Arnold built a drone in about nine hours over a couple of weeks, with help from fellow drone enthusiasts. They’re a niche group, for now, living in the world they think we will all be inhabiting before too long: using drones for fun and convenience, like any other toy or gadget, and for the betterment of society.
We’re living in drone-y times. Reports surfaced this month that Facebook is considering purchasing a drone production company. In December, Jeffrey P. Bezos, who founded Amazon and owns The Washington Post, made headlines by suggesting that Amazon could deliver orders by drone within five years. Three weeks later, the Federal Aviation Administration announced a multiyear process to study and test the application of unmanned aerial vehicles in the various climates and geographies of the United States.
At the drone user group gathering, Arnold activates the four propellers, which make a sound like an electric weed cutter or a mutant wasp. He nudges a lever on the remote control, and the drone hiccups upward an inch, tilts back and skids on the ground. “Okay, maybe I’ll wait,” Arnold says, humbled by the sensitivity and latent power of his creation. … (Read more)