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Painting the drones red

Painting the drones red

Posting in Government

The surveillance drone industry unveils a plan to make drones more likeable.

Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles, are making their way out of warzones and into civilian airspace for law enforcement and other use. In the U.S., the Federal Aviation Administration is working on new rules governing the use of drones that may be out as early as spring.

A lot of citizens protest the use of drones in civilian air space, though. Civil liberties unions worry there aren't enough safeguards in place to protect privacy rights. The same thing is being said in the U.K. where companies are encouraging a similar scheme.

To allay citizens' fears, the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems Association (UAVSA), a trade group that owns and operates drones in the U.K., has developed a crafty public relations effort to make drones more likeable: decorate them with positive advertisements and paint them bright, playful colors.

The company wants to get the media on board to highlight the benefits of drones, too. And there are mumblings about other ways to eliminate public opposition.

The Guardian reports:

John Moreland, the general secretary of UAVSA, said the industry was uncomfortable with the word "drones" and wanted to find new terminology. "If they're brightly coloured, and people know why they're there, it makes them a lot more comfortable," he said.

"We want to be associated with safe, civil applications [of UAVs] that have a humanitarian, ecological and environmental benefit."

Do you think people can be soothed by a red or blue unmanned aerial vehicle in the sky or is a drone by any color still a drone?

Surveillance drone industry plans PR effort to counter negative image  [The Guardian]

Photo: Flickr/james_gordon_los_angeles

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Amy Kraft

Weekend Editor

Contributing Editor Amy Kraft is a freelance writer based in New York. She has written for New Scientist and DNAinfo and has produced podcasts for Scientific American's 60-Second-Science. She holds degrees from CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure