Mythbusters Tests Killer Drones - InformationWeek

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Mythbusters Tests Killer Drones
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jries921
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jries921,
User Rank: Ninja
7/30/2015 | 12:00:30 PM
Public interest science at its finest!
I don't think I was ever all that concerned about anyone being caught in a drone's blades; drones that shoot guns or drop bombs are more worrysome; but it's good to see that Mythbusters are hard at work on these issues.

 
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
7/30/2015 | 1:27:23 AM
Re: Still Not Convinced
@asksqn- I actualy think you made my point for me. How many people are playing hockey or lacrosse every day? More than the number of drones int he air, I'm sure. Canada alone has 650,000 registered hockey players as in people who play in a league not jsut pickup. In the entire history of professional hockey in every country at every level there have been 10 on ice deaths and none were of the result of cuts. All were head injuries from falls, spinal injuries from hits and one intentional attack in the Italian league. 

The mortality risk of lacrosse is .63 deats per 100,000 person years. In other words for every 100,000 people who play the sport for a year, only .63 die.

The rate for hockey is lower.

How far are we from 100,000 drones flying for a year and will even that many die? How long before we get to the millions playing hockey and lacrosse? 
David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
7/29/2015 | 6:36:11 PM
Re: Dropping from the sky...
@whoopty- Well, they do fail when they run into something. In every test they condusted, it seemed like the motors on one or more rotors stopped when they hit something. I assume this is a safety feature, but it does mean bumps cause crashes. 

I honestly think they're pretty darn safe. It is just interesting, because we've got this new thing we need to form rules around both social (like the fire situtaion in California) and physical.
asksqn
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asksqn,
User Rank: Ninja
7/29/2015 | 6:33:02 PM
Still Not Convinced
The same argument used in this piece to tout how safe drones are -that your neck is for all intents & purposes well protected- and that a hit by a drone in that particular section of your body is one-in-a-million can be voided entirely by two examples that occur on a regular basis in professional hockey as well as lacrosse. 

 

Case in point #1:  Ice hockey goalies face many threats, including being hit in the throat with a puck and/or sliced in the carotid by a random blade on the bottom of a skate.  Doesn't happen very often in either scenario, but it does, in fact happen enough to make it life threatening.  See also the video of Clint Malarchuk and/or Richard Zednick, both of whom were sliced in the throat with a one-in-a-million hit by an ice skate blade.

 

Case in point #2:  In Lacrosse, there is also the one-in-a-million hit to the thorax with a high speed rubber ball that taps the victim in just the right place on his chest and stops his heart.  A quick web search yields numerous stories of these one-in-a-million hits to the chest of some unsuspecting kid who just wanted to play lacrosse.

Final analysis: Drones are still unsafe regardless of how desperately the manufacturers want to convince consumers to the contrary in order to boost sales.
Gary_EL
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Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
7/29/2015 | 1:45:14 PM
Re: Dropping from the sky...
Never mind neck slicing. How about when one of the absurd package delivery drones being considered goes out of control and smashes into a car? The operator loses control in turn, and smashes into a group of pedestrians.
Whoopty
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50%
Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
7/29/2015 | 7:18:52 AM
Dropping from the sky...
Although there is some concern, as you point out, that the larger drones could do damage when dropping from the sky, perhaps some measure of safety device could be put in place to prevent it? An airbag system perhaps that inflates a cushion should the drone suddenly drop at speed? Or a parachute maybe? 

That said, drones are very stable unless you go to the very cheap end of the spectrum. I can't imagine many of the big autonomous ones just dropping for no reason. 


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