Category: NTNM Turned-In Assignments

Groh: Field Test

For my field test I created a chat bot that explains drone law. The goal of this messenger bot is to break down the basics of drone law so that novice flyers won’t get in trouble when they fly their drone.

Drone law is very complicated. There are many rules that most people don’t know exist. Some of these laws are counterintuitive to what most people think the purpose of flying drones is for. The FAA stresses safety as one of its major concerns, which is why people aren’t allowed to fly directly over other, flying at night is prohibited, there is a maximum flight altitude and pilots must keep their drone in their own line of sight. There aren’t places that thoroughly and simply outline these rules, so DroneBot attempts to clear any confusion and prepare pilots to fly safely and legally fly while still having fun.


I used to create the chatbot. This website has an easy to use interface. All I have to do is input keywords and its subsequent response.

As far as my experience goes, Chatfuel does not have a limit on the number of answers you can input.

The program also allows you to insert ‘blocks’. These are links that users can interact with. I decided to include a slideshow of five different drones with their price and websites so users can learn more about the specific drone.

I also included blocks that were designed to give the user an idea of what questions to ask. I included three tip boxes that pointed the user in different directions. This also served as a good tool if the user asked a question the bot couldn’t answer because the bot provided questions they could ask that would guarantee a response.


In total, I had nearly 80 responses prepared to answer any question a user might ask. Each answer is triggered by at a least a couple of different key words or phrases.


I sent links to friends, family and professionals to test out the bot. I got a lot of feedback from friends and families but very little feedback from professionals.

There were 12 different users who chatted with DroneBot. An interaction is qualified as a question a user asked or any time a user clicks on a block.

Interactions Obscenities/Non Sequiturs Adjusted for Obscenities/Non Sequiturs
User 1 9 0 9
User 2 40 17 23
User 3 10 0 10
User 4 11 7 4
User 5 20 7 13
User 6 8 0 8
User 7 4 0 4
User 8 15 0 15
User 9 12 0 12
User 10 16 3 13
User 11 28 12 16
User 12 10 0 10
Average 15 4



The questions users asked varied. There wasn’t a common thread between questions.



I think the number one reason for the lack of engagement with the chat bot was because the topic is too niched. Drone law, as stated in the beginning, is new and unknown to most. Initially, I thought that people would ask a lot of questions because they didn’t know anything about the topic. I learned that people didn’t asked questions because they didn’t know about the topic. Users can’t ask questions when they don’t know where to start. A common response I heard was “I wasn’t sure what else to ask.”

Another reason for the small amount of interactions is because users would be deterred from asking questions if they received the message that the bot didn’t understand the question. Users may have thought that they exhausted all the questions they could ask. Another reason may be that they didn’t know what else to ask. This is directly related to the first reason I gave. If people don’t know what questions to ask in the first place, and a couple of their questions didn’t get responses, they may have been discouraged to continue.

I also noticed that it was common for people to test what kind of response the bot would give to obscenities or non-sequiturs. While not everyone went down that route, those who did generally asked a lot of those questions.

One of the toughest problems I encountered was developing the syntax for what the program recognized to give a response. I realized that everyone asks the same question in slightly different ways. Users would ask “where is the best place to fly” and “where can I fly” but only the question with the most similar keywords would get a response. Another example of this concerns when people should fly: “when can I fly”, “what’s the best time to fly”, “when should I fly”. This was the case for many questions. To account for this, I attempted to come up with every variation of a sentence I could think of. However, as is typical with these sorts of things, there is always a way to ask a question that I didn’t anticipate. As this happened, I would update the bot as it was stumped. This quickly became the most common maintenance I would do.

Since I knew people would get run out of questions, I tried to prompt users with questions or direct them down certain avenues. This quickly failed. I learned that people didn’t follow my direction. Either they had their own agenda of questions in mind or they didn’t read the entire response. Most users failed to ask the follow up questions I provided. However, I did have some success doing this. Some users did read the entire response and followed the DroneBot’s directions. Users who did this asked on average four to six more questions. 


Chat bots take a lot of trial and error. Since there are so many ways to ask the same thing, there is a lot of room for miscommunication. A chat bot is only successful if it can answer any question or guide its users in a certain direction. Lots of data is necessary to do this and that data comes from field tests like this one.

Also, messenger bots that deal with niche subjects aren’t ideal. People don’t know what to ask or how to interact with it. The result is little user engagement.

With all this being said, I believe my bot was successful. I conducted a field test, acquired data and adjusted my bot’s answers as users asked new questions. With over 80 responses prepared, users who thoroughly engage with DroneBot will come away with enough of an understanding of drone law to avoid most legal issues when flying.

Groh: Future of Media

James Groh


Present Day
“When they told me I was going to be the first to try it, I was excited. All I could think about is how much more dynamic my story telling would become. A first person point of view.”

“It’s not your fault. You had no idea what would happen. I mean maybe you could have gotten the idea from how people reacted to the glasses but that’s a totally different story.”

“I just don’t know what to do. No one will hire me. I can’t go out in the public. You’re all that I have.”

Flash Back 1 year. Commercial on T.V.
“You’ve heard of Google glass and the Snapchat glasses, but you have never seen anything like this. Capture all the world’s glory, every moment in high definition. Sign up to be apart of something bigger than yourself. Change the way you and everyone else sees the world. Call now to sign up for the trial version of the next big thing. There are a limited amount of spots. Call now! (111) 867-5309.”
Fast-forward three months.
“Congratulations. You can leave those in for a couple of weeks and then after you can come back to us and we will take them out and give you a new pair. Sound good?”

“Yeah thanks doc. I really can’t wait to tell my boss. The way I photog is going to blow his mind.”

“Your boss will love it. You will be able to capture video that no one else will be able to.”

Ben rushed to his work. It was three months of trial and error but the product was finally ready to be used in a real world setting. His contacts were fully functional, didn’t hurt, and seamlessly connected to his computer.

He rushed into his boss’ office.

“Mark! Mark! Boy do I have something to show you. I have a way that is going to change the very face of the news,” Ben exclaimed.

“Yes? I’m listening,” his boss said.

“You don’t need a camera to shoot the news anymore. You don’t even need those ugly glasses. I’ve got these contacts that act as a video camera. All I have to do is close my eyes for three seconds. Then, when I open them they will be recording. No red light. No beeping. No bulky equipment. I am the camera now. I can give people the first person view of everything.”

Ben was incredibly excited about this new technology. He had just graduated from the Groh School of Communications. He had read about the impact that the video camera had on news and then drones and 360-footage. This time, he wanted to be one of the pioneers of a new way to tell stories. He wanted to become the expert.

“See the best part is that I can connect it to your computer or control board to broadcast live.”

Ben opened up his computer and showed the live recording of his conversation with his boss. The boss was impressed and immediately gave Ben an assignment to cover.

“There’s a protest going on right now downtown. I need you to go down and cover it. Do you think you can do that?”

Ben jumped at the opportunity. He was already half way out the door when he answered.

“Yes I can do that. I’m half way there already.”

Once Ben got there, he quickly assimilated into the crowd and began to record. The footage was incredible. He got impossible to get close ups. He was capturing angles never before possible. He went back and his boss was incredibly pleased with his footage. This got Ben promoted to lead photographer.

He continued to do this for a few weeks.

“Ben, great job so far. These past few weeks, ratings have skyrocketed. There has been a shooting downtown. Police aren’t allowing media very close but bystanders are everywhere. I need you to go down and get footage of the body and anything else you can get.”

Ben was slightly concerned with this idea, but he had only been working at the station for two months and didn’t want to give anyone a reason to fire him. Ben went down to the crime scene and got the footage of the body.

The next day, Ben was on assignment at another march. However, this time when he was recording he witnessed two marchers from the anti-smoking group beating smoking cigarettes during the pre-march instructions, something that was closed off to media. The video aired on the news and the marchers were in an uproar. Not only did they receive incredibly bad publicity, it made them question how someone could have gotten such an intimate view of their preparations.

A few assignments later, Ben was assigned to go to court to cover a trial. Ben knew that there were many laws about having cameras in courthouses, but his boss told him to upload it to social media under a fake account. The station would use what was believed to be a random social media post as its video to avoid getting in trouble. This all happened flawlessly. Ben got the footage; the news station didn’t get in trouble. The courthouse noticed though and issued a statement that the culprit of the hidden video would be punished to the fullest extent.

Ben did this a few more times. He covered court cases and murders more and more. The station continued to use the fake social media posts as their footage. It worked well until a cop who had been on call for a few of the homicides was in court for one of those homicides. He recognized Ben. The cop also had a niece who had been apart of a failed test for video camera contacts. The officer confronted Ben. After a while of talking, Ben was itching his eye and a contact fell out. The cop noticed it looked differently from regular contacts. He asked Ben where he had gotten them, and Ben slipped.

“I got them from Occulot- I mean from my eye doctor,” Ben was flustered. He knew he just gave away very important information.

The office replied. “You got these contacts from Occulotum? You know, I had a niece who volunteered to be apart of a test for them. About video recording contacts. These wouldn’t happen to be the same ones would they?”

Ben knew he was caught. He stammered. He fumbled over his words, but he couldn’t speak an intelligible sentence.

The cop with a grin on his face said, “I thought so. You are under arrest for illegal videography.”

“Wait, you can’t do that. You haven’t proven that yet.”

The cop replied, “You have already told me more than I need to know.”

Ben went to court and lost his case. He was charged with illegal use of video cameras in a prohibited space and invasion of privacy. Since Ben was a member of the media the case got a lot of attention. His company fired him, and he found it hard to find work again.

Present day
“Mom, I just don’t know what to do. I spent all my life trying to become a journalist and now no one will hire me. My reputation is ruined. My face is all over the news. I didn’t ask for this.”

“But neither did those people you filmed. They were all blindsided too. You broke the law. And sometimes, just because it’s a new toy or gadget doesn’t mean it’s a good one.”

Groh Assignment 5

One way to use the an arduino system would be to give sonar capabilities to blind people. Using the Lidar Lite, you could give blind people glasses that emit a sound near their ear that indicates the proximity of people. The sound becomes more frequent as objects become closer. The glasses would have a 10 foot radius. The glasses need to be able to see relatively far away but not too far away to confuse the user into thinking there are objects in their immediate vicinity when that is not the case.

You could also add an imagery sensor to the bottom of the normal white cane that blind people use. The specific arduino for this is called the Altitude Pressure Sensor Breakout. This would indicate changes in altitude so a person knows when they are about to walk off a curb or about to encounter stairs or some sort of incline.

Assignment 4: Jenkins

As a Photography Major, drones are already impacting my future career in both journalism and entertainment medium. Chase Guttman, a current Newhouse student, already published a book on drone photography. In the field of new media, drones have the ability to be used to create photogrammetrical models that can be used in virtual and augmented reality, much like the project I worked on with Ben Kreimer last year. I think, in America at least, drones still have a long way to go with consideration to the FAA and the policies that they have been putting in place. Specifically that hobby drone flyers have less regulations than commercial flyers, which seems even more dangerous.

Minkewicz – Assignment 4

All about Drones

                Drones will be have a significant role to play for journalists in the future, if they aren’t already. Even during my internship at Spectrum News this Spring I would often here the journalists asking if they’re going to be drone certified anytime soon.

                Drones offer visuals for stories that are almost impossible to capture with a camera that does not move in the air. Anything that can be seen through an aerial perspective can usually enhance a story and allow you to see it in a different way. Just like that, story showed in class about how the drought is affecting the water. That reporter could have showed pictures taken at ground level, or perhaps some type of graphic to make his point. Instead, he used a drone to capture video from that aerial perspective and it was much more captivating.

                That being said, I had no idea how much regulations are in place for people to use drones. I can see it being a problem in the future where a news organization or journalist forgets to complete all those check points from the FAA and find themselves fined. It could be so easy to forget to register your aircraft with the FA, or even forget to renew it after it expires in 3 years. Having to pay a $10,000 fine because of forgetting to do something that I’m sure would take no more than 10 minutes seems silly. However, I’m sure a lot of news organizations might forget to do that.

I really believe this is only the beginning for this technology in the journalism field. I’m looking forward to seeing what other possibilities will come from it.

NMNT Assignment 4: Yi Zhang

Drones have already been used widely in the photography industry. There are already lots of photographers out there using drones shooting documentary or commercial work like architecture and wedding. But most drones are used for videos. For still photography, drones are only used for aerial photography. I think  the camera on drones, drone’s ability to carry camera, and our control on drones will be enhanced in  the near future. So, we can take high quality still photos without ourselves actually being there. For example, if you are going to document an event happening in another city. Yon don’t need to travel to that city. Instead, you can lay on your coach instructing the drones to shoot just as you are at the scene. If you are a commercial photographer and get a corporate job to shoot a factory, you also can stay at your home and send a drone to take the photos.

Assignment 4- Edwards

Drones are already woven into the TV news industry. My understanding is that drones are utilized more at the network/ national level. In the future, however, I imagine there will be much more activity in local news. I can also imagine that being drone pilot certified may start popping up in the ‘preferred qualifications’ section on MMJ and videographer job postings. After our session with Thom McLean, however, it does worry me that local news stations may push harder to use them in live breaking news coverage in the future. Thom was very clear about the dangers that come with flying a drone, and I worry about the pressure reporters will potentially have to use them on as many stories possible. I guess we will have to wait and see what happens!

Jakubowski-Assignment #4

Witnessing the drone flight last week was something that marveled me, and also got me thinking of some questions i have. One involves the future of the drones propellers. I feel like this part of drones may be obsolete in the coming years. I could envision a scenario where commercial drones are held up in the air by miniature jet engines or some other type of wing instrument, something that is safer and more efficient than propellers.

Another thought i had was that i feel like drones will be more used with “dirty” and unsafe jobs, almost in the sense of how factories have replaced manual labor with robots to increase productivity and efficiency. It would not surprise me to see Drones doing everything from putting out fire or disposing of garbage. Drones are already used for one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, military purposes.

The next step might be how drones could act at commercial airlines and eliminate human error when it comes to flying airplanes. Now, human error in accordance with airplane operation is already very limited, but drones could increase speeds and choose better flight paths. Commercial drone airlines might sound like fiction, but it could be well on its way in the next two decades.

Assignment 4 – DeLuccia

Drones are way more intense than I thought after seeing yesterday’s demonstration, but I know that they’re such an important part of my industry right now! As a film and TV production manager, drones are actually super important in my line of work. They can replace the immense expenses of a crane for certain shots, or even helicopter sequences to get an overlay of a city or landscape. Even though drones are expensive and so are the operators, it costs at least $20,000 less than a crane would – saving studio executives and producers like myself a LOT of money. This leaves more room for VFX, shooting time, and maybe even bigger key stars. The downside to this would be that audio issues may occur because of the sound of the drone, if it’s close enough to the actors and if the scene has dialogue. There’s always ADR (recording the actors’ voices later, in postproduction, to match their mouths) but we try to avoid that as much as possible.

Even in corporate work, filming with drones is almost essential now to get shots that you wouldn’t have been able to get in the first place. It boosts your resume and gets you hired on the next job, although it might pigeonhole you a bit.

Groh: assignment 4

Drones may have a very large impact in my future. Since I want to be a reporter, I am always thinking about new ways to shoot film and how to create an interesting standup. If I am able to go to a location and use a drone to get ariel footage of something I wouldn’t normally be able to get to, it will increase my stature as a reporter. It will make me a go to person for information since I am able to get photos of things others people can’t. It will also make all my footage more dynamic. I will be able to follow rescue crews as they walk into a disaster site. What’s really exciting is that it will make me even more powerful as a one-man-band reporter. To do certain standups reporters need a cameraman. However, with a drone, I am my own camera man, and I can have it follow me where ever I go. So, I can increase the creativity of my shots.