This phenomenon has been named as “rise of the drones” by many. We are talking about the increasingly popular hobby of remote control drone flying. There are thousands of clubs catering to the enthusiasts now that drone sales have soared in recent years and numerous blogs describing the best drones for sale for beginners have popped up all over the place.
As prices have dropped the application of UAVs has increased with commercial use including things like aerial photography for businesses and video creation. Movie producers who once would have needed helicopters to shoot certain scenes are now using these gadgets to get spectacular footage that would have previously been impossible or required a stunt cameraman to get into very dangerous positions.
Farmers and others in the agricultural industry are also taking advantage of both video and additional attachments to scan their crops from above to help them make decisions on the health of their farmland and alert the owners to any possible problems that might arise.
The normal consumer RC drones range from palm-sized to bigger more sturdy options with high-definition cameras that go for several thousand pounds. Many of the more advanced can go as far as one kilometer into the sky and some can go even further. The many navigational aids that they come with include first-person style glasses that enable the user to see what is right in front of and around the drone. This provides an exceptional experience for the person operating the UAV.
However, not all of the devices are easy to use, with most requiring a bit of getting used to. There have been common incidents of the drones falling from great heights, getting out of control, and crashing heavily on the ground after their operators were not able to regain stable flight control.
One major issue that has been widely talked about is privacy laws and the use of RC drones in the UK. While the USA has strict guidelines on the use of any UAVs with requirements that they can be flown only in wide empty spaces that are not heavily populated, the UK has softer legislation and has been slower in enforcing any additional laws on top of the current ones for general aviation. As most of the popular devices have cameras and video recorders attached to them there is always the possibility that recording of individuals without their knowledge could infringe on their privacy, especially as the use of their footage could be abused by individuals.
As they are still relatively new there is no doubt that these drones will witness technical advancements in the industry but also development in the laws on their responsible use. The military has been using drones to gather intelligence for a long time now and many of their operations have been called into question by some in the international community. Given that the gadgets that are available for sale to the general public are a world away from those that the military use, it will interesting to see how this space develops.