Drones, unmanned aerial vehicles, in the past were often associated with the military but are now becoming increasingly popular as personal drones often used for drone-based photography.
Unconfirmed reports estimate that over a million drones were sold in stores across the United States during the 2015 Christmas holiday period. Drones can range from full size military grade to a plastic toy plane which can be controlled from a remote control or even a mobile telephone.
Drones: To Be or Not To Be
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As drones become more accessible and with the seemingly lack of adequate regulations they present potential dangers of using such a craft as well as the benefit.
A creative, low tech and apparently low cost solution have been proferred by the Netherlands Police. It is so remarkable in its simplicity-they envisage using the eagles against drones that fly into restricted airspace, or above a public event.
Sjoerd Hoogendoorn, the initiator of the idea, said “The birds are naturally protected from bites of prey by scales on their talons so that is a natural protection that the eagle has” as he insisted that there is no danger to the eagles themselves.
An expert of Aero Kinetics- a Company based in the United States, Hulsey Smith, shares his fears over the lack of rigid regulations of drones in the Country. He said “A toy drone could be utilized just to evoke fear and insecurity, regardless of actually instigating some sort of terrorist attack or otherwise. It could be accidentally flown into a crowd of people”. He lamented that Criminals could exploit the technology and warmed that it is one of the biggest dangers to aviation.
In his own words Hulsey Smith said “In the event of a collision between a toy drone and a helicopter, such as emergency medical helicopter or otherwise, it would ultimately prove a fatality. As you evaluate the same risk structure to commercial aircraft, if a toy drone was to be ingested into a British Airways flight or an American Airways flight on take off, it will result in a catastrophic engine failure.
Mr. Smith also believes that the potential to use drone technology for good is huge as he said “Imagine the ability to keep construction workers from having to climb roofs to do an inspection after a storm and imagine the ability to find lost children in nature where you couldn’t fly manned aircraft”.
There are untold beneficial ways drones can be used and Talib Mohammed al-Hanai agrees with this assertion. Talib Mohammed al-Hanai was the winner of the second annual “Drones for good” competition that held in Dubai earlier this month with a focus on the benefits drone technology can offer. He emphasized that he had designed a drone that can remotely seal dangerous leaks in Oil and Gas pipelines ad he said “We wanted a drone that doesn’t just search for leaks, but one that can also fix it on the spot and protect the lives of the people”.
While there may be limitless ways drone technology can be beneficial to man, tread with absolute caution as experts believe the potential benefits-and the possible dangers-are still being understood.