Since the year 2004, the government of the United States has been developing drones with the purpose of taking out targets without risking human manpower in war zones such as Pakistan, Yemen, and Afghanistan. Drones, which are remote-controlled, pilotless aircrafts or missiles, have caused a bit of controversy around the world due to the fact that 22% of confirmed kills from drone-strikes were civilians while a mere 1.5% were actually intended targets, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. However, on the other hand, UAVs (Unmanned Air Vehicles) have useful purposes other than weaponry.

UNTV, a local broadcasting company, has recently unveiled their use of new drone helicopters with cameras equipped for the purpose of news reporting. These drones, which have been used by the network since Typhoon Haiyan, have helped to capture aerial shots of everything from the worst hit areas of Tacloban to the mundane daily traffic reporting in Metro Manila. CEO David Razon of the UNTV network believes that the main advantages of UAVs is their ability to reach areas which heavy film equipment cannot easily access.

Razon also stated that the use of UAVs for news reporting is only a “trial” for a “greater purpose,” which is to use the drones for rescue operations. In order to achieve this, he has been purchasing drones that can carry lifebuoys and water to affected areas that are difficult to travel to. This revolutionary technology, which has already been used by various small start-up companies such as Garuda Robotics in Indonesia and Matternet in the United States, has significant potentials to influence the future of disaster relief. Despite the fact that drones and UAVs were initially invented to kill millions of people, they are now being used to solve humanitarian crises.  This goes to show that it’s not the technology that defines the times, but rather, how this technology is used.

By: Joseph Hadaway

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