A Game of Drones? The Drone Controversy and How to Improve Drone Safety

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An overview of the good and bad factors of drones and how to improve drone safety

When you play the game of drones, you win or die

Drones are one of the most popular tools and toys of choice in modern day society. Although this is the case, a controversy exists about whether drones are good or bad for society at large. I personally think that if Cersei Lannister were to exist in the 21st century in Western civilisation, she would have said “When you play the game of drones, you win or you die”.

If you think that’s a bit dramatic (and it very well may be), you may not know that drones can be quite dangerous machines if they are not used correctly; one woman in London may have even died due to a drone incident.

Drone Facts

  • According to the FAA’s newest estimates, 3 million drones will be shipped in 2017
  • Around 700,000 drones are currently registered
  • The drone industry is projected to be worth $127b by 2020
  • DHL have successfully delivered 130 packages with drones

Good or bad?

So the controversy still remains, are drones good or bad? Well, one may decide by outweighing the positive and negative facts.

The benefits of drones are endless. Drones are very useful tools with many practical applications, hence their popularity in the market place. Most recently, as you may have heard, drones have been used to stop poaching of rhinos in Africa. Also, drones save time and money in many operations such as surveying, inspection, agriculture, science and research and public safety.

While drones may be useful tools, the human applications aren’t always good or appropriate. For example, people often use drones to spy on other people which is an invasion of privacy. People also use drones dangerously; this often entails harassment of humans and other animals. But the strangest application by far is walking pets and while the doesn’t sound like a bad thing, the current state of drone strength and artificial intelligence isn’t high enough, thus endangering pets.

Improving Drone Safety

Even with consideration of the negatives of drones, it’s clear that they are here to stay. Although drone technology is always improving, we should always consider how to improve operations and reduce danger whilst operating drones.

If you are a drone operator or would like to be in the future, there are three easy ways you can improve safety:

1. Know how to operate your drone: This is a simple task, yet it is something that is often overlooked (just look up drone fails on Youtube if you don’t believe me). You can learn how to operate your drone by reading the instruction manual, reading online forums and watching how to videos online. This basic step could save you from crashing your drone and save you thousands of dollars.

2. Understand (and follow) laws and legislation: Every country (and some cities) has differing laws and regulations about drones and where they can be flown. These location restrictions are put in place for a reason, they protect the safety and privacy of individuals.

3. Drone training and certification: Drone certification isn’t just for serious business owners with large drones, it can be helpful for anyone who would like to improve their drone flying skills and abilities. You can learn things such as navigation, maintenance, how to fly at night and close proximity operations. There are countless providers of drone certification and drone training providers around the world. Before you sign up, ensure that they are a professional service and are certified by a regulating body such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FFA) or Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

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Ory Purhonen
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