Category: Features

Loitering Munitions In Focus

In the early history of unmanned aviation, the distinction between a drone and guided missile was not always well defined. The World War One-era Kettering Bug, regarded to be one of the first drones, was designed to deliver an explosive…

Drone Bases Updates

This dynamic post will provide regular updates regarding the deployment of drones in military operations as new developments occur and as new information becomes available. The entries will place the latest developments in context. Bir Gifgafa, Egypt 30°24′26″N 33°9′15″E February…

The Drone Database

A growing number of countries are developing or acquiring unmanned aircraft systems. These drones are playing an ever-larger role in conflicts around the world. For example, we identified 38 drones made in six countries that are active in the conflict…

2016 Drone Year in Review

  By Arthur Holland Michel Every day of the year, we track the news from the drone world very closely. (If you haven’t already, you should subscribe to our Weekly Roundup newsletter to stay on top of the latest: you…

Drones Operating in Syria and Iraq

In Syria and Iraq today, there are more drones, made in more countries, and flown by more groups, than in any previous conflict. Once primarily the domain of technologically advanced militaries such as the United States, drones are being adopted…

The Presidential Candidates on Drones

The current U.S. administration’s use of armed surveillance drones for military operations—in particular the hundreds of covert targeted killings that have been conducted outside of declared war zones—is a defining dimension of Barack Obama’s presidency. Since 2009, drones have served…

Law Enforcement Robots Datasheet

        Background Robots are an increasingly common sight in U.S. police departments. These unmanned ground vehicles are used for roles that are deemed too hazardous for law enforcement officers, such as inspecting and disarming explosive ordnance. The…

Drone Smuggling: Inside Illegal Exports

By Dan Gettinger On November 1, 2015, Pei Qi “Paul” Ma, the owner and manager of an import/export business based in Xi’an, China, was arrested by police at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport as he attempted to board a flight to Las…

The Drone Revolutions

By Arthur Holland Michel The Drone Revolutions was an advanced undergraduate seminar organized by the Center for the Study of the Drone, taught in the Human Rights Program at Bard College during the Spring 2016 semester. The class was led…

Visiting DC Drone Day

By Dan Gettinger On May 7, 2016, a group of model aircraft hobbyists gathered at Walt Good Field in Boyds, Maryland to celebrate the D.C. Drone Day. The small airfield, situated some 22 miles outside of Washington, D.C., where rows…

More of the Same: The UN Debate on Lethal Robots

By Kelley Sayler From April 11 to 15, representatives from 95 states and numerous non-governmental organizations gathered in Geneva for the third UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons’ Meeting of Experts on Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems (LAWS). As outlined by…

Analysis of New Drone Incident Reports

By Arthur Holland Michel and Dan Gettinger On Friday, March 25, the Federal Aviation Administration released 582 new reports of incidents involving unmanned aircraft in the U.S. airspace system. These reports date from August 21, 2015 to January 31, 2016. We…