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Re: [Paparazzi-devel] Embargo to export autopilots from US?

From: Paolo Bernasconi
Subject: Re: [Paparazzi-devel] Embargo to export autopilots from US?
Date: Sat, 17 May 2014 18:02:22 -0700

You are the one who keeps arguing

On Sat, May 17, 2014 at 6:00 PM, Personal <address@hidden> wrote:
All anyone should aspire to control is their own actions. 

Paparazzi project members I have come to know have no reason to argue these things with anyone as they are doing great things that require no defense or reason to fear the future.

More words do not make an argument any more convincing. If you have to keep arguing maybe the point is made and you can just let it be.

On May 17, 2014, at 4:54 PM, Paolo Bernasconi <address@hidden> wrote:

I think the hobbyists community of the world, which is very much into paparazzi and similar boards, shall start showing serious steps toward creating a secure and safe technology .. like it or not, complying with the law and showing that we mean business, in the sense of complying with the rules. 

If we do the opposite, we will simply lose it all. 

Before even being able to talk about what rules we are interested with and what we re not, * why not and why yes), we have to earn the respect by showing, that we can self regulate and that are taking concrete steps toward self enforcement. 
For instance, embed limitation into the firmware, such that they cannot or can hardly be disabled. 
Please, this is about politics .. get it? Not just technology.

One very concrete step  could  be creating a "paparazzi user license" requirement ... who would be doing such coordination, I am not sure and how this would work .. well feel free to suggest.
I'd like to hear from the original team what they have to say. 
All I am saying is that we are very close to losing it all and I am not sure there is much awareness of how much down the drain we already are.

On Sat, May 17, 2014 at 4:18 PM, Karoly Molnar <address@hidden> wrote:
I believe that people mixing up two possibilities here.
1. The US export limitations
2. Safety of civil drones

1. These US companies are not enemies of their own money. If they do not accept international orders then most probably they are not allowed to do so. Imho it has no relation to civil regulations of foreign countries. Its more likely that  US lawmakers are realizing that that a small cheap aircraft with autonomous flight capabilities can be used as weapon. And I would not underestimate the technical/programming skills of the villains.

2. Safety: I am working with safety critical systems so I am biased. Biased and scared to see drone pilots flying above a crowd with relatively large and heavy "pro" multicopters for the best vide shot. Also scared to know that the uavs out in the wild are using mechanical and electrical and software systems that were never _designed_ to be safe (= if they are, its mere luck). There are good layman attempts in a number of projects (redundancy, failsafe devices, watchdog etc) that are addressing a certain safety aspect, but safety is always a system concern. System level safety concepts are still widely missing. The good news for paparazzi: there is such a safety reasoning that "safe by proven-in-use" i.e. if a device was designed before the safety regulations were introduced, its safety can be proven by the number of hours that it has been used without accident. For example, Google has quickly realized that they could not re-design all software, including the gazillion of OSS components that they use in their autonomous cars. So they are cruising around, with a safety driver, since years, collecting the "proof" for in-use. Imho the same argument can be used for the paparazzi project, too. Collecting the proof of the accident free flights with certain stable software branches of paparazzi may be challenging but not impossible. This makes paparazzi project a good candidate for one of the "trusted" autopilot software used in civil drones. In my eyes this must come along with certain system level considerations that may include safe mechanical design and safe configuration too. I am also trained in and aware what are the DO-254 and DO-178 regulations of the aerospace industry, but I hope that the lawmakers do not enforce these on drones. The cost implications of these standards are enormous. Hope there will be a good compromise in the regulations that clarifies the liabilities too. 


Sent from my iPad

On May 18, 2014, at 12:22 AM, "Paolo Bernasconi" <address@hidden> wrote:

PS: to be more accurate: one such accident involving an auto piloted RC model  

On Sat, May 17, 2014 at 3:20 PM, Paolo Bernasconi <address@hidden> wrote:
Not sure if you are aware but there is no old way.
Model flight has traditionally relied on self regulation.

Here is my take: one commercial flight accident with death and you can kiss good bye to your hobby.

Prove me wrong.

On Sat, May 17, 2014 at 3:16 PM, SilaS <address@hidden> wrote:
Read My small letter comments!

The regulation is IMPOSSIBLE Marius! _ You wrote it!

We are not talking about a few ultralight aircraft! There will be in 2 year more then 5-10 thousand of drone in every country! You can not regulate it on old way!
The only solution is share informations to each other and with air control systems! It will be an own importancy for every "hobbyst" after a volume! The future becomes active! Forget the old behaviour!

Think about the cars:
An INSURRANCE can be help for a while, but with it we not finished!


2014-05-17 23:54 keltezéssel, Paolo Bernasconi írta:
calling the law ridiculous will not help you nor anybody keeping the right to fly ... 

On Sat, May 17, 2014 at 1:55 PM, Marius Pfeffer <address@hidden> wrote:
Max distance to ground is 150m (§24c.(1) Z4)
Max distance to pilot is 500m (§24c.(1) Z1)

Just two examples, ridicolous...

2014-05-17 20:28 GMT+02:00 David Conger <address@hidden>:


First: Nothing has changed here in the USA. The laws are the same as
they have been for a very long time. The only thing we know is 3DR and
SparkFun have started restricting exports without a proper
Second: The sky is not falling and nothing else has changed.

Now, I am very surprised at the amount of conjecture going on here
about supply and future etc. However it is based on opinions and
theories based on future predictions. Anyone who can predict the
future is suspect. It is unwritten and does not exist. If it did exist
someone surely would bring the future back to the present as proof or
visit it and bring back evidence. Only the now exists or will ever
exist to us. The past is now that has come and gone and the future
will be the now at some point.

All I know is now Paparazzi is available anywhere and everywhere
because it is not a business. I created a business (PPZUAV) but should
I make or not make them should have no effect on Paparazzi the
project. No one is dependent on any one company or country to get one.
For the moment PPZUAV is just not one of them. The only reason for
this is simply I am taking a sabbatical and resting for a bit. I
needed a break and am taking it. Once I am done there are many people
out there who I will gladly resume getting them their Paparazzi
things. They are mostly all out there in the EU and for them a
sabbatical is a normal thing. I do have a desire to relocate to the EU
and partner with someone to continue to make these available. If
anyone has ideas contact me. I have heard from someone in German and
that was very encouraging.

Paparazzi the project is not going anywhere. I hope it is of some
comfort to you all to realize that you are members of a lot larger of
a group than you imagine. There are only a few who post here and a
huge number who do not but do exist and use Paparazzi. You are out
there in major universities and large Govt organizations. You are
quietly doing amazing things and I encourage you to keep doing them
because you may feel like you are the only one but you are not.

Now, that said I will give my own opinion and it is just opinion of
the current situation with new laws about flying things here in the
USA and the World. I have been at this a while and have watched this
all unfold with completely expected results. The future of Paparazzi
is certain to me to continue...The future of other companies that
started under the premise of selling "toys" to anyone is not. I will
This whole state of affairs today with public anxiety over these
things is not so strange to me. I have written about it many times
over the years and it was largely ignored. Maybe still ignored you
control that. Read all my posts back to 2005 ( is another
place I have posted). I have never called these toys or advocated
selling them like toys to anyone. I have stayed a very small (1
person) company this way because I simply looked at these as flying
robots that are extremely complex and capable of great harm in the
wrong hands. It seems those who supported me with your purchases
agreed and I survived all this time by simply not growing and focusing
on my scientific, Govt and research customers. This has been my choice
and not me unable to compete with the companies selling drones as toys
for the cost of a toy. I actively have avoided this market and message
because I do not agree with it and still do not agree with sending a
dangerous message like this to the public. I never want to put these
in the hands of everyone until they are designed to be harmless. I
actively over the years have held a bar up and if you did not show
reasonable intelligence or plan I ignored you.

Now there is one company out there run by professionals who do get it
and always seem to have gotten it. That company is Parrot. From the
initial message to today they understand. Their message has been clear
and they have restricted their products and their message. I doubt
even today no one would take an ARDrone and assume it was as capable
as a military drone nor have they every implied it. They never sold
them for that and you must modify it to even make it autonomous. They
have done well and will continue to do so because they understand the
implications of a dangerous message that is spread widely. I applaud
and agree with the foresight Parrot executives have managed their
company and their product messages. I have no doubt they will under
that guidance succeed here.

Others have run their companies spreading the message they make and
sell military quality drones at toy prices. That message is out there
and the public and government are coming to grips with it. Worse there
are thousands of these "toys" out there without proper instruction,
without any criteria past ability to pay for it stopping them from
having one. They have zero built in altitude or GPS restrictions on
them and easily can enter restricted airspace. They succeeded. Now
just about everyone who wanted one has one and for good or bad
thousands are out there now and hundreds are flying in restricted
airspace with untrained operators. A few are likely flown by complete
novices with zero understanding what they are doing. How do you undo
that? I'm not sure you can. I hope they try.

That said, it should not affect 99.99% of Paparazzi users. You are not
them. You have a plan. You have a goal. You have understanding of what
you purchase and plan to operate it within the laws and do the right
thing. I know this because if you got it from me I know this. Keep at
it. This should not affect you.

To all you developers, keep at it. Stay the course. There is no reason
based on fact to think anything related to Paparazzi has changed or
will change in any way.

For me. During my time off I will be doing a lot of my own development
and learning Paparazzi even more because I will finally not be doing
assembly work every day. I will search out new ways to help more
scientists, more researchers and more search and rescue, conservation
and good uses of this technology to get your projects flying. Even
better I will be mobile (sailing) and hopefully I will turn up in your
country and we can think of new ideas for your use of Paparazzi.

Always remember Paparazzi is not a business. It can't go out of
business. The Govt and institutions out there using it also will lobby
and follow the laws to ensure they can continue to use it. If you
absolutely have some great project or research thing depending on
Paparazzi hardware you will get it I assure you. Keep doing your
amazing work and I will help you in any way I can.

Sorry, this got long. I hope the message was worth it and a positive
one not negative. I have nothing but positive thoughts about the
future of Paparazzi.

-David B. Conger

On Sat, May 17, 2014 at 4:32 AM, Chris <address@hidden> wrote:
> So we are saying the same thing?
> If someone wants to send a small UAV to photograph something 20 miles away
> using waypoints (obviously out of sight) he will need a licence if this is
> available at all.
> Chris
> On 05/17/2014 01:55 PM, Ben Laurie wrote:
>> On 17 May 2014 11:50, Chris <address@hidden> wrote:
>>> Now that is good news, i oppose any hysterical restricting legislation
>>> issued just because some people love to control everything.
>>> I wonder how well birds follow paper restrictions.
>> In the UK if the flight is commercial in nature you need a licence. If
>> it is not, then you need to have line of sight and (emergency?)
>> control.
>>> Chris
>>> On 05/17/2014 12:39 PM, Ben Laurie wrote:
>>>> On 17 May 2014 07:43, Chris <address@hidden> wrote:
>>>>> Uav flight was already almost everywhere forbidden for non university
>>>>> or
>>>>> government entities ie hobbyists i think.
>>>> Not in the UK.
>>>> _______________________________________________
>>>> Paparazzi-devel mailing list
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>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Paparazzi-devel mailing list
>>> address@hidden
>> _______________________________________________
>> Paparazzi-devel mailing list
>> address@hidden
> _______________________________________________
> Paparazzi-devel mailing list
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