Drone On and On
When one thinks about drones, they may think about artificial intelligence. Then they may think about movies like “Chappie” or “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones.” The setting is almost always placed at some point hundreds of years in the distant future, so no one needs to worry about a robot army developing its own intelligence or an evil super genius taking over the world with their drone army. Or do they?
All this talk about drones becoming a reality in our technology-driven culture can be a little frightening. Businesses and militaries around the globe are looking at drone technology and hiring IT engineers to develop drone solutions for simple tasks.
For example, the U.S. postal service bid out a job involving the development of drone-launching trucks that would carry and fire off drones to deliver packages weighing up to 10 pounds while the mail carrier delivers regular mail as usual. Workhorse Group won the bid and is working with the University of Cincinnati on the build.
If one doesn’t fear drone armies or a free-thinking machine, they may not like entertaining the idea of robots replacing humans. Going back to the mail carrier, those package-delivering drones can fly at speeds up to 50 miles per hour. That is much faster than any human can walk. Mail would be delivered fast and a human would be replaced.
Militaries all over the world are looking into drone use as well, as a tool for spying on enemies and to replenish military supplies without the risk of a losing a human body by being blown out of the sky. The U.S. Coalition reported it has shot down a drone of the terror group ISIS. The fear is a drone army is underway.
Another area where drones are being considered is in disaster relief. Drones outfitted with cameras can fly into flooded or other natural disasters, or even war zones, and search for wounded. Emergency staff could use the drones to see if an area is safe and free of enemies before moving in to set up temporary hospitals or provide food and supplies to citizens caught up in conflict. The American Red Cross has been contacted by a group called Measure to discuss the possibility of disaster relief drone use. The Red Cross reported they are just not ready yet. As an organization that relies upon donations, they want to make sure the nation is comfortable with the idea of drones first.
Apparently it may be time to find an evil genius training program at a university nearby, and find it fast. The future of drone use is not so far away.