Articles on Drones

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You can wait a long time for a postman to show up in the country. amandabhslater

Small businesses think smart to keep up with Amazon drones

The biggest names in internet retail appear to be dramatically stepping up efforts to make delivering your online orders, fast, reliable and extremely hi-tech. But in a week in which Amazon talked up its…
UAVs as small as 10cm by 2.5cm are already in use for surveillance by the military. What are the privacy implications if these devices become easily accessible? Defence Images/Flickr

Amazon’s eyes in the sky and pig farmers might fly

What happens when an Amazon drone drops through your roof or lands on the neighbour’s toddler while delivering a parcel? Can an unhappy pig farmer shoot down a drone operated by animal rights activists…
Not quite ready for your Christmas orders.

Don’t count on Amazon drone deliveries just yet

Apparently keen to inject a bit of fun into its image after a damaging few weeks of press coverage, online retail giant Amazon has announced that it is experimenting with the use of drones to deliver its…
Would you trust this guy with a surface to air missile? Stop Killer Robots

Better to know your enemy when taking on a killer robot

The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, a network of NGOs and academics, has done us all a valuable service by drawing attention to the development of unmanned systems that are able to kill without direct…
Animal rights groups have been using drone technology to monitor farmers’ compliance with welfare laws. Under US style “ag gag” laws any footage taken could not be distributed. flickr/eschipul

Expect more spy drones if ‘ag gag’ laws introduced

The “remotely operated Hexacopter drone” may sound like something out of the latest Hollywood sci-fi, but this new technology is about to take centre stage in Australia’s animal welfare debate. Drones…
Australian police efforts to get more drones pay scant attention to how poorly they’ve worked overseas. grimjaws

Are police drones just toys for the boys?

Before the election, Tony Abbott reaffirmed the Coalition’s commitment to purchasing unmanned “drone” aircraft for military use, but he emphasised the need to review their efficacy and cost effectiveness…
laureninspace.

Prepare for more drones, and less all-out war

Much of the current debate about drones (or unmanned aerial vehicles, UAVs) is about whether their deployment to countries such as Pakistan and Yemen is legal or ethical. This debate is predominantly focused…
It’s getting crowded up there. Copyright, European Space Agency, ESA

George Clooney isn’t the only one with an eye in the sky

George Clooney revealed details last week about “his” spy satellite over Sudan, which he funds to keep an eye on the Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir, who has been accused of war crimes. The Satellite…
The state is still in control, it’s when drones and robots develop their own interests that Terminator becomes a true story. AAP / Alan Porritt

Lethal autonomous robots: who’s really in control?

Anxiety about lethal autonomous robots has some substance. The state of play as currently constituted, however, already provides enough cause for concern. The Terminator scenario Monash associate professor…
Misplaced faith in the possibility of risk-free warfare may end up putting more lives at risk. L.C.Nøttaasen

Lethal autonomous robots must be stopped in their tracks

The topic of killer robots was drawn back into the public sphere last week with the widely publicised call for a moratorium on the development and use of “lethal autonomous robotics” by a top UN human…
Non-governmental organisations have joined forces to stop the increasing use of drones in warfare - do governments need to develop guidelines for their use? EPA/Jim Lo Scalzo

The debate over military technology: in defence of drones

The increasing use of drones, especially by the United States against the Taliban in Pakistan, has prompted wide anti-drone activism. Human Rights Watch has called for a “pre-emptive and comprehensive…
The arrival of 66 asylum seekers by boat on the mainland coast of Australia at Geraldton has prompted the opposition to promise tough new border security measures, including the use of drones to detect boats at sea. AAP/Mark Cairn

All the King’s drones won’t stop the boats

After relying on immigration policies taken from the copy book of John Howard, the Liberal party has turned to defence technology for its latest policy innovation involving drones detecting boats carrying…
The rise in CCTV means many of us are under near constant observation, a trend that will only be exacerbated by the rise of drones. Flickr/ogglog

Brave new world: drones and the law

In the late 1970s I found myself wandering the mostly deserted streets of East Berlin, having successfully negotiated Checkpoint Charlie and a horde of East German border guards. I remember commenting…
How can UAV or “drone” technology be used for purposes outside combat? NZ Defence Force

Not just for war: how drones can be used for good

It’s becoming rare to see or hear coverage of combat and conflict without the mention of unmanned “drones” and their use in targeted killings. The subject rated a mention in last year’s US presidential…
President Barack Obama officially nominates Chuck Hagel as Secretary for Defence. EPA/Jim Lo Scalzo

Obama’s new national security team goes to war

Battle is being joined in Washington, where President Barack Obama, has nominated a former Republican senator, Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, to be the next Secretary of Defense. He has also nominated John Brennan…
Barack Obama and Mitt Romney finally discussed the war in Afghanistan during the third debate on US foreign affairs. EPA/Michael Reynolds

The third debate and the nagging Afghan-Pakistan question

For a war that has gone on for more than a decade, cost the American taxpayer some US$500 billion, claimed the lives of more than two thousand GIs and inflicted many more thousands of wounded, the conflict…

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