I am a software engineer and hobby roboticist and I have just successfully built a quadcopter drone with a full-fledged microcontroller (running firmware that I wrote myself) inside of it, that flies around my backyard, identifies certain things that it finds and sends me reports of what it finds. I do not need to control it with any sort of remote at all.

What legal issues with the FAA and other aviation regulators might I face in trying to bring this to market as a consumer product? Never mind the electronics testing/certification/verification aspect (i.e. all the processes and hoops you have to jump through to have an official "UL" logo on your product). I'm wondering where modern US (likely FAA) drone law stands on completely autonomous, unmanned, non-remote-controlled quadcopter operations for commercial use -- not for delivering the mail like what Amazon is doing; this is just something that flies around on its own in your backyard or in a field, does simple object identification and knows how to steer clear of most obstacles.

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to aviation.SE! If you don't get a good response here you might also try asking on drones.SE. $\endgroup$ – Pondlife Dec 2 '20 at 19:41
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Well, if the recent NPRM is enacted into regulation, as it likely will be, your system will soon be illegal for sale in the US unless it has a "Remote Identification" system built into it. You need to research Remote ID. One possible starting point -- rcgroups.com/model-aircraft-and-drone-advocacy-943 $\endgroup$ – quiet flyer Dec 2 '20 at 19:56

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.