College Student Receives $350,000 Government Drone in the Mail

College Student Receives $350,000 Government Drone in the Mail

NOAA Puma Aerial Drone 310x

Dang kids and their music and their aerial drones!

The National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration has a bone to pick with UPS.

Somehow, parts for one of the NOAA's Puma aerial drones ended up in the hands of a college kid. The drone was shipped in eight bozes from an NOAA command center in Tampa, FL, to the Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary in Massachusetts. One of the eight boxes, which contained wings and a control panel, ended up in the hands of an anonymous college student, who posted images of the box and its contents to Reddit and Imgur.

NOAA Spokesman David Miller told Motherboard that UPS is responsible for the delivery error.

The kid, who is still anonymous at this point, returned the package to UPS this morning. "It's been an interesting morning. I called the number that I was given yesterday, and spoke to a man who's title was Commander. I offered to bring the crate to the nearest UPS store, and he said that would be great. He must have contacted UPS, as I received a fair amount of calls and voicemails from them. I returned one, and was told I'd be meeting the UPS security head of the local branch, and he'd pick up the crate personally. I went to the store and handed it over."

Hopefully the feds don't go all Hackers or E.T. on this kid, since the drone hardware is seemingly on its way to its proper destination.

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Well, that's a clerical error if I've ever seen one. Guy sure has something to talk about for years to come.

Curious why he opened it. I get packages and mail every now and then that are suppose to go to the guy down the road. Last I checked opening mail that wasn't addressed to you was a crime (not saying he should be charged) so opening it wasn't a good idea.

synobal:
Curious why he opened it. I get packages and mail every now and then that are suppose to go to the guy down the road. Last I checked opening mail that wasn't addressed to you was a crime (not saying he should be charged) so opening it wasn't a good idea.

Entirely possible it wasn't labled at all.

He should of put it together and ebayed that bad boy. Then wait for the inevitable Black Hawk copter to land in his front yard.

Bindal:

synobal:
Curious why he opened it. I get packages and mail every now and then that are suppose to go to the guy down the road. Last I checked opening mail that wasn't addressed to you was a crime (not saying he should be charged) so opening it wasn't a good idea.

Entirely possible it wasn't labled at all.

It was, the imgur pictures shows it even had a card saying who to return it to inside the package.

"Haha, a box from the government. Let's open it on up and put pictures on le Reddit XD"

Yeah, not really a smart idea there. He should've never opened it and just returned it to UPS when he saw it was clearly addressed to someone else. Probably would've saved the NOAA a lot of trouble if he had.

He should have either taken a screw out or put an extra one in the box. Just to fuck with whoever has to assemble it. Maybe draw a little face on the front of it too.

CriticalMiss:
He should have either taken a screw out or put an extra one in the box. Just to fuck with whoever has to assemble it. Maybe draw a little face on the front of it too.

Ah yes the IKEA tactic. I like that idea xD

synobal:
Curious why he opened it. I get packages and mail every now and then that are suppose to go to the guy down the road. Last I checked opening mail that wasn't addressed to you was a crime (not saying he should be charged) so opening it wasn't a good idea.

He explained it a bit in the Reddit thread. The outer cardboard box actually was addressed to him and he was expecting a rather large item, weightbench, so he had no reason to suspect that it wasn't for him until he opened it.

synobal:
Curious why he opened it. I get packages and mail every now and then that are suppose to go to the guy down the road. Last I checked opening mail that wasn't addressed to you was a crime (not saying he should be charged) so opening it wasn't a good idea.

I don't care how long I'd go to jail, there's no way I get a box in the mail labelled "SUPER-AWESOME FLYING DRONE" and not take a peek inside.

OT:

The drone was shipped in eight bozes from an NOAA command center in Tampa, FL, to the Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary in Massachusetts.

Eight whole bozes, eh? I would have thought they could do it in 6 1/2.

Slycne:

synobal:
Curious why he opened it. I get packages and mail every now and then that are suppose to go to the guy down the road. Last I checked opening mail that wasn't addressed to you was a crime (not saying he should be charged) so opening it wasn't a good idea.

He explained it a bit in the Reddit thread. The outer cardboard box actually was addressed to him and he was expecting a rather large item, weightbench, so he had no reason to suspect that it wasn't for him until he opened it.

Wow talk about a screw up. Lets hope the government isn't as careless with shipping anything serious.

Devin Connors:
College Student Receives $350,000 Government Drone in the Mail

NOAA Puma Aerial Drone 310x

Dang kids and their music and their aerial drones!

The National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration has a bone to pick with UPS.

Somehow, parts for one of the NOAA's Puma aerial drones ended up in the hands of a college kid. The drone was shipped in eight bozes from an NOAA command center in Tampa, FL, to the Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary in Massachusetts. One of the eight boxes, which contained wings and a control panel, ended up in the hands of an anonymous college student, who posted images of the box and its contents to Reddit and Imgur.

NOAA Spokesman David Miller told Motherboard that UPS is responsible for the delivery error.

The kid, who is still anonymous at this point, returned the package to UPS this morning. "It's been an interesting morning. I called the number that I was given yesterday, and spoke to a man who's title was Commander. I offered to bring the crate to the nearest UPS store, and he said that would be great. He must have contacted UPS, as I received a fair amount of calls and voicemails from them. I returned one, and was told I'd be meeting the UPS security head of the local branch, and he'd pick up the crate personally. I went to the store and handed it over."

Hopefully the feds don't go all Hackers or E.T. on this kid, since the drone hardware is seemingly on its way to its proper destination.

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Slight spelling error there, should be "boxes" pretty sure not "bozes".

OT: Woah, that's a hell of a mixup. But man I'd have some fun with it before packing it back up and saying "This isn't mine".

Looks like one of those Monthly Book Club deals.

They always tempt you with that first free sample, but then... BAM! You're stuck with a monthly $350'000 subscription and an entire aerial drone you don't want, need, or know what to do with...

I should note - after checking the article - that this is a weather drone, not one of those military ones. There are no secrets here, it's just one of those regular third-of-a-million dollar drones that anyone can buy that just happens to belong to the government. In case anyone else feels slightly misled.

So it's not like the feds are shipping anything dangerous or top secret through UPS. At least I hope they aren't.

Kmadden2004:
Looks like one of those Monthly Book Club deals.

They always tempt you with that first free sample, but then... BAM! You're stuck with a monthly $350'000 subscription and an entire aerial drone you don't want, need, or know what to do with...

Christ I laughed so hard at this.

Kmadden2004:
Looks like one of those Monthly Book Club deals.

They always tempt you with that first free sample, but then... BAM! You're stuck with a monthly $350'000 subscription and an entire aerial drone you don't want, need, or know what to do with...

True. I got a predator drone control that way. But I don't have any drones nor any targets to shoot at!

Man and one time I had the neighbor kids Kool-Aid walkman accidentally sent to me I thought I lucked out.

I am glad the government follows the advice of making sure there is documentation for someone to contact you if your package gets sent to the wrong location. I just wonder now if someone at NOAA is wondering why they got a workbench in the mail?

I'm kinda surprised how 80's the controller looks. Kinda like a Wii-U pad whose scematics somehow traveled back in time...

Chaosritter:
I'm kinda surprised how 80's the controller looks. Kinda like a Wii-U pad whose scematics somehow traveled back in time...

That's just what I was thinking. In those Army commercials they show a soldier running a tracked bomb-disposal robot using a wired 360 controller.

Then again, consistent hardware between service branches has never been SOP. It's how they each justify their own inflated budgets: proprietary drone controllers.

Just saying, guys and gals of the US Government. If you send me a tank? I do not want to return it. Tanks are awesome and I would rather go through the lengthy and dilligent process of learning how to operate one responsibly than be without one, should it come my way.

MinionJoe:

That's just what I was thinking. In those Army commercials they show a soldier running a tracked bomb-disposal robot using a wired 360 controller.

to be fair the Puma is a hand launched drone for use on the field, do would want a very simple but rugged controller than won't get damaged if its dropped. Most of the drone you see on the telly are operated from a command centre so it makes sense to make a more fragile but also more accurate controller.

Is it bad I would have thrown it in the dumpster?
Or at least made UPS come to me to pick it up.

Oops. Still, that must have been entertaining...and terrifying. I don't think I would have taken pictures of it and posted it. I would have closed the box back up right away and refused to touch it. I'd be too scared of the consequences.

Slycne:

synobal:
Curious why he opened it. I get packages and mail every now and then that are suppose to go to the guy down the road. Last I checked opening mail that wasn't addressed to you was a crime (not saying he should be charged) so opening it wasn't a good idea.

He explained it a bit in the Reddit thread. The outer cardboard box actually was addressed to him and he was expecting a rather large item, weightbench, so he had no reason to suspect that it wasn't for him until he opened it.

Just imagine, the government receiving seven eighths of a drone, and a weight bench. If I had to assemble that bad boy I'd be confused.

That guy deserves some kind of reward, not only did he return it but he went out of his way to ensure it went to the correct person. I tip my hat to you good sir.

My first thought was "$350,000 is an awful lot for what's essentially a smartphone controlled RC plane. Pretty sure there's plenty of hobby RC builders who could do you just as well for a tiny fraction of that".

But who am I kidding. It's manufactured under government contract, which means it's gonna be at least 102 more expensive then the exact same thing under any other circumstances.

I would be so tempted to hold it for ransom. If it was one of those drones that kill people over in the middle east I would have totally given it to...whatever group is really against that here in the states.

That kid needs a reward, pay off his college loans/tuition for him!

Does nobody care that this somehow happened in Florida?

Veylon:
So it's not like the feds are shipping anything dangerous or top secret through UPS. At least I hope they aren't.

Presumably they use drones to ship the dangerous stuff. Or at least they would if they knew where their drones were...

Brennan:
My first thought was "$350,000 is an awful lot for what's essentially a smartphone controlled RC plane. Pretty sure there's plenty of hobby RC builders who could do you just as well for a tiny fraction of that".

But who am I kidding. It's manufactured under government contract, which means it's gonna be at least 102 more expensive then the exact same thing under any other circumstances.

There is a massive price difference between 'standard', 'industrial' and 'military' grades of hardware.

I use industrial grade hardware in my systems, as they run 24/7 in >50C temps with lots of dust and vibration.
The micro PC board costs over US$1,500 for something equivalent to a US$30 Raspberry Pi (a Raspberry Pi would only last a few hours in the conditions my systems run in).

The military version of the same micro PC costs over US$15k but has no moving parts (fan), etc.

Z of the Na'vi:
"Haha, a box from the government. Let's open it on up and put pictures on le Reddit XD"

Yeah, not really a smart idea there. He should've never opened it and just returned it to UPS when he saw it was clearly addressed to someone else. Probably would've saved the NOAA a lot of trouble if he had.

No this was by far the smartest choice. Now if this kid suddenly goes missing a lot of questions will be asked. It's like in the movies, when you are supposed to deliver the photos to the person your blackmailing you never tell them your the only one who knows. That will just get you whacked. By letting everyone know he has the insurance that him fading off into the void after receiving government hardware won't go unnoticed.

 

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