Drones

Photo of Former State of Things Producer Meghan Modafferi and Producer Anita Rao try out sitting on the other side of the glass in "host attire" on Meghan's last day.
Jorge Valencia

As 2014 comes to a close, The State of Things producer Anita Rao takes a look back at some of her favorite segments from the show this year. 

Image of Duke Professor Missy Cummings, drone advocate and expert.
Missy Cummings

  

Although the word drone may at first evoke an image of a stealth killing machine, the work of Mary 'Missy' Cummings proves drones are much more than that initial thought. 

Photo: A camera attached to a remote control airplane
Chris Goldberg / Flickr/Creative Commons

A series of laws passed by the General Assembly this summer will go into effect today, affecting areas of construction, pollution and privacy. The variety in legislation reflects the broad reach of the state House and Senate this year.

Coal Ash

The PowerUp 3.0
PowerUp Toys

A Durham man is among the first in the country to test a new type of drone that can be made out folded paper. The device has a plastic propeller, an attached rudder, and is directed by an iPhone app.

The drone is called the PowerUp 3.0. It was created by Shai Goitein, a former Israeli Air Force pilot.

Goitein took his engineering idea to the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter last fall. He asked for $50,000 and received $1.2 million dollars.

Here's the original concept:

A moment from Grounded, a one-woman show featuring Madeleine Lambert.
Jon Haas

After an unexpected pregnancy, an F-16 pilot gets reassigned to a desk job: flying drones from an armchair in a windowless trailer in Nevada.

A drone
U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson / http://commons.wikimedia.org

Last week, President Obama laid out his strategy for a new phase in the war on terror.  He repeated his belief that Guantanamo Bay should be closed and cited the political reasons for his failure to do so until now. 

Obama also outlined a new policy that scales back the use of drones to kill suspected national security threats.  What are the laws and policies that President Obama faces? 

Aeyron Scout drone
creative commons

City council members in Monroe have voted to suspend plans to purchase a drone.  The council voted unanimously last week to shelve the project.  

The city's police department said earlier this month it planned to purchase a drone for $42,000, which would be offset by funds from drug busts.  Mayor Pro Tem Lynn Keziah cited concerns about how the public would receive the project and conflicts with the local company involved.  The council agreed to discuss the issue at a later date.

A MQ-9 Reaper drone.
U.S. Air Force photo by Paul Ridgeway

North Carolina is vying to host one of six national test sites for unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as drones.  The prospect of a burgeoning domestic drone industry in the state has some people excited.  But others are voicing concerns.

drone
US Air Force, via Wikipedia

As more domestic law enforcement agencies acquire drones, concerns are increasing about how the unmanned aerial vehicles will be used and regulated.