Unmanned flying machines aren't just for tracking down bad guys anymore.
Drone experts imagine do-it-yourselfers tossing a UAV in the back of their trucks alongside their chainsaw and toolbox. UAVs could be used to monitor crops, for example, or by homeowners who want to check rain gutters without climbing on the roof.
Advanced image processors could scan and identify areas hit by natural disasters, feeding information to relief workers on the ground. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has also promoted research into using UAVs to deliver vaccines to remote populations.
Fun and games
Phone and tablet apps can already pilot drones and allow owners to pit their piloting skills against each other. Cameras embedded into the hulls capture high-definition still photos and videos, getting aerial shots that used to require elaborate equipment.
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