Making Sense of Drones

What do you think when you hear the word drone or unmanned aerial system (UAS) or unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)?

Drones come in all sizes now. Most of you know about the big high altitude Defense related ones like the Predator Drone, but you may not know about the many smaller low altitude ones for Civil and Public use like AeryonDJI PhantomPrecisionHawk, or Flexrotor that do everything from 3D mapping, to cinematography, to precision agriculture, to forensic inspections.

For sake of clarity we follow the taxonomy of Drone Law Journal and use the word “drone” to refer to remote-controlled aircraft.

Why the word drone and not another? Because it’s a one syllable word and immediately understood as something flying without a person on board. The journal says:

“Drones are not only “weapons of war.” Yes, one of their first practical uses was in warfare, but the same may be said of airplanes and helicopters. As was the case with airplanes and helicopters, drones will be used by the military, the public sector, corporations and regular people like you and me. They will be commonplace, useful and profitable. Drones will allow us to do what we have and have not done before— more safely and far less expensively for both pleasure and profit.”

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Colin Snow