Features

Adorable machines flying through the holidays

Photo courtesy of LIFEHACKER.COM

by ALEXANDER MORENO 

Able to linger in the sky, drones are small machines that are capable of doing big things.

Drones are simple-looking devices that are capable of displaying high definition video or live stream while hovering high in the sky. These gadgets are not just for paparazzi and film crews anymore. According to tomsgate.com, complex drone models may cost around $1,000 with lots of features, but a simple beginner’s model can cost less than $100.

Positive effects of drones are as key tools for non-government and aid organizations. They can assist with recovery efforts following disasters and capture footage of conflict zones. These gadgets can also catch a great view of the world.

“Drones would be fun for people that love to see themselves or spectate sports,” said Gumer Zombrano, junior. “But in certain situations it can be bad, like getting in the way of aircraft.”

While these little machines can be perfect for viewing from high in the sky, they can also get in the path of aircraft. For example, in August, during the fires in Los Angeles, drones became obstacles by causing air traffic, preventing California firefighters from dispatching helicopters to drop water.

According to ibtimes.co.uk, these machines also are perfect for keeping an eye on people in ways that normal surveillance cannot.

Use of drones in the military has been a concern for human rights groups and the United Nations (UN). Many drone attacks, by the United States, in areas like the Middle East have led to civilian deaths, according to globalnews.com.

“The drones will definitely have an impact on society; there are bound to be pros and cons,” said math teacher Bill Schultheis.

According to wsj.com, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has enforced rules that require operators of commercial drones to have a license and limit their flights to daylight hours. In addition, Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Oct.6 to prevent paparazzi, who are independent photographers, from flying drones over private property.

The drone business has recently been getting more attention, with startups having already raised $172 million in 2015, which is more than the last three years combined, according to foxbusiness.com. The popularity of drones may be causing other problems. For example, Mike Thorpe, co-owner of a Las Vegas drone store, said his business was broken into for the fourth time this year. Two men broke in through the front door and took an expensive drone, computer equipment and a cash drawer.

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