Cheap hobby drones are dropping bombs in Ukraine. He builds them.
I am creator of drone lab. I make drones for victory. Nice, nice hi, my name is valerius. I am pr manager at the dronano drone labs. My main job is to search for resources and get into ukraine. I want to start this interview by getting something out of the way a lot of times on my channel. I try to stay away from like political issues and say: look lets set aside. Our political differences and focus on fpv and sort of come together, and i just want to be very clear that i am taking a side on this issue. I support ukraine. I support the people of ukraine. I think that the invasion is a travesty. In so many ways and uh, you know im happy to. I hope you guys kick ass and win yeah so with that out of the way lets talk a little bit about what youre doing and and why. You know why youre here on an fpv channel talking about uh fighting a war right now, the world i changed war. I changed everything fpv make a great revolution in our world. Nowadays, fpv also changed the world. Why? If pv is the other question, when you fly on f3v, you can correctly look in the enemy and more better shooting the target fpv its not only analog fpv, its concept of controlled drone, for example, i pilot for which were building huge drones, which can drop about 20 kilograms use fpv goggles only because its easy to control, i think a lot of people uh when you talk about uh using a drone to fight a war theyre going to think of large drones, like i like, the one that comes to my mind, is predator From the iraq war, which im sure there are newer and better ones nowadays, but im not up on them um, i think a lot of people are going to be surprised that hobby drones, both fpv drones and sort of autonomous platforms, are useful and effective um.
Can you talk about like why are they effective compared to like big military drones that people probably think of first about small drones answer is very simple because its very cheap, very cheap? When youre talking about the national concept of huge fpv company, a huge company which made detecting drone, look, for example, at uh, usa and not cost about eight thousand dollars. When we are talking about fpv drone, it costs about hundred dollars with long range fpv system which easily can fly about eight kilometers, yes analog. Yes, you can look uh and you can see the video of enemy when we use analog because its not encrypted but its in different tasks. Uh we use different drones. Imagine josh you, as fpv pilot, come to um fight for your country s. I cant shoot very well right, so you go like a like pilot, so many many uh barrier on the front. I also hobbies fpv pilot, so at the first stage of active part of the war, uh many guys create drones in backyards and make something which can research for very cheap and very easy to build uh concept. Well, i think theres two angles here, though, and one of the angles is that when your country is at war, your country and specifically when your country is invaded, you i, like you say well im not maybe i cant run and maybe im 47 years old and Im out of shape so im not going to be in infantry kicking doors.
What can i do and whatever youre good at you try to find a way to use that and fpv pilots? I i talk to a lot of them, who are saying: yeah were doing whatever we can do, but theres more than that, because i also get messages from people who say please. We need more of these cheap drones because theyre so effective, so its not just that pilots are doing what they can its that they actively want. This is a apparently a good alternative to other ways of of accomplishing uh. These ends so, as i said, youre correctly right and we make drones for different target tasks, not a its story, not about cheap drones. We make huge drones, as you can see, on the video uh. We make huge drones with um, high quality ammunition, uh long range, digital pv system and so on, which can easy to which can which not easy to build. But as us, i is, can use google to learn something and knew how to build uh. This huge drone um many pilot understands its only aggro story, its drawn for spraying, the plants uh, which can you rebuild for dropping some presence to our enemy, yeah um – and i i i said before the interview started that i i think people are probably might have A lot of questions about like how youre doing what youre doing and what and so forth, and i dont want to go too deep into details that might compromise your ability to do what youre doing as as curious as people might be.
But youve talked about. I mean just to be clear: youre youre, building drones. That drop, you say presence. I think everybody knows what you mean by that youre building uh like large uh octocopter like like you, would see, carrying a camera but uh or an agricultural drone, but theyre flying out and theyre theyre dropping munitions. Are you also using smaller fpv drones? Yes, we have our serial drones. We built uh about 70 drones uh, we called banderick its small f3 drones, which ham has thermal camera, its very easy to build seven inch, fpv drones with one way: access gimbal on server uh, which are mounted uh with a sphero mounted on or to another camera, And a camera with different uh different types of camera, for example, run come run, come to with uh rancam hybrid, with satirica uh recording model and so on. Uh, which can its also easy to build and very useful because imagine fpv drone with thermal camera, which can uh use at the knight. When you say when you say thermal camera, do you, but you also said, run cam. You dont mean a thermal camera like a like a flare boson or something we use mobile phone thermal camera, which named sigma camera. I see we write our soft. We connected sig thermal to raspberry, raspberry, have analog and also digital output, which connected to fpv, switcher or board, which can control which can easy to switch between another camera and digital camera.
So youre, building larger drones that carry payloads and drop payloads, but youre. Also, using the smaller drones for kind of scouting and reconnaissance type type things yes, yeah correctly right. We cannot make the universal drone because, as i said before, different drones for different target tasks, small drone for looking researching a large drone for dropping some enemy at first youre flying youre. Looking the enemy on different kind of the drone and the last, the large drone assigned to target and dropped the present, as i said, and those drones are one of the reasons that youre here, because before we get too far into the interview, i got to say You guys have a paypal, you guys are. Obviously you need equipment and one of the reasons youre doing interviews is to raise awareness of what youre doing and to hopefully get donations. So there is a link to your paypal down in the video description, and if people do want to support, they can contribute. We definitely want to get that get that out of the way. If you want to help us, you can easily send parts to lady and he easily helped me to receive it to inky yeah. When you say parts, i think you, if i understand you correctly, even just spare parts, you know you have. You have a drone. You rip the flight controller out of and youre probably never going to use those motors ever again and maybe itll just sit in your closet forever.
You can use that stuff, even like kind of as long as it works kind of throw away stuff that other people might discard yes correctly right, because we have no way how to buy in china. For nowadays, we closed our sky are closed. Uh not planed. Are shipping out and only one way, something to rebuild something to something to build substitute and so on? Yeah so theres an address uh that people can send stuff to or they can contact, valerius uh and theres, a theres, a path for people to contribute material and, of course, money hopefully safely without putting you at risk. I want to ask you: i i think that a lot of people are going to be interested to learn. What was your life like before the war? What were you you know? You were an fbv hobbyist. You were a professional im, professional engineers uh, as i studied for creating drones before war. I work military company which are creating tactical drones. Also, i work for one company in great britain for creating drones in the past, creating drones in agriculture sphere. I knew which drones must be at warrior on the field. I knew how much looked the tactic complex uh, with drones, and also this information uh uh, going to me from our warrior, so you built actual, like quote: unquote: military drones. Yes, but you were also a drone hobbyist, yes, uh, also, im mentor, i study children to creating drones.
We have small lab in my university, where every student can come to me and created her own drone. Also, a new many pilots in ukrainian uh, latvia, germany and other european country which help us with parts and other stuff also about parts we make. As i said before, one more time, we make drones for different tasks. Uh, we need not only cash on the nade. We need parts, we need a long range system, different cameras and so on, for example, for kamikaze drone which also building for with we name it one way drone, so its very cheap easy to build. So i think a lot of people are going to hear the word kamikaze drone and maybe freak out a little bit uh to learn that youre doing that, like a black mirror episode, imagine uh! You can fly exactly right in a small window and defend the target correctly right. You can flew to the uh car which are riding uh on the field and also defend it with small uh, with small um weight. Talking about the package owned up under the drone. Yep with small weight, you can defend enemy more correctly, but its one problem about all of that story. With fpv drone, the high quality fpv pilot. You might understand how long fpv uh to learn how to find tv right. Yes, its very easy, but we have a different centers in kiev and other kind in other cities. When our soldiers teached in goggles how to fly in fpv, you must be embedded with the army youre, not just going out there.
Just saying. Oh, you know im out here with my drone lets blow some stuff up or or is that actually more like what its like its like? That guys with guns come to me, come to my lap and say maxime, we need drones. For example, we need drones, which can fly about eight kilometers with weight about five kilograms. Can you do it for us? I say yes, we can it costs about that we make about the time guys doing. Lets do and uh one more question. I i asked uh: can you fly in on fpv uh if they, if they asked as they can, i we created drones, so your your organization is, is building the drones and selling the drones to the presumably the army or or other defense forces you. You are not actually providing the pilots who fly the missions. Yes, because were engineers nowadays about four months. All my people, which worked with me, are volunteers. We are all volunteers, we have no money about our job and we make drones for free uh for us volunteers. For our guys, uh, which are fighting for us – and we are now have much time for studying, uh sure. Yes, so because its you might understand its very long story to how to teach his pilot. I i think, thats, i think, thats one thing that people say when they talk about the using consumer, drones or hobby drones in a war. One thing that people say is that you have to fly them in, like you, cant train, an fpv pilot.
It takes too long, and so a lot of – and we see this in the in the united states, military and im sure other militaries. They love the the dji, the skydio, the autonomous drones but youre talking about flying manual flying uh flying fpv drones uh. How come youre not doing more sort of autonomous, assisted flight modes? Cardio is the better. Is the bed drone? Oh no. All right also is the bad drone. I took why the future of the var changed on the field. You have no gps, because the russian uav system are blocking all gps glonass signals. So without gps we cannot talking about a genomic flight. Yes, we can use the high cost initial system, which cost about 10 000, but we can use it on a large uh plane or large. Drones are talking about birektar and so on, which can uh fly autonomic, but its not store its, not story uh. For me, uh the pilot uh, which are flying on uh parrot or dji, its, not a pilot yeah its kid, because uh eventually, even children in uh can fly on the drive so but thats not going to work because its a gps denied environment yeah. And so you have to have pilots who can fly manually is, i think, is what youre saying uh, as as i say why the pilot of global hulk teach about three years how to fly on that uh on teach about three years to fly on one.
Our mission in iraq, so its its its the story about that every must teach as my partition, how to shoot from a rifle. So as a pilot my station, how to fly on a drone, if you can, if you can fly manually manually on, if you can fly on every type of the drone of every type of uav apparatus, i think a lot of people are also going to be Surprised to see that youre using analog video, when obviously i mean dji fpv video – is much higher quality and great range. Yes, but you may understand how works dji with some kind of interference when russians use their weapons, which make some interference in in the air uh. Dji signals are lost when they use analog you, sometimes you not lose the signal at once. You have some white noise and you can change the echelon of altitude to make this interference round on digital system. As a as we say about dji, you cannot fly correctly about four or five kilometers. Uh were talking about drones, which can fly about eight kilometers. You may understand we, we use uh transmitter more than three watts Laughter youve got some youve got a really powerful video transmitter. You get to get your signal out there um. Yes, we heated the air smaller, but let me ask you this. So what were you doing? Uh, the day of the invasion, the very first day of the invasion. Can you tell me about that day? Just your life.
That day, oh, i opened my eyes and my wife at 4, 00 am said. Maxime our city are destroying we. I hear the bomb which are dropping of our head uh, my window are whispering and uh. We hear the noise of tactic bombers and tactic. Uh taking planes were fly on a high speed around our under our buildings. Uh. We hear the such disaster noise of syrian, which are making this noise in a woo which are signalizing of air defense. Uh system are working so first time its worse. It was at the time of some panic, maybe because we even know what to do, but on a few days we understand that we must do something. As you say, we must do something and i collect all my guys in chart. I start typing to my friend. Also, which uh fpv pilot and engineers uh uh and asking simple question: do you want to help our country lets create it lets make the drones i started to catching people around me. I find the place where a safety place where we can be at the first time as the first day of the war. I talking about days butcher days, as i said when the enemy are close to kiev, its very hard to build, because every day are the day of fight every day the windows are knocking and its very hard to make soldier job. You can solder it off its russian orcs. Let me solder my drone yeah, so i at the first day, with my guys, creating such lab with and very different people which are not only engineers, help us not about drones.
We make not only drones, we make the dropping system for every kind of drones from mavic for digital. I talking about dry products uh for our hotel uh, also its very simple uh uh system, which are built from arduino servo and lipo battery uh, which are used uh, the lighter of the drone. We, when you are turn on the light the servo are moving on and the dropping system are falling down. Uh i sent you the video. You can show your auditorium how it works and, and the first time of the war is very useful because uh we when we use the small uh uh granite, which named walk, walk advisory, uh the name of the granite uh its for defended, uh and defense. Uh. Only um people and like an enemy not for uh, not for other type of ammunition. Well, i think i think that some people are going to feel uncomfortable because they think of drones as as purely recreation and theyre uncomfortable when that intermingles with using them to fight a war. What do you say to that? For example, dropping system are not only for dropping bombs, uh our drones uh, some um medical guys who are dropping ammunition, are talking about medicine on the field, so drone and my dropping system saves the life, also drones. As i said before, not for dropping they are looking crystalline researching peoples which are in the different situation. Different uh, yes, drones are when we are talking about.
Drones were talking about huge barracktarts where defend the enemy, but there are small drones which help people to find other people which are lost and so on. Well, i would go im gon na thats, a fine answer, but i feel like uh one of the things that people do is they say uh. You know they try to focus away from the weaponization of the system and focus on the humanitarian, and i understand that impulse. But i i would say that if, if it is just to fight a war or to fight any fight, then it is just to use effective means to end the fight or fight the fight as effectively as possible. Im sure you would agree and so uh. Although i understand that people may be uncomfortable uh, the truth is that these are effective tools at accomplishing certain uh goals and uh. As long as you, unless you disagree with uh, unless you dont support ukraine in the war, then you should be okay with it and supportive of this, its not just about the ukraine, those people who are feeling not comfortable about the drones being used in the military. They are not at war, they have not seen bombs dropping in front of their houses. They havent seen the people shredded around with the artillery rounds. Thousands are people dying and people who just had a hobby now are saving lives, helping the country and kicking out the orcs from uh from the from their their ground, so dont.
Those people need to understand that they havent feel what what really war feels like uh. Yes, uh its a question also about ai uh. Remember your uh switchblade uh uh, not yours about your country, great project of switchblade. They use ai technology to uh the enemy uh. In my way, the pilot knocked on the gun. The pilot turned the button on so its the story: um not drawn make wars, people make war, our drone pilot, safe people, not drone defen defense pilot defense, so im talking about that drone, its only the staff, its only as some car, its not the weapon. The people as well are you talking about that and i agree with you valerius. It is a. It is a luxury and a privilege to think this should be purely recreational and its a privilege and that you know a person who says that is in a country that isnt actively being invaded. When you are in that situation, then you do what you have to do uh. I guess one question, so i, despite all the stuff thats going on, do you ever find time to just fly anymore any time for yourself or no not till the war is over uh we fly on the battlefield. There you go its a joke. We fly on polygons special place where, where we teach how to fly our soldiers nowadays, if you are not military, you cannot fly in not in not city in our country.
Oh, that makes that makes a lot of sense. You cant just like put up an fpv drone and just rip around a little bit. You got ta, get some attention: huh, uh, yeah and uh its easily shooted from our guys talking about national uh army and so on, yeah yeah, its a its its a risky time to uh. Do anything like that? I suppose so i wish you the best. I stay safe and uh. I i i dont have any hesitation in saying i hope ukraine wins this one and i hope you guys are contributing to that victory. Josh. I appreciate it to ask you uh, as i said before, our uh our recording. I really appreciate about what youre doing about your videos my achieve my study. My students also watched your videos. I appreciated about that.