No longer restricted to military use or as playthings for techies, drones now serve as tools to deliver goods and services, provide WiFi, and capture aerial photos and video footage. Issues surrounding the application of drones and legal implications are becoming an important part of the community dialogue surrounding these unmanned aerial vehicles.
If you're interested in learning more about drones from the experts, follow these nine Twitter accounts for news, entertainment, and new opinions in the world of drones.
Brendan Schulman: @dronelaws
Schulman is Vice President of Policy & Legal Affairs at @DJIGlobal, a leading Chinese drone maker, and member of the Federal Aviation Administration's new task force charged with creating drone regulations. If you want to learn about the legal aspects of unmanned aerial vehicles, Schulman is a good place to start.
Rosalie Bartlett: @rosalieinc
Bartlett, a commercial drone consultant, tweets with enthusiasm about the latest drone news. With a background in business development, she also publishes a daily commercial drone news email you can sign up for to receive regular updates in your inbox.
The name says it all. Run by Parker Higgins (@xor) and Trevor Timm (@trevortimm), this account provides information on "surveillance drones in the US and military drones around the world." It's a great place for articles and news on issues surrounding unmanned aircraft.
SEE: Drone Policy (Tech Pro Research)
Photos By Drones: @PhotosByDrones
Drones can take some beautiful photos. Check out this account for some visual stimulation and to see what's possible in the realm of unmanned aircraft photography. From Thailand to Vermont to Finland, the photos displayed here are breathtaking.
Chris Knight: @ChrisKnight
Knight, an aerial photographer, uses drones to capture some impossible shots. Not only does he use drones for his work, Knight also has opinions on the legal aspects of drone regulations, and is a source for news stories on the subject. Knight hopes to engage his audience through his tweets, as well. Here's an example (which went along with one of his photographs): "While shooting SuperMoon/LunarEclipse, I noticed flickering light to the Northeast. Anyone know which planet this is?"
Known for building Solo, the world's first Smart Drone, 3DRobotics is "North America's largest consumer and commercial drone manufacturer." This is another great account to follow for drone visuals—the cinematic videos displayed in this Twitter feed show what's possible at the intersection of unmanned aircraft technology and Hollywood. To see more great footage, check out 3DRobotics' series "Life After Gravity," available on YouTube.
For more sobering news on drones, this account, run by data artist Josh Begley (his personal account, @joshbegley, is also worth following) is a reported account of every "covert US drone strike," from 2002 to the present. Begley draws from news sources like Reuters, The New York Times, and The Guardian, to highlight the consequences of drones. Here's an example of one of his tweets: "Apr 12, 2015: Ibrahim spent five years at Guantánamo. On Sunday, he was killed by an American drone (Yemen)..."
Drone Life: @drone_life
Interested in purchasing a drone for personal use? This company, based in Massachusetts, has information for consumers who are looking into buying or renting a drone to use for anything from real estate to weddings to construction projects. This is the feed to check out for things like "5 more amazing drones under $1000."
Sally French: @TheDroneGirl
For a lighter take on drones, follow "The Drone Girl," journalist Sally French. French flies drones and tackles important and un-asked questions.
- FAA issues drone regulations, but drone delivery services await more rules (ZDNet)
- Drone drawbacks: Experts debate safety and risks of unmanned aircraft (TechRepublic)
- Facebook's giant solar-powered drone takes flight to deliver internet to remote areas (TechRepublic)
- How a drone on a leash will transform autonomous flying (TechRepublic)
- These drones are coming for your jobs (TechRepublic)
- DIY drones: 10 kits to build your own (TechRepublic)
Hope Reese has nothing to disclose. She doesn't hold investments in the technology companies she covers.
Hope Reese is a journalist in Louisville, KY. Her writing has been featured in The Atlantic, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, Playboy, Undark Magazine, VICE, Vox, and other publications.