While drones date back to the first World War, it’s the modern era that’s really seen them take off in the home market. Cheap electronics, powerful batteries, useful cameras, and easy integration of multiple wireless technologies make it possible for someone to walk into an Apple store, plunk down $200, and start flying a drone with their phone. Almost none of that would have made sense to someone in 1976, when the NASA Ames Research Center commissioned a study from the Lockheed Missiles & Space Company on “Civil Uses Of Remotely Piloted Aircraft.” That study, in all its glorious 328 pages, is available online, and it’s a past glimpse at the future we’re now living in.
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