How civilians are using drones

If you think unmanned drones are only used in war, or to chase after terrorists, you are wrong. We'll tell you how drone technology is being used in our skies, with unmanned flying machines carrying cameras starring down from above.

Part Two of The Current

How civilians are using drones - RCMP Sergeant

Yesterday on The Current, we looked at how some people believe military drones have changed the face of war. Impersonal and utterly relentless, the unmanned flying machines have successfully targeted the enemies of the U.S.-- but also killed many people who just happened to get in the way. Afghanistan may be a long way from Canada -- but the drones are not. Technology that puts flying cameras into the sky is already at work in this country.

Over the past five years, federal regulators in Canada approved about 300 "special flight operations certificates" for commercial use. We're not talking here about giant flying missiles of course; these are more like small helicopters that carry cameras. RCMP Sergeant Dave Domoney says the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle -- or micro UAV - has made his work a lot easier. Dave Domoney was in Regina.

How civilians are using drones - Panel

David Bird is a professor of wildlife biology at McGill University. He uses Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to count pelicans and polar bears, with some caribou and raptors in there too. Our Montreal producer Susan McKenzie met him on the MacDonald campus yesterday, where he showed her the main type of UAVs he uses in his research.

There are three people with a stake in the future of this technology. Michael Toscano is the President & CEO of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International and he was in our Washington studio. Chantal Bernier is the Assistant Privacy Commissioner of Canada and she was in our Ottawa studio. And Tim Pool is an independent journalist who used a citizen drone to help cover the Occupy Wall Street protests last year. He was in our New York Studio.

This segment was produced by The Current's Pacinthe Mattar and Montreal Network producer, Susan McKenzie.

Related Links

Music Bridge

Artist: Thievery Corporation
Cd: It Takes a Thief - Best of Thievery Corporation
Cut: # 4, Holographic Universe
Label: ESL 164

Other segments from today's show:

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