The Curse Of The Drone?

Like many people I am in favour of new technology, but sometimes it can lead to unforeseen problems that the inventor never thought of. This is particularly true of the new and popular use of drones, i.e. radio controlled mini helicopter-like model aircraft now available to the public, They can be used for a multitude of purposes, like just having a bit of fun, or in some cases by organizations or companies who require a bird’s eye view of the ground.

The Offending Advertisment

The Offending Advertisement

A situation came up in Australia this week where an estate agent used one for aerial  photo’s of a property they were selling and accidentally filmed a woman next door who was sunbathing topless in her garden. The pictures were posted on advertising boards for the property which were seen by the woman. She complained to the estate agent and the offending photo was removed with an apology, so no harm done. But it got me thinking.

Micro-Drone - The Ultimate Spy.

Micro-Drone – The Ultimate Spy.

Of course the military have been using drones for a long time, not only the big offensive ones used to fire rockets and missiles, but also to spy out the enemy at close quarters. It is a fact that they are getting smaller and smaller and are now a copy of insects, with the intention of using them for spying.

Opening up this technology to the public does open up a massive opportunity for abuse when used by the wrong people. Just imagine you are laying in the sun topless, or even naked, and one of these things comes flying over your garden. There’s not much you can do about it unless it comes close enough that you can hit it with a broom, and who knows who is controlling it. You may find the photo’s or film plastered all over Facebook or YouTube. Imagine one of these hovering just outside your bedroom window when you are dressing, or heaven forbid, making love to your wife or girlfriend! Now there’s a thought!

Proposed Amazon Delivery Drone

Proposed Amazon Delivery Drone

The big problem is that in almost all countries there is little or no legislation governing the use of drones. In America they are banned for commercial use, although Amazon is wanting to use them to deliver parcels to clients. In Australia they are legal, although they must be registered with the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority and flight plans must be submitted and approved. The one major rule that seems to be used in Britain is that the drone must be within sight of the operator at all times. Not very helpful.

Triathlete Raija Ogdenman Lays Injured As The Pieces Of The Drone That Hit Her Are Recovered.

Triathlete Raija Ogdenman Lays Injured As The Pieces Of The Drone That Hit Her Are Recovered.

Should these things become very popular there is one headache (in more ways than one) that I foresee happening. There have been many instances reported of these things crashing and injuring people on the ground. In Australia a triathlete was hit on the head when a drone crashed to the ground while filming a race, and in Virginia USA, during a copy of the famous Spanish Bull Run, one crashed into the spectators stand injuring several people.

There can be little doubt that without proper control these ‘toys’ could become a problem in society. First police would have to track down the owner, which in many cases may be impossible, and secondly there is the problem with who pays the medical bills of the injured. On top of that, you have to think of the worst situation where someone is killed by one. Looks like a bit of a minefield to me.

Roy.

 

 

 

 

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