Chris Anderson: drones, future smartphones

Chris Anderson: drones, future smartphones -
Chris Anderson: drones, future smartphones -

Can you imagine a world overflown by drones, these small planes piloted remotely? Can you imagine that these machines stop require human intelligence to move across the sky and fly completely automatically?

It is not a science fiction film: in fact, the future looks so Chris Anderson, technical genius, and visionary entrepreneur. As part of Campus Party Mx, we talked with the CEO of 3D Robotics -a leading drones- creating and managing editor of Wired magazine to share his vision of a world in which the drones are part of the daily life.


“More like smartphones, less as 747”

There is a widespread perception that the drones are related to the aviation industry, but the reality is that they are much closer to a smartphone than on a plane. These chips equipped with sensors and cameras flying robots arose in 2013 within the consumer electronics industry. “They were conceived as airplanes without pilots, but as smartphones with propellers, “Anderson explains.

The basic function of the drones is to fly and collect images. A photograph recorded per second, which immediately sent to the cloud to combine all the images and create 3D models and digital maps with elevation, which can be printed later. “They have more capacity than the human eye. Are able to create accurate models, right from every angle, “adds the expert. They can even recreate shadows, so they are very useful to duplicate complex structures.

The drones are capable of storing half terabit per hour. “It’s too much information to be processed by humans, so these robots are responsible for choosing the images that meet the required characteristics. Furthermore, by ordering with integrated GPS. ”

But today’s drones have a limitation: they are conscious of their surroundings. They could be compared with the app Autodesk 123D Catch, which scans objects to create 3D models, but that requires human intelligence. To tell the expert, our job as humans is to ensure that the drone remains safe, away from wires or tree branches. “The drones are a prime example of where software and human work together,” says the entrepreneur.


The drones and industry

Beyond the fun, drones play an important role in various industries, especially in agriculture and construction, which includes architecture, real estate, and insurance-. But these little machines can also be used for other industries, such as film, mining, and rescue. “There are currently over 800 approved uses of drones “shares Anderson. Surely a world of possibilities opens for business.

There are also so-called “conservation drones”, whose mission is to protect endangered species. Currently used in Asia where, by counting the number of chimpanzees build nests in the tops of the trees, they estimate the total population of these animals. There are also drones that detect the sound of the bat to make an estimate of its population.

Other drones are intended to stop illegal logging. “The satellite images are horrible: they have a very low resolution and at least 30 days old. They have 30 m per pixel while the drones have 3 cm per pixel. As if that were not enough, two-thirds of the planet is covered with clouds, which affects the final images. ”

dron_3d_robotics Chris Anderson: drones, future smartphones -
“We must not conceive of as pilotless drone aircraft, but as smartphones with propellers”.



What about privacy?

Yes, a sky full of drones sounds incredible, but does that mean that we will be watched all the time? Will this affect our privacy? “You’re being watched all the time,” jokes the CEO of 3D Robotics. He explains: “technology introduces challenges much faster than society can assimilate. Undoubtedly, this is an issue we have to solve together as a society. ”

Should the government make laws for drones and humans can coexist in peace? “I do not think the regulations are the answer. The problem is that they move slowly, and technology, to a hasty step. The industry moves in cycles of six months, and the government, in cycles of six years, “says the expert. Anderson commitment to self-regulation in the industry that guides users so that they have “good practice flight,” and also by the possibility of citizens to choose where to draw the line between technology and privacy . “Perhaps some communities decide they do not want the drones flying over their homes within 100 feet, and it will be respected.”



The drones of the future

How do you imagine the future drones Anderson? More and more small, agile, intelligent and easy to use . “Will devices the size of a hand: they look more like smartphones and less like an airplane 747. They will have full awareness of your surroundings, so you can navigate without GPS. I imagine that will be like a bug … or perhaps much better. ” The drones have launched an information revolution, and a revolution that is difficult to stop. “We have more ability than ever to collect data. The question is, now what do we do with them?”.



To tell the expert, drones flown by sky seems closer to reality next to a science fiction movie. “In a few decades, we will see drones flying over the sky at all times: on the cities, the countryside, the sea … are a common part of the landscape”.