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[1] Cohen, J. (2011, August 5). U-2 Spy Planes Retirement Signals the End of an Era. History.com.

Retrieved July 23, 2014, from


http://www.history.com/news/u-2-spy-planes-retirement-signals-the-end-of-an-era



Drones: Different Uses in Contemporary Society
Wenio Borges
1
1
Academic Writing and Reading
English Language Center (ELC)
Rochester, NY
wfa1109@rit.edu
Drones: A brief history
Created originally as vehicles of recognition, once that it could save militaries life in
missions, drones passed to be utilized as weapons to attack enemies, gaining a quick
development since its origin, and now drones are capable of effecting attacks with missiles. The
first drones were developed in the United States in 1953, and it was used just as spy planes
which became known as U-2s
[1]
. In 1994, The United States military forces started to test drones
with weapons, and it was utilized in combats for the first time in Afghanistan in 2001. After that,
the utilization of unmanned vehicles was constant in the called war to terror. Using drones, the
countries that have these technologies avoid sending combatants to battles once there are no
humans in unmanned vehicles. If a drone is attacked and fall, it will not have loss of human life.
In a study conducted by OConnell, Lawful Use of Combat Drones (2010), the legitimacy of
using drones was discussed, and she stated that drones have to be restricted to areas of battles;
however, if it was utilized outside of battlefields, international laws are being broken. Thus,
although specialists have been showing correct information to the public, most people around the
world got a wrong idea about the utility of drones after the United States started to send drones to
be used in areas that have constant conflicts. For most of them, drones are useful just to kill
enormous quantity of people at the same time. However, people still do not know that drones can
be used for commercial purposes. For instance, many companies in rural areas are using drones
[2] Google Earth and drones help save Kenyas elephants. (2013, October 10). theguardian.com. Retrieved July 23, 2014, from
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/oct/10/google-earth-kenya-maasai-mara-elephants-drones-ipad


to map big areas that require a lot of time to a specialized people to do. Consequently, the use of
drones in this field is increasing in large scales. As Doering, expert in agricultural area, cites in
his article Growing Use of Drones Poised to Transform Agriculture (2014) for USA Today the
declaration of Phil Ellerbroek, director of sales at RoboFlight, who did not want to say the exact
values of searches in 2014 for the services of his company, but he said the firm is on pace to
post triple-digit growth in both hardware and (drone) sales. Another example is the utility of
drones with the purpose of save animals which suffer due to the big quantity of people who want
to kill them. As a result, in country such as Kenya, companies and organizations are using drones
to emit songs which these animals hate and run away of huntsmen
[2]
. Therefore, in this present
study, the major aim is to explain that although being most used and known with the purpose to
kill people in battlefields, drones are becoming important in other areas such as to map areas, to
transform agriculture, and even to help save some species from hunters.
Drones: The exponential increase of its usage with the years
The world shows constantly the fear that people feel when wars start in their countries.
The war armaments that each strong country is developing increase bad feeling because the
power which these countries want to show results in big devastations with many deaths. In
addition, to express power, nations are developing better machines that can be controlled from
many miles of distances. For example, the United States is one of the principal technology
developers in the non-controlled vehicles area (see the graph below). All countries have to
protect its citizens; therefore, when drones are sent to battlefields, many lives are saved of
deaths. That is the reason of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or Unmanned Aerial Systems
(UAS) is becoming the weapon of choice over the past years against the counter-terrorism.


According to The Economist, in Flight of the drones (2011), Since 2005 there has been
a 1,200% increase in combat air patrols by UAVs. For that, at least 180 people need to be
prepared to control and maintain one drone flying.

Flight of the drones. (2011, October 8). The Economist. Retrieved July 23, 2014, from
http://www.economist.com/node/21531433
As a result of enormous investment of technologies, humans lives have to be considered.
Although the utilization of drones have helped developed nations to gain more confidence in
time of wars, discussion about until which point drones can be used must be analyzed by all
nations. All countries have its sovereignty and need to be respected according to International
laws. Nevertheless, during wars, drones arrive in foreign country killing human beings without
knowing who they are. Nichols (2013), in Pakistan tells U.N. at least 400 civilians killed by
drone strikes, states that civilians are becoming the most affected by the drones strikes which do
not know to differentiate terrorists from civilians. The program developed by president Obama is
reported as inefficient because it does not show the reality about the quantity of deaths is results
of drones attacks. Many organizations express its heartbreak due to the excessive and
uncontrolled use of forces using drones against terrorist that actually results in catastrophic
devastations of innocent people. For example, experts from United Nations (UN) demonstrate


their opinions in the article Yemen: UN experts condemn drone strikes on mistaken wedding
processions (2013) that the United States brings concerns due to the way which attacks are being
conducted in Yemen. In addition, they are worried whether or not the Unites States will adhere to
International Humanitarian Law to create legal fundaments to operate and attack using drones in
specific areas of other countries. As OConnell cites in Lawful Use of Combat Drones (2010),
Drones are not lawful for use outside combat zones. Outside such zones, police are the proper
law enforcement agents and police are generally required to warn before using lethal force.
Restricting drones to the battlefield is the most important single rule governing their use.
Drones: a new era of unmanned vehicles
Contrasting with the current reality of how drones are clearly remembered, its
commercial use is becoming a new phenomenon that can bring more benefits than harm to
society. Although there is much criticism around the utilization of drones because countries
prefer to utilize it instead of people to make devastation of other people, the increasing of drones
to commercial utilizations will bring the world to a new era of industrialization. The desire of
companies is to find a way that customers can feel happy with the velocity which their goods
which they bought online arrives in their homes. To this end, drones came as a solution due to
the low costs to companies obtains these machines. Big companies such as Amazon are one of
the most interested with the utilization of drones to deliver its products to customers. The study
conducted by Guidero, The Commercial Drone Phenomenon (2014), shows that Amazon
revealed in the last year the intention of Amazon for PrimeAir, which will utilize current models
of drones called octocopters that have a range of 10 miles and handle products under 5
pounds. With that, the Amazon PrimeAir will deliver product efficiently and quickly for
consumers.


Additionally, farms have been beneficiated with the advanced of drones to help them to
save money in the process of plantation. Farms are mostly free of privacy and safety which don't
bring concerns about the use if drones because there is no people living in a span range of lands.
As a result, entrepreneurs are making expensive investments which will increase the amount of
jobs, and consequently, states will receive millions of dollars in taxes. At this moment, according
to The Association for Unmanned Vehicles Systems International, group that represents
producers and users of drones, 80% of the commercial market for drones will eventually be for
agricultural uses. Furthermore, Doering, in Growing use of drones poised to transform
agriculture (2014) states that the drone industry expects more than 100,000 jobs to be created by
2025 which will result in nearly half a billion in taxes. Thus, good times are expected by many
people who know that drones actually can be used to help them instead of just killing.
Although there are so many applications, one the most interesting utilization of drones is
to avoid animals of being killed by hunters. The overwhelming number of animals killed
annually is frightener. According to The Guardian, in Google Earth and drones help save
Kenyas elephants (2013), at least 232 elephants have been killed in the year to the end of
September, adding to 384 last year from a population of 40,000. However, night-vision goggles
and Google Earth have been helpful because using drones, conservationists discovered that they
could help elephants by frightening and keeping them out of harms way. Therefore, the extent
that the use of drones is coming is beyond peoples imagination. Significantly, drones are being
important to conservations. A recent study from Pin Koh and Wich, Dawn of drone ecology:
low-cost autonomous aerial vehicles for conservation (2012), presents the development and
usage of inexpensive unmanned aerial vehicle for surveying and mapping forests and
biodiversity. With that, the advantage of drones is immensurable.


Briefly, it can be concluded in this article that although the comments about the
utilization of drones are surrounded around its usage in battlefields with purpose to kill people,
especially innocent people, unmanned vehicles will be more important to develop nations,
creating more opportunities of jobs, increasing the amount of taxes to countries, and even
protecting animals.