An excerpt today's New York Times, entitled Domestic Drones on Patrol:

The first to offer a degree program in unmanned aviation, the [University of North Dakota] is one of many academic settings, along with companies and individuals, preparing for a brave new world in which cheap remote-controlled airplanes will be ubiquitous in civilian air space, searching for everything from the most wanted of criminal suspects to a swarm of grasshoppers devouring a crop.

“The sky’s going to be dark with these things,” said Chris Anderson, the former editor of Wired, who started the hobbyist Web site DIY Drones and now runs a company, 3D Robotics, that sells unmanned aerial vehicles and equipment. He says it is selling about as many drones every calendar quarter — about 7,500 — as the United States military flies in total.

The burst of activity in remotely operated planes stems from the confluence of two factors: electronics and communications gear has become dirt cheap, enabling the conversion of hobbyist radio-controlled planes into sophisticated platforms for surveillance, and theFederal Aviation Administration has been ordered by Congress to work out a way to integrate these aircraft into the national airspace by 2015.

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Comment by Joshua Ott on March 17, 2013 at 8:00pm

“The sky’s going to be dark with these things,”

Some of my favorite CEO poetry.

I did a rough calculation on this when I first read that line:

(Just the US 50 states + DC) For a conservative 50% scrim we're talking ~5,000,000,000 quadcopters.

Lithium, copper, and neodymium futures contracts are up on this news ;-)


3D Robotics
Comment by Chris Anderson on March 17, 2013 at 8:07pm

Err...maybe scattered clouds?

Comment by Joshua Ott on March 17, 2013 at 8:12pm

I'm buying a lithium mine either way.

Comment by Joshua Johnson on March 17, 2013 at 8:12pm

Great Article!  It feels good to know that all of us on diydrones.com are leading the way in the amateur and commercial Robotics Boom.

Comment by Jesse on March 17, 2013 at 8:26pm

“The sky’s going to be dark with these things" ..... Haha... that's almost ominous.

How about, "The sky's going to be splendidly beautiful with twinkles of drones scattered throughout". Hmm... maybe not very manly.


Developer
Comment by John Arne Birkeland on March 18, 2013 at 3:15am

And even so, there will still be more birds then UAV's up in the air. For the full size pilots to aim at I mean.. :)

Comment by Michael Klarenbeek on March 18, 2013 at 5:57am
I enjoyed the article and thought it was a great piece about domestic UAV's. The program at UND I must say is a lot of fun, and has come a long way since the start.

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