Drones are suddenly everywhere you look, like some science fiction movie come to life. Just a few days ago, we saw footage of a drone tasing a guy at the South by Southwest music festival, and another drone shot aerial footage of this week’s tragic building collapse in Harlem. If things continue on their current trajectory, drones will soon be delivering your Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN ) packages and Domino’s pizza. By turns creepy and exciting, drones are about to change our lives considerably, and Amazon won’t be the only one driving that train.
You might think I’m exaggerating a bit, but all you have to do is follow the money. In 2013, some of the major drone manufacturers, including Boeing (NYSE: BA ) , collectively shelled out almost $26 million to a lobbying group called the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, which promotes further legalization and advancement of drones and robots. Boeing is practically salivating at the market potential, with good reason.
Drones have gotten plenty of bad press recently, and much of it is warranted. As a society, we need to consider the serious implications that arise from sending a machine to do our bidding, particularly in the context of war or conflict. However, let’s also look at a few ways in which drones could help to solve some sticky problems of modern life.