Take the Good with the Bad

An experimental drone system designed for archaeology could be deployed to your neighborhood for other purposes within a year. And it is pre-programmable and thus semi-autonomous; Light enough to be held in one hand and capable of recording and collating high resolution images of a surface area equivalent to 25 football fields in a matter of minutes, despite unpredictable winds, variations in topography, or soil cover. Using a computer, the images are subjected to an interpolation routine that yields a high accuracy and high resolution topographical virtual map. The little drone itself is also cheap enough that a catastrophic loss of the air frame can be corrected with a few dollars worth of molded foam parts, the cameras, recording medium, and motors salvaged and reused, all without the need for advanced technical skills.

For an archaeologist, this thing is ideal. That’s the “Good” part. For a freedoms or privacy advocate, this is a nightmare. That’s the “Bad” part. Obviously, sometimes we must “Take the Good with the Bad” — Rick Osmon

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