Science & Technology

Universities Expanding Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Academia doesn't like to call them drones


As Congress debates when and how the executive branch should be allowed to use drones for targeted killing in war zones, more universities here are seeking permission to use unmanned aerial vehicles.

UAVs and drones are essentially one and the same: they are radio-controlled aircraft that can be piloted from the ground. But academics don't like the term drone because the public associates those machines with cruise missiles and privacy violations. While that's a far cry from what these researchers use drones for, concerns about their presence in higher education remain.