Community Building Benefits Drone Users

Around the country are several networks of drone user groups, forming communities of people sharing the same passion for drones, and most are members of the Drone User Group Network (DUGN), founded by Timothy Reuter. He started the DC Area Drone User Group to find people to teach him about flying drones. It wasn’t long, however, before Timothy and other members of the group began to think about the negative connotation the word “drone” was getting in the press, and the potential for the positive impact personal drones could have for society. So when Timothy created the Drone User Group Network (DUGN), encouraging other regional groups of drone users to join a larger network, the organization was founded on the principle that personal use of drone technology could (and should) be done for the benefit of humanity. Read more here:

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One of the many members of this big network is the New York City Drone User Group (NYCDUG), an organization for amateur and professional drone users that seeks to promote the responsible use of flying robots for community service, artistic, entrepreneurial, and recreational purposes. All experience levels are welcome.  According to its website, its members get together as a community to share tips, experiences, and of course to do some flying; work to educate themselves about how to build and use drones in a safe and respectful manner and to educate the public about the positive role aerial robotics can play in our society.

The president and organizer of the NYCDUG is Steve Cohen, a commercial photographer and filmmaker for many years, a STEM educator, who has become a drone enthusiast recognizing at first Unmanned Autonomous Vehicles (UAVs) as a means of camera conveyance, and later appreciating more and more  the positive uses of this useful and versatile technology, on land, air or sea.

Indeed, most of those who get into the hobby of making their own drones and/or flying drones do so not  for the thrills and challenges of aviation, but more for the photography. Many are fascinated with the awesome and unique shots taken by a camera-carrying drone, and see in this new technology a big market for drone photography services.

As an able leader of the NYCDUG, Cohen constantly reminds members to strictly observe official rulings set by the FAA with regards to piloting their drones. Learn the rules, know your gear, hire a pilot on your team, he says.

In his latest blog post, he writes: What I’ve witnessed as leader of NYCDUG is that creating and maintaining a community that shares successes and failures makes us all better at what we do with sUAS. It’s been said that the internet era has caused a lack of human connection for many, I must disagree. Without that broad reach we would not be able to pool so much experience and enable learning as we have.


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