Sunday, February 19, 2012

UAV (Drone) Mania


In the weeks after the U.S. Congress passed a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) funding bill with a provision for the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV's)/drones in U.S. airspace (see: Commercial Drones to be Added to U.S. Airspace), there has been a flood of topic related information released in the industry and commercial media.  So much so, the only way to comprehend the fast pace of developments and degree of attention is to view some of them as a "Sunday paper".  So here we go:

Photo: senseFly

Swinglet CAM: It's the "Autonomous Airborne Imaging and Mapping Sensor in a Suitcase".  For a visit to the senseFly website to learn all about this one - click here.

 Photo: New York Times

Drones For Hire: A New York Times video showing how the real estate business in Southern California has been using drones to promote home sales.  To watch - click here

Drone Shot Down - By Hunters: Hunters armed with guns, versus an animal rights group armed with a light weight UAV - guess who won.  To read the article - click here.

Photo: Wikipedia

Drones: Who Is Watching You?  An ABC News Nightline piece that explores the privacy and safety issues that lie ahead with the impending boom in UAV technology use.  To view - click here (sorry, there is no way around the 30 second advertisement at start of the clip).

U.S. Drones In the Skies Over Syria: It's a humanitarian disaster, and it's being watched from the sky.  To learn more - click here.

Comment: The impending UAV/drone invasion of the skies is one of the most pronounced ways in which the Geospatial Revolution is going to be visible to most Americans.  The trends above, taken together with developments like the ability to locally produce UAV's on a mass scale using 3D printers, means a Titanic paradigm shift is underway.  Airborne imagery that once took years and bucket loads of money to obtain, will soon be available from platforms that can provide real-time collection for very low cost.  Those in the geospatial community and Emergency Services Sector with their heads down on this issue, are going to be left behind to their own detriment.

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