It is wildly unfortunate that the word "drone" might automatically bring to mind modern weaponry and international spying. Though the use of such devices for military purposes is understandable, the gear has so many other possible applications. Consider that a drone and helicam can create some of the most stunning cinematic shots imaginable (two helicam units were recognized at the Academy Awards in early 2014!). They are also used for emergency services, search and rescue, possible delivery devices, and even conservation.
This tells us that, when in the right hands, a drone can be a most definite force for good. In fact, in the UAE there is a new award known as the "Drones for Good Award" that is geared at finding "the best application for delivering government services in the health, education, civil defence, transportation and tourism sectors, while an international prize...will recognise the best ideas...focusing on their broader application in any area that may benefit humanity, such as providing relief during natural disasters." (Sen, 2014)
Clearly, there are many groups and organizations just beginning to understand the dependability of a quadcopter or other multi-rotor device. And when partnered with helicam technologies, the amount of good that these devices can do is impressive. Obviously, this means that far from being strictly a tool of warfare, the helicam can be put to use in many beneficial ways.
Skills and Experience
Of course, you cannot just put a multi-rotor unmanned vehicle into the hands of a novice and know that they can immediately begin to use it effectively for the benefit of others. There is much to be learned and mastered before people could consider themselves helicam experts. This is why there are so many limitations on their use in some parts of the world - such as in the U.S., where the FAA is still trying to determine how to regulate the use of any drone gear.
Along with the issue of safety there is also the issue of privacy. A tiny quadcopter with a helicam is an amazing tool for challenging photography, but it can also be used to illegally record or photograph individuals or groups, and can also distribute such footage through online channels instantly.
The many concerns and possibilities of drone and helicam gear have led to many universities and colleges designing and implementing degree programs and courses in drone technologies of all kinds. Not only could a student of a program learn how to safely and legally pilot a drone, but also the different legalities that apply to their use in general.
Currently, there are many plans in the United States for the use of equipment such as a multi-rotor flying camera purely to "do good". They are being chosen to help with border patrols, avalanche control and observation, air quality studies, fire fighting, and search and rescue. Many of the groups looking at the use of drone and helicam gear, however, are official entities and government agencies.
What about the business world or the general public? Broader application of helicam equipment is considered inevitable. The Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates tens of thousands of jobs developing from the growth of the industry. This might include people trained to use them for delivery services, as wedding videographers, for crop-dusting applications, and dozens of other "civilian" tasks.
Currently, there are a lot of questions and discussions about helicam tech. There are also many already striving to become helicam and drone experts. Heli Video Pros is a group that offers a lot of information about everything from the latest gear to the latest news relating to the industry. They are a good resource for those interested in learning more about the use of drone and helicam equipment for the forces of goodness, creativity, and even "everyday life".
Sen, M. Five Things You Need to Know About Drones. GulfNews. May 22, 2014. http://gulfnews.com/gn-focus/tech-accessories/5-things-drones-1.1336753