Drones, also called unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), have no human pilot onboard, and instead are either controlled by a person on the ground or autonomously via a computer program. These stealth craft are becoming increasingly popular, not just for war and military purposes, but also for everything from wildlife and atmospheric research to disaster relief and sports photography. Drones are becoming the eyes and ears of scientists by surveying the ground for archaeological sites, signs of illegal hunting and crop damage, and even zipping inside hurricanes to study the wild storms. You can even rent a personal drone to soar above the horizon and snap a photo or video.
Via: CBS News
Drones Over America Morley Safer is the correspondent
Will The skies of the future be filled with bussing drones?
Morley Safer: The issue that really comes to mind is the issue of privacy. I mean, these machines are all Peeping Toms.
Missy Cummings: All sensors are Peeping Toms. And so anything that you have that’s electronic is a Peeping Tom. I would say probably your greatest privacy invasion is your cell phone, if not your Facebook account. Yes, there are potentially flying cameras everywhere, except that in many cities there are cameras everywhere. (source)
In a robot lab at TEDGlobal, Raffaello D’Andrea demos his flying quadcopters: robots that think like athletes, solving physical problems with algorithms that help them learn. In a series of nifty demos, D’Andrea show drones that play catch, balance and make decisions together — and watch out for an I-want-this-now demo of Kinect-controlled quads.
Roboticist Raffaello D’Andrea explores the possibilities of autonomous technology by collaborating with artists, architects and engineers.
Raffaello D’Andrea quote:
“My work is focused on the creation of systems that leverage technological innovations, scientific principles, advanced mathematics, algorithms, and the art of design in unprecedented ways, with an emphasis on advanced motion control.
By their very nature, these creations require a team to realize. Many are enabled by the research I conduct with my graduate students. Many are also the fruit of collaborations with architects, entrepreneurs, and artists.
My hope is that these creations inspire us to rethink what role technology should have in shaping our future.”
Website: Raffaello D’Andrea – Dynamic Works
The ‘Black Hornet’ is a small drone that weighs just over half an ounce. Small enough to fit in a soldiers pocket and as easy to operate as a radio, this little spy camera can fly for about 20 minutes. Up close it looks like a tiny helicopter, in the air it might look like a dragonfly. At about 30 ft it is almost invisible.
Using GPS technology the ‘Black Hornet’ can find a target and return home.
Unveiled to the public just recently, ‘Black Hornets’ are currently in use by British forces.
LiveScience: Palm-Size Drones Buzz Over Battlefield