Chris Anderson: Drone “Jackassery” Must Stop

Anderson says geo-fencing software and dynamic no-fly zones will prevent drones from flying in areas they aren't supposed to be.

Photo Caption: Chris Anderson, co-founder and CEO of 3D Robotics, says geo-fencing software is the solution to prevent reckless flying of drones. (Credit: 3D Robotics)

As co-founder and CEO of 3D Robotics, Chris Anderson knows a thing or two about drones. And he knows that a few bad apples can ruin the hobby for everyone.

In an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald, Anderson says the recent rise in “mass jackassery” - reckless flying - is hurting the industry.

“[It’s] bad and it’s going to get worse,” he says. “And if we don’t do something about it, no one’s been killed yet, but someone’s going to do something really stupid.”

Anderson, of course, is alluding to all the recent incidents involving drones in places they shouldn’t be, whether it be a crowded tennis stadium,  three drones in three days near JFP Airport, or drones interfering with firefighters. According to the FAA, drone sightings near airplanes are on pace to quadruple in 2015.

Now you either think more regulation or more education is the answer to stop the “mass jackassery.” Anderson says the solution needs to come from drone makers via geo-fencing software that keeps drones away from restricted areas.

“One of the ironies of this drone age is that because we’ve made drones so easy to fly, the process of learning to fly and all the safety and responsibility lessons that come with it are now no longer required,” Anderson says. “As a result, all that wisdom about safe and responsible flight doesn’t come automatically. A bunch of people are doing dumb things. Not because they’re bad or evil; just because they don’t know better.”

Anderson also says in the future “dynamic no fly zones” will prevent drones from flying near on-going disaster relief situations. “Using the smartness of the drone to inform the user about how to responsibly behave is ultimately how we’re going to solve this problem,” he says.

About the Author

Steve Crowe · Steve Crowe is managing editor of Robotics Trends. Steve has been writing about technology since 2008. He lives in Belchertown, MA with his wife and daughter.
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