The drone. It is the latest crave in technology. It initially started off in the military and has now worked its way into the hands of any ordinary person (Atherton, 2013, para. 3). It can actually be purchased at a hobby shop. However, the drones in discussion serve more than just a “hobby”. This technology is labeled as much more than just taking aerial photos or seeing how high one can get the drone in the air without losing control. The following paragraphs will discuss the following: what it is; what is it used for; who can benefit from this technology; risks; an overview; and implications of the drone. So, what is a drone?
“Drones are more formally known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). Essentially, a drone is a flying robot” (Rouse and Wigmore, 2015). Unmanned meaning driverless and it is usually controlled by some sort of remote, “GPS software” (Rouse and Wigmore, 2015) and even can be controlled from an application on your handset (Skycall, 2015, para. 3). It is a flying contraption that can come in many different sizes, shapes and dimensions. The wing span, if there is one, can be as wide as “55 feet” (Dantz, 2015, para. 5) or can be the size of a fly or bee. The weight can range from 2ozs to 1,000lbs and its altitude can range from 0 to 25,000feet depending on its purpose and obviously the permission. It does not matter what the size of the drone is, it is a powerful technology that is used for many purposes.
There are many questions as to what it actually does or what it can be used for. To name a few of its outstanding techniques which can range from spying, saving a life or two and can even show ones way around a campus (Skycall, 2015, para. 2) All of these are part of this unique technology. This mechanism is basically replacing a person and putting them out of harm’s way but yet is able to help those that might be in need. Helping those with The Red Cross able to drop off “food, medication, and supplies” are just one of its fantastic traits (Marusic, 2015, para. 1). This machine can drop off anything, anywhere and at any time with just a moment’s notice. Another new use which is still in prototype at MIT, is the creation of this unique system that will help anyone at the University. They created and developed an application that will “call” the robot and the drone will literally “walk you” or in this case it will hover and you will walk to your class or a location by following it within the campus (Skycall, 2015). This is just one of the amazing things that this technology can do and many organizations can benefit from a drone.
All the technology that the drone has to offer it is a wonder that more markets have not initiated some form of benefits within their own. The construction market is starting to utilize the drone and according to Drone Companies Set Sights on Construction Industries, drones are the way to go as “it offers the client a way to see their sites in a way that is easier, quicker, and more efficient…and low-level aerials also ensure a much better scale when it comes to creating three-dimensional (3-D) models” (Jansen, 2015, para. 5). The only issue with the drone at this time is getting the approval to use them in flight as “one of the biggest hindrances to using UAS in the construction industry is the wide spectrum of legislation that exists for drone usage across borders” (Jansen, 2015, para. 13).
To get a better feel of this technology we will do a quick overview of what type of technology a drone uses.
Overview of the Technology
“The first drones flew along pre-set paths, operating off an internal navigation system” (Atherton, 2013, para. 3). A drone’s technology is “not just physics keeping these small wonders aloft”, and they are truly not “as easy to fly as they look” (Pullen, 2015). They are mini remote controlled helicopters. They will consist of a motor, blades, some have batteries, and some can use “Wi-Fi, which can be transmitted on the 2.4 gigahertz spectrum” (Pullen, 2015, para. 4).
They are starting to change the technology and because this technology is ever booming. One organization wants to take advantage and be “the first to introduce automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (or ADS-B)” to drone world. They are also “developing a way to incorporate the same kind of sophisticated scanning beam radar used by fighter jets—to scan and track objects—into the average quadrotor” (Dillow, 2015, para. 13). While all this technology sounds sophisticated there are always implications.
Implications of the technology
While researching the implications of this technology there were many to choose from; ethics, legal, and moral and found that you can’t have the opportunities without a type of implication unfortunately. Our focus will be on the everyday use of the drone, not in regards to the military.
Implications of this technology are in question with the “FAA regulations” and how this technology is being used with the journalist, the news, and for personal gain. A few weeks ago there was huge fire in California that could have gotten even more out of hand and all because of a drone. The drone that this to be used for good. There were so many drones flying over the fire to get a “better look for the newspaper” that the “fire aircraft dispatched to drop chemicals or water had to pull back after crews on the ground spotted drones, fearing collision” (Medina, 2015, para5). There are many implications with the utilization of a drone especially if it is for personal gain.
Risks involved with a drone would be the safety factor as listed under implications. The drones running into legal air equipment is one of the biggest factors. The drones just do not “see” or have the same technology as an automonous car might have. So “how do we keep drones from running into things?” and then we have the risk of drones taking over a human’s job. “New Boss on Construction Sites Is a Drone” (Knight, 2015). These are a few concerns of drone technology. That would be a major concern for many employees. Many have concern now with all the technology within a plant or automotive organization. They currently use robots to man the line and use robots to paint. One can wonder about the future and if their jobs would be in jeopardy.
There are so many opportunities with the drone technology. Helping on the “job in dangerous areas” (Knight, 2015). Even though taking over a job site was also listed under a risk, it can also be an opportunity to help increase production and can keep the employees safe. The article called New Boss on Construction Sites Is a Drone, utilized a drone to poor cement; it measured the correct dimensions and basically used the employees to “guide” the drone in the correct area (Knight, 2015).
Another opportunity using this technology is holding people accountable for ones actions. “Requiring blinking LED license plates on drones could help the public and law enforcement keep them in line” (Simonite, 2015). This will help all know of where a drone might be located in the air which is a preventative measure. There is currently no solution on how to stop drones from running into items so this might be an opportunity for all parties to “win”.