Drones: The Blurred Line Between Commercial and Hobby

The topic of drones (UAVs – unmanned aerial vehicles) is highly contentious due to the negative connotations surrounding the militaries use of unmanned flying vehicles for warfare. My research aims to focus on citizen use of drones, smaller flying robots for leisure uses such as private cinematography and how they are regulated, what differentiates a ‘drone’ from a toy with a filming device attached and what functions and features deem a hobby drone legal and illegal.

These issues arise due to citizen misconduct via the use of UAVs such as spying on neighbours, taking images and videos of others without consent and hobby UAVs interfering with airplane flight paths. Due to the increasing and widespread use of drones, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has included UAVs in its guidelines. This project aims to highlight how elements of computational technology such as aviation and photography have merged to become a social norm and that UAV use is so widespread in everyday communication and entertainment that there are now laws and regulations surrounding there use.

I will begin by describing what a drone is, differentiating it from the military vehicles and then focusing on a couple of commercial models and ascertaining what its features are and what defines it in the eyes of CASA as a drone. I will then compare these specifications to toy models sold at stores such as Myers and try and pin point the similarities and differences. This will then lead me onto the blurred lines regarding the privacy, security and legalities for drone use in a leisure context as opposed to commercial uses.

To present my findings I will maintain a blog menu on my WordPress site with different issues, concepts and ideas having their own page and I will try and keep each post as interesting as possible with the help of images, links and hopefully included some first-hand footage from a drone.

The video below is a perfect summary of my research topic:



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