UAVs and Robotics - what is legal?

I am an electrical engineer and have been reading this newsgroup for a long time and have posted occasionally. There are so many interesting things to
learn and that is why I think I am drawn to robotics. But, deciding what kind of a project I'd like to embark on has been a challenge. The thing that consistently peaks my interest is UAVs. I've worked on autonomous ground robots before. I am particularly interested in autonomous flight and the navigation systems that are required, kalman filters, the mathematics, etc.
Now the dilema... in this day and age I am keenly aware that there is a fine line between a hobbyists UAV and illegal activity. Does anyone know what kind of capabilities / features that would be legal, and what would not? I definately want to avoid the illegal ones... and stay well within the confines of a legal hobbyist activity.
Any references that I should read on this topic?
TC
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I'm REALLY trying to not be cynical here, but basically, as long as Field Marshal Ashcroft doesn't know about it, it's probably legal. As soon as he decides something is "un-American", you'll be hauled off to a windowless room to re-think your future.
That said, I know that model rockets are not allowed to be autonomous, that activity is restricted to NASA and the military. Folks have been doing UAV helicopters and aircraft for a long time now with no hint of regulation showing up yet. (To my knowledge.)
DLC
: I am an electrical engineer and have been reading this newsgroup for a long : time and have posted occasionally. There are so many interesting things to : learn and that is why I think I am drawn to robotics. But, deciding what : kind of a project I'd like to embark on has been a challenge. The thing that : consistently peaks my interest is UAVs. I've worked on autonomous ground : robots before. I am particularly interested in autonomous flight and the : navigation systems that are required, kalman filters, the mathematics, etc.
: Now the dilema... in this day and age I am keenly aware that there is a fine : line between a hobbyists UAV and illegal activity. Does anyone know what : kind of capabilities / features that would be legal, and what would not? I : definately want to avoid the illegal ones... and stay well within the : confines of a legal hobbyist activity.
: Any references that I should read on this topic?
: TC
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that
Please tell me more about what constitutes an autonomous model rocket. I, for one, want to make my rocket fly straighter (upwards), and return right to the launch pad. And I want it to do it by itself, so I don't have to fiddle with remote controls.
- Owen -
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I see, it's legal to make one that carries people for reward money, but not one that doesn't? See www.xprize.com
--
Shawn


"Owen Lawrence" < snipped-for-privacy@nospam.iosphere.net> wrote in message
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The Rocketry codes basicly say a rocket cannot have an active guidance system. They have to be more like SCUDS. Point and shoot. For more info check out rec.models.rockets and its FAQ also Visit www.tripoli.org and www.nar.org.
Ralph

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I'm definately not thinking about rockets.
Airplanes... preferably slow flying ones at that.
TC
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TC, I think some of the R/C rules may apply. There's a weight limit. I think it's 25 or 50 lbs max, but I could way off. I would think the FAA would have a few issues if you started flying into controlled airspace, or over populated areas.
--
Shawn

"TC" < snipped-for-privacy@noplace.com> wrote in message
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long
that
etc.
fine
The only thing I am aware of, is all of the regulations that apply to radio control. Altitude restrictions, and other avaition hazards.
Mike

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It is probably a bit dpendant on where in the world you are flying. For countries where militairs have limited control on the sky you can have a lot of fun already by staying in the "RC model" legal activities (insurance, registered transmitered, registered model if weight goes over certain limits). In germany, you should always be able to take control over your model. You can't go out of sight. But you can temporarily give control to a GPS routing system.
Important is that you don't risk collision with ohter air traffics or high constructions like electric lines, cranes, bridges, towers...
Martial
Blueeyedpop schrieb:

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I was twiddling around a while back looking at the possibility of working with high school kids and rockets. I remember that there is an armature rocketry association and that they had posted some of the Federal rules/regulations about rockets. Don't have a direct link but a google for rocketry or similar could help.
bob -- Bob Houston 1759 Cuba Road Bridgeport, Texas 76426 snipped-for-privacy@ntws.dogs.net
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The Vulcan Neck Pinch isn't half as powerful as the Vulcan Groin Kick, but it is more politically correct!

long
that
etc.
fine
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This link is a starting point
http://www.space-rockets.com/arsanews.html
bob
-- Bob Houston 1759 Cuba Road Bridgeport, Texas 76426 snipped-for-privacy@ntws.dogs.net
e-mail--do let the dogs out
The Vulcan Neck Pinch isn't half as powerful as the Vulcan Groin Kick, but it is more politically correct!

long
that
etc.
fine
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Thanks for the link. Interesting to say the least. Now if I could find a similar one for airplanes.
TC

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Well Mark, I'm still laughing about your reply.... makes me thing of my favorite cartoon - Pinky and the Brain. Hey, wait a minute... I'm too old to have a favorite cartoon.
TC

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Mooahhahahahaha...Mooahhahahahaha....Mooahhahahahaha
--
Shawn

"Mark" < snipped-for-privacy@given.com> wrote in message
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Shawn,
What the heck is a VTOL craft? Vertical Take Off / Landing? If my guess is correct is sounds pretty cool.
I have extremely little knowledge of aeronautics so that is my biggest concern. My main interest in all of this is the control systems for stable flight and navigation. I'd be happy with any flight platform. Whatever is simplest to control would be the best paltform for me. I'd even be happy with just flight control and not autonomous take off and landing. If I finally realize that I truly am crazy about my ambition then I'll probably back of to an autonomous navigation system for a land vehicle.
Are you planning on gas powered flight, or electric?
TC

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You got it right, vertical take off and landing. The reason I have not started this project is that I know what I'm in for. If I were to do this right I would prefer to have a team of people working on it, an airframe and powerplant design team, a flight control and navigation design team, a sensor design team, a wireless networking and remote control design team, and an AI design team. This is the only way to create something decent, it's too complex to go it alone. There is an annual competition for these types of craft, you can check them out at: http://avdil.gtri.gatech.edu/AUVS/IARCLaunchPoint.html
Also, here is a link to a UAV similar to what I'm talking about, although they are using an R/C helicopter as the platform: http://autopilot.sourceforge.net/index.html They have not done much this past year, but they did do some nice work. I think you'll enjoy their site.
PS, anyone interested in working on such a UAV project, please email me, you never know.
--
Shawn


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No. You either have a born genius with a natural talent, or else you employ teams who have been trained like a troupe of circus elephants.

and
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No, actually I would employ teams of naturally born geniuses.
--
Shawn

"Airy R Bean" < snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net> wrote in message
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Grow up, OM.

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Airy R Bean wrote:

-------------- Eat shit and die! -Steve
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