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“Drones Take Over,” and “FAA: More Pilots Reporting Close Calls with Drones,” are popular headlines involving drones, and as drone craze continues to grow in popularity, many of these negative headlines begin to make people wonder, “Are drones a good thing?” But despite the news and upcoming legislative bans drones (often referred to UAVs or unmanned aerial vehicles) are not evil, and should not be connoted as such. As DroneLife.com explained, “like any new technology, drones are going through the ‘Frankenstein’ stage - people fear what they do not understand,” (Reagan, 2015). What most people do not yet understand is that drones have the ability to completely redefine our world in terms of health, safety, education and more.
Drones are often thought of in terms of military defense used around the world, but the truth is that, “most growth in the drone industry is on the commercial/civilian side, as the shift away from the military market gains momentum,” The Business Insider explained (THE DRONES REPORT, 2015). In fact, the industries which are beginning to utilize more drone technologies might be quite surprising. Some of the most interesting uses include: finding sharks near beaches to alert swimmers; helping emergency responders more appropriately assess situations and plan strategies; transporting health supplies to remote regions; and inhibiting dangerous poachers. The possibilities of UAVs are endless and also extend into everyday life through photography/videography, agriculture, package delivery and more.
No longer are governments the only one interested in drone manufacturing because the drone industry projects large numbers in the upcoming years. According to Huffington Post “Lux research projects the market for commercial drones will reach 1.7M by 2025,” and continued “along with the drones come new jobs. In the US alone, 70,000 new drone-related jobs are projected within the next three years; 100,000 new jobs are expected by 2025,” (Afshar, 2014). In order for these new jobs to be filled, drone education needs to be incorporated in both K12 and higher education environments to prepare the upcoming generations.
As the push to get drones in schools grows stronger, there seem to be more reasons why educators should take notice and allocate funds. As Huffington Post reported, “Brian A. Rellinger, CIO Ohio Wesleyan University has been experimenting with drones on campus to see firsthand how they can used to enhance teaching, learning, research, and service to society,” (2015). In collaboration, they came up with a list of ten uses drones can fill at the higher education level. They range from courses focused on designing and building drones to aiding field research departments with new opportunities to study wildlife and creating 3D archaeological maps. On a more entertainment level, UAVs can capture unique footage of campuses, events and sports.
Drones are a new-age technology, part of the ever-growing tech world we live in today. In order to fully realize the good which UAVs can bring, it will be necessary for the world to understand that trial-and-error will come along with it. While the benefits to what drones can bring us in the future seems limitless, there will be bumps along the way. Essentially, there will be a gap in time before legislation catches up with UAV industry. What we hope to convey is that drones are not to feared, but to be celebrated and used responsibly. If you are in the market for a new drone, be sure to read the article by DroneLife.com “The Seven Deadly Sins of Flying a Drone” to learn proper UAV etiquette and use!
Afshar, V. (2014, October 15). 10 Uses of Drones in Higher Education. Retrieved July 14, 2015, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/vala-afshar/10-uses-of-drones-in- high_b_5988758.html
Grassi, M. (2015, July 8). The 7 Deadly Sins of Flying a Drone. Retrieved July 14, 2015, from http://dronelife.com/2015/07/08/the-7-deadly-sins-of-flying-a-drone/
Reagan, J. (2015, July 7). Drones Make the World Better. Retrieved July 14, 2015, from http://dronelife.com/2015/07/07/drones-make-the-world-better/
THE DRONES REPORT: Market forecasts, regulatory barriers, top vendors, and leading commercial applications. (2015, May 27). Retrieved July 14, 2015, from http://www.businessinsider.com/uav-or-commercial-drone-market-forecast-2015-2
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