Looking at Drones was something I initially wanted to carry into a Cyber cultural extension from their agricultural usage. I wanted to link them to human capacity and challenge the speculative narratives they carried within a local context of my hometown in relatively small rural area. General awareness of their emergence was little and therefore creating a disadvantaged implementation into the corporate sector to perhaps improve a fast-changing technological shift, especially in government workspaces.
As an aim or goal for this digital artefact I wanted to explore ways a quadcopter fitted with a 360-degree video camera could address the ways prevalent culverts (or drainage pipes under the roads) could be inspected, observed and surveyed better and most importantly safer for less costing and less time taken to do so. The artefact was to build a custom drone that hasn’t yet been seen or released in the commercial market that would be something the Roads and Maritime Services would consider innovative and consider implementing into their regular workspaces. The drone has been trialled for observation of large bridges, but not the culvert area, which is where I focussed on. The device isn’t a finished product ready for testing. However, I plan to continue working on it and taking it into future classes, projects and workspaces whilst I continually build on the expertise it’s started giving me. The drone will hover in the air, however the controls are yet to be properly configured which will be done by Rise Above Solutions (an Australian Based Drone expert dealer and service provider) along with a safety inspection in terms of motors, Lipo batteries and propellers. This is so that when the remote control is ready for take-off no unexpected breakages arise leading to an unsafe environment for those around. Once this is completed further testing and flights can be recorded.
Though the artefact isn’t complete, the achievements and overall skillset it’s proven is something that has grabbed my full attention. Firstly, the expertise I’ve gained from this build is amazing and something I’m proud of. YouTube was a great tool that I’ve used and taught myself how to use and build electronics, from soldering wires, to attachments of motors, to battery testing. Then the hardware of the cameras I’ve touched on stitching software and how it can be a timely process, GoPro usage was something I’ve learn new skills in and created other videos of the things that interest me. The lights and switch soldering to the battery was something I learnt from the original soldering tutorials as well as flight expertise, knowing how much thrust etc. to give the drone when wanted to pan or fly forwards, as well as knowing processes into calibrating a remote control, and how this is a pivotal step when buying a universal remote.
Lastly, this project has allowed a whole new aspect of networking. I’ve gained contacts within Rise Above Solutions that I’ll be able to meet with and discuss options for future builds including Rafi Mehdi, the director of the company whose detailed he’d be happy to help in future. Douglas Simkin, UOW tutor, has also detailed of his friends that would be interested in looking at the build whom he’s acquaintances with. Then there’s those I am working with at the RMS, in terms of project managers, Regional Area Managers, and Board members whom I’m giving a presentation to in Bathurst on the 17th June as a progress report on the drone project. All of these are exciting and something I put towards future career prospects. This is due to having thinking about the cybernetic relationship with the drone, the pilot, the camera lens, and the new “bubble” perspective 360 video allows users to think about new possibilities within surveillance.
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