How drones will change our lives


INDEED, WE LIVE IN THE 4TH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION TODAY. Many changes will occur in the way we do things because of technology.

Artificial Intelligence and Automation now combine to produce drones. They are flying machines controlled by radio gadgets from below which can be used by hobbyists, the military and for commercial purposes.

For hobbyists – the most popular use is to have aerial shots of one’s group taken or take a panoramic view of the terrain one is in like mountains, valleys, and seas like one had his own camera plane. Lazada sells them from as low as P700 to a high of P27, 000 for the more complicated ones.

They are not allowed for use during night time, near populated areas like schools and marketplace, not to be flown above 400 feet and must be10 kilometers away from airports. If one uses them for commercial purposes, one must get permission from the CAAP (civil aeronautics).

Worldwide, its popularity had gone to 3 million users in 2017 and by 2021 -we are soon to have “air traffic” with the projected usage of 30 million drones in the world.

Time Magazine had a special issue on “The age of the Drones” and cited their many uses.

Military, the USA has used drones (since the time of Obama) to scout and target high-value enemies in Afghanistan while the ISIS had dropped crude bombs on allied troops in Iraq and Syria using drones.

The drone war has escalated -since it achieves military objectives with no human casualty on the offensive side much like sending Robocop to wage battle in the fields. It is this reason that the Pentagon is set to spend US$400-M in research for counter-drone mechanisms.

Drones can also be used for bad ends like one convicted kidnapper Jimmy Causey of South Carolina whose allies sent a drone to drop two wire-cutters into the prison compound and allowed him to escape prison- at least temporarily.

But there are far more good beneficial uses for drones than bad.

For instance, when Hurricane Maria cut off all communications in Puerto Rico, AT a T sent off a giant Flying COW- a drone in the sky that set off mobile data signal 40 miles in all directions- negating the need for the damaged land-based mobile towers.

In wild Africa, a man badly needing an O+ blood type got his package in 6 minutes dropped from a drone via a small parachute – in what would have taken 6 hours by a land trip.  Operation Zipline in Rwanda did its first commercial drone flight carrying medical supplies and blood to far-flung areas.

Amazon is actively developing drones to deliver time-sensitive items within minutes and escape the horrendous land traffic and risks traveling down there.

It is very helpful in the field of movie-making- where the best aerial shots can be achieved at the least cost. Drones were extensively used to shot on camera scenes from James Bond’s “Skyfall”, “Jurassic Park” and the sci-fi film “Black Mirror”.

Using the traditional helicopters would have cost Hollywood from $20-40,000 per 10 hours shot. Drones can be had for as low as $4,000 to $13,000 for a whole day shooting.

And with no risk to pilots and crew as in helicopters.

Even in the Philippines, inventors are riding on the worldwide craze to innovate. For instance, a former dancer and camera operator Kynz Mendiola, using “multicopter” technology”- has invented what she calls as a “flying sports car” drone.

The air drone can seat one person (up to 220 pounds including the drone and accessories)  can fly over 20 feet at 67 kilometers per hour speed powered by six lithium batteries with portable radio frequency controller.

Star8 , Australia’s technology company, is eager to perfect the prototype with Mendoza as this will revolutionize travel in the Manila where traffic is crazy and can navigate for that one passenger in 5 minutes from one point to another what would have taken an hour. Wow.

Yes, guys, this is the New World coming at your doorsteps in incredible speed.  And guess who controls the drone global trade?

It is a Chinese company based in Shenzen which controls 75% of the drone technology production in the world. This is not a wonder.

A recent article indicated that it has become a national policy of China to appoint engineers and scientists to key government posts- to better take advantage of the trends in this 4th Industrial Revolution.

For a start, Chinese President Xi Jimping is an engineer. Brings out a negative case for the Philippines- where Philippine democracy has produced more than its just share of lawyers as presidents.

We should read better the handwriting on the wall.

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