Are drones misunderstood?

Aug 22, 2014 at 4:49 pm

The Motor City Drone Co. stopped by the MT office today to let us play with one of their quadcopters. No, we're not in the market for a new floating staff photographer — drones have been the frequent subject of jokes in the office lately, and we were curious about them. I watched Trash Talk disable a civilian drone at a recent show, inciting a crowd of hardcore punks to start chanting "stop the Feds!" Felton seems to be kind of afraid of them

MCDC's Mike Wright (no relation to the forefathers of mechanical aviation?) says drones are misunderstood, unfairly calling to mind ideas about spying and military operations. He says there's also a big semantic debate going on right now as to whether what the public have come to call drones are really drones — technically, he says, a drone should fly autonomously, and while his drones can be programmed, they are largely piloted via remote control. "There are some people out there who say, 'Don't say the D-word,'" he says of his choice to embrace the word "drone." "Multi-rotor copter" doesn't quite roll off the tongue.

Wright's T shirt avoided the semantic debate entirely, emblazoned with silhouette of a drone followed by the words "IS NOT A CRIME." A gun owner, Wright likens drones to firearms. No technology is inherently evil, he says, it just depends on how people use it. 

Here's an MT editorial staff portrait Wright took with his drone (Felton was hiding under his desk):

Metrotimes from Motor City Drone Co. on Vimeo.