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Droning on and on

 
Mr. Brien McHugh's picture

If you’ve ever wondered about the crazy stuff that drones can and are being used for, come to the USF auditorium at 3 p.m. on Monday, October 10. We have a drone guy coming in to drone on about it…not the killer drones that the Air Force uses to hunt down terrorists but the everyday, normal, Radio Shack kind of flying machines.

This all started this past summer when I saw a Facebook post about someone using a drone for some ridiculous purpose. Then my nephew got a job at a video company in Minneapolis that specializes in drone footage. Two weeks ago I had a roofing company give me an estimate on a new roof for my home. Kevin from Stan’s Roofing stepped out of his car and said, “I hope you don’t mind but I’m going to use a drone to take GPS measurements of your roof and take some photos of the eaves and gutters.” And sure enough, he did.

It makes perfect sense. He didn’t need a ladder, tape measure or to write anything down. It was all recorded through an app on his iPad. When he gave me the estimate  it came complete with full color pictures of my roof that, until now, only birds had seen. It was a beautiful thing.

Several years ago, when the Mass Communication (now CMMA) Department had a little extra cash left over, my colleague, Dr. Scott Marshall, suggested that we buy a drone. He thought the students could use it to get aerial photos and videos of campus events. Plus it was cool.

We had a good laugh and moved on. But now, I have to give props to Dr. Marshall.  He was ahead of the curve. Wedding photographers now have drones and they capture some pretty stunning images that the happy couple would never have been able to afford in the good old days of helicopters, pilots and FAA clearances.

I will be really interested to hear what Justin Jackola, the drone guy, has to say about current and future uses of UAVs; unmanned aerial vehicles. Come see for yourself. This free presentation is at 3pm, Monday, October 10 in the USF auditorium. Afterwards, weather permitting, we will go outside and fire one of these babies up!

And I may just have to poke around in my department budget to see if we can afford one for the spring semester.

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