Monthly Archives: November 2014

Drones changing the world

xl2000In 1996 (with some prompting I’ll admit) my wife bought a GPS for my birthday.  It did nothing!  

It told you where you were and, if you put in coördinates (long/lat) it would tell you how far away that was, and in which direction.  That was it.

I told people this was going to be huge!  They thought I was nuts!

Look around – how far away is your nearest GPS now?  I’ll lay good money it is in your pocket.

fc40For my 50th birthday (with some prompting I’ll admit) my wife gave me a quadcopter and I’m telling you again, these things are going to change everything.  

Every time I take mine out for a flight people come over, ask questions and take photos.

The technology in these is already incredible and is changing at such a fast rate it will make you dizzy.  The one I have will hover in exactly the same place with no input from the operator until the battery dies (regardless of wind), climbs to crazy heights, flies fast, takes incredible rock solid pictures and movies, can carry a payload up to 2kg, and will fly home and land itself when the battery gets low.  The next level up from mine will do all that without human input – just from a pre-programmed route.

The potential for these is almost limitless.  

Here are just a few of the amazing projects people are already working on:

A flying defibrillator that can deliver life saving tools and help in any environment in a matter of minutes.  Ambulance Drone
 3-D mapping of environments  Aerial Mapping
 Search and rescue  Search and Rescue

And this is just the start.

Soon these will carry larger loads for longer periods, will have automatic obstacle avoidance, and will even be able to work together to handle things that a single drone could not.

Right now drones either cools toys, or scary flying cameras.  But, like GPS, they will soon be so common that you’ll not even notice they are there.

That is unless a few idiot users cause this fledgling industry to be regulated into oblivion.

As prices drop, and capabilities increase, there are the usual in-duh-viduals that seem to think that rules don’t apply to them and feel it is perfectly acceptable to fly at 6,000′, near airports, or over the heads of large groups of people in stadiums.

Based on concerns caused by these fools some regulators are pushing for laws that will require a full pilots licence – yes, the ones that let you fly real planes with people in them – for any commercial application.  That is crazy!  As one great quote said, asking people to have a pilots license to fly a 3lb drone is like asking for a medical degree before allowing you to apply a band-aid.

Assuming the regulators see sense, my prediction is that 10 years from now these will be so common you won’t even look up when one flies by.  You heard it first here folks!

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