 5 miles of an airport is a no fly zone without a special request from the FAA and flight control from said airport. For smaller airports, you are supposed to notify them (there is even a hotline for some of them), and unless told otherwise, can fly.

    Stadiums and racetracks have restrictions (those are local laws mostly, and not federal), but usually only during events. Additional restrictions are near and around air based emergency services (think helipads for medivac or state police choppers).

    This is all for non commercial use. If you want to use them for commercial purposes, you need a specific FAA license for that.

    As far as equipment goes, most of the available drones today, they almost all have very good optics, what they lack are the ability to interchange optics. Most are HD or 4k, and some have mounts for gopros. The DJI has lens adapters which allow minor changes to focal points, filters, things like that. When you move from the Mavic Pro to the Inspire range (again my experience is with DJI), you get a better camera, but the price jump is insane. The reality is for most the cameras on the drones are perfectly acceptable for broadcast in HD for most events. Run time is around 30 min depending on what you are doing, hovering and recording gives you longer run times than flying as speed following a target.

    I have a DJI Mavic Pro. The cool thing about most of the drones, is that you can designate a target, and the drone will follow, or rotate around (assuming clear airspace), and will do basic obstacle avoidance (the DJI Inspire has forward, rear, above and below sensors, the Mavic only has forward and below, what most are missing are above sensors although that is changing).

    For an ideal situation, if you really want to do this, you should look for 2 drones, a crap ton of batteries. Some of the drones allow separate controls for the camera, and for the drone, allowing you to have a pilot and a camera man. The purpose of the 2 drone method is to allow you to have a second drone with a fresh battery ready for when the in flight one is low, and you can find a good time to cut to a different camera view, bringing the initial drone back in for a battery change. Rinse and repeat. This would require 4 people for a long event.

    Edit: oh, and if you live in the DC area.. just give up now and forget about it.. the entire city and burbs surrounding the city are basically one giant no fly zone.

  8. #8
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    313
    In the US for commercial applications, you need to operate under FAR Part 107 (Part 101 is the traditional regs for RC "model aircraft"). Part 107 operations require the PIC to hold a current airman's certificate (remote pilot) but no medical is required. Operation within controlled airspace (B/C/D/E) is subject to usual air traffic control requirements (so I doubt it's practical to fly in class B/C but that's just my guess). The biggest problem you have with your intended use is you can't fly the UAV over people. However, Part 107 does provide the possibility of getting a waiver of the section 107.39 operation over people restriction, but I no idea how hard it is to get such a waiver (I suspect hard).

    scott .
    .

  9. #9
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: PJay's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    2,016
    Quote Originally Posted by scott967 View Post
    In the US for commercial applications, you need to operate under FAR Part 107 (Part 101 is the traditional regs for RC "model aircraft"). Part 107 operations require the PIC to hold a current airman's certificate (remote pilot) but no medical is required. Operation within controlled airspace (B/C/D/E) is subject to usual air traffic control requirements (so I doubt it's practical to fly in class B/C but that's just my guess). The biggest problem you have with your intended use is you can't fly the UAV over people. However, Part 107 does provide the possibility of getting a waiver of the section 107.39 operation over people restriction, but I no idea how hard it is to get such a waiver (I suspect hard).

    scott .
    .
    people are setting up certification schools for 107 that are drone-specific.

    you would get a ton of questions answered by barking up that tree.

    it is supposedly supposed to be illegal to, say, do a drone film of a piece of real estate to show it off, or film a wedding, for commercial reason$, without this certification.

  10. #10
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: 9W9W's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    2,593
    Quote Originally Posted by ljvb View Post
    As far as equipment goes, most of the available drones today, they almost all have very good optics, what they lack are the ability to interchange optics. Most are HD or 4k, and some have mounts for gopros. The DJI has lens adapters which allow minor changes to focal points, filters, things like that. When you move from the Mavic Pro to the Inspire range (again my experience is with DJI), you get a better camera, but the price jump is insane. The reality is for most the cameras on the drones are perfectly acceptable for broadcast in HD for most events. Run time is around 30 min depending on what you are doing, hovering and recording gives you longer run times than flying as speed following a target.
    Price is not an issue and I like insane as it presents a barrier to entry. I won't be allowed to feed a broadcaster footage of an international event when it's me, two guys slamming red bulls in a van and a monkey hot swapping batteries on the roof. I can solve the issue of focal lengths if I get a drone that can carry a DSLR with zoom lens. Also, thirty minutes isn't really viable. I imagine these would be target following the entire time at pace. What happens when I move north of $5-10K per drone?

    I really do think most of the hurdles are with equipment and not FAA regs or even cost as this would not be self funded. I'm thinking I'd need an hour of run time, variable focal length, but now I need to beam back live signal to a truck....what happens when the race splits and I need to track someone who is 10k's ahead. I think the motos have heavier equipment that can throw signal further. What happens when we get to the Cimma Coppi at the giro and I need to hover at 11K feet in thin air with my heavy equipment. Hell, what happens when the pilots truck gets caught on the wrong side of the mountain? The motos have driver/cameraman always present and able to make decisions on the fly, which is a plus. Can I track a TT at 40+ mph? Also, would I be able to get around the types of signal interruptions suffered by motos with all their heavy onboard gear while weight constrained?

    Quote Originally Posted by scott967 View Post
    The biggest problem you have with your intended use is you can't fly the UAV over people. However, Part 107 does provide the possibility of getting a waiver of the section 107.39 operation over people restriction, but I no idea how hard it is to get such a waiver (I suspect hard).
    Interesting. There has to be a way to legitimately get paperwork in place and act as a consultant to international media co's, or operate as a subsidiary. Which brings up a whole host of questions relating to subsidies, who pays, why would they want to pay over status quo. If not me, then it will be someone else, but there will come a time when motos with guys hauling heavy shoulder cams are a thing of the past.

    Quote Originally Posted by PJay View Post
    people are setting up certification schools for 107 that are drone-specific.
    you would get a ton of questions answered by barking up that tree.
    Thanks, this may prove a good lead. Yeah, with regards to papers, everything would have to be in place, also working abroad on Euro tours would provide its own set of legal considerations to comply with local laws.
    "That pretty much sums it up. I'm 43 and my max is ~178-180. If that HR chart was mine or Froome's, we'd be on the verge of death. But for you it probably looks like a normal workout." -TLG

    LOLOLOL

Similar Threads

  1. Are rainbags commercially available?
    By twinkles in forum Apparel and Cycling clothes
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-10-2015, 06:20 AM
  2. Using drones to herd sheep
    By myhui in forum The Lounge
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 04-11-2015, 01:38 PM
  3. Replies: 8
    Last Post: 02-09-2013, 06:07 PM
  4. Brennan and Kiriakou, Drones and Torture
    By TerminatorX91 in forum Politics Only
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 02-08-2013, 08:05 AM
  5. Any other endurance races like Iron Cross out there?
    By fueledbymetal in forum Cyclocross
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 09-11-2008, 06:18 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT ROADBIKEREVIEW

VISIT US AT

roadbikereview.com and the ConsumerReview Network are business units of Invenda Corporation

(C) Copyright 1996-2018. All Rights Reserved.