The quadcopter is an old invention. Several were built in the 1950s on the same principles as the modern variety, but modern microelectronics allow for precision and stable control unlike what we saw back then, and on a much smaller scale.
This is an exciting time. So why is America sitting on the sidelines, while other countries move ahead with these inventions?
Parrot CEO Henri Seydoux guides his Bebop Parrot drone with an IOS tablet during a presentation to the press in Paris, France, Friday, Nov. 7, 2014. The new Parrot Bebop drone, quadcopter type drone with a fish eye camera benefits from an exclusive 3-axes image stabilization system that maintains a fixed angle of the view, regardless of the inclination of the drone and its movements caused by wind turbulence. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
We’re in an age when we can build stable, unmanned aerial vehicles with precise controls and flexible movement. Firms like the above photographed Parrot are building them better than ever, and people are thinking hard to make good use of this technology.
Beyond photography and uses as a toy, the most natural way to use these vehicles is to take two-ton vehicles off of residential streets, replacing them with drones delivering your food and gadgets safely and directly to your doorstep. Amazon, a leading innovator, is all over this. But they’re having to do it in Europe because the US government is lagging behind. Barack Obama’s FAA would rather keep government large, than let the market flourish.
Every time I post in this too, you get the same few naysayers rushing in. “Oh you can’t let just anyone do this! It’ll be dangerous” they cry! “People will get hurt. You have to leave it to the professionals. Clearly, the Democrat-dominated bureaucrats inside the Beltway know best.”
And yet, we let anyone drive a car. We let anyone own a gun. We let anyone own a sword. All of these things are far more dangerous than a little flyer, but we would think it absurd, or even harmful, to let a regulator in Washington limit these for the entire country.
It’s a shame when we let over-regulated, under-liberated Europe get ahead of us on something like this. Let’s put America first. Not regulators. Not entrenched interests. It’s not like the regulations work anyway.
Note: The author is a member of the Amazon Associates program, but if you think that apart from that, he’d break from his usual deregulatory stance then well, you’re free to think that.