Unmanned systems of the 20th century have inched their way into the public spotlight and today these drone systems are front and center of many industries. For example, in the entertainment industry the popular band Muse titled their 2015 concept album Drones, drones thwart Spider-Man in Marvel’s blockbuster movie Spider-Man: Far from Home, and finally, drones are the tool of choice of literally every villain in the hit British television series, Black Mirror. These are just a few examples of how unmanned systems, particularly drones, are portrayed in entertainment media.
With representations that often sensationalize or vilify this technology it’s possible that potential buyers, whether enterprise clients or simply an enthusiast, could be discouraged from pursuing drones as a solution or a hobby. Whether dystopic or simply inaccurate, misconceptions about unmanned systems, solutions that companies like Tomahawk Robotics provide, need to be addressed.
With such a wide lexicon surrounding drone technology, it is important to clarify terms in order to fully understand the unmanned system ecosystem. A drone is a term coined in the fields of aviation and space. In the most simple terms, it is an unpiloted aircraft, often used to mitigate safety risks for tasks too dangerous for a pilot. They can be used for many purposes including photography, surveying, and defense.
An umbrella term used to describe several vehicles is an unmanned system – UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), UGV (Unmanned Ground Vehicle), and UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System) -- are perhaps the most common types.
Myth 1: Drones are for Military Use Only
While it’s true the history of unmanned systems is deeply rooted in military research, everyday civilians have adopted drone use at an exponential rate. In fact, the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) anticipates an adoption rate of 700,000 civilian-owned drones by 2022 in the U.S. alone. With solutions to improve the quality of life for countless communities, the days of associating unmanned systems with only the military are changing.
Myth 2: Use of Unmanned Systems is Unregulated
Just because recreational use of drone technology is growing in popularity doesn’t necessarily mean it is all fun and games. The FAA requires all unmanned systems to be registered. Additionally, Title 49 of the United States Code includes a wealth of regulatory measures to ensure safety and standards for the use of drones.
Myth 3: Anyone Can Own an Armed Drone
While the entertainment industry has found success in equipping its villains with cutting-edge drone tech, the public can rest knowing only military entities are authorized to weaponize drones. The use of weaponized drone technology by the public is strictly prohibited by the FAA. Not only are there federal laws that ban the weaponization of drones but there are also specific state laws as well which reinforces this ban.
Myth 4: Drones will Invade Our Privacy
As the public adopts this technology we run into the risk of our communities being invaded by drones. Anticipating such concerns, FAA regulations have always prohibited unauthorized drone use in densely populated or developed areas such as cities. Recreational drones must be kept at established distances from buildings and crowds and there are hefty penalties saddled to any of these violations.
Myth 5: Drones Serve No Purpose in the Private Sector
The association of drones to the military and enthusiasts is strong but it doesn’t tell the whole story. In reality, businesses across the entire economic landscape have adopted drone use to enhance their operations. Adopted by farmers, architects, and emergency services, companies are benefiting wildly from the adoption of unmanned systems.
With their unlimited potential to elevate human performance, unmanned systems are changing the way the world does business. Visit tomahawkrobotics.com/products/ to learn the truth about what unmanned systems can do for you.