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Today, we’re going to talk about the future of drones and how they will impact society. Everyone’s favorite mad scientist Nikola Telsa invented the RC-boat in 1898. But one of the first mass-produced, unmanned aerial drones was the Radioplane. It was a small remote-controlled plane mass-produced for the Army in WWII by this actor: Reginald Denney. Denney basically created the drone industry as a side-gig from acting, and strangely enough Marilyn Monroe was discovered as an actress while working at one of his factories. That’s wild. So basically, if we want to become actors we should be in the drone industry instead of making Facebook shows…. Missed opportunity. But the commercial drone industry in America flourished with the rise of smartphones which can be used as controllers, and now consumer drones can be doing some really cool stuff like racing. Racing? Did you just say racing? Wait… are we gonna go see some drones that race? I think we’re gonna see a lot of drones that race.
We’re here at Bitfire Inc with Clint Hild whose been doing drone racing as both a hobby, and also running NYC Drone Racing It weighs about 35g, you can chase kids with these, you can chase pets, fly outside. You know, whatever, fly indoors. The shrouded covers make it very safe for indoors, around people. And it’s just a lot of fun. Of every event that I’ve done, the most successful ones have 10-15 pilots. Besides all the technical things you have to deal with, there’s the issue of customizing these things. If you build one that’s flown by one pilot, another pilot could have one that looks exactly the same. So how do you know who’s who? You’re in the car, and you’re driving the car, when you put on the goggles and you turn everything on, you’re sitting inside this. You become this size. I got it. I think I got it. You don’t know what you’re doing. I do know what I’m doing. See, I got it. No! Oh, jeez. Wait, is that a Boost Mobile store? Consumer drones have a future, not necessarily laid in fun. That’s true. I’ve actually been really fascinated by the future of swarm drones. Swarms of programmed drones that communicate with each other. A company called RoboBee is developing drones the size of a paperclip and is using them in swarms that could monitor weather and actually pollenate flowers when all the bees are dead. Oh. I forgot all the bees are dying. That’s sad. But let’s talk about the positive affects that drones are having right now. We met up with the Flight to Remember Foundation, a non-profit organization that uses drones to show hospice patients real-time video of their most cherished places in life.
So what is Flight to Remember? I just went on hospice websites and hit the ‘contact’ thing and said ‘hey, you know what? I’ve got this idea.’ With a drone that we can virtually transport these people as a last wish, or visit. Why do you use drones instead of things like FaceTime or teleconferenceing robots? I think the value we provide is giving them a view they’ve never seen before. It’s the different perspective that the drones can provide. The different view that they’ve never even seen before of a place that’s so meaningful to them and engrained in their history or whatever it may be, and they see it totally different for the last time in their life. It’s special. And I’m sure there’s a million of these but what is one story that really conveys the impact of what you do? A gentleman was, he was older, he had Alzheimers and couldn’t remember the last 20 years of his life.
They talked to him and he wanted to see, he worked at a chemical plant on the shores of Lake Erie, here in Cleveland, and he worked there for like 30 years, you know, his whole career. So, we went and did it. And I had never been out there, but we got the drone up in the air, and we went off-shore and we were looking at the former location where the place was, and we found the dock, and we got there. And his daughters told me he started talking about things he hadn’t talked about in like 25 years, and they got to see their dad again. You know, selfishly, it’s one of the most rewarding things I’ve done. You know, you’re essentially granting someone’s dying wish and making the toughest time for family members…. Months later, i’ll get emails from these people, saying we don’t remember the days of not sure what’s going to happen and if Mom or Dad’s gonna make it, we had this great experience. And that’s what they remember and they take it with them. So, just trying to encourage people to get involved and reach out to us, and i think we can do a lot of good with this program. To find out more about the Flight to Remember Foundation or to learn how you can be a volunteer drone operator, you can check out the link we pinned in the comments below. Well that’s us! Tune in next time… Are you, I’m sorry, did the drone kick dust in here? NO, I’m crying, Andrew.
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