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War of Drones

Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) – the flying bots called “The Drones”: How will they change our world!!

What is it that they do, will change our world of tomorrow?

Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or Flying bots or best known as Drones; These are aircraft without a human pilot aboard, UAVs are a component of an unmanned aircraft system (UAS); which include a UAV, a ground-based controller, and a system of communications between the two. The flight of UAVs may operate with various degrees of autonomy: either under remote control by a human operator or autonomously by on-board computers.

The terminology gets a little fuzzy if you stick to technical definition talking about RPVs which stands for a remotely piloted vehicle.  Many of the large military drones fall into the RPV class.  The difference is that they are actively piloted by a human although the human can be hundreds or in some cases thousands of miles away. While a drone is a robot that has the ability to operate autonomously without direct control from a human operator. There are other types of drones too such as boats, submarines, and ground based robots. There is also a controversy with the term Drone and the size it represents. These popularly known drones are just flying machines and these have been in use by the military for stealth and other operations.

The primary commercial and business use possible today, for numerous activates as delivering packages, taking photographs for say selling for real estate. For nations, it is a surveillance tool meant to watch over nations as Drones have been used in the past for warfare as such, and activities alike.

Drones have been a handy gadget to get “Ariel photography” for many decades and used for intelligence and anti-terrorist outcomes. Today the drones are much more versatile and are moving the industry ahead in its reach for activities as policing, peacekeeping, and surveillance, product deliveries, aerial photography, agriculture, smuggling, and even drone racing!

The drones industry is growing in sophistication in its hardware and with equally complex software in its strength in agility and adaptive character. Very small drones are, as small as, 50cm and are about a large insect. Very small drones can be usually found in two forms: Nano or Micro Drones and Mini drones. The Nano drones are mainly shaped and designed in the form of insects. These usually have a very small rotary or flapping wings and of course, the size limits the battery and distance it can cover in flights.

Presently FAA regulations and most of the other countries regulatory authorities, have limited commercial drones but have allowed for a select few industries and applications like aerial surveying in the agriculture, mining, and oil and gas sectors which bring in restrictions on the volumes for commercial use. It is the military and intelligence operations that have continued to use drones for much more advanced activities and several countries’ demands are on the rise for using these for their security and surveillance activities which make it safe for humans as compared to earlier manned missions and aircraft, UAVs were originally used for missions too “dull, dirty or dangerous” for humans.

The advance technologies as geo-ensure, highly capable machines which can have their geo-mapping and positions precisely tracked with other capabilities as collision avoidance which will make the traffic of drones safe but on the flip side the traffic density will be high in the automated drone/bot corridor.

Although the regulations hold it back, for now, and just matter of time with the pressures from the community before they will release the usage for the want to be justified and secure usages. Commercial and Hobby uses of drones comes with regulations.  Like most laws, it is the responsibility of the operator to learn and obey the regulations.

There are several hurdles to get to the greater use of these flying bots, as for delivery -where you imagine that they will land at your doorstep precisely just like humans can perceive, drones cannot do a good job yet. The drones have to have a precise sense of location and understanding of where it needs to go without colliding with moving objects (“Sense and avoid”) like humans and vehicles and even animals. This is an advanced feature of AI for “sense and avoids” needs to be driven to perfection, is not still fully functional,  before it is ready to take off into the real-commercial applications.

The variations are many for “sense and avoid” while working under different conditions as day and night, in darkness and the other similar situations. The technology may have the best of transmission, very good cameras but there are limitations like magnetic flux that can jam the operation, battery life, hail & storms and static storms. Major challenges remain in the specifications of similar drones that will be deployed for activities under government, enterprise use, and personal usage. This will lead to specific and niche adoptions with gradation in usage by regulation and checks, which will be another set of policing activity parallel to the present system. The manufacturers with this insight have already segregated the anticipated use and features. The biggest impact will be with the differentiated services for the prices and autonomous flight take off features.

The industry is opening up the high-end hardware and the state of art usage with a readiness that will change the ecosystems and that is on the horizon in the coming years. In the next few years or so usage will undergo massive change. The vendors for software and the hardware area already looking at the variety of usages and window of opportunity that has to be kept in readiness for deployment from very small niche companies to major conglomerates also in defence activities. I anticipate a big rush as the regulations relax even a little with initial teething problems and after the confusion settles down a new monitored rational should set in. The bottom line is that we will have another line of AI where we will depend on mundane tasks. Do look up the different drones on sale in various stores from very cost effective to expensive ones for restricted use.

A major perspective that crops up is that of ethics in the use. It is a strong debate on the intent with on one end it is the humanity and on the other, it is the bottom line for a business. The nuclear bomb was not understood until the world witnessed the devastation and distressful effects and had generations to pay for. It matters as to who has the power to use the technology and what are the reasons for deployment. Drones can be used for many such activities which can create the divide between those in power and those who are not and it will not be about perspectives or being right. Drones are to happen but the use will rationalise only as good as the governance will be.

 

Do look up the http://experimentalvaccines.org/eugenics/robots-drones/

Source: http://in.pcmag.com/drones/95930/guide/the-best-drones-of-2017

 

Acknowledge Site are below

http://www.topdronesforsale.org/types-of-drones/

https://explorist.futurism.com/drones-will-change-our-world-in-the-next-5-years-heres-how/

http://www.westcoastplacer.com/6-misconceptions-about-drones-in-2015/

 

-Prof Madhavi Damle

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