Drones For The Holidays

Three festive things to do with unmanned vehicles

How is a drone supposed to celebrate the holidays? While the unmanned flying machines lack belief systems or even the capability to comprehend belief, that’s no reason to leave them out of annual traditions.

Drones, it turns out, can add a festive air to any event. For example, they’re great at playing catch … unless the thing they’re supposed to catch is a pumpkin as it’s fired out of a cannon:

The video by YouTube user Ugly Tutorials says that the pumpkin was fired at up to 200 mph. It destroyed the drone and gimbal, but the GoPro recording the video survived.

Perhaps, after the pumpkin-shaped onslaught of Halloween and Thanksgiving, drone pilots are looking for a little help figuring out their vehicles. In Massachusetts, they’re in luck. Dronemaker DroneDart is offering a “Santa Certified” training course. The two-hour courses don’t teach flying, but they do cover the rules of drone flying, so that Christmas-morning drone pilots don’t break the law. For instance, BetaBoston reports:

Once certified, why not break out the drone and use it to help decorate the house? In this short video, remote-control toy company Hobbico uses a quadcopter to put the finishing touches on a gingerbread house:

Cute, but that face is creeping us out.

Kelsey D. Atherton
Kelsey D. Atherton

is a defense technology journalist based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His work on drones, lethal AI, and nuclear weapons has appeared in Slate, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, and elsewhere.