PODCAST-Drones can fly at speeds of 70 MPH and electronic fences can’t prevent them entry into prison yards, hospital property or school zones. Wow, seems like drones pose risks to society – regulate them! Wait! Did I mention that drones efficiently operate within radioactive areas or locations that would present hazards to humans, such as scouting the “hot” regions of a forest fire? Drone expert Preston Rice explains and demonstrates the potential ways in which drones benefit humans – especially in the area of crisis prevention and response.
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DRONE DELIVERY BY AMAZON or PIZZA HUT
Preston notes that it is more efficient to use a drone for the delivery of smaller items as it doesn’t require sending out an individual or pollute. A barrier against such delivery is the requirement that the drone be in the line of sight of the operator. Amazon is confident that the technology will be integral to its business model and that regulations will evolve to permit vehicles to be operated beyond line of sight.
In January, 2017, the US Military announced a successful launch of a 100-drone swarm from jets. Once launched the swarm, as a collective entity, can decide for itself how best to execute a mission. In the trials, three F/A-18 Super Hornets released 103 Perdix drones, which then communicated with each other and went about performing a series of formation flying exercises that mimic a surveillance mission.
DRONE LANDS (UNNOTICED) ON A MILITARY SHIP
Popular Mechanics author Kyle Mizokami wrote that on August 14, 2017, a “civilian photographer landed his $350 drone on the flight deck of HMS Queen Elizabeth, the United Kingdom’s brand-new aircraft carrier, without anyone noticing. Even more alarming, when the incident was reported, the government authorities didn’t seem particularly concerned by the breach of security. The incident comes after drones have been used to monitor military bases, conduct acts of sabotage, and even kill.” Preston added, “The ship landing does raise questions regarding the evolution of the technology moving faster than we can react to it.” While this drone was illegally operating in protected airspace, the issue of regulation enforcement was centered as a murky region, something Preston pointed out during part 1 of this interview when he highlighted the oft-conflicting laws and enforcement of laws between federal (FAA) and local government agencies.
Preston admitted that although he flies all the time, he questions the intent of a drone flying proximal to him, “What is he looking at?” Human curiosity makes us seek information about why drones are flying. If we see a drone flying near a bridge, we want to know that it is operated by a structural engineer.
Preston and David visit the field at a local park as Preston demonstrates the steps of deploying a drone – from set-up to calibrating the drone to overhead satellites. The video is available in the YouTube version of this interview. The narrated demonstration swings open the door to the possible safety applications of a drone – especially as it was flown over swampy terrain and obtained crisp, real-time video of the terrain hundreds of feet below.
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ABOUT PRESTON RICE & MADISON AREA DRONE SERVICE
Learn more about Preston Rice and his drone services at www.widroneservice.com