Dreams of the World: One Dream a Time. This post is the latest in the series Dreams of the World, which profiles interesting people Kike meets during his travels. Drones and Small Unmanned Aerial Systems Special Series.
¨There is a big difference between my quadcopter and a Predator or an actual drone with hellfire missiles on it,¨ said Riley Morgan, a 14 year-old New Yorker. ¨My quadcopter is used for fun, as a nice way to pass time. The Predator is designed to harm people. No matter how I use it, my quad is not designed to be dangerous or deadly as a full-scale military drone.¨
¨When people come up to me arguing that drone usage should be banned, I explain to them what I am doing and why it is different from what a predator drone can do,¨ said Morgan. I tell them the difference between my quadcopter and an actual drone, and I try to explain to them that it is a hobby that shouldn’t be banned.¨
¨I’m not really sure what my dream is. I really want to do something in the Radio Control industry, but I’m not sure what exactly,¨ said Morgan. ¨As long as it is fun and it gets other people into the hobby, I will be happy doing it. I’ll probably start a company that sells RC and multi-rotor equipment.¨
Morgan claims to have always been obsessed with building things and hardly ever reading the instructions. ¨When I was ten or eleven, I started working with the first “lego mindstorms“, a platform that allowed me to build motorized lego structures or vehicles, and then program them with my computer.¨
Talking about current projects, Riley is going to attempt to build a waterproof hexacopter. ¨It will have a 3-axis gimbal equipped with a night vision camera, a thermal imaging camera, and normal camera that can be used for search and rescue and doing things humans can’t do¨, he explained.
In an effort to educate himself in the topic, Riley attended in October the Drone and Robotic Conference (DARC) in New York City. ¨I learned a lot of things at DARC, but mostly I met other people who were also hobbyists,¨ he said. ¨It was a really great experience, and the best day ever to skip school.¨
Morgan finds inspiration in the RC World. ¨ I admire Trappy, from Team Blacksheep who is always doing new things and pushing boundaries, he said. ¨I also like other aspects of the RC world and I would also like to get into planes. I’m thinking of starting with a Bixler style plane and then moving on to a flying wing like the Zephyr, a large air foiled wing.¨
Morgan considers the FAA to be in a really tough spot. ¨I think that they should put some laws in place, but not too many,¨ he said. ¨These laws should be reasonable, unlike one of their more recent regulations. ¨ According to that regulation, selling a video taken from a predator drone is treated the same way in court as taping a camera to a $20 toy helicopter and selling the video taken from that. ¨I think they need to open up a new branch of the FAA dedicated to RC models.¨
Morgan´s Favorite Gear
Ready to fly for beginners:
For people looking to build:
Frame / Motor ESC combos: