Posting in Technology
A small, pilotless drone can be built for a few hundred dollars and controlled through an iPhone.
They're here. And it was inevitable. Smaller, commercialized versions of the pilotless drones that US forces and agencies deploy over world hot spots can now be purchased and used by used by consumers for $300 and up.
Is this a good thing?
Sure, there are a lot of positives. Deliveries is one potential use of private drones. Equipped with cameras, they may help engineers scope sites, police fight crime, or firefighters save lives. Maybe they could be instrumental in keeping an eye on children or locating those that are lost, or finding lost hikers in the wilderness.
But Mike Kolier, for one, is worried about implications we may have not even fully considered yet. Celebrities are the first mark, likely by paparazzi drones, but there may be all kinds of issues for the rest of us, privacy and otherwise. "The idea of citizens having their own ‘personal drone’ to ‘keep an eye on things’ is to me a sure sign that the apocalypse is nearly here," he writes.
The Wall Street Journal's Siobhan Gorman reports commercial or personal drones will soon be flooding the market. "Several efforts to develop personal drones are scheduled for completion in the next year." Gorman observes that "an unmanned aircraft that can fly a predetermined route costs a few hundred bucks to build and can be operated by iPhone."
Consider such offerings as the Parrot AR drone, a quadricopter that can be controlled by an iPhone, iPod or iPad, or the swinglet Cam, a "flying camera" developed and marketed by senseFly in Switzerland. The swinglet can fly for about 30 minutes up to 12 miles, providing capabilities such as aerial imagery, crop monitoring, land management, environmental monitoring, real estate, traffic monitoring, mapping, archeology, and wildlife monitoring.
For the most part, use of personal drones falls outside the jurisdiction of the Federal Aviation Administration at this time.
(Video: Parrot AR drone, via YouTube.)
Nov 21, 2010
How heavy are anthrax spores? Though to be fair the easiest terrorist targets will be to attack pylons using this drones - I will not say exactly how - but any adult reading should be able to understand the opportunities for shorting out the grid system. These, and mini-aircrsft do pose a serious security, privacy and noise pollution effect. It does seem typical that the US is unabble to look to the future for new technologies obnoxious effects. The French were responsible for Apple being required to limit the maximim volume on I-pod to 100 decibels. Though its maximum I believe outside the EU remains at 115dB. Th is is sufficient to damage hearing quite quickly. I look forward to a generation of people with damaged hearing. A government should be looking ahead to to problems not reating after the quite forseeable eventual outcome.
Military drones are aircraft-based because they can carry heavier payloads more efficiently. Most of the commercial drones you find for purchase are helicopter-based for stable hovering. These are finely-balanced machines that are only capable of lifting a pound or two at most... which is taken up by camera, electronics and battery/fuel. If you wish to remove the camera for some other (light) payload, you could... but you would drastically reduce the usefulness of the drone. So... delivery: no, bombing: no, scouting: yes.
First of all, these personal drones can't carry much of a payload, therefore your not going to be able to load up enough explosives to do any real damage and then get it off the ground. The FAA has jurisdiction on ANYTHING flying in it's airspace, which shouldn't be a big problem considering the personal drones most likely can't reach the altitudes required for FAA clearance. The biggest problem is people/gov't using them for spying on the neighbors and such. Pretty much makes privacy fences obsolete. And of course there's the problem with the drones crashing into people/objects. You can kill or seriously maim someone if they get hit with a fast flying object with spinning propellers....
I bird that flies into an engine on a passenger jet can down the plane. Something like this has no need for explosives or attached weapons to be able to cause real harm. Kinetic energy can do plenty of damage on it's own. Privacy is also a very real concern.
@ejhonda It was done in Australia a few decades ago to eliminate a particularly obnoxious Family Law Court judge. They never found this particularly useful member of society.
Anything can be used for something good or evil. You can use a knife to slice bread or cut someones head off. The uses of drones in big cities like New York should be prohibited. Too easy for some religious freaks to drop a bomb on people or buildings. Maybe the Law eneforcement Agencies will wake up before it is too late.
The model shown looks awesome. Everyone seems concerned about privacy or whatever, but in this day and age of "Facebook" where "everyone" spews out their every movement on the site, then one of these wouldn't be that bad. Just think of the good side of things, such as Neighbourhood watch groups, rescue teams, etc. Stop being so conspiracy minded, geez.
Actually, the FCC may have a say in their use, already. The more wireless signals, particularly for the cameras, flying about, the more crowded the airwaves, and that's their jurisdiction.
Are you sure about the FAA jurisdiction? I was looking at them a few months back, I thought the law was that you were supposed to keep them in visual sight range at all times, with the option to take control back from any auto-pilot.
Large numbers of drones overflying an urban area translates to a statistical certainty that they will malfunction or even collide. Look out below! And they will be useful to organized crime as well as terrorists. This is a new industry where legal regulation & restrictions should be proactive rather than reactive.
You guys don't need to be rude to the article's author. Of course hobbyists will have done the thing before it came to the masses. But now you can buy one at Brookstone, and it uses technology and easiness of manoeuver that I don't think were available decades ago. That brings a new level of availability and accessibility to the product. I think that's what the author meant.
You need to do the reaserch before you write an bogus article like this. I been flying drones out of the back yard since 1965. In 1970 I mounted a 8mm camera in one!
It's an RC plane or helicopter with a camera mounted on it. Where do you think the military got the idea for drone war planes from in the first place??? Please do a decent job of research on the subject before spewing trash like this.
Bought one for my son. We bought one here to auction off at work for a charity. They are very, very cool!