DRONES – HERE TO SAVE OR HERE TO TAKE?
Technological devices have been booming due to inventions made possible by Science and it inseparable colleague, Technology. An amazing couple, making human existence and interaction convenient and efficient.
In the 21st century, technologies have been geeking out; innumerable inventions among these sophisticated techs are drones. An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) commonly known as a drone is an aircraft without a human pilot aboard. The earliest recorded use of an unmanned aerial vehicle occurred on July 1849 serving as a balloon carrier. But now, there are modern drones with numerous uses.
Drones have moved from killing machines used in wars or by the military to a catalyst of hope to people.
In some countries, drones are employed for these purposes:
• Watching or observing livestock on land by farmers
• Tracking and mapping wild fires by fire service departments
• Gathering information to help identify location of minerals due to sensor features of some drones
• Recreational activities
Africans have not missed out in the new usage of drones, as countries like Rwanda and Ghana; employ the drones to deliver medical supplies to inconvenient areas.
On Ghana‘s part, the government recently signed a $ 12.5 million drone contract with Zipline Fly limited but the fact is “Isn’t Ghana paying too much for medical drone service??” I will just leave that question here for you all to share your views.
To every coin there are two sides, in as much as drones have immensely improved lives of individuals; it has covertly damaging effects if used by nefarious thinking members of the society.
Accessibility of drones with high power zoom lenses, night vision and see-through imaging features, can aid in capturing information from individuals. Heinous individuals can then collect, analyze, store or sell personal and national information to advertisers, even the government or secret service agencies without peoples consent. That can be considered as invasion of privacy.
Drones can be used to smuggle drugs. Recently BBC News disseminated information on how “a well-organized gang used drones to fly drugs into jails”. As if that was not all, Kuwaiti authorities have arrested a man who used a drone to smuggle in drugs from a neighbouring country.
Hitherto, though drones have made data collection more effective, it has also stripped individuals of their jobs. Soon there will be an era where drones will take up the entire occupation of humans along with other technological devices.
In the era of drones, people of the world have to determine if drones are here to save by improving lives or here to take by jeopardizing human activities.