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Drones HEXO+: An Amazing Aerial Camera Drone That Will Follow You Everywhere HEXO+: An Amazing Aerial Camera Drone That Will Follow You Everywhere Imagine you're hiking up the side of a mountain as your aerial drone captures the footage like a scene from an epic movie. Thanks to a new drone called Hexo+, this science fiction may soon... Read More are set to become a much more common sight in the skies over the next few years. However, if the average MakeUseOf reader has anything to do with it, these drones won’t remain in the air for long, especially if they encroach on someone’s airspace.

It turns out most MakeUseOf readers are geeks with a penchant for guns and a distaste for drones. Which comes as something of a surprise, if we’re being honest.

Droves Of Downed Drones

We asked you, A Drone Hovers Over Your Property: What Would You Do?

A good number of you responded to the question, telling us exactly what you would do if you discovered a drone hovering over your property. Shockingly, one answer kept cropping up, with a clear majority of you stating in no uncertain terms that you’d shoot that sucker down.

I’ll be honest and admit this shocked me. But then I am a Brit, and guns aren’t anywhere near as common in the UK as they are in some other countries. So, it has to be assumed that the majority of people who responded to this question live in those countries. Naming no names.

This raises a number of interesting points that we hope you’ll discuss further with us in the comments below.

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This may be the first time ever that the responses — or at least one oft-repeated response — to a We Ask You asked more questioned than it provided answers. Which means this subject matter clearly needs to be revisited in the future.

On a personal level, I actually found the “Shoot it down!” mentality rather disheartening. Here is a technology that could change the world for the better Top 10 Emerging Technologies That Are Changing The World Top 10 Emerging Technologies That Are Changing The World From agriculture to medicine to energy, advancements are being made every day. Learn a little bit about these 10 emerging technologies that could directly affect your life within the next few years. Read More over the next few decades, and yet the first instinct of many is to be wary of it to the point they would seek to destroy it.

Comment Of The Week

We received a lot of great comments, including those from Andrew Kelley A Drone Hovers Over Your Property: What Would You Do? [We Ask You] A Drone Hovers Over Your Property: What Would You Do? [We Ask You] There's a very real prospect of someone flying a drone around your neighborhood. But what would you do if it hovered over your property? Read More , likefunbutnot A Drone Hovers Over Your Property: What Would You Do? [We Ask You] A Drone Hovers Over Your Property: What Would You Do? [We Ask You] There's a very real prospect of someone flying a drone around your neighborhood. But what would you do if it hovered over your property? Read More , and Breaking Points A Drone Hovers Over Your Property: What Would You Do? [We Ask You] A Drone Hovers Over Your Property: What Would You Do? [We Ask You] There's a very real prospect of someone flying a drone around your neighborhood. But what would you do if it hovered over your property? Read More . Comment Of The Week goes to David Strube, who wins a T-shirt chosen from those available through the catalog for this comment A Drone Hovers Over Your Property: What Would You Do? [We Ask You] A Drone Hovers Over Your Property: What Would You Do? [We Ask You] There's a very real prospect of someone flying a drone around your neighborhood. But what would you do if it hovered over your property? Read More :

Have a little bit of fun with it.

First, have some object in your backyard that either looks perfectly normal (like a patio table, or a doghouse, or a large hole) or nefarious (dead body, pile of bloody tools, or nuclear warhead). Next, step outside casually, look around, enjoying the blue sky and then suddenly notice the drone and then quickly run inside. Run back out in a panic with a tarp and quickly cover the aforementioned object. Then look up at the drone and smile and wave as innocently as possible, as though they didn’t just see you cover up something very interesting.

Bonus points if the object is flat enough and you write in big letters on the tarp “I HAVE NOTHING TO HIDE :)”

We chose this comment because it was one of only a handful of positive comments made amidst a vast collection of negative responses. When almost everybody else was condoning reaching for their gun and blasting the drone out of the sky, this commenter chose to paint a picture of a fun, and very funny, scene. One which just about managed to keep me sane.

We Ask You is a weekly column in which you have your say about a particular subject. We ask you a question each week, with the results compiled and compressed into a follow-up article the following week. This column is nothing without your input, all of which is valued.

Image Credit: Michael MK Khor via Flickr

  1. Brandon
    December 27, 2015 at 6:20 am

    If having drones means I get my packages faster and with less human error, I'm all for it.

    On a side note, Amazon's current prototype drones fly at speeds of over 50 miles per hour. That's faster than a skeet target. Good luck shooting that down.

  2. Better Than Nothing - Just
    December 1, 2015 at 11:39 am

    Put a kitten in the drone and a very loud speaker saying "There is a cute kitten in this drone."

    No one would shoot a kitten...

    Would they?

  3. Christopher HasARightToPrivacy
    October 15, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    It's simply not legal to destroy or confiscate someones property without legal consequences - even if it's resting on your property. You can't just pummel someone's car if they park on your lawn. You can call the police and have them deal with the offending vehicle but it's not yours to destroy just because you're offended by it's presence.

  4. Sandra Wallace
    September 8, 2015 at 3:18 am

    I would rather have birds than drones. I have no doubt the drones pose a problem for birds one way or another. I have watched birds desert a large area over beach and marina when a single drone moved back and forth taking photos and the birds didn't appear to get used to it over time when it was used on successive occasions. (not talking just ordinary gulls and pigeons) Distraction caused by drones makes birds more vulnerable to raptors. Who needs a little more noise pollution anyway?

  5. S. Phibber McGee
    April 27, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    Fine so don't use a firearm, use a potato cannon or paintball gun to get the job done.
    you have a right to privacy and if that right is being thwarted becasue someone has flown a drove over your 8 foot high privacy fence to view you and your home you certainly have a right to discourage them from doing it.

    Just like they have cellphone jambers I predict shortly we will have jambers that interfear with the control and operation fo UAVs

  6. Thunderstormfairy
    December 29, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    I don't want a drone anywhere near me just because they really freaking annoy me. I used the work "freaking" because I am trying to be polite. When Amazon starts using drones I will cancel my prime membership and never buy a thing from them again.

  7. Tom S
    December 27, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    If you don't want me shooting it out of the sky, send me some money so I can enable 2 less lethal technologies:

    1 - jammer. Knock it out of the the sky
    2 - killer drone. I can go up and pull it out of the sky.

    In either case, I'd strip it for parts and Ebay them, then I can pay you back ;-)

    But a single frangible shotgun round is SO much cheaper.

    And no, with how rural I am, there aren't really any *current* uses that are "legitimate". If delivery companies want to use them, they should work on making it rather obvious they are delivery drones with markings/colors (though you would think the container hanging from them would be a clue). However, delivery drones really have no business hovering for a long time over a property. Of the 7 uses in the link you provided, for MY property, only delivery and healthcare are valid in my airspace, and I'd know they are coming in those cases.

  8. Tinkicker
    October 23, 2014 at 12:33 am

    My perspective on a drone hovering above my property is that there is no other reason for the drone to be there EXCEPT surveillance. Think about it...what else could it be there for?
    Let me blow the stereotypical image of the Southern United States redneck out of the water, even though I shamelessly do claim to be one...I would generously give the drone fair warning by displaying the gun I'm going to destroy it with, allowing it a moment to move on, and then if it didn't move on, blast it to pieces.
    Why should anyone submit peacefully to surveillance in this manner when they wouldn't smile and wave at and ignore someone looking in the windows of their home? Since I can't climb up to the drone and politely ask it to move along, I am forced to render judgement in the only way I can...by reaching out with a ballistic finger to press its "off" button.

    • Dave Parrack
      October 29, 2014 at 3:26 pm

      My first instinct isn't to shoot someone who's standing outside my house either. I'd ask them who they are and what they wanted first.

      Of course there are other reasons for drones to be hovering in your neighborhood. We have previously written a whole article about it, so you should check it out.

      http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/7-industries-drones-set-revolutionize/

  9. Anonymous
    October 22, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    I doubt any of those that claimed that they would shoot down a drone actually have the balls to do it.

    • Carol
      October 22, 2014 at 5:49 pm

      I certainly would. And could. Best target practice available, since I don't shoot skeet.

    • Dave Parrack
      October 29, 2014 at 3:24 pm

      I agree that it's much easier to say you'll do something than to actually do it. Especially online where no one knows who you are and cannot hold you to anything you say.

  10. dragonmouth
    October 22, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    "Why are drones so closely associated with surveillance when they have so many other uses?"
    Why is the computer associated with surveillance when it has so many other uses?

    "Do we all now assume we’re being spied on at every moment of every day when the reality is probably very different?
    If you expect the worst then you can be only pleasantly surprised. When every marketer knows more about us then we do then the only assumption can be that we are constantly spied upon by all and sundry.

    "Who owns the airspace above your property?"
    Read "The Man Who Sold the Moon" by Robert Heinlein for an answer.

    "How is Amazon Air ever going to succeed when people’s first instinct is to assume the worst about a drone flying nearby?"
    That is Jeff Bezos' problem.
    BTW - where is it written that Amazon Air, or any similar service, would be a "good thing?" Just imagine if all package delivery companies decided to use drones instead of trucks and people.

    • Dave Parrack
      October 29, 2014 at 3:29 pm

      I doubt surveillance is the first thing anyone thinks about when using a computer.

      Assuming the worst is no way to live. No wonder there is so much hate and mistrust in the world when this is the overriding belief system.

      Why would it be a bad thing if all package deliveries came by drone?

    • dragonmouth
      October 29, 2014 at 3:46 pm

      "Why would it be a bad thing if all package deliveries came by drone?"
      Ever been on I 405 in LA or Cross Bronx Expressway in NYC at rush hour? It's bad enough in 2 dimensions. Would you want it happening in 3 dimensions?

      The implicit assumption is that all the drone operators would be equally weel skilled and equally well trained. That assumption is as valid as the assumption that all motor vehicle operators are equally well trained and skilled.

  11. DirtyOldMan
    October 22, 2014 at 11:35 am

    In answer to your questions:
    Drones are associated with spying, as opposed to the many other valid uses, because the spying is what makes the news. From various governments (US mostly) to paparazzi, the spying is what makes the news.
    I, personally, do not feel that I am being spied on at every moment of every day. However, I live in the country on eleven acres. I do feel that mobile phone and internet use/activity IS being spied on, constantly. Once again, because we hear about it on the news frequently.
    I am not an attorney, so can not answer the question of legality of shooting down a drone. And I do not know the answer to ownership of the airspace above my property. My feeling on it is within a reasonable distance. But if a drone is hovering, or circling, above my property without my permission, I will do my best to bring it down. Let the owner trespass to retrieve it or confront me.
    Yes, Amazon may have a problem. However, if I order something from Amazon, and Amazon informs me that the delivery will be by drone, then I am expecting, and have authorized, the drone. Hence, I won't be shooting down a drone that I know is supposed to be in my air space.
    Once again, it gets back to the drone hovering/circling above my property, without my permission. Keep the drone moving Amazon, don't hover/circle where you don't belong.

    • Dave Parrack
      October 29, 2014 at 3:23 pm

      In which case the news media is doing a disservice to this fledgling technology. In a war-zone drones will obviously be used for surveillance, but in the U.S. their uses go way beyond that.

      In terms of Amazon, while you may be expecting a delivery, the rest of the neighborhood will have no idea you're due to receive a parcel. So, my fear is these will all get shot down by someone who mistakes an Amazon delivery drone that's passing through for some kind of illegal surveillance operation.

  12. Sean
    October 22, 2014 at 3:27 am

    After looking a little bit it seems that there is no set rules to who owns the air above someones property. I managed to find info saying air ownership ends anywhere from 80 feet to 500 feet or even that you only own the airspace that you can reasonably use. I imagine the legality of shooting down a drone will depend on local laws and circumstances. Like if the drone is stationary or passing over, laws dictating what you can do with objects placed on your property without consent, trespassing laws, and even if you placed up notification that any over flying drones will be knocked down.

    • dragonmouth
      October 22, 2014 at 12:52 pm

      For an interesting take on air rights read "The Man Who Sold the Moon" by Robert A. Heinlein.

      Most municipalities have laws or ordinances governing the discharging of guns within municipality's limits.

    • Sean
      October 22, 2014 at 11:01 pm

      @dragonmouth
      I haven't read “The Man Who Sold the Moon” but after looking at a summary it looks like you are referring to the belief that land ownership extends to infinity above land or Cuius est solum, eius est usque ad coelum et ad inferos (whoever owns soil, is theirs all the way to Heaven and to Hell). Fun fact that was the actual belief until the invention of hot air balloons and later airplanes. You are also correct that even if shooting down a drone is deemed legal you could still be hit with gun control violations, but I didn't bring it up because I was discussing the legality of the act itself.

    • Dave Parrack
      October 29, 2014 at 3:12 pm

      I find this fascinating. I'm guessing not many homeowners have actually considered where their vertical boundaries lie, but there may come a time in the near future when we all need to know.

  13. KT
    October 22, 2014 at 2:17 am

    I may be mistaken, but isn't London the most surveyed city in the world? At last reading, there were over 20,000 cameras distributed throughout the city. The good people of the UK probably have a higher tolerance for being recorded than us in the states. With no bill of rights and a disarmed society, our answers had to seem a bit over reactive to you, but those rights are worth defending in most of our eyes.

    (BTW, I thought the longbow answer from one of your fellow Brits was the best response)!

    • RobH
      October 22, 2014 at 8:41 pm

      Thank you ! (author of longbow posting)
      If anyone is interested here's a document about some of the UK legal issues around video surveillance from UAVs
      http://www.out-law.com/en/articles/2014/october/filming-using-drones-must-comply-with-data-protection-laws-says-ico/

    • Dave Parrack
      October 29, 2014 at 2:46 pm

      I'm not sure I'd call British citizens "disarmed," as most of the population never owned guns in the first place.

      My point wasn't even about surveillance, it was more about the assumption that a UAV equals bad news, so best to shoot it out of the sky than do something a lot more reasonable.

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