Drones are incredibly popular, everybody wants to have a drone these days. And I support you, they are fun to play with, you'll shoot great photographs and footage, go get one! But when you get a drone, you'll also need a variety of drone equipment in order to make your overall drone experience better
My innovation, HEROTECH8, brings drone technology to places and people that either wouldn't have the resources, energy infrastructure, or technical know-how to reliably, and safely, operate drone systems. This is not by focusing on the vehicles (although this is a very popular topic at the moment with start-ups) - instead we create autonomous drone infrastructure.
It's for this reason that the Dronecode was first developed. It's a set of rules laid out to ensure safe, responsible use of drones to maintain the UK's excellent air safety record. Over the last few months we've been conducting research into the first Code to see how well it has been adopted and recognised and on the back of this, we've created a new version to further ensure safety remains as important as fun.
President Trump promises to bring back "a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding". Although he likes it "a lot," he does not "think it's tough enough." What the Spanish Inquisition called tormento del agua is, for Donald Trump, "minimal, minimal torture." In other words, he wants to undo all the work that we at my organization Reprieve - and many others - have struggled to carry forward in the years since 9/11.
With arguably some proven credentials - with drones already being used in television production; law enforcers using thermal imaging cameras to catch suspects; and utility firms able to check for leaks - what's not to like about speedy shopping or sending drones rather than humans on dangerous military or surveillance missions?
The justification of 'protecting' others - ground forces, innocent civilians, homeland security - is of course an entirely valid ethical point, but it's the same justification as might be used by some functionary deputed to deliver the lethal injection to a death row inmate - protecting others from someone innately bad, an enemy of society, doing a job that the rest of society is too soft and squeamish to countenance. But is that how flyers would want to see themselves? A technically adept functionary? Is that what they joined for?
Yes drone attacks violate human rights - but the US has also made it clear that they are in a state of war with terrorists. What this means is that the law of war governs their actions - not the law of peace. It might be a good idea to get a grip on those concepts and develop a legal justification as to why the law of peace operates.
With a spirit determined to trail blaze through the clouds, reminiscent of Amelia Earhart's landmark solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1932, the world's first Abortion Drone flew from Frankfurt an der Oder, Germany across a river to Slubice, Poland. The drone delivered packets of abortion pills, prescribed by a physician.
Over the next few weeks, we'll be sharing blogs from inspiring innovators, who are using tech to change the world - from the charity helping sight impaired kids use public transport independently, to the start-up that have created an app to help parents suffering from postnatal depression... It's not about celebrating the technology by itself, it's about celebrating the humans and how they're using technology to achieve something great.