Drones have been around since 1911, making their first American-known debut in the Gulf War in 1991, as a tool used by the U.S. military. A drone is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that can be piloted without a human aboard the aircraft.
Drones can be operated using a compilation of high-tech capabilities, such as GPS and satellite. These high-tech drones are often used by professionals. While other, more simple drones, can be operated via remote control, iPhone or other computerized piloting systems. Autonomous drones can operate entirely unmanned; they are given directions at takeoff, complete their task or delivery, and return when completed. Drones can record video, live-stream or snap photos.
How are drones used?
Drones can be used for a variety of purposes and to complete a variety of tasks. Drones can be operated for professional and hobby use. One well-known use of drones is done by the military. Drones can be flown over combat areas for surveying. An unmanned aerial vehicle means there is no pilot being put at-risk. This proves invaluable in saving lives.
Another example of drone-use lies within the online retail giant, Amazon. The retailer startled everyone and gained massive attention in 2013, when they announced they would start a delivery service that operated by drone, called “Prime Air”.
Professional and hobby-use often blurs, as the features of drones continue to improve. Photographers and travelers use drones to capture footage. Scenic, aerial footage can now easily be captured by the “average-Joe”. Drones can help hobbyists capture professional-quality footage that was only previously capable by a professional.
Drones can even be used in unexpected fields. An example of this is the use of a drone in agriculture: farmers can use drones to survey their acres of land and livestock, which would otherwise be very time-consuming. In the event of a natural disaster or harsh weather conditions, this can provide a safer way to check on the farm.
Why are they often considered controversial?
Drones are often considered controversial due to a lack of understanding. The public first heard of drones in terms of military-use. That isn’t the best way to introduce a highly-advanced, flying device that can video and track individuals. Most individuals do not understand the numerous applications for a drone.
Pros of Drones:
1. Useful. The implications for drones are near-endless. Drones can be used for security, by military and police forces, and in tons of other fields.
2. Affordable costs. The use of a drone eliminates the cost for manpower and fuel. The prices of drones have decreased over the past couple of years, as they become more available to the public.
3. Easy to operate and deploy. With many drones now operated by iPhone or similar device, drones can easily be deployed and operated. Drones are now easier to operate, as they have become more user-friendly.
4. Great for photography and videos. The increasing quality of drones, as well as their availability, makes a drone the perfect tool for hobbyists and professionals seeking quality footage and photos.
5. Fun to use. Drones have grown exponentially as a hobby. Forget flying a kite, try piloting a drone!
Cons of Drones:
1. Invasion of Privacy. This is the number one concern when it comes to drones. People debate that drones can be used to obtained unauthorized, private footage – essentially spying on someone. Trespassing is also a concern.
2. Accidents. An inexperienced, untrained individual is a potential for causing an accident. Drones have been flown into buildings, other flying aircraft and even flown into airspace.
3. Legal Issues. The FAA has put several regulations in place to control the use of drones. As of 2018, FAA regulations dictate commercial use of drones should be conducted during daylight or twilight. Regulations also dictate the area that drones can be used. Even with these established regulations, there is lots of gray space for trouble.
4. Potential misuse. Drones have the potential to be operated by the wrong individual. Drones can be operated by an individual with poor intentions, such as a criminal or terrorist.