By Segun Oniyide
About 6 states are testing drone flights and working on a way to account for drones in U.S. airspace,Hobbyists are already crafting drones for personal use
the topic of these flying robots has become daily water cooler discussion, Is this the dawn of the drone age? So what exactly is a drone?
For many people, the word drones conjures either dreams of ultra-convenient deliveries and flying robots or fears of having Terminator-types patrolling the skies and are poking around in all kinds of personal stuff.
The definition of a drone has changed over the years, and now refers mainly to aircraft that have the capability of
autonomous flight. That means it can be programmed to fly from one point to another, dodging obstacles like power lines and people, through sophisticated sensors. To be considered a drone, unmanned aerial vehicle vs. a remote-controlled aircraft the kind that hobbyists have used for years, it has to fly itself, from takeoff to landing.
Drones are already delivering goods in some areas of the world. They’re also helping with disaster relief, search and rescue, weather monitoring, scientific observation, farming and even sheep herding.
The federal Aviation Administration is currently working on a way to account for drones within U.S. airspace, with six states currently testing drone flights: Alaska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Texas and Virginia,with drones weighing less than 55 pounds being cleared for takeoff even earlier than that.
But there are still a lot of unanswered questions regarding drones and that is understandably caused a good deal of concern. The idea of flying robots crash landing in our front lawns or sneaking unwanted snapshots through our bedroom windows doesn’t sit well with anyone.
But when it comes to personal drones like the ones you can buy or build in your very own backyard there are already a few rules in place: Drones are restricted from flying above 400 feet, near highly populated areas or anywhere planes are landing and taking off, and they must always remain within the operator’s line of sight.