The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency or as most know them, DARPA, has changed the face of warfare and technology on numerous occasions. A new book, ‘The Imagineers of War’ by Sharon Weinberger tells the stories behind many such occasions, including a section dedicated to the birth of drones.
The book portrays drones as one of DARPA’s main contributions to modern warfare and traces unmanned aircraft from their beginning as spotter and trackers in Vietnam to an indispensable part of US air power in the 21st century.
Learning about where drones came from is important to understanding how they will continue to shape the future. Most of the technology on commercial and consumer drones today came from direct military applications. Also, drone technologies of the future like sense and avoid abilities and particularly swarming technology, continue to be driven by military or military-funded research.