Free Look: Mavic Pro // Skate

A short movie of skating around a carpark and cleared street. All filmed on a dji mavic pro with scenic shots from a Phantom 3. Created in iMovie to just continue to pump out movies and continue the skillset ….learning as I go guys 🙂

Music is not my own, all credit to Discoverthevibes. – subscribe for daily tracks!

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GoPro Experimenting

Usually when I upload drone footage I start with the take off and landing and everything inbetween that the drone sees. To expand my skillset and perahps add some aesthetical element to my videos, I’ve been playing around with a time-lapse effect of the actual process of getting a good drone shot. This includes the car ride to the locations. This is my first attempt at a time-lapse inspired video as well as my first real attempt using GoPro Studio.

Enjoy, and please leave a comment if you notice anything or have any feedback!

Free Look: Past, Present and Future

Upon the success of the “LookUp” and the application towards building a cheaper, faster but more importantly safer bridge inspection to the community and personnel involved, I’ve had to cover some legal and theoretical components of my work that I want to share the process with you.

The idea that initially started this project with and overall scale was to try my luck at a business mock up blog that could be a ‘BETA’ in itself to showcase to potential stakeholders that are interested in using drones for their application. I wanted to use the LookUp product as my trump card for how I personally could help a commercial market with a product that didn’t restrict or limit the user to the original intentions of a drone. I’ve changed the way we think about the disembodiment gaze that drones allow and the perspective vertical and horizontally. I’ve achieved this by attaching an interchangeable mount that can be swapped at user discretion on-top or below the aircraft. As well as this, the camera I’ve decided to use for this particular build is a 360-degree camera that is compatible with a Virtual Reality headset for a smartphone link.

The motivations for this build were to continue the trajectory of drone/quadcopter technology to emerge for real world application and to challenge the inventional narratives associated with filming from the sky. I didn’t like the application of the caution pamphlet that all commercial aircraft seemed to barricade the user with, the colour scheme and the general “cannot” attitude when un-boxing a piece of technology with so much potential. I wanted to invite people to think about what they can do with drones. This is theorized in ”

“It’s one thing to be able to capture 360-degree video on the ground,” says Aras, “but being able to capture the entire essence of a product, solution, or service from the air in 360-degree video will give the prospect an entirely new perspective.”(Gaudiosi, J 2015)

Much similar to myself how I dived straight into the deep end and tried the quadcopter’s application in agriculture, I wanted to explore how if I were to use various DIY components and technology readily available (like the 360fly) and merge them together for a real world problem. The LookUp is a testament to this, in that it helps not just the engineers not required on scaffolding risks, but community motorists with more frequent inspections which  lead to bridges allocated resources quicker, but also having an innovative model of digital documentation. The footage from each flight can then be applied to a computer desk setting and be showcased and used to graduates or cadets fresh out of studies and classrooms as a training module for real work experience and get them identifying on screen the problematic areas of a bridge infrastructure ready for live application and classification in the field.

With the build being approx. 90% complete at the commencement of July 2016. Perhaps the single biggest regret and in the same breath the biggest learning curve of the build was the fact I didn’t film the build. Even a time-lapse would have been ideal to have on a portfilio setting online. However, the build consisted of two videos how to build the Quadcopter and then how to connect the Controller. These two videos were followed done to the same brand of tape and colour of zip tie.

I decided a business model was in order to gain the necessary skillset to take on the entrepreneurial hopeful role and form a backbone for a career in innovation and drone technology. I started this with no engineering skillset, no website or graphic design skillset, no law or policy skillset only the passion for the technology and potential for their application and an intrinsic motivation to make this a career for myself.  SO, the first thing I had to decide was a name. Talks with senior university lecturers and now individuals I like to regard as mates, we tossed around the idea of using the prototype as a tool, rather than a privilege, something business and customers could refer to as a verb type setting and be industry ready for its uses to help people.

“What does it do? What’s something ‘punchy’ and that you could see yourself saying go and grab the … ”

“well It looks up doesn’t it? why not call it the LookUp”

This was the decision process and it grabbed my interest as soon as the words were spoken. Perhaps it’s an obvious choice but when I thought about why it was that I liked it, it was the simplicity as well as the freedom it gave the user. What do you do with it? You ” Look Up”. So when people say to me, well what is it good for, I want to be able to limit its use only to their imagination and encourage them to think about what would be interesting to film things we’d normally look up to. It has great “tool” reference and is something that throughout the project has developed from as specific corporation product to something that can be released to a wider commercial market. Looking at Drones in the Asian Pacific, and their commercialization and policy, I learnt that the words associated with drone and how languages interpret the various meanings and connotations of drone can influence a fear and therefore influence on perception and attitude. Looking at current commercial products names could potentially go a long way in shaping the attitudes within our own culture for example instead of a “Phantom” we have the “Lookup”.

The next step was to create a series of business time-frames, questions and goals that I wanted to personally check off and showcase so that it could be implemented into an application much the same as it could be an explanation tool to potential stakeholders. I initiated talks with Gemma Amy-Lee, as I knew of her success in her business Gemcraft, and how she was brilliant in the wake of setting herself up from scratch for a niche consumer. I sponged as much information as I could about her dealings as a company start up and little 1% efforts she went through to create a reputable and impressive business in areas she’s skillful in. One of many great materials to ignite out of our talks was the Business Mock Up plan she linked me to, that basically sets out a set of questions to which I used in a lot of my inspiration to create a Google Document that showcases some potential for a business plan if I were to meet with a website builder further in the development of the business.

The decsion to use a blog for this was that I was able to showcase some past devices and perhaps a small un-paid tech review of them, and perhaps offer a consultancy type expertise. The plan is to continue this as a content aggregator for the website, as well as being a huge passion of mine. Perhaps showcasing what else the drones that are being released CAN be used for. The categories option served this well, then the information tab is a place whereby people can visit to get news and updates on the drone world. Content in these categories haven’t been intense as yet, but it’s something I’m building on whilst being live online. Growing the page in real-time was a huge positive for me as the trajectory of the page and project itself could be showcase and edited along the way. The page also served well for GoPro related videos that I can look back on for inspiration for possible Drone linkage, and especially with their introduction of the ‘Karma’. This section of the website just adds more repertoire to the site, and gives the opportunity for me to continuously be active on the site, with more and more products being released, along with the content I create myself.

I then looked into Patents, UAV Licensing and ABN’s that would ultimately be required for the business to gain traction and for me to start thinking about a commercial usage outside the intended target. As well as this, my aim is to start out working closely, if not fully, with the RMS to assist in the trailing of making inspections a safer place for all involved. There are still some considerations needed to be taken, and i’m slowly learning that Drone technology is still a huge anxiety for government bodies, stemming from public perception. I had to extensively study this particular handbook on using remotely piloted aircraft for surveying purposes, and the RMS’ position on the topic.

I gave myself a crash-course on patents in Australia via Davies Collision Cave, who upload IP protection videos and offer their services via YouTube. I’ve understood the application and process that’s involved, however I’ve initiated talks with Patent Attorney’s within this business as well as being able to talk to those in similar skills at Innovation Campus at the University of Wollongong. This is to narrow down what I need to aim for (whether it be a standard patent or a innovation patent), how much the process is, and whether I need to think about sharing the workload and hiring a full time attorney.

This is something I’ve initiated and plan to work closely with the innovation campus as apart of my efforts to gain a Scholarship for the incubation of my business efforts.

“Early stage ideas and businesses, iAccelerate Start assists you in refining and validating your idea an business. An open plan professional co-working space, with entry-level mentoring and professional services. In addition, residents will have access to educational lectures and networking.” (iAccelerate, UOW)

This scholarship was apart of the UOW Pitch 2016, in which I entered this whole project in as an idea pitch. This was open to the whole of University of Wollongong with any idea accepted in the application process. I entered the ‘LookUp’ prototype as a tool for the RMS, was 1 or 8 shortlisted as an undergraduate, then had to prepare a 5min pitch for a panel of expert judges ranging from past winners to senior UOW staff. I was fortunate enough to win this competition, as well as the above mentioned scholarship. This opportunity was built on over a year of preparation, research and application throughout projects I’ve pushed myself to develop and apply to areas that interest me and that I know require new innovative technologies to create and sustain job growth. Using my experience in digital media and real-life experiences growing up, i’m able to showcase this prototype as my entry into a model that I plan to grow to different states, and, long term, overseas. There’s always going to be more bridge infrastructure globally, but I would ultimately love to innovate a new drone that doesn’t limit the user to 1 application or corporation, but to anyone who wants to “lookUp”.

I’ve thought about continuously improving the product. This means more collaboration from competitive product suppliers to keep up to date on the latest, best quality and most accessible equipment on the market. It also opens up the opportunity for collaboration with a whole new product. I wanted to approach Samsung Australia, about perhaps cutting a deal with them and their new product the Gear 360. I emailed them, however, they don’t have a section for general enquiries, so in the near future I’m aiming to head to their Sydney main store and perhaps have talks with or book a meeting with ‘Higher Ups’ of the company and seek possible interest in creating a specific device. Improvement and development is huge for this type of project, and something that, for the RMS application, wasn’t necessary was GPS navigation and assistance along with collision avoidance technology. This is something I’ve looked further into and found that if indeed other potential stakeholders or even new-flying pilots at the RMS, are interested in can arrange for that to be implemented on future or the current device.

The initial project was to create a prototype from an idea that could be applied to a real world problem that wouldn’t encourage a “fear of robotics taking over the world” but instead lead to an interaction between autonomous technology and a new perspective of the world from an extension of the human eye. These cybernetic relationships formed what I now call the “lookup”. It is the result of many failures, iterations and external skillsets that I’ve tied into a singular business “mock up” on a website that I’ve developed a skillset into.

The trajectory of this project was personally satisfying the more I showcased the device and the more behind the scenes work and research I put into the chosen platform. Drones have a long way to come in terms of public interest and harmony, however changing the narratives into “what you can do” with them starts to already change the attitude of the user. When given complete control of this technology the potential increases immensely, and this was the driving force to my passion to create a prototype to solve one problem within the RMS Bridge inspection process, but also pioneer a new paradigm of quadcopter technology. To give a new angle of footage and to make this an inspiration to others to take something great, and apply personal touches to make it better. Taking a leap and harnessing an intrinsic value to see a project develop and fail, as well as courage to approach those when unsure is something that worked well for me on this. Surrounding myself with positive support and putting in the preparation and taking the opportunities when they arose lead to creating my own luck. This creative incentive is how we’re blessed to live in the age of evolution today, and if I can make my mark in the field of drone technology, there isn’t an end to this project.


Gaudiosi, J 2015, ‘Now you can pilot a real-world drone from inside virtual reality’, Fortune.Com, p. N.PAG, Health Business Elite, EBSCOhost, viewed 23 October 2016

Marionville Multirotors 2014, How to Install & Connect DJI DT7 Radio to the Naza Light/v2 Flight controller (f450 Flamewheel), Online Video, May 4, YouTube, viewed August 3rd 2016, <;

RMIT University (n.d), New Enterprise Incentive Scheme – Business Plan, PDF Document, available at <;

Superflux 2015, Drone Aviary, Online Video, Vimeo, viewed 3rd October 2016, <;

Davies Collision Cave 2015, Innovation Patents – The Process in Australia, Online Video, May 19, Yotube, viewed 10th October 2016, <;

Davies Collision Cave 2015, How to file a Standard Patent: the application process in Australia, Online Video, May 19, Yotube, viewed 11th October 2016, <;

Davies Collision Cave 2015, How to choose a Patent Attorney – what makes a good Patent Attorney?, May 19, Yotube, viewed 11th October 2016, <;

Davies Collision Cave 2015, 7 Tips for Entrepreneurs, May 19, Yotube, viewed 14th October 2016, <;

RPAS Training & Solutions 2016, Remote Pilot Certificate or UAV Controller Certificate Options, Application and Steps, viewed 19th October 2016, <;

Transport: Roads and Maritime Services 2016, Technical Direction Surveying, Use of Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA), PDF, Available via <;

F, Lardinois 2015, Freefly’ New Alta Drone lets Cinematographers Mount their Cameras on top, Tech Crunch, viewed 24th October 2016, <;












Patent & Collaboration

Partnering with another major business has always been a goal of mine to initially get the “ball rolling”, and start to build a skill set based on others success of how to go about commercially working a new product into areas of consumer markets.

This means that I needed a few things

  • ABN – Australian Business Number, The ABN is a unique 11 digit number that identifies your business or organisation to the government and community.


  • UAV Licence – In order to fly a Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) aka Drone / UAV legally in Australia for commercial purpose or gain you will need to obtain certification from CASA.
  •  Patent/IP Protection – TO secure the idea/prototype of the device and register it according to the category/tests conducted. Here I will also consider the idea of having an attorney that will deal with the legal side of this process.


These processes will allow the field testing phases of the application to the RMS to begin as a practise. Using this working prototype and gaining the results we’ve gathered from the tests. These are necessary theory components in which i’m completing to (for at least the start) become the pilot for this stakeholder. The ABN will tie in nicely for the business if the LookUp becomes a product other services, individuals or projects seem it fit, I can start the contract process.

Lastly, I’ve thought about continuously improving the product. This means more collaboration from competitive product suppliers to keep up to date on the latest, best quality and most accessible equipment on the market. It also opens up the opportunity for collaboration with a whole new product. I wanted to approach Samsung Australia, about perhaps cutting a deal with them and their new product the Gear 360. I emailed them, however, they don’t have a section for general enquiries, so in the near future I’m aiming to head to their Sydney main store and perhaps have talks with or book a meeting with ‘Higher Ups’ of the company and seek possible interest in creating a specific device.


Improvement and development is huge for this type of project, and something that, for the RMS application, wasn’t necessary was GPS navigation and assistance along with collision avoidance technology. This is something I’ve looked further into and found that if indeed other potential stakeholders or even new-flying pilots at the RMS, are interested in can arrange for that to be implemented on future or the current device.






‘Mystics’ with the Lookup

Went for a drive to Shellharbour NSW today and decided it would be a good opportunity to take the LookUp for a new showcase of the bottom mount on the camera. Using the 360fly, i recorded and edited a short flight that would offer something for another commercial market with the camera changed from the top to below.

Also compatible with VR goggles with a smartphone. Click and drag around the screen for optimum viewing.


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New <2kg Drone Regulation

New drone rules start (29th September), allowing you to fly your sub 2kg drone commercially without the need to be certified, saving you both time and money. Before you take-off, you must complete an online notification form and agree to fly within the standard operating conditions to keep everyone safe. Your drone is your responsibility.

CASA, YouTube

For more information on these changes, visit CASA website

Love for drones sparks big idea | Illawarra Mercury

sam-drone-illa-mercurySURVEILLANCE DRONE: “I have a working tool that minimises risk and cost, in an area that seems to cost so much. … I’m new to it all and still wrapping my head around it,” says Sam Noakes. Picture: Robert Peet

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After chatting with University of Wollongong student Sam Noakes I came to the conclusion he is one extraordinary 21-year-old.

Sam Noakes piloting his surveillance drone. He’s been developing a drone for the RMS to assist in surveillance of bridges. Picture: Robert Peet
The young entrepreneur’s fascination with technology prompted him to find a way he could incorporate drones into everyday life and help industry in rural areas.

The drive led Mr Noakes, originally from Parkes in NSW Central West, to win the UOW Pitch 2016 (undergraduate) for his big idea of using custom built drones for surveillance operations by Roads and Maritime Services.

“I’m lucky to win a scratchie sometimes, it’s unreal,” he said.

“Mum works for the RMS and said they’re always looking at new robotics.

“I love playing with all the new technology and showing people [drones have] more use than just a flying helicopter.”

The competition allows sole entrepreneurs or groups to pitch an idea or invention to a panel of experts at the UOW Innovation Campus in the hope of winning $6,000 to develop the idea.

However Mr Noakes’ vision is already becoming a reality, having worked on the project with the RMS for the last year and a half and is now in the final test phases.

He developed and built a drone from scratch for the purpose of surveying bridges, where scaffolding alone can cost $30,000 and other “nasties” like snakes and working at heights can cause difficulty.

He first noticed these issues when doing work experience with the RMS in year 10, a problem he “took with him through the years”.

“I wondered how to get back to my roots back home somehow, and the RMS is one of the bigger companies that keep the town afloat so I naturally gravitated towards that and it got support straight away,” he said.

“We use bridges every day, the flooding back home is going to [cause] enormous structural damage …the icing on the cake is it’s going to be cheaper and making sure all my family are driving on safe bridges.”

The 360 degree footage taken by the drone can also be used in training exercises and archived for future reference.

Mr Noakes said initially people were worried of job losses, but the “cool thing” about his project is it could actually create new jobs.

“Everyone that is there normally still needs to be there because they need to give navigation requests under the bridge, make inspections and they also need a pilot.

“If anything, they might start hiring drone pilots and that might be a new career for someone.”

The next step is to test it with the RMS in Parkes, with plans of future refinement including the potential to 3D print parts and managing e-waste.

“If there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and they offer me a job that’s awesome.”

via Love for drones sparks big idea | Illawarra Mercury

GoPro Karma: First Impressions

With the current market showcasing compact-ability, ease of usage and convenience as major commercial points with drones getting released recently. GoPro has been the ‘first’ to release a commercial quadcopter that utilities the fold out type set up with the Karma.

Firstly, I’d like to point out that this isn’t a promotional blog post and nor am I being paid for or endorsed by GoPro, these are my opinions and how I am reacting to various reviews and footage pieces.

On first viewing this drone looks AWESOME. The gimbal is a 90degree up and down axis

GoPro Control Remote

It has an inbuilt screen so the user doesn’t have to use a smartphone with it. This then means the battery life runs the remote control and the LED screen. The joysticks seem to be pretty responsive from the video flight footage I’ve seen. The other features include a take off/return to home (press once) button, a gimbal control, a record button and a highlight button (that allows the user to highlight or mark a particular point in the video that they can easily find on review). The controller neatly folds up into a square cube that allows protection of the screen, joysticks and buttons, as well as packaging ease.

The drone itself uses fold way arms that fold nicely into a bag/backpack hard case. The nice thing about that is that the propeller wings don’t have to be disassembled to be exported around. This saves time and get’s the pilot in the air quicker. The fold down landing gear, and wings mean that it can all be packaged up and taken out and assembled with ease, meaning more portability and less shots missed.

Pablo Lema, Senior Director

“What’s great about KARMA is that if I bring it and don’t use it, it won’t get in the way”


The Karma Grip, is an included piece of technology that allows the camera gimbal to be taken out of the drone, and clicked into a hand held stabilizer that offers jolt free fluid videos from the palm of your hand. This then also slots straight into a pouch on the backpack that allows a hands free recording device that has a clear and detailed view of the subjects in-front of the user. This means you don’t miss opportunities that are captured on the ground, the karma grip becomes an extension of the drone.

From all reports the GoPro Karma allows an intermediate user the chance to enter the drone fast paced application with easy controls, on-board assistance as well as a simulator on the remote control for those new in both first person view and a 3D model of the craft in a virtual space. This release has showcased enormous potential to contend with the likes of DJI and Parrot in being a widely available drone for all markets. Improvements in sensory technology, open source hardware and software and further technical developments and sizing will have serious implications on the way drones are presented to the public.

A great addition in my opinion in the color white for the drone, with the small “game-boy” style remote control. Often the look and aesthetic of a device can influence the way it’s viewed in space, and the idea that it folds away into a backpack, and doesn’t require a briefcase on wheels instantly changes the intentional narratives or market. For example, photographers are targeted but now so are tertiary academics and action sport athletes.














FPV Drone: Cocoon Voyager

The Cocoon Voyager Quadcopter was essentially my entry into the FPV (First Person View) arena with drones and piloting. Previously drones I’ve had are smartphone app assisted or don’t really require me to see what the drone see’s. Also, despite my research on drones and their values in society, I’m a learning novice when it comes to Piloting the devices. This $100 drone from Aldi was the perfect opportunity for me to practice my piloting skills and eventually try my skill at FPV flying, which is something I am fascinated by.

Some technical aspects to be excited about (in terms of the price) include:

  • 2.4gHz transmission – which means the range is great and not too dissimilar to a racing drone
  • 720p (HD) Video – live feed is a little less due to the connection speeds however on review these pictures are clear enough for intermediate use
  • 6-Axis Gyroscope – this means reasonable control however with my personal one, crashes are frequent that does affect this feature.
  • Built in flip features – With the click of a button and the joystick pointed in the desired direction, 360 flips are possible that are fun and safe.
  • Spare Parts in the Box –  Crashes are inevitable and the team at Cocoon have you covered with a spare set of propellers and covers, with more available online

Testing the flight of this quadcopter it was a real experience, as the climate and proximity of space play huge rolls. The actual drone is only 150g (approx) heavy, which means wind factors play a part in piloting troubles. This drone is without sensory technology or GPS assistance so the piloting is up to you (and is also where the rotor guards are a great addition). I would recommend a oval or playing field for beginners as small touches and a “feel” of sensitivity is good to have before trying advanced terrain.


I got around 10mins flight time that included take off and landing, which use the majority of the devices battery span. On the box it recommends charging the quadcopter battery for approx. 100mins but I was able to gain full charge in around 60-70mins. The range of this drone is detailed to be around 50 meters, but due to the navigational piloting skill required and climate factors, I wouldn’t recommend testing this. The lights start flashing if the device becomes low on battery or out of range and will slowly descend. Again, make sure you’re present when this happens, if a gush of wind takes it there’s not stopping how far away it could land.

The FPV app is available on android and iOS markets free of charge and is a great addition to this drone. It stores the videos/ photos from the camera on the app which can then be shared or downloaded to a device. It links with the quadcopter once powered up and relays the front of the drones view to a clamped mount on top of your remote control. To start/ stop video and take photos a button is pressed on the app once for each function.

Lastly, the remote control has two modes for piloting skill level and inversion settings for the josticks. It runs off 4x AA batteries that are included in the purchase.