As unmanned aerial vehicles, otherwise known as drones, move from the battlefields of Afghanistan to the skies over America, the debate over their use and regulation has focused on their use by federal agencies and local law enforcement. However, the proliferation of drone technology has also lead to civilians being able to build and flying drones with easy to purchase materials, or by simply purchasing them on Amazon.
People from all walks of life have been embracing drone technology. Chris Anderson, the former editor in chief of Wired.com and now the co-founder and chairman of a robotic manufacturing company called 3DRobotics, wrote about how he founded the online community DIY Drones. A filmmaker, Jan Minol of Czech-based Samadhi Production, used a drone to make a film called Firefly which filmed a glowing skateboarder through nighttime city streets. Journalists have begun using drones to film and document news stories.
The unregulated use of drones by civilians is of great concern. There are safety and privacy concerns to consider. Drones could easily be used to invade a person’s privacy, and weaponized drones could be used also be a threat to public safety. The governance of the civilian use of drones needs to be examined as thoroughly as the use by the government. DangerInfo investigated the possible uses of DIY drones:
Photo: DIY Drones by achesonblog