How would you feel about adding a family member? All you have to do is adopt it. It’s a small robot with amazing capabilities that will proudly provide you with service at home. You can operate it using a remote control, your iPhone or digital tablet. Utopia and an old promise from the 60s? Read the following story. Your owner imagination will probably take off.
Once upon a time there was a small robot called a drone. It was an airplane without a human pilot that could be remotely controlled from the ground or by a flight program on the ground. The drone became known around the world for its military use. The Americans use many of them in their wars. They are nicknamed Barack Obama’s drones.
Visionaries zeroed in on the drone’s capabilities in civilian life. The little robot was already taking aerial photos. Real estate brokers use the drone to photograph deluxe homes in Los Angeles and Toronto. Practitioners of extreme sports will soon be able to film their exploits with a drone behind them that can fly up to 70 km/hour.
Drones do inspection and evaluation work in fields for farmers. Drainage drones will save Canadian municipalities thousands of dollars to renovate infrastructures.
In Russia, drones deliver pizzas in urban parks. Amazon plans to deliver books and other products by drone in the near future. Journalists will soon be accompanied by a drone. Dancers use drones in their choreography.
The UN already uses drones to observe wars in Africa. Soon, humanitarian drones will bring medication to far-off regions, detect survivors after a disaster and announce avalanches.
The leisure industry is also using the new technology. A legion of players has requested a drone as a Christmas gift. Prices vary according to the model. The most basic model for children sells for $25.
The demand for drones is so strong that a store has just opened its doors in Quebec. The Harper government has also just launched a publicity campaign on the social networks to encourage people to use drones safely.
The future is promising for drones. There’s talk of a solar drone capable of recharging its batteries in flight, a miniature electrically powered drone that attaches itself to high tension lines to recharge its batteries through magnetic induction, snake drones equipped with a camera, a bat drone that transmits sound, scent and image, the insect drone designed to move around in an urban environment.
Several manufacturers are working on developing a flying robot for the house. It may construct and deconstruct. Technologies will allow the drone to move into small spaces, land on balconies or build and dive between buildings.
What are the benefits? Keep an eye on children or seniors, menial labour, running daily errands, protection against cyber attacks, access hard to reach places, such as a solar roof, by installing an infrared camera.
Domestic use of the drone is still far off. Impossible you say? Don’t underestimate the power of miniaturization and artificial intelligence. Don’t bet the ranch on it. Remember, your computer and the Internet were originally meant strictly for military use. You know what happened next.
Photos: iStockphoto LP
- Histoire des drones, Océane Zubeldia, éditions Perrin, 2012, 238 pages
- Wikipedia français à l’article drone
- Loic Pialat, Agence France-Presse, Los Angeles, LaPresse.ca, article Aux Etats-Unis les drones se font une place sous le sapin de Noël, 2014-12-23
- Will Campbell, La Presse Canadienne, Toronto, LaPresse.ca, article Drones : Ottawa annonce de nouvelles balises, 2014-10-21
- Yves Therrien, Le Soleil, LaPresse.ca, article Une boutique de drones ouvre ses portes à Québec, 2014-12-05
- Clément Sabourin, Agence France-Presse, Montréal, article Le bourdonnement des drones bientôt près de chez vous, 2014-07-01