Military Will Soon Purchase Civilian Drones

The rapid flood drones into the consumer market has created a lot of competition, leading to the emergence of some very powerful, fast, and unique drones.

As technology companies fight to emerge as leaders in this industry, U.S. military leaders can’t help but gain interest.. The Military May Soon Buy The Same Drones You DoGettyImages-520635093-1


CNN Buys Six “Failsafe” Drones

With CNN being the first approved news-gathering company to use drones they want to make sure theirs are the safest so they bought 6 new “failsafe” drones from Altus Intelligence, “CNN flies over people without having to get their permission, they have the mandate of the Federal Aviation Administration so they wanted a very safe, reliable drone with risk mitigation technologies. They therefore chose ours.” – Simon Morris (Chief Operating Officer at Altus Intelligence)


Drones: Not Just Evolving Media

Drone technology was initially created to safely and discreetly gather information about an area, person, or thing by the CIA. These government drones can spy on any given target from far above sea level, usually untraceable to the human eye. With these practical features, drone technology naturally caught the media’s attention when introduced to the open market.

Figure 1: Civilian Drone

The emergence of civilian drones (figure 1) is quickly dismantling our traditional view of pen and paper journalism and turning it into a floating machine, quietly buzzing around its business. This evolution in news-gathering is occurring so rapidly, that any credible news media source has already fully implemented drone technology. What most technologies strive to achieve in years, drones did in matter of weeks, turning the media world upside down.

Today, media outlets not implementing drones to gather information are quickly written off as dinosaurs and left in the dust. Why would one stream rush hour traffic from a multi-million-dollar helicopter when you can toss a drone out of NBC’s window and do the same thing? The massive savings in cost and reduced liabilities aren’t the main reason why these companies are switching over (unheard of in the business world), in fact there are multiple reasons ahead of this. For starters, as mentioned before, if you don’t use drones you are a dinosaur. Period. The rest of the reasons all stem from the seemingly endless capabilities of drone technology to revolutionize the service being provided by the media. These journalists now have a new means to approach and cover a story, providing consumers with new angles (literally and figuratively) on the news as its occurring.

The New York Times was one of the first media groups to spearhead this approach, highlighting how drone technology is making this possible. Last October, they released a story on the Syrian Civil War’s destruction of Aleppo using a drone (figure 2). The drone’s footage documented the devastation in such a way that it produced feelings impossible to recreate by traditional journalism.

Figure 2: Aleppo Drone Shot

The footage evoked these strong emotions by showing us the sheer magnitude and volume of destruction that one could never document from the ground. Drones take the message traditional journalism complicates and serves it to you bluntly, enabling a raw, uncut understanding of the subject. To simplify, if The Times documented the destruction of Aleppo traditionally one would think, “Gosh darn, that city is destroyed” as opposed to, “Holy smokes, that whole city is literally destroyed” with the drone.

The key takeaway here is that drone technology greatly facilitates the interpretation of messages we are trying to send through the media. The point of human communication is to receive and interpret messages we send to each other, and drones greatly facilitate the interpretation of these messages. If this is true, then this isn’t just a media revolution but a

Figure 3: Humanitarian Drone

societal one as well. Imagine trying to explain to our privileged kids what it’s really like to be poor, to starve, to sleep on a floor, and to live in despair through a photograph? You can’t, but rather envision following a starving child going through his daily activities in real time with a drone? The enormous capability of drones to convey messages reduces the cultural boundaries between societies so that we can gain a better understanding of each other as humans. Isn’t this the greatest gift technology can give?

Meet our Drone Post Editors

James Rebelo @johnnydrones

Hey guys, I’m James Rebelo, a current Junior at the University of Maryland, dog lover, and Drone Post editor. I love technology, and started tinkering with it at a young age. After destroying a couple family computers, I built my first computer whenIMG_0302 I was 12. This later faded off and led into working and fiddling with bigger toys like cars and motorcycles. I was ever your typical computer geek though, sports was my main priority and soccer was my only love for a long time. I guess you guys can kind of see how drones have peaked my interest, I find them extremely fascinating from a tech standpoint and would love to build one for myself one day. I believe the typical drone hobbyist is a harmless user but when the drones get in the hands of irresponsible youths and unskilled operators, issues arise. I also see more and more drones being registered as more and more hit the market, creating competition and dropping prices. Also, as more and more info gets out there about piecing these things together, the more likely average Joe can assemble one. As better parts develop and people share information these drones will fly further, faster, higher, and with more precision. Although, we face a multitude of different societal issues right now, we cannot ignore the issue of drones, we need to regulate this immediately before the problem becomes unmanageable.

Jennifer Hupman @cehupman

IMG_0128Hey y’all, I’m Jennifer.  I recently started my junior year at the University of Maryland at Shady Grove.  I am a lover of all things coffee, brunching, reality tv, and wearing yoga pants.  While my hobbies and interests are basic, my passion for drones is not.  Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), are revolutionizing and changing how the world operates today.  They can be used in many different industries for just about anything.  In fact, it’s hard to imagine an industry that hasn’t been affected by drone use.  With companies spending a lot of money on drone research and development, it’s easy to understand how they have become a new part of our everyday lives.  As with most technology, there aren’t clear cut regulations and laws set in place.  Here, we will discuss the growing drone industry and the issues that go along with it.  We will focus on the recreational, business, military, and media use to debate the pros and cons of each field.

Javaria Javed @jjaved17

IMG_0297.jpgHi, I’m Javaria Javed. I’m a firm believer of personal security. Imagine sitting in your backyard having a good time with your family when you see a drone flying above your house. Without knowing who could be taking pictures of you in your most private moments, how are you to feel safe? Drones need to be used responsibly and in some cases, like in the military, they’re necessary. However, letting just anybody buy and use a drone can be potentially dangerous. Privacy is getting harder and harder to obtain as technology advances. We can protect our privacy by regulating the use of drones. 

Michael Umberger @dronephone

My name is Michael Umberger, I am a Drone Post editor and senior at the University of Maryland. When I first started learning about drones I was in high school. The first one I ever flew or saw in action was called Air hogs. These small little drones or helicopters could fit in the palm of your hand and could be flown inside or outside. Once drones became a popular item to have they started to evolve. Fast forward to today and drones are being purchase to use for a hobby or business use all over the world. They became a problem in the last years due to privacy and government conflict. Some of these dIMG_0298rones have HD cameras connected to them, which has led to security issues. People can see things that they weren’t able to do before and it also opens a window for people to view things that are not meant to be seen such as government buildings/property, and more importantly military bases and restricted areas.This draws a lot of controversy topics such as recreational use of drones and their laws, plus the use of drones for business and military use. Drones also seem to make a huge impact on media. In my opinion everyone should be able to own and operate a drone at their own discretion. Since this product can reach places that some people aren’t allowed to go, there has to be some laws in place for recreational use. If drones help businesses and media do their job efficiently and effectively, then there should be no problem for them to use them in their everyday business. Like anything, there needs to be rules and regulations in place to allow everyone to have fun or do business with drones.

Intro: The Future Storm

In today’s day and age we’ve become immersed in rapid technological advances. However, new technologies are being developed so rapidly that it leaves old ones in limbo, trapped in an ever expanding market. Many of these “old” technologies were first developed for defense purposes in the war against terror, but as the war aged so did the technology.

The war on terrdrone1or brought on a new generation of warfighter, the Predator Drone, whose media  attention facilitated it’s entrance into the consumer market. Hobbyists soon started creating their own drones, some marketed towards military contractors for big bucks while others were cheaply manufactured in China for hundreds. In traditional economic fashion, the latter
took off. These cheaply manufactured drones became the new craze in the United States and we quickly developed a problem, mostly from irresponsible drone owners. To combat this, the FAA implemented its mandatory drone registration program in December 2015 (before new drones were opened on Christmas), requiring that drones betwMinivet1_largeeen .5 and 55 pounds during take-off have to be registered with the FAA (its only $5). In just two short months over 325,000 drones were registered (thats more than the number of manned aircraft registered in the U.S.) and the agency projects this number to hit 7,000,000 by 2020. This spike will undoubtedly be the spur of a plethora of issues, so sit back, relax, and watch the future age of  ethical and social issues in our nation (and worldwide) unfold.

Over the next coming weeks, The Drone Post will discuss these issues through individual facets of the drone industry as the market is constantly evolving. We will focus on a different issues each week pertaining to the recreational, business, military, and the media use of drones. As we step into this new technological area compromised of unclear boundaries, The Drone Post will work to keep you ahead of the future storm, enjoy your flight.