Much attention is being devoted to military drones these days, so much it’s easy to forget that the military’s long-term strategy for unmanned systems up til now has been a short journey and there is a long roadmap ahead before this technology is old news. Without contemplating the ethics, quite impressive drones take out gangsters in the middle-east with precision that only a autonomous robotics are able to perform. The future of military advancement will be impressive but lets not forget it is not all war toys and surveillance robots. Commercial flying machines have been released to the general public as gadgets controlled by android systems, tablets or with a regular remote. Though this commercial technology mostly leaves us without autonomy, and in the cheap models a very limited range control, it is a great opportunity to just have fun. Think of the possibilities in sports combining these flying gadgets with the Oculus Rift technology. This type of immersive display gives a profound experience and you would not even have to go to the gym to practice. The typical injury would probably be headaches and backpain but it could very much be a candidate for next generation Olympics. Robots combating in a speedball or quidditch kinda setup where elite combatants would probably all be underage. It would be quite entertaining television.
So is this technology creepy at all? It is definitely a disruptive technology and should challenges the general populations perceptions of what is possible. Quite interesting gadget and it is an opportunity do aerial mapping for agriculture, conservation, monitoring wildlife or maybe even mining. It could revolutionize, if not like in the case of home 3D printer. I do not think commercial drones will be made illegal but realizing the concept of what it actually is it gives a creepy edge to stalking and paparazzi photography. With a professional telephoto lense, on board infrared camera and the flight recorder these things could be lurking into the private homes, sixth floor bedrooms and hotels taking pictures of us taking a dump, walking butt naked or as vile as used for the perfect murder.
Even though drones should probably be grounded around New Years it would make a fantastic video shoot. The drones available would not survive a hit by the powerful explosives in rockets nowadays. The AR Drone parrot creates its own Wi-Fi spot as long as your IOS or android system is within a 100 meter radius you shouldn’t have a problem. Each drone is tagged with a unique signature. So if it somehow did get lost, it is easily tracked back to its owner. Wireless 3G Internet is possible but there might be some latency issues. At any rate your drone will just hover if connection is lost with your device. A hobby grade DJI Phantom along with the AR Drone Parrot seems to be the popular choices available. The commercial drones range from a couple hundred dollars to several thousands.