Future of drones: good, bad and ugly

Recreational and commercial drone usage has taken off, but the dangers could be going over our head.

drone flying over city at dusk

While there are some welcome advances in drones, invasive applications of the technology are also creeping into daily life. Photo: Unsplash.

It’s no longer pie in the sky – drones have entered the mainstream. Recreationally and commercially, the uses of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) have rapidly expanded. But while there have been welcome advances in agriculture, aerial photography, product deliveries, even racing, it’s hard to ignore the less glamorous applications.

Invasive applications of drone technology, particularly in policing and surveillance, are creeping into daily life in unassuming ways, according to Senior Research Fellow in the School of the Arts and Media, Dr Michael Richardson.

“A lot of people won’t find much to worry about, but there are potential problems that happen when technology is adopted in an unchecked fashion,” the media technology researcher says.

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