Friday, January 8, 2016

To Drone or not to Drone

I remember the word, drone, when it was a verb or, at best, an inglorious adjective, certainly not a hip noun. Drone used to mean going on and on about monotonous stuff that no one cared about. My, how times have changed!

Multirotors, nicknamed drones, are sweeping the country in more ways than one. Drones are often employed by the government in military operations, but also perform such mundane tasks as delivering library books for universities. Once cleared, Amazon plans to use them for thirty minute package deliveries.

This drone had been used at a local concert for aerial shots.
I was surprised to learn how accessible drones are, and in many cases, inexpensive.They're so popular that they now need to be registered with the FAA for $5.00, if they're over 0.55 pounds after the batteries, propellers,and camera are loaded.

They come in various prices, shapes, sizes, and capabilities. I've seen ads from reputable companies, such as Dell, listing sale prices of less than $100.00. Dell even offers a free drone with the purchase of a qualified computer.

Depending on the model, owners can maneuver a drone fast or slowly, near or far, and zoom in or out, take videos, aerial photos, even do 3-D. Speed, battery power, and storage differ, depending on the model.

Here's one website describing drones for sale and their capabilities.

Already, lawsuits have sprung up over drones. One person lost and must pay an $850.00 fine for shooting down a drone flying over his property.

Valid concerns are also raised about the loss of privacy from drone use, as well as safety issues.

Outside of the obvious military use, I wonder if any authors have included a drone yet in a book. Seems like a novel way to advance a plot. Do you know of any? What do you think of the idea?

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  1. Interesting concept, Morgan. I was at an outdoor wedding recently, and a drone was hovering overhead videoing the event. It was a little creepy and unnerving, but I had the thought that, hey, that's progress ... probably the same thoughts old-timers had when they first saw cars going down the road. Did I just say 'old-timer'? Yikes.

    1. I have a feeling drones will become more and more acceptable, kind of like cell phones.

  2. I had not thought of using drones in a story, but I might check with my son who ordered my new Dell computer whether he opted for the free drone and kept it. :-)
    It is amazing how technology is changing faster than a boulder careening down a mountain side.The changes used to be slower in coming, and us of a certain age could keep up.

    1. Well, I'm still not sure if I really need a drone yet. Anyway, I may use one in a story.

  3. A smashing idea, Morgan! I had never considered using a drone in a story, but the addition to my second book could certainly use one. Hmmm.

  4. No drones here. I'm sure techno thrillers will be full of them this coming year though.


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