Drones designed to do the bidding of ordinary people can be bought online for $300 or less. They are often no larger than hubcaps, with tiny propellers that buzz the devices hundreds of feet into the air. But these flying machines are much more sophisticated than your average remote-controlled airplane: They can fly autonomously, find locations via GPS, return home with the push of button, and carry high-definition cameras to record flight.
Besides wedding stunts, personal drones have been used for all kinds of high-minded purposes — helping farmers map their crops, monitoring wildfires in remote areas, locating poachers in Africa. One local drone user is recording his son’s athletic prowess at a bird’s angle, potentially for recruiting videos.
The reference to the wedding stunt is this:
Kevin Good thought there was an 80 percent chance he could successfully deliver his brother’s wedding rings with a tiny drone.
“The other 20 percent is that it could go crashing into the bride’s mother’s face,” the Bethesda cinematographer somewhat jokingly told his brother.
It worked. One problem is this:
…not every flier is virtuous. There are videos on YouTube of people arming drones with paintball guns. In one video — apparently a well-done hoax to promote a new video game — a man appears to fire a machine gun attached to a small drone and steer the device into an abandoned car to blow it up.
Privacy and civil rights activists worry about neighbors spying on each other and law enforcement agencies’ use of drones for surveillance or, potentially, to pepper-spray protesters.
And the law?:
Right now, drones operate under the same rules as radio-controlled planes. Commercial use is not legal…
I can promise you further updates on this story.