Up until now, unmanned aerial vehicles were these exotic machines used in times of war to spy on enemies or take them out altogether, but think of the endless applications of airborne craft that are small, maneuverable and free of those pesky pilots. From airborne traffic analysts watching over the freeway networks of L.A. to child monitors for nervous parents, UAV’s can be used in a whole host of scenarios that can truly benefit society; they can also be used in all kinds of nefarious, or at least tasteless, ways that compromise privacy and safety, from flying paparazzi to airborne spies for private investigators. As UAV technology becomes cheaper and more widely accessible, the dawn of the widespread commercial use of drones is coming fast. Already paparazzi firms are contracting researchers to work on small, quiet drones that could hover over a celebrity’s house all day and commercial security groups are looking for drones to replace stationary cameras. Don’t look now, but that could be a drone following you home tonight.
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