What do you think of when you think of drones?
Do you picture the clever little aerial devices that are awesome for videography, filming high definition video of amazing scenes from high octane powered and electric motorsports to skylines above cities and panoramic views of deserts, forests and inside abandoned spaces, they do have a darker side.
Drones, as we know them today, made the first appearance on 14th December 1782, the Montgolfier brothers, two brothers whose family owned a textile factory in Annonay, Ardèche, France, created the very first hot air balloon that was constructed from taffeta and some varnish as a fire retardant, it had filled a vessel underneath with lambswool and straw as fuel that was set ablaze.
Due to the heat of the flame, the balloon rose as we know it would now, but it was all an unknown back then, at the time, the balloon lifted and they lost control of it, the thing travelled a couple of kilometres, perhaps a mile and a half then drifted down due to the fuel extinguishing – by the time the brothers got to and found the device, it had been discovered already and boon destroyed by some locals passing, due to “indiscretion”.
Even though they lost their device, they then went on to build another, scaling it up some 27 times, soon after, the first humans were transported upward and then returned to earth safely. Following on, military applications were developed and mainly used as vantage points, but at times, defensive ones.
High Altitude weather balloons of today can climb to 23 miles high (37 km) and observe the earth not only for climatic surveys but for high altitude science tests and radio communications.
Drones come in many forms and have come a long way from the first flights that were uncontrolled to today’s systems and devices that are available for military, emergency services scientific and everyday consumers around the world.
It seems most people either love them, or hate them.
There can be some reasons for both.
- Aerial photo and videography bringing amazing views of the world all around us.
- Emergency Service investigations for where human entry would be too dangerous, like in a leaking nuclear power plant or a forest fire.
- Geological surveys recording ecological data like soil erosion rates or hazards like potential landslides.
- Aerial surveys helping farmers to survey the land to check irrigation levels, how the plants are growing as well as checking for illness and disease with infra-red technology and cameras.
- Measuring environmental levels for everyone’s benefit with air pollution, chemical, humidity, light, noise, radiation, temperature, traffic and many other parameters
- Delivery of goods from service providers like Amazon or emergency airdrops of blood in warzones to save lives.
- Causing noise and nuisance from the persistent humming in residential areas or that of operations with an inexperienced operator.
- Delivery of narcotics and illicit goods into prisons and secure institutions.
- Spying on civilians with invasions of privacy.
- Disruption to air traffic costly millions in delays for the flight operators and general commerce sectors, not forgetting precious time for the holiday goers.
- A potential tool for terrorist activity.
- The destabilizing covering wide-range economic and political tendencies with military drones, if in warzones after airstrikes, the leftover chemical residues are particularly harmful to agriculture and the general public health.
Like other technological marvels, non-personed 3D printed flying objects that you can make at home or buy quietly online are controversial in nature and, in turn, they can be used for the usefulness of person kind or totally against it.
They are beneficial for many but can be potential weapons if in the wrong hands and definitely are not toys but useful tools.