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You can borrow a drone at this library

Mon, 06/23/2014 - 10:01am
Chris Warner, Executive Editor

Chris WarnerThe newly renovated University of South Florida library will have lots to offer students returning for the fall semester. There will be brand new furniture, a modern Smart Lab, and aerial drones to check out along with the books.

No, really. In touting the school library’s recent renovations, the University says “Students, who will be provided training in advance, will be able to check out the small remote-controlled airplane containing a video camera, which can be used to capture footage from an aerial view.”

We’ve seen here and elsewhere that drones have great potential, such as law enforcement’s willingness to use them for surveillance, search and rescue. And business can’t wait for drones to take off once the FAA offers guidelines. Amazon.com’s intentions to use drones for shipping is one possible use case, and a pizza establishment in India uses drones to make deliveries. Recently the Washington Nationals used a drone to film spring training activities for promotional purposes.

There’s no question drones will be part of everyday life, and students’ use of drones can provide hands-on experience with how these machines work. No doubt they will also unleash students’ curiosity and creativity as they yield as yet unthought-of applications.

If you’re a student at the University of South Florida, be sure to return your drone on time, as I can only imagine the fines for an overdue drone would be rather steep. And don’t let your drone-inspired pranks get too out of hand!

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