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Social Impact Assessment for ICT: Digital Disruption from Drones

(Digital disruption from Drones)

1.    DRONES

Drones are referred to as UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) and RPA (Remotely Piloted Aircraft), these are robotic aircraft that flies by itself without an onboard pilot. These are usually, running on batteries, have fixed wings and comprises high-resolution cameras. Drones can do what piloted aeroplanes can do but in cheaper and efficient manner. All the control is in the hands of an operator who can run the drones in the deserving and innovative manner (Miller, Jan 20, 2016).
1a) History: In 1849, Austria attacked Venice, they used balloons stuffed with the explosives to attack but that didn’t prove effective. Those balloons were stated as “a remote-less controlled piloted aircraft or missile”. Further, in the World War 1916, the first pilotless aircraft was created.  U.S. army manufactured the Kettering Bug in 1918, using gyroscopic controls which were not actually been used due to the end of the war.
1b) Technology: Drone is the copter or quadcopter version of planes which can fly through the DJI Phantom 3 UAV technology. Latest drones are built with the Global Navigational Satellite System (GNSS) where they have the capability of flying in both GNSS and Non-satellite modes. In order to enhance the smooth flight of drones, Gyro Stabilization is used. No fly zone feature is restricting the accidents during the flights. Internal Compass Function is locking the home location where the drone has to come back in the case of signal loss. FPV (First Person View) Live Video Technology broadcast the live video to the pilot who is operating the drone from the ground which allows the operating of the drone from indoor locations. LED Flight Indicators provide the LEDs at the front and rear which lights up at the time of the low battery, indicating the flight status. There are other technologies which are incorporated from time to time, in order to enhance the working of drones, like Gimbals & Tilt Control, Drones with Sensors, Range Extender Technology, etc.
1c) Size: It comes in the various sizes, the largest, Predator Drone is being used in the military field whereas, the smallest is recently launched known as DJI Spark which can be launched from the palm of the hand. The other drone size is known as VTOL (Vertical take-off and Landing Drones), which are used in geographical surveys and exploring wildlife.
1d) Working:Drones are light in weight mostly made of plastic so that they should be lighter and easy to fly. These are built with the effective motors and processors operating on advanced software. Sensors and built-in compliance technology are initiated for safe flight control. Object detection and collision avoidance features enable the autonomous flight possible. The device is flown with the help of remote-control system also known as the ground cockpit, which is operated by the pilot who is on the ground and has a real-time preview of the camera through the viewport available on the drone attachments. The destination or task can be set at once and the drone will operate according to the desired task, automatically. The whole journey is communicated through radio waves. Wi-fi is used to communicate with their aircraft which needs 2.4 gigahertz spectrum transmission. Most of the drones come with the battery back-up of 1 hour and high-resolution cameras which captures the very high quality of videos and pictures. With the maximum speed is 50 miles per hour, they can be launched up to the distance of 33 km in an ideal situation. Some commercial drones can fly over 17,000 miles without landing once.

1e) Applications

(Snitch, 22 july 2015) (Downey, 19 Jun 2017)

  • Agriculture Precision:It’s costly to use helicopter or plane to monitor the wider farms. Thus, farmers are finding Drones to be the highly effective equipment to view the health of the crops and that too in the budget. Farmer’s work can be made easy, as drones can now work in hard weather using the infra-red technology and can show them the growth of the fields.
  • Disaster Management:In the state of natural disaster, earthquake, hurricane, and tsunami, drones proved out to be highly useful in the rescue of the victims. The assets the damage monitoring and tracking the locations of victims help in delivering the aid.
  • Health Care:In certain traditional areas, there is no access to the modern medicines, which can be supplied to them through drones. One of the most prominent medical delivery company is Zipline International which is delivering drugs, blood, and medical technology to the rural areas of South Africa by launching delivery Drones.
  • Construction Work:One of the most important commercial use of drones is in the analyzation of the construction siteplanning. There is certain software which can calculate the captured data recorded by the drones and judge the gauge topography, soil type, perspectives, etc.
  • Military Surveillance:Most of the country’s economy is now being used in the defence. There is very firm security on the borders which is mostly monitored using drones. Many of the drones are now being manufactured for the surveillance purpose, only a few others for offensive operations.
  • Photography & Cinematography:In order to capture the high-level shots, earlier, helicopters or cranes are used, which comes out to be highly expensive. But no more of these expenses are there, as drones are taking over the shooting and wedding photography projects. As, the drone is able to tilt, reverse, rotate and revolve in the air, the cyclists, hikers, surfers, skiers and kayakers’ shots can be captured easily and innovatively.
  • Weather Forecast:Autonomous sailboats collects data from oceans and atmosphere which is being used to determine the weather conditions and patterns. Such sailboats are manufactured by Sail drone using Atmosar technology to maximize drone duration and stability, in order to gather the data efficiently.
  • Internet Access:There is no internet access to the remote areas hence, no information source available to them. Google and Facebook are planning to provide them with the mobile broadband facilities through drones. Though the plan is under processing and not yet achieved the output is heavenly for those abundant people. Currently, Facebook is experimenting with the solar-powered drone, Aquila, which will provide rural areas with the internet access.
  • Wildlife Conservation:there are several species on the edge of extension, which can be easily supervised using drones. These types of protection programs are originating since 2011, where the wild creatures are under surveillance due to the danger of smugglers and hunters. This also allows the researchers to collect the samples, tag animals, and track ecosystems without disturbing the natural habitats.

2.    Disruption to Society

(McFadden, 5th april, 2017) As there is a regular advancement in robotics and Artificial intelligence technology, nowadays, drones are almost everywhere. This popularity is changing the fundamental way of interaction with the world. Drones are the pathway between the physical and digital world. All types of technology impact the society with the merits and demerits. Drones are also having a huge impact on the society as they are connecting the power of computers resources to the sensors that can go anywhere. Though it is the set of technology that serves as an extra tool in the effectiveness, the drones are set to take over our lives through the demand and usage it initiates. Even though there are complications regarding this technology, researchers and companies continue to develop the innovative ways of using this amazing artificial intelligence source.

2a) Commercial and Social Impact:

(Group, 1st February 2017) (Rao, Gopi, & Maione, 2016)

  • Delivery: As, the delivery partners, drones are eco-friendlier. There will be fewer cars on roads for last mile delivery and hence help to reduce the congestion. But on the other hand, drones are taking over the jobs of people in need. Private business and social communities can take Advantage of this technology as they can reach the places which are inaccessible for the people to land.
  • Maintenance: Being efficient to survey the huge crops, drones are becoming popular and all the way changed the patterns of farming. The ability to carry heavy equipment is been used in spraying the crops in large farms and delivering the fertilizers in the vast areas. Thus, totally changing the old methods of farming. The farmers are taking advantage of this technology to save their time, cost and reducing the human resource. The biggest example is Crop Dusting, extremely dangerous task for a person to do but for the drone, very easy job. In construction sites, drones are being used to paint the walls, but they are proved to be not that good as human workers are.
  • Transportation: In future, an autonomous vehicle is going to replace the cabs and taxis. Thereby, reducing the opportunities for common people to get jobs as drivers. One example of the presence of this kind of technology is the use in Military, where drones are manufactured large enough to fit a passenger.
  • Advertising: Companies and businessman are using drones as a physical medium for marketing. Aerial advertisement at live concerts and crowdie areas is definitely reducing the congestion and providing services for delivering banners and pamphlets. But ultimately, affecting the jobs for the common people.
  • From the Marketing and commercial point of view, drones offer a way to see the entire structure in a different and innovative way. Business and society can communicate in a new and professional manner arising the excitement of common people. Through the use of drones, maintenance and inspection are easy hence saving a lot of time and money. Various organizations get affected by the incorporation of drones into the simple and common tasks where a human can perform better and get employed.

2b) Safety and Security Impact:

  • Police and Traffic checks: The drones are going to replace the police and traffic monitoring helicopters and static cameras. This will definitely alter the human resources, but this technology will also lead to new jobs like robot manufacturing and maintenance. Certainly, there is strict and firm surveillance will fight the crime, effectively. Common people’s privacy may be altered but it is the price worth paying.
  • Removing Dangers: By mapping out data from the natural disasters, configuring of the situation is quite easy by using drones. Data is collected and help to create a safe evacuation plan. This implementation of drones is highly beneficial for government, society and the victims. Emergency response teams can be established for the rescue of victims.
  • Nowadays, there is high demand for security and safety, thus drones are the ultimate solution to this demand. Drones are being used for patrolling the borders and coastlines to avoid any breaches which are not possible for humans to do. This is also saving the lives of army and forces who lose their lives at the border security jobs.

2c) Educational Impact:

(Afshar, 10/15/2014)

  • Capturing Footage: In education and research, the surveys play an important role as they generate the data and statistics.  In educational research, these surveys can be done even in the places which are probably impossible to reach by students like scary forests of South Africa, Mapping the Lava flows and surveying the wildlife of Australia.
  • Architectural Designing: Most of the building are made nowadays through 3D software which calculates the various details of the perspectives and structural data which is possible with drones and students of architecture and interior design can formulate the data through the easy use of drones which normally not possible to collect.
  • Bridging Art and Technology: The students can perform research using drones from the scary and dangerous areas and can create the 3D illusion of that site. They can also use their innovative skills of photography and cinematography for taking pictures and videos with the help of drones more efficiently.
  • As the use of drones in the education sector is increasing, it will bring the necessity of drone-related information. In order to meet these demands, the trained and skilled workforce is required hence many schools and universities are initiating degrees and drone-pilot programs.
  • Drones will have a positive effect on jobs as automation is not always bad but changes the way humans work. Hopefully, drones will provide more jobs and opportunities, than they replace. They prove to be life-saver and can generate outcomes which we only dream about.

3.    Drone Related Risks

(Carrington & Soffel, November 18, 2013)

  • Intruding personal lives:  As all these drone’s technology are equipped with high quality cameras, it can invade personal life of anyone. Any malicious user can fly drone up to the personal space of someone and can capture videos and pictures, which afterwards can also become a matter of blackmailing. Interrupting others live without permission is against ethics and also a crime. In Germany, a private UAS operator has fined $278,00 for flying drones over his neighbor’s estate
  • Dangers for passenger airplanes:  Even though most of the airports ban drones flying nearby Airport but Plane’s autopilot mode works on pre-planned directions and any terrorist or malicious user can position drone in the flight path, which could cause unimaginable destruction. And also this is also chance of drones stuck in wings or could be sucked in the jet engine, then the whole system of the airplane could stop working.
  • Used as drug smuggling tools: As some of the youngster these days consuming drugs, which causes serious health issues. Smugglers could use drones for smuggling the drugs. In 2016, drone dropped heroin into the backyard of Ohio prison.
  • Threatening air ambulances: In case of heavy emergency or to deliver patient to hospital from distance, air ambulances are being used but drones could interrupt the helicopter path. In 2017, a man died in US because a drone interfering air ambulance from being landing and ultimately drone operator faced legal action. So, this is emerging as one of the serious issue these days
  • Accidents or Collisions: Road accident or Collisions or danger to people could be happen due to this technology. In case of less battery backup or failure in technology leads to fall drones on running cars on road or to hit people. In one live concert, UAS was capturing the show but due to technical failure it falls off and directly hit the person on stage which causes him serious injuries.
  • Drones related hacking or terrorism perils: Drones are also new way for hackers. They could get any sensitive information from any association or from any network and could breach any security even they can hack drones to crash with flights. Terrorist may be used UAS for dangerous acts and could utilize UAS to attack sport stadiums or on other concerts or shoes where large number of crowd gather. This is also a threat that they could even use drone to target power and nuclear stations.
  • Risk Bird’s lives: Although, technology has made to improve our lives but who will think about our environment and birds. Drones could hit into any bird and could cause injuries even death also. Well, bird strikes with aviation is from times when airplanes were manufactured but why to risk more lives of birds?
  • Cyber-Attacks or “Spoofing”:  The term spoofing means to hack the UAS or to attempts to take control of radio signal. And there are other aspects of hackers i.e. causing crash in the air, taking control and on the ground resulting in material damage. This is such a huge risk for UAS as they are control by radio signals or Wi-Fi signals. There are some companies who are selling UAS online on a very cheap price so it is so obvious that those devices are having less security features and important data can be damaged or could cause some other technical issues.(Allianz, Greg Dobie, & Raj, September 2016)

4.    Opportunities provided by Drones:

(Brown, 2018)

  • Helpful in landscapes Survey and mapping: Drones could fly 150 feet above the sky and this is helpful in the survey of landscapes without any hassle as it is fully equipped with camera and storage memory and capture thousands of highly digital images that can stitched together into 3D maps. There are some areas such as mountains or coastlines are quite dangerous for human to access. So, it is easy for geologists to collect data from these sites.
  • Useful in military and rescue operations: Nowadays drones are becoming best friend for cops, military and other rescue operations. The US Government started experiments with drones or unmanned aerial in 1917. If there is a happening, drones used for finding people and providing them aid on time. With the help of drones, it is more likely to save more lives. This is also suitable for bomb detection as it has small size and effective cameras. So, they can make us more aware from unexploded bombs.
  • Law enforcement and providing safety to public: As mentioned above, drones are equipped with camera and have potential to store the videos, it is providing safety and security to public. For instance, in an event this works as moving camera and could capture those things, which could have missed by still cameras on walls. Crowd can be easily observed and in case of emergency, criminal activities can be easily detected. This is best to send drones in any fire emergency situations first instead of humans. In addition to this, drones are also used by border security to watch criminal activities on the other side of border and could also be used in traffic surveillance.
  • Monitoring sites and other construction work:Drones are quite useful for builders as it could provide the footage of whole construction site with the pictures, videos and can even broadcast live footage and they do not need to investigate or look whole site by walk. So, they are saving their time with this smart technology and have stored videos for future use.
  • New phase of professional photography and Journalism: This is indeed a best technology for photography as it carries heavy cameras and photographers are delivering their best in aerial views and apart from this drones have ability to reach where reporter cannot reach. Live broadcasting from aerial footage is quite popular these days.
  • Helpful in agriculture: Drones have best application in the field of agriculture, especially for big landlords. They can monitor their fields and crop performance through the aerial view of this technology. Even with the drones they can put pesticides in the fields and can have better yield. This is a blessing for large scale farmers.
  • Mapping sea area and wildlife:  These unmanned aerial vehicles are also used to monitor wildlife and sea areas. This could be immensely dangerous for human to go to forest or in sea just to mapping it or monitor. So with the help of this technology, they can study animal or sea creator’s behavior and most importantly they are analyzing their patters without disturbing wildlife or sea life.
  • Forecasting weather: weather forecasting is one of the big used of these drones. This is the new phase of forecasting weather conditions. Even in the worst conditions of weather, scientist can study the patterns of weather by sending drones into hurricanes, tornadoes, eruptions and in other bad weather conditions. With the effective sensors and cameras, drones provide the important data to predict weather more easily.

5.    Recommendation to the disruptions of this technology:

There are lot of risks which are being caused by drones but there are always solutions for the problem. It is necessary to take steps on time to minimize the risk and providing safe environment for the program to start. The safety measures which should be taken are as follow:

  • First Approach “Safety”: The safety is a philosophy to reduce any kind of risks. The safe environment should be created before any drone program operation has been started and according to operation guidelines, safety should be on the priority. Different protocols should be made and this is necessary to make sure every employee or person associated with the operation should adhere to them.
  • Tell the people around about the possible risk: This is very basic to tell and educate the people surrounding about the potential risks which could be caused during operation and stick them to follow guidelines. They should have done some training programs such as DARTdrones.
  • Control tools for checking airspace: This is the responsibility of pilot to always check the airspace before flying. On a very short notice Temporary flight restrictions (TFRs) can be changed and the crew should make sure the flights should be compliant with FAA (Federal Aviation Administration regulations all the times. The tools like Airmap, Skyward, and Flyte make it easy to reduce the chances of flying in restricted airspace.
  • Threat controlling with drone’s automation: Manually handing the drones can be dangerous especially, when flying for the first time and there are number of potential hazards but by the drone’s automation, this can be controlled such as accident, collision and gear damage etc. with the drones, always to maintain visual line of sight (VLOS).
  • Create checklists before and after flying drones: A proper checklist should be made before and after flying the drones and in the checklist necessary criteria should be filled for the future reference. This will help in maintaining security and checking risks on time and minimize the risks in future which happened in past flights and most importantly, the checklist should be simple enough to understand even by non-user. And this is also necessary to keep good record and proper logs and missions and also the record of the drone operator. This is one of the major step in risk management.
  • Build emergency measures: To avoid any tragedy, emergency measures and criteria should be created. Just in case any tragedy happens, the teammates should be ready to react immediately. In the such situation it is difficult to react appropriately but if the proper guideline and emergency procedures is built, it is then easy for everyone to follow them and handle such situation. And this should be recorded in records that how, why and when the tragedy happens and that this will helpful in future to avoid such situations.

6.    Ethical Responsibilities regarding the Integration of Drones

(Vota, october 3, 2016)

  1. Prioritize Safety: Above all the concerns, ICT professionals must secure the users with clear strategies and machinery which ensures the safety and security. There must not be any risk and danger due to the drones to the persons and their properties. This concern is the main ethical responsibility of all the ICT professional as every technology should be made for humanitarian benefits.
  2. Be ResponsibleIn order to avoid anyunintended consequences, there should be contingency plans. The UAV manufacturing team must take full responsibility for any issues related to any destruction or harm to the mankind and properties. They should be ready to pay any depths and liabilities. There should be instant solutions to the issues and should be resolved, properly.
  3. Do no DamageAs, there should be complete concern regarding humanitarian benefits, so mitigate and assess potential must be there to handle any unintended consequences. No ICT professional manufactures the drones which are having the capability to kill and destroy the peace of the world. There should be no disruption to communities and mankind.
  4. Community EngagementProper and continuous information should be provided to the communities to ensure their trust development and engagement. This way the local communities will participate actively, and this will enhance the mission impact. The support of communities to launch every project is obligatory for the future and progress of the project.
  5. Operations after AuthorizationICT professional who operates the UAV, must follow the international and domestic rules and regulations related to them. They should also, follow the relevant administrative structures including traditions, aviation, obligations and protection, telecoms, information insurance and others. Where national does not exist, there the administrative rules that implement.
  6. Environmental ConsiderationUAV operations must not cause any risk to the natural habitats and wildlife. ICT team must take the responsibility for any damage or destruction caused due their mission or inventions.
  7. Conflict sensitivityAny operational activities in the conflict zone can be configured as the part of conflict dynamics and can bring about intense situations, including death. The extraordinary alert must be used to deploy the drone’s execution in conflict zones.
  8. Appropriate Data Management: For any professional project, data management is key to success. The collection, utilization, monitoring and storing of data must be done ethically. They must use a need-based approach and there should be proper consent where needed. ICT professionals must employ mitigation strategies where it is required. Any information lost or shared unethically can put the individuals and communities at a big risk. This loss of information must be assessed and mitigated.
  9. Be StraightforwardThe UAV operators must share the flight exercises as generally as could be expected under the circumstances, in the public, as suitable to specific situation. The issues or lessons related them must be pass on to the communities or groups, relevant authorities as soon as possible.
  10. Learning ContributionComplete and share any assessments and after activity surveys to educate the improvements of the drone’s use in the betterment of humanity. This ensures the removal of any wrong impacts of the usage of this technology in the public and private sector.
  11. Coordination for AdequacyThey must search out the relevant applicable nearby, and coordinate with the global specialists and communal for the complimentary humanitarian coordination mechanism and operations.
  12. Adequate Reason for Operation: UAV operations must be undertaken only when other effective means are not available. The purpose of use must clearly state the no harm to humanities. The mission must be guided by experts and should be informed by humanitarian professionals.
  13. Respect the Humanitarian Principles: the drone operations must not disobey the basic human principles like there should be no discrimination on the basis of nationality, gender, beliefs, political opinions and religious beliefs. The use should not be partial or threat to independence of any individual.

7.    Conclusion

(Gibson, Oct 21,2015)
To conclude, this fact is not deniable that drones have become permanent part in our skies whether it is for fun or for money. They are sometimes dangerous if it flies near airports or near the restricted areas without following the guidelines. So before drone goes over the sky, it is essential to understand and committed to follow the basic guidelines and must have insurance coverage. In case of emergency, whole team should be trained to respond immediately and follow emergency procedures and also proper log book and information regarding past flights and experience should be stored really well to avoid any danger or threats in future. By following the instructions given below, helps a lot to prevent from any danger regarding UAS:

  • Do not fly UAS more than 400 feet in the sky;
  • Do not fly at night;
  • Do not use UAS within 5 miles from the airport;
  • Do not fly over the crowded area or where large number of people gather;
  • Do not fly the drone nearby another drone in operation;
  • Keep the drone within the operator’s line of sight;
  • Fly in an open area

By doing these instructions, helps in many successful landings and also be aware of the legal requirements such as license or permission and also the prohibitions to fly over private property.


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