In the 1984 movie, The Terminator, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, artificially intelligent machines take over the earth in 2029 and attempt to exterminate the human race. And while that was originally a science fiction fantasy, the fact is that robotics technology has advanced tremendously over the past 30 years since that movie was made. And although robots come in many different shapes and forms, we’ve heard more and more about the type called ‘drones’ in the recent news.
A drone is basically an unmanned aerial vehicle, that is, it’s a flying robot with no onboard pilot. Now most drones these days are controlled remotely by a human and make use of advanced computer technology to carry out their designed function, which is either surveillance or combat. Yeah I know, it’s unfortunate, but most of the research and development in drone technology has been carried out by various militaries around the world, especially by the United States. And this has led to many needless deaths: for example, in Pakistan, studies have shown that for every militant leader killed by a drone, 10 civilians have also died.
But surely we can use this technology for more peaceful purposes, right? Well, it’s actually happening, and it’s called the Defikopter. The Defikopter is kind of like a remote controlled helicopter, and its basic purpose is to deliver defibrillators by parachute to heart attack victims. You see, in a heart attack situation, for each minute that passes, the chance of survival decreases 10%. And sometimes by the time the ambulance arrives, it is too late. The victim is dead.
However, a German company, called Definetz, has developed a smartphone app that you can use to request the immediate delivery of a defibrillator by the Defikopter, no matter where you are within its range. It can travel within a radius of 10 kilometres and fly at speeds of up to 70 kilometres an hour. This would avoid traffic jams that would otherwise slow down ambulances, or deliver the lifesaving technology to victims in rural or mountainous areas that are hard to get to.
So what do you think of drones like the Defikopter? And what other peaceful uses of drones can you imagine? And do you think that someday robots could take over the world and destroy the human race?