German railway company to test anti-graffiti drones

By on May 28, 2013, 5:00 PM

German national railway company Deutsche Bahn has come up with an ambitious plan to try and curb graffiti artists – drones. No, these aren’t the same drones that drop missiles or bombs. Instead, these stealth flying machines would be equipped with infrared cameras designed to capture vandals in the process.

The drones in question are four-rotor, battery-powered helicopters that can fly for up to 80 minutes on a single charge. They can travel up to 25 miles on autopilot and can hit a top speed of about 34 mph. What's more, the drones can hover nearly 500 feet off the ground in near-silence.

Each would cost roughly 60,000 euros which seems like a substantial amount of money just to help deter some vandals but when you factor in the 14,000 incidents of graffiti reported in 2012 that cost 7.6 million euros to clean up, it could be a cost-effective option.

Deutsche Bahn will start testing the drones over the coming weeks, we’re told. The company hopes to be able to dispatch security personnel in real-time and use photographic evidence to help build a case against culprits in court.

This all sounds great from the outside but one must not forget that Germany has very strict privacy / anti-surveillance laws – so much so that Google elected to abandon Street View imagery in the country a few years back. As such, the use of camera-equipped drones is likely to cause a pretty big stink with authorities.




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1 person liked this | captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

This all sounds great from the outside but one must not forget that Germany has very strict privacy / anti-surveillance laws - so much so that Google elected to abandon Street View imagery in the country a few years back. As such, the use of camera-equipped drones is likely to cause a pretty big stink with authorities.
I really don't see how that's possible. After all, you're surveilling your own property, in an attempt to prevent people from trespassing or your property, in an effort to prevent people who have no right to be on your property from destroying your property.

Germany certainly has, "come a long way baby". Go back about seven decades and they'd simply stuff your a** in an oven, and slam the door.

TBH, I don't really see Where this "kinder, gentler, Germany", is any tangible improvement.

Guest said:

"The drones in question are four-rotor..."

The photo you used has a 6 rotor drone.

How about adding the words FILE PHOTO under your hastily embedded and incorrect photos?

psycros psycros said:

This all sounds great from the outside but one must not forget that Germany has very strict privacy / anti-surveillance laws ? so much so that Google elected to abandon Street View imagery in the country a few years back. As such, the use of camera-equipped drones is likely to cause a pretty big stink with authorities.
I really don't see how that's possible. After all, you're surveilling your own property, in an attempt to prevent people from trespassing or your property, in an effort to prevent people who have no right to be on your property from destroying your property.

Germany certainly has, "come a long way baby". Go back about seven decades and they'd simply stuff your a** in an oven, and slam the door.

TBH, I don't really see Where this "kinder, gentler, Germany", is any tangible improvement.

OK, you've went beyond the curmudgeonly old crank persona right into borderline douchebag. Time to back if down a notch, Cap. First off, we're talking about a *private company* here, not a government. Their watching their OWN property, albeit property that's used by a large percentage of the public. So long as their not attaching faces to real names and trying to sell people's travel habits to Google I don't see the problem. What's the difference between this and a security camera, other than the fact it can move around? A night watchman can do that too, but this is more effective. As for Google, they were peering into people's windows and hacking their wireless networks, crimes they STILL haven't paid for and are still getting away with in some countries.

Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

"The drones in question are four-rotor..."

The photo you used has a 6 rotor drone.

How about adding the words FILE PHOTO under your hastily embedded and incorrect photos?

It's been known to me that sometimes they will just find a seemingly random picture, that somewhat relates to the article, if they cannot find anything better. I kind of like this picture myself, but also find myself curious to know what the real German models look like. I'd also like to see the trains Graffiti.

On a second thought, how much damage does this really do? Paint on the side of a building never cause it to become a destabilized shelter, bah, for a lack of better wording...

veLa veLa said:

I actually am a pretty big fan of graffiti.

Guest said:

Trillionsin -- Great, so I'll be by tomorrow to paint that mural on the side of your house. Y'know, the one with the guy in the diaper deepthroating a donkey. What? How else will I express my feelings of inadequacy because my parents never loved me? I'll call this piece, "Daddy Drank."

2 people like this | Timonius Timonius said:

Great, if this passes there will be a new 'sport' on the German railways, drone-hunting

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

OK, you've went beyond the curmudgeonly old crank persona right into borderline douchebag. Time to back if down a notch, Cap. First off, we're talking about a *private company* here, not a government. Their watching their OWN property, albeit property that's used by a large percentage of the public. So long as their not attaching faces to real names and trying to sell people's travel habits to Google I don't see the problem. What's the difference between this and a security camera, other than the fact it can move around? A night watchman can do that too, but this is more effective. As for Google, they were peering into people's windows and hacking their wireless networks, crimes they STILL haven't paid for and are still getting away with in some countries.

If your reading interpretation skills weren't so drastically truncated, you'd understand I said exactly what you did.

As to how that attaches to "the idle speculation in the article about the German governments current concerns with privacy", my comment addressed itself to how I felt the government should treat trespassers, not a private corporation attempting to protect its own interests.

So, I suggest you read that again.

In the meantime, let me point out that you are NOT a moderator in this forum.

It also behooves me to point out that name calling is against forum policy.

I do it myself on occasion but I always stop short of "douche" or similar such pejorative vulgarity.

Any of the REAL moderators are aware they call pull any material of mine at their discretion, with no ill will on my part.

Now, why don't you take your own advice and ramp down your rhetoric?

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

For some reason I can imagine "HEIL" graffiti plastered at random locations. Must be ignorant xD

1 person liked this | Guest said:

I really don't see how that's possible. After all, you're surveilling your own property, in an attempt to prevent people from trespassing or your property, in an effort to prevent people who have no right to be on your property from destroying your property.

Germany certainly has, "come a long way baby". Go back about seven decades and they'd simply stuff your a** in an oven, and slam the door.

TBH, I don't really see Where this "kinder, gentler, Germany", is any tangible improvement.

Forgive me if I'm misunderstanding you; however, I am reading that you believe Germany has not really improved since they were practicing genocide and racial extermination policies. So the relatively peaceful and law abiding Germany today is not a "tangible improvement" over Hitler's Germany in your opinion? An extremely ignorant and racist comment on your part!

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

OK, you've went beyond the curmudgeonly old crank persona right into borderline douchebag. Time to back if down a notch, Cap. First off, we're talking about a *private company* here, not a government. Their watching their OWN property, albeit property that's used by a large percentage of the public. So long as their not attaching faces to real names and trying to sell people's travel habits to Google I don't see the problem. What's the difference between this and a security camera, other than the fact it can move around? A night watchman can do that too, but this is more effective. As for Google, they were peering into people's windows and hacking their wireless networks, crimes they STILL haven't paid for and are still getting away with in some countries.

If your reading interpretation skills weren't so drastically truncated, you'd understand I said exactly what you did.

As to how that attaches to "the idle speculation in the article about the German governments current concerns with privacy", my comment addressed itself to how I felt the government should treat trespassers, not a private corporation attempting to protect its own interests.

So, I suggest you read that again.

In the meantime, let me point out that you are NOT a moderator in this forum.

It also behooves me to point out that name calling is against forum policy.

I do it myself on occasion but I always stop short of "douche" or similar such pejorative vulgarity.

Any of the REAL moderators are aware they call pull any material of mine at their discretion, with no ill will on my part.

Now, why don't you take your own advice and ramp down your rhetoric?

Although I can't say for sure, I don't think Psycros mean't to sound derogatory.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Well if Germany relents it's privacy laws in this case I can see the writing on the wall for graffiti artists.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

I really don't see how that's possible. After all, you're surveilling your own property, in an attempt to prevent people from trespassing or your property, in an effort to prevent people who have no right to be on your property from destroying your property.

Germany certainly has, "come a long way baby". Go back about seven decades and they'd simply stuff your a** in an oven, and slam the door.

TBH, I don't really see Where this "kinder, gentler, Germany", is any tangible improvement.

Forgive me if I'm misunderstanding you; however, I am reading that you believe Germany has not really improved since they were practicing genocide and racial extermination policies. So the relatively peaceful and law abiding Germany today is not a "tangible improvement" over Hitler's Germany in your opinion? An extremely ignorant and racist comment on your part!

Let's just say that if a private entity were NOT allowed to protect its own interests and property using surveillance equipment against intruders and vandals, then Germany has "come too far", with respect to granting individual liberties.

Many count cases have been won by burglars in instances where a home owner has set booby traps which caused them physical harm.

So I believe, "civil rights", have progressed, "too far", when you no longer have the right to protect private and personal property.

Part of the original article was purely speculative on what actions the German Government would, might, or could take against the railroad for employing drones. So, you can take my response in whatever context you choose. Be it hyperboly, overt "racism", nostalgia, or speculation . That's why I post much of my material. to either entertain, or failing that, provoke "debate".

One of the best features of this forum's software is the alert system. It allows me to dispense with logging in to my Email account to review the responses to my prior activity.at Techspot.

So what have we here, "guest"? Judging by the "fan mail", it would seem my original statement gained quite a bit of traction overnight.

A friend of mine said over four decades ago, "we federally subsidize the feeding and breeding of an entire segment of the population we'd be better off without".

When I walk out my front door, and watch people with no saleable skills who were brought into the world, in many cases, for the government subsidies they wold provide to their, "parents", constantly (24/7) "serving" crack and heroine to people who collect and pay for it with Federal entitlements. It gives one pause to wonder if my friend was "ahead of his time, but yet behind the times", when he made that statement.

So guest, if you're from the USA, I'll give "your tax dollars at work" a shout out next time I walk out front to chase the junkies off my steps.

So, do you think these trespassers should be immune from surveillance? Because if you do, shoot me your address, and I'll scoot them over to your place, where they can buy, sell, and use dope, in a location secure from prying eyes.

It's been a pleasure talking to you. We should do this again real soon.

.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Let's just say that if a private entity were NOT allowed to protect its own interests and property using surveillance equipment against intruders and vandals, then Germany has "come too far", with respect to granting individual liberties.

Many count cases have been won by burglars in instances where a home owner has set booby traps which caused them physical harm.

So I believe, "civil rights", have progressed, "too far", when you no longer have the right to protect private and personal property.

Part of the original article was purely speculative on what actions the German Government would, might, or could take against the railroad for employing drones. So, you can take my response in whatever context you choose. Be it hyperboly, overt "racism", nostalgia, or speculation . That's why I post much of my material. to either entertain, or failing that, provoke "debate".

One of the best features of this forum's software is the alert system. It allows me to dispense with logging in to my Email account to review the responses to my prior activity.at Techspot.

So what have we here, "guest"? Judging by the "fan mail", it would seem my original statement gained quite a bit of traction overnight.

A friend of mine said over four decades ago, "we federally subsidize the feeding and breeding of an entire segment of the population we'd be better off without".

When I walk out my front door, and watch people with no saleable skills who were brought into the world, in many cases, for the government subsidies they wold provide to their, "parents", constantly (24/7) "serving" crack and heroine to people who collect and pay for it with Federal entitlements. It gives one pause to wonder if my friend was "ahead of his time, but yet behind the times", when he made that statement.

So guest, if you're from the USA, I'll give "your tax dollars at work" a shout out next time I walk out front to chase the junkies off my steps.

So, do you think these trespassers should be immune from surveillance? Because if you do, shoot me your address, and I'll scoot them over to your place, where they can buy, sell, and use dope, in a location secure from prying eyes.

It's been a pleasure talking to you. We should do this again real soon.

.

With age, wisdom but also cynicism.

Railman said:

Railways have been using helicopters for many years. It is a useful way of surveying the tracks for damage and keeping an eye on vandals etc. There are issues about using a drone such as privacy, safety and technical capacity. I wonder how safe is it to have a flying device operated by remote control. Would the surveillance equipment be as capable as that on board a helicopter?

treetops treetops said:

It's almost like an assault on free will, being good because the great eye in the sky tells you to, instead of making that decision for yourself. Well if there were drones flying around everywhere. I feel sorry for future kids who can't even jerk off in the bathroom without their parents mobile camera being aware of it.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

...[ ]...... I feel sorry for future kids who can't even jerk off in the bathroom without their parents mobile camera being aware of it.
If privacy statutes are applied and working correctly, they should be able to do so freely in the privacy of their homes, but not in public, or wherever else the mood or fancy may strike.

Although the recent policy reversals regarding gays, on the part of The Boy Scout National Council, gives one pause to wonder what, if any, effects that might have on the time honored tradition of the camping trip "circle jerk".....

Guest said:

Anyone else read the title as "German railway to test anti-gravity" for a split second? lol

1 person liked this | Jenne said:

Germany certainly has, "come a long way baby". Go back about seven decades and they'd simply stuff your a** in an oven, and slam the door.

TBH, I don't really see Where this "kinder, gentler, Germany", is any tangible improvement.

[link]

Look at that time line, captaincranky! The German warfare stops 1945 and you people never stop being at war. Count in all your killing of native Americans + slaves that makes makes us even, don't you think? "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone"

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Look at that time line, captaincranky! The German warfare stops 1945 and you people never stop being at war. Count in all your killing of native Americans + slaves that makes makes us even, don't you think? "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone"

Spare me! The German war effort was FORCED to stop in 1945 (*) by the Allied Forces. Germany LOST that war. Hitler committed suicide. If they had won, we'd all be singing a different anthem, and reading a different version of history.

If you want to talk about "the good old days", it was Germany who started WWI as well.

I know, the "official start off WWI", was when Archduke Francis Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo. Germany waited to start WWII, until they grew the cajones to ignore the non-armament provisions of the treaty they were forced to sign at the conclusion of WWI. The rest of the world still celebrates that blessed occasion as "Armistice Day": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armistice_Day Now run along, and do your history homework. Because that s*** you posted above barely makes a "D"...(n)

(*) Germany simply ran out of planes, tanks, submarines, and children to send into battle.

And then we fire bombed Dresden. A good time was had by one and all. At least from the allies point of view. Read Kurt Vonnegut's, "Slaughter House Five", and you'll learn more about it.

And BTW, "The Emancipation Proclamation", which abolished slavery, was signed in 1865.

Geronimo Surrendered to the US Army in 1886, which pretty much ended Indian warfare.

And you have the hubris to tell me I'm dragging up the past?

One more thing; modern Germany is part of NATO, and as such, has been required to participate in many military actions which have taken place in the latter part of the 20th & 21st centuries.

Now, why don't we have some WWII A/V fun? From the hip era, here's Al Stewart performing, "Roads to Moscow" live. The song chronicles Third Reich General Heinz Guderian getting his a** kicked trying to take Moscow in the Winter of 1941

1 person liked this | Jenne said:

Don't know where your anger is coming from but anyway.... I'm not just going to line up historical facts to prove you right or wrong. You simply can't weight one evil against another. Understanding the complexity of German history during the 3rd Reich you might want to read Hans Falladas' "Alone in Berlin" or just read the comments of the review over here -> [link]

Let go the past but never forget and learn from it... Nobody is responsible for the sh***t some sick people did decades ago. So the universe decided I should be born and raised in 20th centuries Germany. I didn't ask for that and I'm sick of people digging out the past! No western nation is free from blood (guilt).

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Don't know where your anger is coming from but anyway.... I'm not just going to line up historical facts to prove you right or wrong. You simply can't weight one evil against another. Understanding the complexity of German history during the 3rd Reich you might want to read Hans Falladas' "Alone in Berlin" or just read the comments of the review over here -> [link]

Let go the past but never forget and learn from it... Nobody is responsible for the sh***t some sick people did decades ago. So the universe decided I should be born and raised in 20th centuries Germany. I didn't ask for that and I'm sick of people digging out the past! No western nation is free from blood (guilt).

First of all everybody else thought I was romanticizing Fascism, which to a certain extent, I was. Where you came up with the idea I was condemning Germany, is frankly beyond me.

Second, we can argue the "facts" all you like, you simply don't have the ammunition to continue.

Third, and most importantly,. this whole thread is predicated on a poorly written, poorly contrived, poorly conceived, and speculative analogy, which in actually pivots on what should a -1 negative correlation between Google invading the privacy of German citizens at their homes, and a railroad protecting its own property by way of surveillance drones.

And what >>hypothetical< action the German Government could/ might >possibly< take against the railroad.

The two constructs are completely dissimilar and unrelated. In fact, and in actually, the issue didn't merit my first post, let alone this ongoing drone.

Now go watch the music video, follow the links I posted, do your homework, and brush your teeth before you go to bed.

William Shakespeare wrote a play called, "Much ado about nothing", which is what this is.

G.Duerr G.Duerr said:

If the German railway wants to deface their own cars, they have a perfect right to do so. They should arm their drones with staining paintball pellets. If they are busy defacing their own cars & some "Artist" is in the way, they have just been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

treetops treetops said:

I wonder if people would even bother to do graffiti if it was legal.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

I wonder if people would even bother to do graffiti if it was legal.
The massive unwarranted, unearned egos, and " I needs to be somebody / I needs to be known / I needs me a rep", traits exhibited by the lower classes, particularly the males, transcend conventional concepts such as "good and evil", or "right and wrong".

treetops treetops said:

The massive unwarranted, unearned egos, and " I needs to be somebody / I needs to be known / I needs me a rep", traits exhibited by the lower classes, particularly the males, transcend conventional concepts such as "good and evil", or "right and wrong".

I doubt its just the lower class that has that mentality, everyone grows up watching action movies and strives to be the star. Everyone wants to make their mark on this world and believe they are more then just shadows and dust.

Preps haze? idk I'm sure every culture has its graffiti equivalent of teenagers trying to spark. Makes you wonder how important those forgotten rituals into manhood actually are.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

I doubt its just the lower class that has that mentality, everyone grows up watching action movies and strives to be the star. Everyone wants to make their mark on this world and believe they are more then just shadows and dust.
Whether you choose to believe it or not, the importance of having something, becomes more important the less you have. So, if a name on a wall is all you have, it becomes your paramount possession / achievement. If all you have is a stolen shopping cart, with it resides the value of a new Caddy.

Preps haze? idk I'm sure every culture has its graffiti equivalent of teenagers trying to spark. Makes you wonder how important those forgotten rituals into manhood actually are.
Actually, gang initiations have felony crimes as hazing rituals. (or so TV would have us believe). But I do agree with you on this point, the ability of humans to be cruel to one another, transcends any limits of social strata, race, creed, or national origin.

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