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Watchman Uses Kite to Create Homemade Drone

06/13/2018 - 12h17

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HELBA DINIZ
RIBEIRÃO PRETO

Luciano Semeão, 43, is a watchman in Cajuru, a city in the countryside of São Paulo. His passion for photography and heights led him to use his creativity in order to overcome his financial limitations.

As part of a joke with friends four years ago, he set up his camera so it would automatically take a picture of them and threw it up in the air. He liked the result and thought to himself: why not take pictures from up above without a drone?

That's what led him to create his "homemade drone": a 1.2m by 1.1m kite with a GoPro (a compact 72 gram camera) attached to it and controlled using a sturdy cotton chord.

"At most, it can go 300 meters high depending on the wind and the airflow," Mr. Semeão said when describing his contraption. "[It is] unlike drones, and can't take off under certain weather conditions, because strong winds can hinder its flight".

Joel Silva/ Folhapress
Luciano Semeão created a "homemade drone"
Luciano Semeão created a "homemade drone"

Mr. Semeão takes pictures in open spaces: an attempt to minimize the risks of running into people or things. Fields, farms, waterfalls, mountains and beaches are all welcoming locations.

The watchman - whose kite is made out of umbrella fabric, bamboo rods and a styrofoam vegetable tray used to keep the camera stable - sews up the kite himself with a thread and needle as well as a sewing machine.

The rope Mr. Semeão resorts to is a kind used to sew leather. He also uses an app in order to save his images.

He even gave a workshop to children in which he showed them his homemade drone.

Translated by THOMAS MATHEWSON

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