A few months back I wrote a little bit about the usage of drones (or unmanned aerial vehicles if you want to use the proper term). The basic gist of it was that drones, which are normally used in war to kill and monitor from afar, are something we'll see in public use in the next few year. There was a good amount of comments on the post on Facebook and Twitter which were mostly negative because many people feel that drones are an invasion of privacy.
Fast forward a few months and one of the biggest buzzes in the tech world since yesterday has been Amazons announcement that they are working on a project that would use drones to deliver small packages. Same day delivery anyone? Here is the video:
It is happening people. While this Amazon project is years off from becoming a reality, it will happen. And wouldn't you know it, today UPS released news that they were working on a similar product. The drones are indeed coming.
Before you get too freaked out, it will be at least a few years before we actually see anything like this. A few key things need to happen:
- Drones need their own airspace - Commercial airlines have a designated space in the sky that they need to stay in after takeoff; as do personal aircraft. Drones would need a similar space carved out for them that would most likely be much lower than any type of plane. The FAA is already working on this.
- Technology needs to improve. While there are lots of personal drones out there, the distance and height they can fly is very limited and the control systems are very basic. I am sure by the time the airspace is carved out the tech will be much improved and able to go the 10 mile distance which Amazon is proposing for their drones.
We have a lot more things to work out like privacy, safety and people tampering with drones during flight but I think that will work itself out rather quickly. My point in all this is just to reiterate the point I made when I first wrote about the topic. Drones can be used for good. They can be used to save lives, in agriculture, for creative things like taking photos, and now Amazon thinks they can one day help drive business. I think it is a good thing.
As an added bonus, here is another really great use for drone technology I saw recently. A faster lifeguard: