Dov Bechhofer Covers the History of Drones
Bechhofer, an experienced computer engineer discusses drones and how they evolved from a science fiction fantasy to a practical machine used around the world today, from residential deliveries to modern warfare. The future can undoubtedly benefit from improved technologies, but at what cost?
Working as an engineer, Dov Bechhofer has seen firsthand the kind of enhancements computerized machinery can have in our lives. Complex machinery requiring the help of computers proves to have an endless ability to improve our overall well-being (think of all the conveniences the smartphone alone brings). It’s not surprising that the rise of drones in military tactics encouraged practical use in other fields as well as consumer products.
Nearly overnight, the drone went from a layman’s daydream to a consumer (albeit expensive) item available in more than a few model types. Before that were years of drone development (mainly in warfare) that would allow manufacturers to market their own versions of the complex machine, but it was only through a long process of reinvention that they became what we recognize today.
Military drones were put to use decades ago as unmanned weaponry––popular because it meant there were no casualties on the handler’s side in the event of an attack. At first, they were used for surveillance but were later weaponized and used as remote and tactful field soldiers.
“Going by the technical term, ‘drone’ usage has been around since the 19th century. Instead of unmanned balloons loaded with weapons, today we have unmanned and flying fighter guns. But those also developments led to more peaceful and practical uses.” says Dov Bechhofer.
Drone Use Around the World
Through technological advancements in the early 2000s, drones made a more casual appearance back at home. Firefighters and surveying teams used the newly-accessible technology to achieve feats humans were unable to accomplish without extreme risk. Disaster relief forces used drones to shuttle materials when battling wildfires. Surveillance teams used drones to safely spray pesticides on crops and inspect pipelines.
With more and more usage came cheaper manufacturing and the expiration of patents. Consumer drones only came onto the scene in the last few years with exceptional and updated models released each season.
Drones already have major roles in various countries helping the crew in activities like agricultural projects and construction sites. Dov Bechhofer believes this will take drones out of the negative light of war. Replaced by practical and peaceful assistance needed around the world.
Leaders in agriculture use drones to survey their crops and monitor regular health from a unique vantage point. Without having to walk and observe miles of farmland. Companies like Amazon, Walmart, and UPS are either currently using drones in package delivery. If not they have a definite plan in the works to make that service available to customers. Construction sites employ drones to obtain digital data on their builds. Helping to survey the progress more cheaply with greater accuracy than human measurements.
The problem with drone warfare is it removes humans from the encounter and puts things into a potentially immoral perspective. On the other hand, in peacetime, they prove to be extremely useful to humans. Consumer drones may be the next step to more widespread use. Eventually having a greater functionality to improve our lives.