Drones, also called unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), have no human pilot onboard, and instead are either controlled by a person on the ground or autonomously via a computer program. These stealth craft are becoming increasingly popular, not just for war and military purposes, but also for everything from wildlife and atmospheric research to disaster relief and sports photography. Drones are becoming the eyes and ears of scientists by surveying the ground for archaeological sites, signs of illegal hunting and crop damage, and even zipping inside hurricanes to study the wild storms. You can even rent a personal drone to soar above the horizon and snap a photo or video. Our news and features will cover developments in drone technologies, innovative uses for drones and how drone use will impact society.
Until recently autonomous drones were used almost exclusively by the military, government, and research institutions, but falling prices and open source hardware are making these hovering robots more accessible than ever.
Working together unmanned aircraft could improve hurricane forecasts. But coordinated flight while in the throes of hurricane force winds calls for a lot of mathematical formulas, tricky steering algorithms and prototype testing.