Annually, millions of drones are sold worldwide for purposes commercial and military-related. Whilst being one of the most innovative and useful inventions of the 21st Century, drones also pose a serious threat to our Earth as we know it. Opinion is extremely divided regarding this hot topic, with police forces already devising methods to stop rogue drones from roaming the skies. However, many companies, such as Google, are using drones to their advantage. So, without further ado, let’s begin . . .

Like most things, I shall proceed by giving the negatives before I even give positivity and hope a look-in. Militarily, drones are an army’s greatest weapon, the highly precise nuclear bomb of our age. There are US soldiers who fly drones during the day in the Middle East from their computer HQ in a US army base, kill their targets, then return home for dinner with their families. For the drone pilots, all they need to do is fly a plane from the comfort of a swivelling chair and execute without putting themselves in any danger whatsoever. The only thing stopping humans from wanting to engage in war is the possibility of being killed – something which goes against our survival instinct. Take away the need to physically put yourself in danger and suddenly we have chaos. Drones are only going to encourage warfare rather than put an end to it.

Drones can be very small, unlike planes, and they can also be very quiet. They can silently hover into homes through an open window or into our backyards. Drones can see us, hear us and record us at any given time. Some drones are even so advanced that they have the ability to monitor the WiFi signal and manipulate our phones and devices. In the not too far off future they will also be capable of controlling cars simply by surveying them from above.

Despite these dangerous possibilities it is important to also acknowledge the incredible usages for drones. Amazon has come public with a plan to use drones as a means of delivering packages and Google is currently embarking on the secretive Project Skybender – one which includes solar-powered drones beaming high-speed internet back to Earth using high-frequency millimetre wave transmitters. This would, in theory, transmit data forty times faster than 4G.

Moreover, drones could be used to transport medicine to remote villages and towns in suffering countries fast enough to save a vast amount of lives. Often the problem is that a charity manages to compile the medicine necessary but has no means efficient enough to get the goods there in time. Matternet, an altruistic company, is building up a network at the moment in order to tackle this issue. In addition, plans to use drones to deliver hospital equipment to victims when an ambulance won’t make it fast enough are currently under way.

Drones are also being used for good in that scientists are using them to monitor the environment. Drones can be sent up into the air to test air quality, and NASA uses them to test the makeup of the ozone layer.

In my opinion it seems clear that drones are revolutionary. In the next decade drones will have taken over the world (perhaps slightly dramatic of me). Despite the threats drones pose they undeniably also act as a means to bring about a lot of good in the world. They are a double-edged sword. Only time will tell which edge of the sword will be more prevalent in our world.

What do you think on the matter? Post your replies below!