(TMU) — There’s a lot of justified fear and animosity directed toward drones out there in the world.
Just last week, a private drone operator deployed his heat-seeking drone to search for a six-year-old Minnesota boy who had been reported missing by his family. The search drew in more than 600 volunteers, local law enforcement agencies, and several helicopters.
Ultimately, the drone picked up the boy’s heat signature—as well as that of his dog, Remington—laying in a cornfield at almost 2 am in the morning.
Ten hours after departing venturing off to play with his dog, the boy was found cold but alive. He said Remington had kept him safe.
Police are increasingly using drones in search and rescue operations. In some missing person cases, drone footage actually helps narrow down vast swaths of land so that searchers can best utilize on-the-ground resources.
Police also use drones for collecting aerial data for developing accurate “orthomosaic” maps of high frequented areas in case they’re targeted by shooters; documenting crime scenes; surveying disaster sites; managing traffic accidents; and situational awareness in handling hazmat incidents or anything else involving dangerous chemicals.
There are also many ways civilians can use drones for business purposes or the betterment of humanity. While this is not an advertisement for drones, it is a general acknowledgment that drones will be ubiquitous in the future.
If government and law enforcement agencies are going to use them for nefarious purposes, we might as well counterbalance that with altruistic uses.
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