The Drones Are Here to Help- page 4 | A&S Interview | Air & Space Magazine
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Timothy Reuter with his personal flying robot. (Pocket Drones)

The Drones Are Here to Help

UAVs will make the world a better place, says Pocket Drone inventor Timothy Reuter.

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(Continued from page 3)

Yes, no one is allowed. But let’s pretend that the FAA has said, “You know what? These are small. They’re not going to hurt anybody. You guys, go ahead.” Is there a commercial application for drones?

Oh, yes, absolutely. Real estate photography is an easy one, you know, pipeline inspection, insurance adjustors could easily use them to take a quick aerial photo of an accident or damage to a house or facility. There are lots of security applications. Anybody who needs some aerial imagery for any purpose could easily use the pocket drone for that.

But we are not currently promoting those applications, because although we may not like the current regulations, we do encourage people to follow regulations in a democratic society. But the regulations are very unclear right now because of the Pirker versus the FAA case, where the National Transportation Safety Board said that the FAA does not have the right to regulate these craft. A number of media organizations, such as the New York Times, filed an amicus brief in support of the NTSB position, saying that there had been no First Amendment right carved out, because journalism is speech, it’s not commerce.

So, you know, there’s a question, “Is there a constitutional right to drone?”

Did you just say, “To drone?”

I did.

Did you just invent a verb? (laughing)

I did. It may be a constitutional right to be able to take aerial photography.

I feel like I'm at the dawn of a new language. So, how are things going with the Pocket Drone?

One of the transformations that I’ve seen since creating this community is that there’s been a transition from people who have been focused on the gee-whiz nature of the equipment itself to people who just want to start focusing on the applications, and not spend all their time fiddling with the technology.

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