Monthly Archives: November 2015

November 24th, 2015

From Fear to Maker Faire: Two Years of Normalizing the Drone

Drone and Joan 50171 by tedeytan, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License image by  image by tedeytan  [text added]

by Rachael Borene

On December 1st, 2013, the public was shocked when Amazon.com announced an upcoming shipment method: delivery by drone. Customers who lived within a ten-mile radius of an Amazon shipment center would eventually have the option of having small packages delivered to them in less than thirty minutes, straight to their doorstep, thanks to GPS-guided drones.

The announcement sparked a public outcry which led to many unanswered questions about drones. Amazon tried to answer as many question as possible, but people still feared the thought of drones zipping through the sky above their heads, carrying unmarked packages. Our society, which looks in awe at the technologically advanced worlds in science fiction, is still living in a time where we’d rather picture these technologies as fantasy instead of dealing with them as a reality.

So how does the concept of the drone become normalized in society?

The answer is easy: begin with younger generations of people. In the past, drones were thought of as war machines and tools of terror. Adults may feel like drones are making us lose control of our world, rather than making it a smaller and more accessible place for humanity to live. Children, however, have yet to make up their minds about drones.

This year, Barnes and Noble hosted a nationwide Makers Faire, complete with demonstrations of a working drone. The drone was little more than a novelty; it only stayed operational for eight minutes before it had to be charged for another fifty minutes, it couldn’t carry anything, and the demonstrator flew it only ten inches off the ground. But the innocent, fun personality of that little drone attracted curious children, and likewise reminded adults that the daydreams of their youth were coming true.

Young children today won’t remember a time when drones didn’t exist. Their first experiences with them will likely be as a toy, not a war machine. In only two years, the drone has gone from feared technology to a popular childrens’ toy. Only time will tell how society will come to use the drone, but the new generations are sure to approach it with an attitude of ingenuity and inspiration.