What are Drones?


Drones are unmanned aerial vehicles that are controlled autonomously by computers or pilots with remote controls. They were innovated in the early 1900s for military personnel training and typically leveraged in operations that are too dangerous or time-consuming for humans. Still most commonly used for military purposes, drones have been deployed for a wide range of tasks, such as policing and community surveillance and security, filmmaking, and the surveying of agriculture and crops. In the past century, drone technology has advanced users’ abilities to extensively view objects and landscapes below, as well as to detect changes in environmental conditions. Features including biological and chemical sensors, electromagnetic spectrum sensors, and infrared cameras make these detailed observations possible. While legal and ethical concerns have been raised by many over the prospect of constantly being monitored by these vehicles, new civil aviation programs and experiments that include drones reflect a growing use of the technology. There are not yet concrete applications for teaching and learning, but the continuous progress of drones in the military and consumer sectors make them compelling to watch closely over the next few years.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to academic and research libraries?

  • bringing materials to our customers perhaps working together with a postal Company - andreas.kirstein andreas.kirstein Oct 17, 2016
  • Data collection for scientific research. Customise a drone in the library Makerspace for collecting specific research data. - Laurents.Sesink Laurents.Sesink Nov 8, 2016
  • Data storage. The information (such as video and graphics) collected by drones will need to be stored. Libraries may be asked to assist researchers in this area. - SueH SueH Oct 29, 2016
  • Lending. Academic libraries have included drones within their collections to enable patrons to borrow them. - SueH SueH Oct 29, 2016
  • Resources. Library collections may need to include resources relating to drones, e.g. software and instructional material. - SueH SueH Oct 29, 2016
  • Delivery & return of loans off campus. The Amazon Prime Air delivery service may potentially be replicated by academic libraries. Similarly patrons could return loans to the library using drones. - SueH SueH Oct 29, 2016
  • Delivery & return of loans on campus. Libraries could deliver resources to researchers and/or students whilst they are on campus. Similarly patrons could return loans to the library using a drone. - SueH SueH Oct 29, 2016
  • Instruction. Libraries could offer patrons an introductory drone session to introduce them to the technology. - SueH SueH Oct 29, 2016
  • Makerspaces. Provide patrons with the opportunity to build their own drone and share experiences, research outcomes etc - SueH SueH Oct 29, 2016
  • Virtual library tour. Drones have been used to record footage of library spaces. The data could be used for the creation of virtual library tours. - SueH SueH Oct 29, 2016
  • Office drones. Drones could be used internally within academic libraries, whereby office resources are delivered amongst different library teams. - SueH SueH Oct 29, 2016
  • Beyond delivery, I see a role for students to use them for projects and within the scope of the classroom. Engineering students studying buildings, etc. - mstephens7 mstephens7 Nov 1, 2016
  • Faculty are actively using drones for research projects and purposes Drone article Drones and Art article , and libraries could provide a service assisting faculty and graduate students in their efforts to explore the technology (training, as another loanable item, etc). - tchaffin tchaffin Nov 13, 2016

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

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(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on academic and research libraries?

  • A lot of hurdles here and I cannot see the sky above a campus filled with drones flying to and from the library but from the creative and learning angle, there is potential. - mstephens7 mstephens7 Nov 1, 2016
  • To make drones useful for research data collection drones need to be equiped with the adequate sensors and need to be of high quality. Libraries could combine expertise about what the possibilities and restrictions are regarding data collection and and data gathering by drone technology. Makerspaces of libraries can play a role in adjusting drones for specific research questions and libraries could be the place to store the data during and after research. - Laurents.Sesink Laurents.Sesink Nov 8, 2016 - vacekrae vacekrae Oct 10, 2016
  • - liusq liusq Nov 12, 2016I don't think drones tchnology has major impact on academic and research libraries in the near future, there is potentical perhaps in the distant future.


(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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