What is a drone? and why do you care



What is really a drone?

Dictionary.com says a drone is:

a) an unmanned aircraft or ship that can navigate autonomously, without human control or beyond line of sight.

b) (loosely) any unmanned aircraft or ship that is guided remotely.

This is, of course, excluding any reference to that annoying voice in the office that keeps going on and on and on….

But really, the key word in these definitions is the word “autonomously”. Otherwise, a drone would be nothing more than a RC (remote-controlled) helicopter or plane. So what if you put a camera in a RC helicopter? Does that make a drone? Well, if that means that you can pilot it beyond your line of sight I guess that could qualify as a drone. But that’s not really why you should care about drones. And let me explain why.

As I said before, the keyword is “autonomous”, this means that without any human intervention a drone should be able to do a task that is assigned to it. For example, if I tell my drone to send a package to a friend in Mars, it should pick up my package, fly to wherever my friend is, and deliver it, all without me intervening in the process. All I should have to do is say that I wanted my package delivered.

And this is where the revolution starts!

When you think of drones do you think of small quadcopters or the Amazon Prime drones delivering your recent purchases? Think bigger!! A drone could easily pilot a plane or a cargo ship with minimum supervision. How about trucks? There are already fully functional self-driving cars, that can drive safer than you or me! So soon enough you might not see too many truck drivers anymore, but drone drivers.

As you see the usages of drones are infinite. Pretty much any task that humans don’t want do or any |simple” task that a drone could do better than us means a potential for having future human replacement. What exactly does this mean?

A good example is hotel room service. You enjoy seeing people greeting you when you are welcomed at the front, but if you’re in your room and just want something delivered, let’s say you want a bit more privacy. Botlr solves those problems by moving objects from the front desk to your room. You don’t have to greet it with your pants on just to get a bottle of champagne into your room.
On the other hand, this also requires a reshuffling of existing systems currently dependent on lower-skilled human workers. Could this mean more unemployment? Will the mainstream introduction of drones into our lives spell doom for our fellow humans? That’s up to you and me to decide.

This is truly just the beginning. If you can automate drivers, in the near future we probably won’t even drive our cars if we don’t want to. Or we might even have security drones flying around at the mall at night instead of security guards. When I first thought about it, it was indeed a bit scary and exciting to imagine a future like that, not to mention all the jobs that can be substituted by drones. At the same time, the slow replacement of human workers for automation is very likely impossible to avoid–as history has prove time and time again. We will undoubtedly need to adapt, educating our populace more and bringing even the “lowest” classes up to a higher overall level of skill and education.

But isn’t that something more to be excited about? After all, we humans are the most adaptable of all!

I also found a very interesting video from CGP Grey about drones and how they will affect our lives in the future, it is highly recommended: