This week I did a bit of catching up, creating a solenoid noisemaker. The noisemaker takes the form of a bell hanging from a repurposed piece of deadwood I found while on a walk. I created the bell on the school’s forge last week, and, while it does not have a clapper mechanism, it still rings quite loudly when hit by the solenoid. I had originally intended to use a smaller stick to hang my bell from, but it simply did not have the strength to hold the steel bell in the air.
On the drone front, it seems that a properly balanced battery has solved my smoking/burning problem, however, this week I have had trouble getting the receiver to talk with my handheld controller/transmitter. I get data from the drone’s flight controller, but no controller input. I posted the following question on several NY area drone forums, and hope to receive some advice soon.
Dear Local Drone Enthusiasts,
I have been attempting to put a drone together for about a month now, and have run into some trouble. I’ve been following the tutorial videos posted on the “My First Drone” website, using a Hobby King SK 450 Drone frame. I got the frame built and wired without any trouble, and installed a CCPD OpenPilot flight control chip. I have gotten the flight control chip firmware updated, and within OpenPilot I receive data from the quadcopter, when I turn it, the compass within OpenPilot moves, however, when I attempt to set up the controller, I get nothing. I am using a Turnigy 9x controller. I move the right hand stick back and forth, and the computer fails to register any motion. I’m not sure where I have gone wrong, and the My First Drone video tutorials do not mention this problem. Can anyone give me any advice?
I also moved further towards a finished prototype of my NFC lockbox. While previously I had constructed a cardboard façade, this week I added internal partitions to mimic the eventual storage section of the safe. In the final product, the hinges will be constructed differently, and may need to be moved inside the storage compartment. I also have to start thinking about the final weight of the box, in cardboard, it weighs nothing, but when done in steel, it will be quite heavy.
The United Nations will be debating an international ban on lethal autonomous weapons systems this week as policymakers attempt to get ahead of the emerging use of unmanned weapons platforms. Unlike the drones currently in use by the US and other governments, truly autonomous weapons systems will be capable to identifying and engaging a target without the aid or direction of a human operator. While the idea of a ban on such systems sounds nice, it is hard to anticipate how these sorts of systems will develop, and the prisoners dilemma is likely to disincentive nations capable of producing these sorts of weapons from signing on to the treaty. Even existing UN prohibitions have proven incapable to restraining either small, bad actors (see Syria) and larger more powerful states rarely sign these sorts of agreements in totality. Some opinions on the proposed ban here and here
Finally, here is a video of a chimpanzee knocking a drone out of the air with a stick, once again proving that the good use of simple tools still beats the foolish use of advanced ones.