There have been so many different articles and editorials in the news lately about drones. Everyone is very concerned about what these new technological wonders are going to mean to society as we know it. I for one am a little surprised with all of the hoop-la. Drones have been around for years, before they were named drones by the military, we called them RC airplanes. Okay to be fair, they have been developed and improved over the years, but while the military was developing their spy drones or surveillance drones, hobbyists were developing their own drones.
There are many ways that hobbyists have transformed their RC airplanes into "drones" to be used for many different purposes. Three of the very best that I have seen are to hunt animals, to take pictures, and to treat insects on crops. All of these things are very productive and good uses of a RC airplane.
Hunters have discovered that they can equip an airplane with a scope and night goggles and other hunting gear that allows them to track wild animals. This is really handy when you are hunting wild boar, or trying to follow herds of animals so that you will know where to find them. The technology is quiet and while somewhat annoying like a mosquito it is nothing that would scare animals off or even make them cautious.
There are many professionals that have developed a camera that can be attached and used to further their work. For example Google has used this technology to map many areas for their Google Map program. It has also been used by surveyors, wildlife photographers, and to watch weather and geological events like tornadoes and volcanoes. I think these are good uses that can give us much valuable information, while keeping people safe and out of harm's way.
For a farmer having the ability to mount his sprayer of pesticide or insecticide onto a RC airplane and spray his fields is so much better. Being able to treat his fields much less expensively will help keep his costs down, which in turn is good for food prices. Also the benefit to the environment is good. Not having to have the plane using fuel and emitting pollution into the air is a win for the environment.
The world of drones is not perfect, but when you consider all of the great things that they could be used for it does have a lot of benefits. Think of all of those elderly patients who have a hard time getting out for their medications. Maybe someday we will see pharmacies delivering medications. What about fast food? Pizza, anyone?
RC airplane hobbyists have the ability and with a little work they could create some very helpful and fun "drones". However, as with anything else that is good it comes with an ability to be used for bad. Care must be taken, but let's not forget to look at all the good.