This device is not only dependent on the usual unmanned technology, but on thin, extra-light solar panels. Once again, the usefulness of unmanned vehicles is in their synthesis of disparate fields. While a price is not given, the special solar panels are probably pricey – but well worth it as most UAVs of this size […]
This article includes the apparently obligatory reference to military drones (in this case, a $15 million national guard program), but underscores the geological possibilities of UAVs. In this case, the proposed use is taking pictures of sinkholes and comparing the new photographs to earlier data to look for dangerous changes.
Florida, like many potential buyers of UAVs, is interested in the ability to monitor large areas regularly and cheaply – important as the Florida keys cover a large area and the mosquito life-cycle is not long. The article notes some fears as to the possibility that UAVs will displace human jobs.
Anyone who uses GPS devices or online mapping tools is dependent on satellites. Unfortunately, satellites move in mostly predictable orbits, can be destroyed by several large powers, and are expensive to place and use. High altitude UAVs have promised to provide the communication, navigation, and photographic services of satellites at a fraction of the cost. […]
The origin of military UAVs is in remotely guided or self-guiding missiles. Many modern examples (such as the Israeli Harpy & Harop) are quite large and designed to wait for hours for the opportune moment, but the technology has matured to the point where person carried versions are practical.
College campuses have long been centers of unmanned vehicles development and testing, making the sight of such things less surprising than elsewhere. Between that and the weekly pulse of inebriated students wandering around at night it’s easy to see why campus police would be interested in trying out something new.
In combination with developments such as the Argus Camera, the author’s privacy fears of surveillance blimps are not baseless. Note also the negative connotations in the title’s use of the word “drone.”
With privacy concerns mounting as domestic drones become reality, North Carolina took pre-emptive steps to prevent public outcry. Depending on how drones are used, this could be seen as either anachronistic or prescient.
In today’s puzzle, 45 Across: “Spying Aircraft”, for which the solution is “drone”.
In Blomkamp’s Science Fiction parable of economic inequality, unmanned vehicles of all kinds are used to control, police, and oppress the protagonist and others. The most common use of unmanned vehicles in fiction has been – like this film – as tools of the antagonists and obstacles.