I'm here to talk about the inevitable word: drones. What's the first thing that comes to your mind? The first image that conjures up in your brain when it comes to drones? I want you to hold that for one minute because I'm going to ask you about it again here.
If you look back in the history of technology, the history of the unknown and the future, people are generally frightened by the advances in technology, advances in innovation and technology. Look at the automobile, for example. When the automobile was first invented people thought they were a bit strange. They didn't really know what they were, but generally harmless.
It wasn't until a mass part of the population started driving automobiles that they realized, wow, there's a lot of dangers, a lot of hazards associated with driving vehicles. One judge went so far to say that vehicles should be banned. They should be classified on the same level as a ferocious animal. Computers, cellphones, have had the same fear mongering when they first were invented.
When Drones Are New
When computers were first invented people thought that they were going to take over the world. There would be a mass apocalypse. People would be enslaved by computers. That there was going to be privacy issues, privacy apocalypse. Same with cellphones. Everybody's going to have no direct human to human contact anymore. Every time we've given a potentially revolutionary idea, a revolutionary technology an opportunity to thrive for good, to thrive for good within the civilization, generally it's helped everybody out for the better.
You look at the new technologies that are coming today and people are still fear mongering. People are fear mongering on drones. People don't really know what they're doing. Yes, they're automated. They're intelligent, to some level depending on the software. They have great hardware inside. Generally, people don't really know what they're doing.
I go back and ask that question again. What is that first image that popped into your head upon hearing the word drones? Does it look something like this? Privacy issues, spying on everyday populations, drones loitering overhead spying on everyday citizens as they're living their daily lives. How about this: a military drone. From my background as a pilot in the military and flying this exact aircraft, I can tell you right now that this is not a drone, despite what the media tells you. This is not a drone. A drone is a fully autonomous aerial vehicle that transmits data, processes data, and gives the data back and moves completely autonomously during that mission. This aircraft has none of those features. It actually requires more pilot input than a lot of manned aircraft because it is a remote control aircraft just beefed up for military purposes. That's exactly what it is: an RPA,
remotely piloted aircraft
The Idea Of The Drone
I have to give the military some credit. They did come up with the initial idea of a drone. They had this idea of long endurance, long distance flight. They did kind of come up with the idea of what a drone actually is, but it's the power, the power of the civilian market to use our imaginations and innovation to propel this industry for the good of society, for the good of mankind. For example, saving lives. Currently, maritime operations around the entire world use ships and manned aircraft to search for people missing at sea. Very inefficient, very costly. Not to mention, it's like finding a needle in the haystack because it uses the naked eye and thermal imaging to try to find people. However, for the more common drones (ie: like our list at
), you're going to find that they are quite harmless.