Friday, June 13, 2014

Drones4u: check out London's new must-have accessory that's flying off the shelves; You won’t want to be seen out in London without a flying robot hovering above your head, says Nimrod Kamer

Nothing is more awkward than being on Hampstead Heath without a drone. A fully functional non-military 1.5kg drone that can fly up to 200m and carry messages and sometimes crash. A flying machine to express oneself. Something to lol at with your neighbors and parents.

Thankfully, in this country unmanned aircraft laws are completely flexible. You’re not supposed to fly a drone near other people but if these people are excited about it as much as you are, it’s all good. I’ve yet to meet anyone whose hair wasn’t blown away by my phantom drone. It’s fine to be anti-droning and try hitting the copters with a broom or a brolly if you feel violated by it. Drone-bashing will inevitably become a national sport as numbers and availability increase.

My personal one cost £900 and is called DJI Phantom 2 VISION Quadcopter (multirotor) with a gimbal, or in short “Nimmy”. I’ve attached my business card to it, so anyone who finds it can tweet me a complaint.

It’s not cheap getting one of these things to fly regularly, as I find myself buying new propellers on eBay all the time (they break every two landings). It is worth it in the long run. This particular drone was made in China and might be spying on me, pretending to help me spy on others. Cheeky little devil in disguise.


Dronies are everywhere. A spectre of a dronie is haunting Europe. A dronie is the act of taking a selfie with a drone, as courageous as it sounds. Selfies are so passé anyway, and dronies happened to arrive just at the right time to save exhibitionism and the act of “flying solo”, a longtime show-off tradition.

Dronies require more skill than selfies. They take more space on your memory stick because they result in video, not stills. They are highly fallible as well. The joy of seeing someone miserably trying to catch one is great.

For a good dronie the drone master must touch a drone while it is hovering above their faces. Then it’s necessary to pose submissively and leave it to take off, making it manually fly high quick enough to get the entire borough in the frame in 14 seconds (Instagram video length).

Keeping the GoPro camera directly pointed at the dronie-ee at all times is crucial. If you do not constantly appear in the shot it isn’t a dronie. I recommend performing this social media stunt with Made In Chelsea actor Hugo Taylor (as himself) for the followers, and within a supportive environment. The final video must be tagged “dronie” “droncapade” “extravagance” (hashtags).

The most epic drone selfie would be flying one through the atmosphere and past the heliosphere, just like the space probe Voyager 1, which is essentially a big gravitas drone.

Pick up

Sitting in Victoria Park, I love sending my drone on a low-altitude love-finding jaunt. I look at its monitor constantly and fly it near a quiche lady that I might fancy. She would usually sit far away on the other side of the pond.

When the drone reaches her I start talking via a speaker I installed at the bottom. The wind created by the propellers will make her hat fall off, and I will then tell her to hold on to it with my microphone. It’s impossible to hear the lady’s reply due to the noise the drone makes.

 At that point a map with my location in the park will be shown on screen, and the drone flies back to me so I can replace its battery. Confession: I have fallen in love twice in the past two weeks performing this flyover pick-up recipe. Using drone techniques for romance also allowed me to become a tutor of aerial surveillance and passion to students at the Pick Up Art school (PUA) bootcamp.


As an investigative journalist, I find it futile to do my job without a drone. How can I get damning stories of high-level individuals without flying a drone high up at the window of a Barclays top dog or a Monsanto boss. I have a right to see what they’re up to. A drone can catch sight of documents and powerpoint presentations being given at the top.

The public interest is clear so there are no legal setbacks. It is your responsibility to not publish anything which isn’t newsworthy. Government agencies too: the drone can fly above the GCHQ spy agency in Cheltenham and see what’s cooking.

Any secret premises the public aren’t allowed access to is fair game. Even the new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point or the VIP section in Glastonbury.

Sketchy deals are being made on private rooftops all over town and out in the countryside. A true drone reporter can uncover all of them. Not to mention fracking.


I love hanging stuff with ropes attached to my drone and dispatch boxes to my neighbors with it, all the way to the other side of London Fields. A new app allows me to sit at home, eat and mooch, seeing what the drone is doing on my phone.

When the range exceeds the remote I can pass the controls to a friend called Alexander Phillips from the Urban Times, who lives in range on the other side of the park.

The drone will fly solo without directions for a few minutes till reaching him. That’s actually dangerous territory, since no one will be controlling it for a few minutes. Malaysian flight MH370 disappeared from radar in similar circumstances.

I heard Amazon wants to use drones to deliver Game of Thrones box sets and Kindle Fire HDX Tablets to the masses. But the company forgot the obvious thing: many people will try to capture and demand ransom for the drone, in cash, or by redeeming all the items they just purchased. A messy affair.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.