|Spying on Who?|
It was a film that inspired Professor Matt Waite to set up the Drone Journalism Lab. It begins with a man walking across a field, carrying a large metal briefcase. He stops, opens it, revealing what looks like a model aircraft. Using a tablet computer, he selects part of the surrounding area on a digital map, then transfers the flight plan to the model aircraft and launches it into the sky. It flies on autopilot, taking thousands of pictures before landing in a pre-programmed zone. The man removes a memory stick from the device and uploads the data for processing. A few hours later, he's viewing a high-definition terrain map compiled from the photos.
This isn't a science fiction movie. It's the product demo for the Gatewing X100, one of a number of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that anyone can buy today. These machines, commonly known as drones, are already used by the military, the police and the agricultural industry for a variety of purposes – some bloody, some benign and some seemingly designed to provoke people into quoting from George Orwell's 1984.
Human Hunting Robots?