Feeds

Boffins showcase do-it-yourself flying spy drone

Aerial surveillance on the cheap

SANS - Survey on application security programs

French engineering students have designed a do-it-yourself unmanned aerial vehicle that can provide high-resolution, geo-referenced surveillance images in real time.

At the Defcon hacking conference in Las Vegas earlier this month, Antoine Gademer and Corentin Chéron, two of the students from l'Ecole Supérieure d'Informatique Electronique Automatique in Paris, demonstrated a slimmed-down version of their low-cost spying quadrotor. To the amusement of many, the 27-inch UAV flew high above a parking lot adjacent to the Riviera Hotel as it used its bird's eye view to shoot video of unwary passersby below.

The vessel is controlled in real time by remote control and can rise more than 250 feet in the air. It weighs about 3.5 pounds and can carry a payload of about 2.2 pounds. Toting a digital camera that was modified to make it lighter and more responsive, the vehicle cost about €5,000 to build. That includes the quadrotor, batteries, the remote-control transmitter, camera, and a ground station to communicate with the UAV.

A video of what your reporter saw is below.

Back in Paris, the engineering team has a more advanced version of its improvised spy vehicle. It sports three cameras whose orientation can be remotely controlled to shoot 12 megapixel geo-referenced images. That allows people on the ground to see three points of view that can be blended into a mosaic image if desired. Video streaming beams the images back to the ground as they're being taken. In all, the students have spent about €17,000 on the project.

No doubt, aerial spy drones are nothing new. But as the demo shows, they're quickly coming within the reach of geeks and hackers everywhere. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
New FEMTO-MOON sighted BIRTHING from Saturn's RING
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
Melting permafrost switches to nasty, high-gear methane release
Result? 'Way more carbon being released into the atmosphere as methane'
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.