Not so long ago when someone mentioned the word ‘drone’ my thoughts immediately went to the unmotivated group at work known as the ‘9 to 5 til I’m 65’ crowd. Later I associated it with unmanned military aircraft used for aerial reconnaissance or airstrikes. In today’s parlance it’s thought of as a potential delivery system for Amazon or DHL/FedEx/UPS or as a recreational toy. Such is the technology paradigm, when something is initially introduced it is new, novel, in high demand, available in limited quantities, and frightfully expensive. As time passes and manufacturing methods become more efficient, availability increases and the price drops. The drone is no different- nowadays you can go online and purchase one for a few hundred dollars with features such a digital cameras for photos or short movies. Some can actually be controlled directly from your smartphone! Here is where my dilemma lies. Being a tech geek I love tinkering and understanding how gadgets work.
When I saw the crowdfunding project for the Zano drone I jumped right in with no hesitation. But with any new technology there can be pluses and minuses. The pluses are obvious- on the broader scale a technology to help police, rescue workers, farming/agriculture, and industrial corporations. On the individual scale, a shiny new object to distract us from the daily monotony, cool technology to understand and master, and most importantly hours of mindless entertainment! The minuses could include privacy issues if a drone were to hover over your backyard swimming pool during a summertime soiree’ or peering through a window in your home. Additionally, there are aviation issues (being my wife’s co-pilot I can assure you they are impossible to see) as a propeller strike could easily down a plane. Before getting a drone please familiarize yourself with the aviation requirements for your particular country.
If you have any noteworthy drone experience please feel free to add them in the comments.