I live in Australia and we have special insurance requirements for helicopters above a certain blade size and model aircraft above some critera (wingspan or prop width??), and controls on when and where they can be flown. Quadrocopters aren't quite as dangerous but the exposed blade ones are more so than small RC planes etc. I'm not sure what the right formula is but some things do need to be considered to find a balance between enjoyment and safety.
:-) My biggest concern is unguarded blades. Some such as the Parrot have guards around the blades which adds to weight and therefore reduces flying time, but make them much safer. I must say thought these autonomous drones could have collision avoidance etc. included and just shut the blades off as soon as altitude/clearance conditions aren't met. A friend of mine has a chopper with 1.5m blade span that would likely take someone's head off if something went wrong. He carefully choses his location.
I'm with you, ooh I want one, I don't even care if it's not shiny and I'll just turn off that cricket in my ear :-) I got a regular helicopter that has a still camera and it's already easy to fly, these smart drones are even easier. I think Spain has other nefarious concerns in mind. Personally it would be fairer if they stated the conditions under which they may be flown, like not at kids play grounds and so on.
Bummer. My MillionDollarIdea (#4,762) has been lost!
_I_ was envisioning a blimp-based (long hang-time) "follower" to
1) carry a flashlight for me (like in the "Dune" movie with Kyle McLachlin), and
2) take movies like a police "dash-cam." 3) "stationkeep" at height to mark a location for me until I can get there.
@Joe....Good points. I think I have got into the Australian mentality that licencing or regulating something will make the problems go away :-) It does not of course, though it does make it marginally easier to find the idiots. The problem is that when they do find one they let them go with a slap on the wrist rather than something which will make them really think. Maybe what is needed is legislation specifying penalites including destruction of the idiot's drone, something like the car hoon laws in some Australian states. But this applies to most things - in most of the rest of the world, not just Australia. This is True calls them obliviots (oblivious idiots) and we have to find a way of getting rid of them....or at least getting some sense into them....
What licensing would do is make sure that anyone iwth a legal drone MUST have an idea of what you can and can't do with them. And give you the opportunity to confiscate drones from obliviots who are too stupid, lazy or malicious to get licensed.
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.