If back in the day the drones were considered only amazing props in science – fiction movies, devices used by the military and high – scientific research accessories, in recent years these machines gained a lot of popularity because there are countless applications for them, starting with capturing aerial footage for movies or documentaries, to delivering fast Internet connections to even the most remote places on Earth. Not so long ago we have talked about the hacker drone, Snoopy, not to induce a mass state of paranoia related to the less…orthodox use of drones, but to thoroughly explain the potential positive uses of this innovative technology. Before entering the murky waters of spying drones and the general fear of having our privacy invaded by swarms of flying robots, let’s recap the recent history of commercial drones and their future in our bright skies.
One of the most interesting cases of drone use belongs to photographer Raphael Pirker, who used drones to capture footage of Lady Liberty from high above and film from an aerial point of view the campus of University of Virginia. His actions weren’t left unnoticed, as in 2011, Pirker was fined by the Federal Aviation Administration for operating a drone which was recklessly too close to people and buildings. Well, that was a premiere in the U.S. legal fighting grounds and Pirker’s fine was dismissed because the U.S. doesn’t have the necessary laws to regulate the use of commercial drones.
Nowadays, however, major tech giants are investing billions of dollars in drone technology. Back in 213 Amazon shook the world by announcing the future use of commercial drones to deliver goods to the online shoppers and the futuristic same – day delivery system known as Prime Air is currently under testing. But it wasn’t just Amazon who thought about the extended commercial drones use: Facebook and Google each bought solar powered drone manufacturing companies in their efforts to deliver fast Internet to remote areas and conflict zones. The commercial drones are the next best thing in a lot of industries (movie making, safe deliveries of goods and medication to disaster areas and war zones, wildlife documentation, monitoring and conservation, agriculture, etc.) and yet, the U.S. fell behind a lot in finding a regulatory legal system for the use of drones, in comparison with other countries, like Japan, Australia, Canada and the U.K., where authorities are constantly trying to support the development and use of drones from all points of view.
Are we scared of the Big Brother invading our privacy? Are we terrified by the perspective of the skies turning black under the swarms of flying drones dropping parcels and shooting movies? Just as Daniel Burrus, a tech futurologist and innovator says,
Whenever you have a new technology that could create a hazard or could hurt people, you need rules and regulations.
Until the tech people and the law people find a balance in the use of commercial drones and proper legislation regulates the use of such devices, we will be keeping our eyes on the news, as we are witnessing history being written. How can we be so sure? How does this title sound? Low cost airline is testing drone technology to help engineers inspect its 220-strong fleet of aircraft and check for faults…