In the civilian world at least, a drone is a flying camera with a person on the other end. Everything we think about drones, really, depends on what the person on the other end decides to do with it. On the Greek Isle of Lesbos, in the Aegean Sea, Mehdi Salehi is using his drone to save incoming refugees.
There are plenty of bots working today to produce basic, numbers-driven reports on sports and finance results, but the Olympics showed that one robo-reporter can be quite prolific. A single Chinese bot named Xiaomingbot produced 450 stories about results from the games.
Nikola Tesla, the inventor, electric car company namesake, and beloved darling of the internet, had a great many visions in his mind. Among the more obscure: a patent for killer robots. And not just killer robots, but killer robots he thought were so deadly that the mere risk of their use would bring about peace.
When the water rises, what can you do? When torrential rains led to massive flooding in Louisiana, the floodwaters displaced thousands of people. Getting to shelter is the most important thing, but for many, the most urgent question on their mind once they found somewhere to wait out the storm was finding out if their home is still underwater. That's a hard thing to do remotely. It's a pretty easy thing to do with remotely piloted vehicles.