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Question of the week

Yesterday the FAA released the recommendations of a Task Force (including 3DR) charged with developing best practices and guidelines for a national drone registration program. Remember that these are recommendations, not the final rules, which the FAA plans to announce by Christmas.

Here are the basics:

  • Drones between 250 grams (.55 pounds) and 55 pounds that are operated outdoors need to be registered.
  • The registration is owner-based, so one number can apply to all the drones an owner has. You can also register using your drones’ manufacturer serial number.
  • Registration will be mandatory at the time of operation and not the point of sale.
  • The owner’s name and street address will be mandatory (no P.O. Boxes). Other information, such as email address or cell phone number will be optional.
  • No citizenship requirement or information.
  • Minimum age to register is 13.
  • No fee for registration.
  • Registration should be web-based.
  • A registration certificate will be emailed or mailed to the owner.
  • The owner registration number will need to be put on each drone, or you can register the manufacturer serial number.

Question of the week is simple: What do you think of these proposed guidelines? What works for you, what doesn’t? Suggestions of your own? Drop it all in the comments section below.

And now: all the drone stories fit to post.


The FAA Task Force (3DR included) has announced its recommendations for drone registration requirements and process. (The Verge)

3DR leads the commercial drone industry with our first-of-its-kind collaboration with AirMap, an airspace information company. This will allow us to give Solo users fresh and reliable information about airspace rules and warnings wherever they’re flying, available at their fingertips later in 2015 right in the Solo app. (Engadget)

New York City is considering using drones for disaster response, traffic jam monitoring and tree pruning. Unrelated: All of Manhattan is a no-fly zone. (NY Daily News)

A new bill introduced to the South Carolina state senate would prohibit low drone flights over private property — similar to the bill California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed this summer. (WLTX)

Culture and commentary

The Drone Racing League has planned six races in the US for next year. They’d broadcast the races on TV as well as mobile, with courses seen only through the drones’ FPV. (Tech Times)

The New York Times explores the ramifications of drone registration for the holiday shopping season.

Zano Drone, makers of a palm-sized drone — and who raised the largest-ever Kickstarter series in Europe — has folded. Failed Kickstarters may be subject to legal action from their donors. (Ars Technica)

The Department of Homeland Security is preparing to release its privacy guidelines for drone use. The guidelines don’t apply to hobbyist drones, but to drones in civil use, such as border patrol and law enforcement. (Wall Street Journal)


The aerospace and defense firm Aero Kinetics released a study that suggests toy drones pose a bigger threat than birds to manned aircraft in all phases of flight. (Aero Kinetics)

Patrick Meier, a global leader in the humanitarian drone sphere, has announced the creation of WeRobotics. WeRobotics is a global network of labs — with partners in industry, research and academic spheres — which will develop ways to integrate robots (drones included) ethically, effectively and efficiently into different regions, in order to maximize their utility in a humanitarian framework. (iRevolution)

The Mars 2020 rover might have a companion flying drone. In 2009, the Spirit rover got stuck in a sand trap and died there. An aerial drone would serve as a scout to keep the 2020 rover from meeting such an ignominious end. The addition of the aerial perspective might triple the distance the rover can travel in a day. (Popular Science)


Last week San Francisco hosted the Flying Robot International Film Festival — here are the winning videos. 3DR sponsored, I attended, and more than a few entries blew my skull apart. Can’t wait to see what this festival looks like next year, with the addition of Smart Shots. (