I try to avoid publicizing stories that can cast the drone industry in a negative light because there is already enough material out there. Instead, I focus on discussing the positive aspects drones have. However, I wanted to share this article because it discusses a very important topic – the potential for misuse that drones have. I don’t mean “accidently” flying too close to an active fire, I mean drones purposefully being used to deliver drugs or worse.
This article, from the Economist, discusses not only the problem, but also a number of possible solutions. (Some of which, we’ve covered before, such as the system developed by PrecisionHawk.)
On April 22nd a drone carrying radioactive sand landed on the roof of the Japanese prime minister’s office in Tokyo. It was the latest of a string of incidents around the world involving small drones. Last year more than a dozen French nuclear plants were buzzed by them. In January one crashed on the White House lawn. In February and early March several were spotted hovering near the Eiffel tower and other Parisian landmarks. Later in March someone attempted to fly one full of drugs (and also a screwdriver and a mobile phone) into a British prison. The employment of drones for nefarious, or potentially nefarious, purposes thus seems to have begun in earnest. It is only a matter of time before somebody attempts to use a drone, perhaps carrying an explosive payload, to cause serious damage or injury. The question for the authorities is how to try to stop this happening.
If you’d like to learn more about the latest in drone detection and anti-drone technology then “Copping a ’copter” is a good read.
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