Byte Me Article 300 – Bunnings Sausage Via Drone

Don’t Get Into Trouble With Tech

Don’t let technology get you into trouble.  With all of the leaps forward in technology there are an increasing number of things that you should not do.  A few weeks ago some bright spark in Sunbury Vic, decided that it would be cool to send his drone to the local Bunnings to pick up a sausage instead of driving or walking there himself.

Yes a modern drone is a battery powered hybrid cross between a model helicopter and model plane which can be remote controlled.  They are large enough to carry a small video camera which can send its signal back to the operator as well as apparently being large enough to carry a sausage.

So this device was sent with $10 and a note asking for a bread wrapped sausage and it did return with the goods – as planned.  The pilot who happened to be sitting in an outdoor spa bath the whole time also captured the video from the drone and uploaded it to YouTube to show his mates how smart he was.

It since appears that people from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority were also amongst the interested YouTube viewers and they took a rather dim view of the entire exercise – and rightly so.  To get to its flavoursome destination and back the drone had to fly over a major highway, a housing estate and hover in a busy public car park at Bunnings while the request was fulfilled.

In the above instance there are a huge number of things that could have gone wrong which could have resulted in loss of life in the not too extreme.  These drones can run out of battery, they can crash due to high winds, mechanical malfunction or lack of range of the controller signal or in this case even lack of range of the attached video device.

An accident could have also easily occurred through simple pilot error as there are no training requirements whatsoever currently for drone owners.  CASA had to jump all over this one and the man in question is currently facing fines that total as much as $9000.

There are some very logical rules for the operation of drones which any owner should make themselves very conversant with.  In fact, with Internet ordering and also ordering direct from overseas consumers need to be careful with local, state and commonwealth laws that they are not committing a breach.

There are many goods that are available overseas which are not legal in Australia – such as certain types of knifes, fireworks, laser devices, swords etc.  Where previously a shopkeeper had to be confident about the goods he sold, now the onuses is on the end user to do their research before purchase.

The same applies simply to the downloading of music, movies or the downloading of cracked software.  If it is free it sceptical as to whether it is legal – so don’t get caught trying to avoid paying for these items which now normally incur a fee.

As for what you do with your drone – please cross the Bunnings sausage off the list of possible uses. 

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

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