Drones are everywhere — here’s why

Capital News Service
LANSING — Seems like every day we’re hearing something new about drones, whether it’s military use of drones overseas, Amazon floating the idea of creating a drone delivery system, journalists using drones to report stories — or even just a neighbor down the street who bought a drone for fun. In Washington D.C., a drone recently crashed onto the lawn of the White House. In Michigan, lawmakers were concerned enough about drones to pass a law preventing people from using drones to hunt or to bother hunters. “The future of drones is absolutely astonishing, as to what they’re going to be able to accomplish for us,” said Ryan Latourette, a recreational drone user from Grand Ledge. Drones are increasingly becoming part of everyday life, but they’re still not well understood.

Drones in Michigan skies raise hopes, concerns

Capital News Service
LANSING – Amid a roiling national debate about U.S. military-targeted drone strikes abroad and privacy concerns at home, some higher education institutions in Michigan are seeking authorization to fly their own unmanned aircraft for testing and research. Public entities like universities and police departments need approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to use unmanned aircraft outside of a lab, even when flying under 400 feet. Among them are the University of Michigan and Northwestern Michigan College. The FAA released an updated list of drone applicants – which included authorizations to fly for both schools – after a lawsuit by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) in San Francisco. But both U of M authorizations on the list have expired, said Ella Atkins, a professor of aerospace engineering.