Occupy Wall Street Gets A Surveillance Drone: The OccuCopter

By Robert Johnson

Tim Pool’s tireless coverage of Occupy Wall Street was frustrated only by police barricades limiting press access. But no more.

The Guardian reports that Pool has purchased a Parrot AR drone he’s calling the OccuCopter, that he will use to cover the Occupy protests and police action against them.

A normal Parrot AR runs about three-hundred bucks, has an onboard camera and operates via iPhoneiPad, or Android, but Pool modified the Parrot’s software to broadcast straight to the Internet

To keep the drone up in the air with police attempting to shut it down, Pool “police-proofed” the device.

“We are trying to get a stable live feed so you can have 50 people controlling it in series. If the cops see you controlling it from a computer they can shut you down, but then control could automatically switch to someone else,” Pool told The Guardian.

His next step is to install a 3G controller so the Parrot can be operated from anywhere in the world.

From The Guardian:

We asked him if he was concerned about police shooting it down. “No,” he said firmly. “They can’t just fire a weapon in the air because it could seriously hurt someone. They would have no excuse because the occucopter is strictly not illegal. Their only recourse would be to make it illegal, but it is only a toy and so they might as well make the press illegal – they have already arrested 30 journalists here.”