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Editorial Feature

Things you only know if you're a drone expert - Drone Major founder & CEO, Robert Garbett, is featured in Time Out Magazine

Words By: Danielle G - Time Out

Drones go back as far as the nineteenth century

‘The definition of a drone is dead simple: it’s any vehicle, ship or aircraft that’s controlled remotely or autonomously. The earliest record of an unmanned aerial vehicle is from 1849 when the Austrians used some balloons loaded with explosives in an attack. They just weren’t called drones; they were “flying bombs”.’

Driverless cars are closer to reality than Amazon drone deliveries

‘When people think of drones they tend to think of Amazon parcels flying through the air. But who cares? What are they going to do – drop it on the street outside my home? It’s a good bit of promotion, but it’s not feasible door-to-door. Whereas if I’d said to you a year ago that there would be driverless cars on the streets of London by 2021, you probably would have laughed at me – but that’s exactly what the government has announced! I think this is one of the most exciting industries, and it’s moving so fast.’

One day, drones could carry you along the Thames…

‘I live in Blackwall, so out my window, I can see over the Thames to Greenwich. Wouldn’t it be nice if I could just take a driverless river taxi to the other side? Or we could have a vehicle that hovers down the edge of the Thames; it wouldn’t be hurting anybody and it only has to avoid the odd boat. We’re very close to that kind of technology.’

…or save your life

‘In France, they’re digging air drones into the ground along the road network. If there’s an accident, the drone can be deployed to fly up and send map information to the air ambulance, then land next to the vehicle with medical supplies. Drone technology goes way beyond driverless cars.’

Photo by Andy Parsons

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