It never ceases to amaze me how far drones have come in the past year or two. Models have gone from little RC helicopters with 10 minute batteries to hex-rotor monsters that blast through the sky with a terrifying noise. While these contraptions are undeniably kind of cool, as a I pilot I have formed a mixed opinion on them. This viewpoint stems from the following points…
- Drones are super useful. If you haven’t seen aerial photography or videos shot from even the simplest drones, you would be amazed at the beauty of them. It allows amateurs to puncture industries that previously only big name players could compete in. This reminds me of when iMovie came out allowing the common man to make films more easily. It is yet another technological advancement that the middle class can enjoy.
- Drones are a ton of fun. Maybe I just love everything that flies through the air, but trying to fly drones around the air with precision and stability is pretty enjoyable. They are a great gadget to play around with if you find yourself bored and looking for something entertaining.
- Drones help take soldiers out of harm’s way. I still prefer the idea of human beings at the controls of aircraft to get important jobs done. However routine, dangerous tasks can make use of drones to keep our soldiers as safe as they can be.
- Drones can be extremely dangerous. I know that in some cities and areas, it is illegal to fly them, and there’s good reason. If a low-quality model is being used, or the operator is not very experienced, loads of bad things can occur. When the wind is high, a lot of drones become very hard to control and may run into buildings, people, or vehicles. Also, if a rotor strikes a surface, often times the stability is instantly compromised and they become falling bricks from the sky. In general, I do not like the safety of them.
- Drones have the potential to bring about complicated changes in the industry. By now, nearly everyone who pays attention to the news has heard of the ambitions of Amazon to deliver packages within hours with an army of drones. The other day I even saw they were pestering the FAA with potential (and complicated) air space overhauls and breaks, all in order to deliver a package hours sooner than they already do. Are we really that impatient that we need our online packages ten hours sooner at the expense of noise, sight, and environmental pollution increasing exponentially? I personally think our current system works just fine, especially considering basic necessities that would warrant this change are often so cheap that it defeats the purpose to buy them online. (bread, detergent, etc..)
- Drones are just the next item to emerge from a lagging tech industry. From my point of view, companies are running out of innovations to release to consumers. Smart watches were seemingly the last low hanging idea for these companies to develop, and now useless products such as oversized tablets, curved TVs, and drones are the focus of their marketing. What happened to unique products? I just get the impression that drones are another fad in technology, and for that it is hard for me to place a lot of respect or faith in them for the future.
So clearly I am more of a skeptic than an admirer of drones, nonetheless I am interested to see what becomes of them in the future. I wholeheartedly think airline travel will remain untouched, but who knows if cargo delivery will be changed forever?