Rise of the (Friendly) Drones

ImageUnmanned aerial vehicles like the Predator have been a hit for the military. Just wait 
until ordinary folks get their hands on them.

From my Impatient Futurist column in the October issue of Discover Magazine

The Predator unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV, has proven a formidable weapon for the U.S. military, quietly lurking in the sky and then zipping in to loose a missile on enemy targets. Its effectiveness raises an important question: When will I have a robotic plane of my own buzzing about that I might summon down to teach a lesson to some of the many deeply annoying people who cross my path? A mild Taser zap or even just a spitball would be fine.

I’m very likely out of luck on this score, due to the bizarre fact that neither Taser zaps nor spitballs share the constitutional protection afforded bullets. So I’ll just have to find other ways to make use of the tiny airborne drone that will almost certainly be at my beck and call in the not-too-distant future…read more.

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