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Drones Have Many Uses Besides Killing People

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The Economist writes:

WHENEVER a hiker gets lost in Mesa County, a rugged area in western Colorado, Benjamin Miller of the local police force does not bother to join the search on foot.

His department is a trailblazer in the use of unmanned aircraft, and he launches a drone equipped with an infrared camera to search from the skies. No wayward ramblers have been rescued in this way yet, but he hopes to find one soon.


Since drones can be far cheaper to buy than helicopters--tens of thousands of dollars, as against a few million--the worry is that cameras will be sent up into the sky far more frequently. Even if they are not on a deliberate spy mission, they may capture incidental footage that leads to an investigation, such as evidence of marijuana plantations. Still, at least in Mesa County, the drones have been used for search and rescue efforts and photographing crime scenes. "We're not spying on everybody," says Mr Miller. "We haven't done a single surveillance mission."

So there you have it.

Drones are great for search and rescue.

They're great for photographing crime scenes.

And there other productive uses in commerce and research using sensors and spectrometers...


Me here at last on the ground,

You in mid-air..

Where are the drones?

Actually, I'm having difficulty finding a good drone animated gif.

This was all I could find:

drone animated gif

That won't buff out.

Yeah, it really won't. You see any good drone videos on YouTube?

They had me at "drone porn":

Then raised some serious questions about me.

They operate by a code ... a code of war.

Wrong drones.  Continue search for happy dronage.

I expected drone videos to be more... Exciting.

Hexacopter crashing into people in a Brazilian stadium :


This would be a lot more fun if it didn't crash into people.

Like the floating Shark drone the San Jose Sharks have fly around the HP Pavilion during games.

Burrito bomber drone:


Burrito bomber drones seem a lot more useful than a taco copter, frankly.

Microdrone killing a sniper, from an Air Force Research Laboratory video:


It's so precise and deadly. Now I can't unsee that.

At least now I know.

Drone vs. Airbus  :


Wow. Frightening to watch, but I must have watched it 10 times.

Video from a Predator during the first Gulf War, this is the first air-to-air engagement involving a drone in history.  Man (Iraqi MiG pilot) vs. remote controlled machine.  The first streak is a missile fired by the MiG, the second streak is a missile fired by the drone.  The drone lost.


It really does feel more like a videogame than warfare.

They just drone on and on...

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