Originally Posted by ckeene9
Commercial UAV, that's a joke right now too.
Forgot to multi-quote this one. I think it depends on the definition of "Commercial UAV" and/or the context in which it is used.
There are lots of Universities and independent contractors that are using UAVs to assist with various things already. University of Canterbury in New Zealand used a fleet of Draganflyer X4-Ps to aid in post earthquake recovery in Christchurch.
Several fire departments in the southeast are looking at using them to survey for hot spots in large, brush/wild fires where firefighters on foot/in brush trucks wouldn't be able to easily navigate.
Orange County Fire Rescue is researching them for use with their SAR teams.
Everglades National Park is also researching (and may be testing) them for use in aiding conservation efforts. I read an article in a local newspaper saying that NASA, due to their proximity, may also be assisting. Relating to NASA, specifically KSC, they provide a ton of assistance to various conservatories in and near their property. Playalinda, a small area of beach directly adjacent to KSC's waterfront, is a heavily regulated conservatory. Same article about NASA assisting the Everglades National Park mentioned Playalinda's efforts and how whatever research on UAVs NASA does for the Everglades could also help Playalinda and surrounding conservatories.
Pretty cool stuff, I think, at least. I mean, listen, we're not talking about Predators here and I think anybody on the consumer/commercial side that makes themselves out to be professionals are just bowing up. I just think the overall technology is badass and it's fun to read about and even more fun to have a quad or two of your own to go out and fly on the weekends. If at some point I could get involved with the aforementioned uses of UAVs, even cooler.