When it comes to drone technology, what most people see are only the drones of today where the little machines with two or more propellers are zipping around the skies or the really big ones engaging in warfare. Not many know that the whole thing started in 1849 where airplanes were piloted remotely. Even with the innovations to the size, build and amenities of modern drones, the effects of its origins are still felt.
Still, looking forward, it’s worth noting that drone technology certainly seems to have a bright future ahead of it. Robert Loos, founder of Robotics Today explains this saying, “Some of the commercial uses for drones, which are sometimes referred to as UAV’s (unmanned aerial vehicles), will be aerial surveillance, pipeline inspection, surveying/exploration, aerial photography, environmental monitoring, livestock monitoring and search and rescue.”
As for the potential of drones being used in transporting heavier packages and machinery, Loos agrees that it’s quite possible and that this “could be useful during calamities or after disasters bringing firefighting equipment or first aid relief, food or water.”
In terms of military use, Loos states that, “According to a recent annual report of the Pentagon on Chinese military power, China is building an army of several thousand UAVs for military purposes.”
This comes as no surprise those as drones are already being used for warfare, spying and surveillance. So why shouldn’t drones be used for other things that government agencies can make use of?
When it comes to potential concerns caused by drones, Loos said, “Artificial Intelligence can be a good thing if a certain degree of Artificial Intelligence is used to make the machines more efficient. Unfortunately there are plans to create UAVs with a high level of autonomy that are able to search for, select and destroy (human) targets without human interventions…These developments could cause a new worldwide arms race.”
Loos’ concerns extend towards commercial drones too, saying, “Unethical use could result in making pictures or videos of people in their home, invading the privacy of people. But what happens when an engine fails, catches fire or if the drone hits an obstacle in-flight? Does it crash into someone’s home or injure a person perhaps?”
Considering these points that he brought up, it’s more than likely that the future of drone use will involve the need for a license in order to make use of models with more advanced technology.