Like it or not, the Age of the Drone is upon us, as the skies are increasingly crowded with UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) used for recreation, photography, filmmaking, commercial applications, and scientific research. Ongoing initiatives by heavyweights like Amazon and Google suggest that cargo transport and package delivery are just around the corner.
As UAV technology advances and expands, public policy issues around safety, privacy, and regulation are increasingly becoming a concern. Earlier this year, both the FAA and the White House issued new domestic directives on commercial and government drone use. Yes, the technology holds great promise, but there's a clear and present downside to having endless remote-piloted and robotic aircraft swarming overhead, as the following incidents involving drones behaving badly clearly show.
Note: Here we set aside the use of aerial drones in military, law enforcement, or government surveillance capacities -- a whole 'nother industrial-size can of very scary worms.