This video once again comes courtesy of our good friends at MediaFX Video Production, who captured this lecture, which we gave at the Portland Mini Maker Faire. Then, they paired it down to this concise, logically arranged talk which we failed to deliver to our live audience, but which is available for you to enjoy now.
We'd be remiss if we didn't give a special shout-out to MediaFX intern Steven, who provided the first cut of our talk, as well as the bouncy opening montage. Thanks, Steven!
In addition, I want to apologize right up front for Techinstein's muddy audio in the second half of this presentation. We had a lapel microphone fail on us, and this was about the most non-permissive audio environment imaginable: we were speaking directly underneath an interstate freeway bridge. Still, I thought that what he had to contribute to the discussion was worth hearing, so we went with it in spite of the bad sound.
For this talk, we wanted to do something a little different: start poking holes in the whole “all drones are evil” narrative that is so prevalent in our society today. I understand the misgivings that people have about them – airborne killing machines and surveillance platforms give me chills, too.
However, we simply can't afford to write off this whole technology because we don't like one tiny fraction of its application. It would be the same as arguing that because knives are used to kill people, we should ban all knives – but then we would be missing out on surgery and carved meats, two things I'm very glad that we have available to us.
Our goal with this video was to provide some facts and some arguments for the “pro-drone” side of the debate. In the future, these tools are going to do a lot of good for society. In fact, as I very recently learned, they are already being widely used overseas in applications like agriculture, as we here in the United States fumble around year after year, waiting for regulations to be put in place to allow that to happen.
Paraguay is out ahead of the US on this one and, for a nation that likes to fancy itself as the world leader in aviation, that's just pathetic. There really isn't any other word to describe this situation, except maybe “very pathetic.”
Anyway, after an exploration of the positive applications of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (SUAS), we launch into a general how-to discussion with the very savvy Maker Faire crowd – so savvy, in fact, that they asked questions about all of the thorny regulatory issues that I took out of our PowerPoint because Techinstein told me they were boring. Ha!