What is a Drone?

Defined as an aerial vehicle that is able to fly either autonomously or without an onboard pilot, drones are remote-controlled devices that are typically piloted from a ground-based controller. Also known as UAVs, these devices have grown from simple remote-controlled vehicles to complex, self-flying intelligent aircraft. Aside from their structure and composition, they have also gained popularity due to the scope of functions they can accomplish. This is why you will find them in nearly every sector of the society –from military aviation and other security departments to medical centers, meteorological departments, engineering centers, just to mention but a few. If you are thinking about buying a drone, then have a read of our quadcopter buyers guide.

The origins of drones are found in military aviation technology from the late 20th century, but technological advancements have led to drone tech finding a place in the everyday lives of consumers. The first functional unmanned aerial vehicle was created in the 1930’s by Reginald Denny, a Hollywood actor and amatuer aviation enthusiast. Over the subsequent decades, drone technology has been refined, taking advantage of the miniaturization of microcontrollers to incorporate peripherals such as cameras. This has enabled the control and command centers to not only capture the signals of whatever is going on in the target areas but to also actually visualize the happenings in real time, which in turn facilitates response time.

With a wide range of applications such surveillance, photography, security and as first responder tools, drones have become ubiquitous in many industries. The pervasiveness of consumer drone technology combined with advancements in range and practicality has led to controversy over the regulation and use of UAV tech. While security matters to all, there are those who especially feel the use of drones is intrusive especially where exists a fine line between the need to be frisked and matters of personal privacy. Troubles with airport security and privacy infringement have resulted in legislation to restrict the usage of drones in countries such as America and South Africa. Despite the developing legal issues surrounding personal drone use, they have become a commonly used and powerful tool in agricultural industries, emergency response scenarios, environmental monitoring and more. Even better, there are many who agree with the fact that they might just hold the key to the elusive topic of security as they have shown to be exceptional in dealing with matters of crowd control. Also seeing recreational use in drone races or personal photography, drones have become a popular hobby around the world, primarily in the United States, where recreational drone usage is legal. Drone legislation in most states of America limits the use of recreational drones to devices not exceeding 55 pounds in weight, with limitations placed on using UAV technology in areas around flight paths or busy airports without notifying authorities in advance. Needless to mention, they have also become the latest technological gadgets to be targeted by hackers who try to manipulate their system in order to gain undue advantage or simply to interfere with the commands. As we may be aware, the consequences of manipulated drone commands can be too grave to contemplate and just to scratch the surface, we could be looking at the exposure of classified military and sate information. This has even heightened the stakes as technology geeks try to come up with hack-proof methods aimed to stay ahead of the ever-creative imagination of hackers.

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