Personal drones for fun & profit

Seems like the way things are headed, it won’t be long before somebody on your block is flying their own personal snooping device over your back yard. What are the consequences and/or implications of personal drones becoming more common?

Here’s a picture I captured (drone-style) from a random twitter feed a few weeks ago. It appears to be somebody’s personal drone hovering just a few feet over the heads of a crowded street. It’s possible - perhaps even likely - that this belongs to a newspaper or similar business. Some privately-owned drones have lately been capturing some pretty amazing footage of the protests here in Bangkok.

But at some point, one is going to fail and crash - propellers still spinning - into a crowd of children on the street. Also there are privacy issues. If you’re one of those people who don’t like to have your picture taken in public, pretty soon you won’t be able to anything to do about it. In fact I’m surprised that the paparazzi aren’t already flying them over celebrity pool parties.

Where do you see this going in the future? Licensing/permits required to operate a drone? A drone registration database, so we can track drones that are used in the commission of crimes back to their owners?

Destroy it with another drone. Blind it with a laser pointer so it crashes. Dangerous to anyone below it and I presume illegal, but I expect that people will try that sort of thing.

Yes, and some people try to force other people into car accidents as well.

People are probably going to be far more likely to try something like that with an unmanned drone than with a vehicle that has people in it.

Well, heck, people have long shot at radio control airplanes, why not drones, too? They aren’t that different, really. A “personal drone” is usually a remote control rotorcraft these days.

The FAA is currently drafting rules on civilian flying drone use, including licensing requirements for those over a certain size or exceeding very limited operational parameters.

Perhaps personal duels between politicians, as enjoyed by mid-nineteenth century congressmen in America, could evolve into drone-fights: either to destroy the other drone or the other person from hundreds of miles away.
People could even bet on them.

Attaching some money to my drone and sending it down to the liquor store will be allowed, right?

Personal drone warfare - I hadn’t thought of that. The wonderful world of video games will soon go “live” as each player strives to build the bigger, better drone.

This is wild. When I was a kid, I thought it would be SOOOO cool to fly a small remote control airplane that had a camera on it. Maybe even have dogfights and a controller similar to a real airplane. It shot BB’s :slight_smile:

And along came computers and computer games. I can ‘fly’ anything from a Sopwith Camel to an F-35.
And now it’s coming full circle. Fly actual aircraft from your living room.

I only hope I live long enough to see the HoloDeck. I should start working on my list :wink:

Fortunate, the downside of the cost of drones and lack of automatic respawn will work to minimize that sort of thing.

Just saw this one recently.

Not much endurance, yet, but it autopilots to your cellphone’s GPS which raises some interesting ideas for personal surveilance.

When I was growing up, I knew a certain subset of kids who would have thrown rocks at them without a moment’s hesitation.

BattleBots in the Air - coming soon to a cable channel somewhere. Of course, there is that Colorado guy who wants to issue hunting licenses for drones.

Next up on ESPN 8-‘the ocho’

Here in the uk they are considered the same as any other radio controlled aircraft and fall under the same regulations.

If you decide you want to use one for profit, you must attend a 3 day CAA course at a cost of £1100, perform and record the details of a site survey / risk assessment, file a post flight; flight plan with the CAA and a host of other hi-vis rubbish. Or face a £2500 fine.

An animals rights group was using a drone to observe a pigeon shoot in Pennsylvania I think. Shockingly enough one of the hunters apparently shot the drone down.

Speaking of Bangkok, what’s to stop an assassin from strapping an explosive to one of these and flying into the Prime Minister’s window? Or car, etc.

Pay-to-win is getting seriously out of hand !

Color me unshocked.

What is the difference between a remote-controlled airplane and these (flying, gotta be flying) “drones”?

Are we just now realizing the not-always-good potential of a R/C airplane?
Has it just now occurred to the masses that a camera could be attached? How about a bomb and a GPS receiver? Nobody would be able to determine its target until it was on that target.

Leave the plane atop a building and activate when the target gets to the designated spot.

This is not a new thought

How about flying two into a bank? One with a bomb and the other a bag with a note: Fill the bag with 20s and no bait (exploding dye pack) or my buddy blows the place up. The one with the bomb can point a camera at the bag as it is filled.
Try to leave? Boom! Cops show up? Boom Slip in bait? Boom!

All of this is already possible for a price.

The price is dropping. That is all that is new.