Rise of the Drones by author Joseph J. O’Donnell

Many years ago I had told my son that the future lay in the hands of robotics. This sage advice was similar that was given to the character, played by Dustin Hoffman in the motion picture ‘The Graduate’, when he was advised that the future held promises in ‘plastic’.

Robotics have advanced in many sectors which includes industrial production, aerospace, military machines, deep space probes and more. The new direction has been in the creation of drones. Just like the origin of computer generated children’s toys lead to advances in games and home computers , the modern day drones were advanced by hand held flying models used by hobbyists and the general public.

Early drones constituted hobby flying small aerial drones in similar practice as flying model planes and helicopters.  Unlike these early flying models, drones were able to stay in relatively small air spaces, rather than having the need to fly over much vaster tracts of land so as not to cause injury and accidents. The starter drone models were small devices that can be considered training models, even today. The second installation of drone models into public hands were far superior to their predecessors as well as more expensive. The earlier models can still be purchased and are good learning tools that enable enthusiasts to practice for future flight with a smaller cost factor should these instruments become damaged in practice.

The latest advanced systems of the future have already come on line in the form of Predator military aircraft used for surveillance and ground targeting warfare. These aircraft can stay over a target for long periods of time, and in the event that they are shot down there is no loss of pilots as in the past. These aircraft are much cheaper to produce as well.

The future of military use of these drones have already been planned as bombers and fighters that can be controlled by bases continents away and their controllers safely placed in underground bunkers for protection. Air fleets of these models can be launched at a moments notice from remote bases and ships to protect our country and strike enemy targets with little or no warning. Sea warfare drones are also on the menu in the event of naval confrontation.

The civilian use of drones are not limited in their use either. Aerial delivery is already considered for such companies as Amazon, and the trend in this thought is growing. Emergency services such as the police and fire departments have seized on this idea for search and rescue and the scouting of forest fires, and high-rise building fires. Criminal tracking of fugitives are also on the agenda. Deep sea exploration has already had the use of such vehicles, and this is now considered for sport and commercial fishing, too.

As the demand, and use, of drones rapidly increases a new industry has been launched for the building of drones. Even a new racing sport is now underway for the ‘geeks’ in our society for entertainment purposes. So ‘gear up’ America, you are now on the forefront of a new generation of science that can be yours for the taking.