Drones for Good Competition

Posted by Chuck Harrell on Apr 23, 2016 11:00:00 AM

droneDrones are all the rage.  If they're not attracting attention for being flown in places they shouldn't be they're being used to deliver our daily goods.

With technology getting lighter and more advanced, the abilities of drones are getting larger and companies like Boeing, GE, and Qualcomm are spending millions developing drone technology.

The Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) predicts that unmanned aircraft will go beyond their current military, hobbyist, and film uses and become used for crop monitoring, atmospheric research, oil exploration, Internet provision, and police tracking among other things.

For civilian drones, there several hurdles to overcome, not least of which is the Federal Aviation Administration (FFA), who are being quite heavy handed when it comes to the rules under which unmanned vehicles can fly such as the fact that they have to be within sight of the operative.

But as Amazon tries to negotiate with the FAA to get them to relax the rules, which will enable them to offer delivery services, they have now applied for a new patent which will try and determine exactly where you are and drop the parcel in your hands.

This rather scary scenario has drones that will continually update  your position and route if you sign up for the service.

Beyond the commercial interests of companies, the Drones for Good competition in the UAE has engineers competing with each other to win one million dollars.   As this BBC article demonstrates, there are self-flying drones for clearing fog, drones which can clean windows, and ones' that are built into a gimbal so it can bounce off walls without getting damaged.

As their technology improves, it's likely that drones will become more than weapons of destruction and perhaps be used for the good of all.

For a more lighthearted approach to drone news, CNET has an entertaining video.  

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