The terms ‘quadcopter’, ‘unmanned aircraft’ or ‘unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)’ are quite in trend today. We often hear people talking about these terms. Drones are the new technological advancement of the century. The practical and innovative services they have to offer are nothing short than a dream come true from sci-fi movie. Since these small aircrafts are easily available and very cost effective in nature, anybody and everybody can afford them. These devices can fly above high fences and difficult terrains. With little practice they can be flown by anybody. The recent advancement in drones have enabled them to be controlled from two three miles afar. They can be utilized to monitor leakages in the gas pipeline, mapping livestock or monitoring the habits of endangered species. It can also help to step up the rescuing efforts after a natural disaster. Remote areas can also be covered strengthening national security. Like the rest of the advancements, drones come with their share of pros and cons too. With the increasing popularity of quadcopters, it is high time we discuss about their possible disadvantages.
The most crucial one being the misuse of drones by criminals and terrorists. The miscreants have found out a new way to carry their illegal business. From helping immigrants to illegally cross the border to weaponizing drones, these criminals have showed us the uglier side of the drones. Mexican drug cartels have increased their business with the help of these machines. They can now easily smuggle drugs in jail or across the border. An increase in violence due to drones has also been noticed. Drones are laced with remotely detonating bombs and can be dropped on the target with the help of the remote control.
In a recent conference held at AUVSI Xponential on May 2, Joe Mazel, the head of FBI’s operation technology brought light upon one such happening.
He informed the media about the counter attack carried out by a gang. According to Defense One reports, the FBI agents were monitoring a hostage situation involving a planned crime at an anonymous location last winter. With intention to confuse the officers, the gang used a swarm of small drones. They repeatedly flew those drones at very high speed, close to the office personnel’s heads. Thus, the agents had to forcibly come out of their hiding spots. The criminals videotaped the entire incident and posted it on YouTube. The authorities have instructed police to shoot the smaller and regular drones if found to be flown off-limits. Additionally, the U.S. aviation regulators may make it mandatory for drones to have a licensed number plate on them. This will help to keep track of the drones. Until now, the drones were required to be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) only. Over a million people have registered. It is required for them to identify their drones, but the markers can be placed inside the battery compartments or other internal areas where it can’t be seen. The official website of The White house doesn’t disclose any details regarding the penalties to be imposed upon drones without license plate or how big the markers would be
Various other issues have also come into light like assaulting people. The people targeted by the drones are usually injured or killed as they have no means to defend themselves.