Once reserved for the military, the market for personal drones has rapidly expanded over the past few years. That leaves many unanswered questions as to how they’ll fit into society and how young people will use them to shape the future.
On the outskirts of Boise, it's a clear day in a windless field decorated by bare earth and dead grass. It’s a perfect day for flying.
James Eidson, a high school senior, stands with a drone in hand.
Eidson first flew this drone several years ago and is passionate about the hobby.
“As a kid I always used to enjoy flying robotic, those little remote controlled helicopters and I got kinda effective at using the controller and so I kind of wanted to take that passion up and, you know, with drones emerging that was the next logical step,” he says.
Commonly seen soaring over public events or flying in parks, drones are remote-controlled aircraft that are booming among tech enthusiasts. That’s despite drones’ wartime reputation in the military.
So what does Boise’s next generation think about growing up in a world that could be dominated by these small vehicles? Eidson thinks they’ll have a positive impact.
“Drones can offer a lot in the consumer world as far as delivery and they are being used at this point to do stuff like scout remote locations and look at homes without actually traveling there,” Eidson says.
However, fears of privacy invasion or collisions with piloted aircraft are growing along with their popularity. Laws regarding drones are new, but he believes some regulations are beneficial as long as the rules aren’t too harsh.
Eidson says he thinks these laws will eventually balance all of these concerns, though it might take a few years.
Copyright 2017 Boise State Public Radio