The drones culture: changing the world

ilustracao Sociedade dos dronesForget about couriers. In the near future, documents, small packages, and pizza will be carried and delivered by these small unmanned air vehicles, the drones.

Forget also about construction sites as they are today. They will change. They will look like a beehive, with a swarm of drones on the surrounds. Substituting the workmen hanging on scaffolds, the drones will be used to seat with precision the parts of the structure in construction, in a genuine aerial ballet.

We will come across drones in diverse functions everywhere: policing, inspecting the cities’ streets and installations, controlling the traffic, maintaining installations, cleaning, irrigating, spraying, and neighbors and information services snooping. Firemen will be assisted by drones in operations of rescue or combat to the fire. The press will be ubiquitous with its flying cameras. In parks, we will see intelligent drones interacting with human beings the same way dogs run behind a ball and bring it back to the master.

Perhaps this is just a timid vision of the drones’ culture being drafted. After all, it contemplates only functions that these vehicles are already capable of executing with greater or minor resourcefulness. Even this conservative projection of the future, however, indicates that we will see a great and disruptive change in our lives when drones are used in large-scale.

We could compare some videos on experiences with drones to people watching a Jetsons cartoon. The recording of the Flight Assembled Architecture installation, carried through in the FRAC Center in Orleans, next to Paris, is a foresight of the future of construction. The experience carried through by a team of researchers from the Federal Swiss Institute of Technology, shows drones raising a six-meter high construction. Matthias Kohler, one of its creators, reckons that drones are going to change the culture of construction and architecture. The roboticist Raffaello D’ Andrea showed the spectators in TEDGlobal quadricopters capable of acting on the basis of acquired experience. They can, for example, move quickly balancing a glass of water or carrying out the scene above described.

In the military sector, the biggest sponsor of drones ever, the new technology changed the way to make war. There is a very serious issue in progress, fed by leaks on the action of the Armed Forces of the United States regarding an abusive use of drones. As inhuman hired murderers, they are capable of pursuing and killing people wherever they hide, as far as the intelligence service can track the signals of their mobiles. .

Put to civil use, the drones’ technology is so disruptive – especially in logistics and transport – that is compelling the big companies to rethink their operations. So it is with German DHL, Amazon, Google, Wal-Mart, and Shell, among others.
They are all doing experiments with drones. DHL got the first license, in experimental character in Europe, to use drones in delivery services. Its tests are carried in Germany with manned vehicles that cross 12 kilometers, at the speed of 18m/s to take medicines to the inhabitants of the Island of Juist. Google makes deliveries with drones in the countryside of Australia, where the equipment can be operated without restrictions. Amazon has been rising with the creation of a service that promises to deliver products at the consumers’ house in 30 minutes.

As every innovation, though, the disruptive technologies of drones have raised conflicts and issues. Some of them are the dispute for airspace, the discomfort caused by the presence of drones, the reduction of privacy, and the risks to the security. Above all, however, there is the challenge to raise society to a degree of cultural and political development that will not transform such powerful technologies into threats to the life and freedom of the human beings.


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