Francis Fukuyama Builds His Very Own Surveillance Drone

Future Tense
The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Feb. 13 2012 11:34 AM

Francis Fukuyama Builds His Very Own Surveillance Drone

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Francis Fukuyama

Photo by ERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images

Watch out, Stanford students: Francis Fukuyama has built a surveillance drone. His DJI Innovations F450 quadcopter carries a Sony flip cam. As Fukuyama points out, a remote-control helicopter is harder to fly than a plane, but does not require a runway for takeoff. Helicopters make for better surveillance drones because of their ability to hover over the monitored subject.

This is not just an exercise in cool DIY hobbies. He writes:

It is extremely easy to build a drone now that can do not just surveillance but can carry rather large payloads.  ….  I don’t have to spell out the implications of this.  I want to have my drone before the government makes them illegal.  The US has been fighting such low-tech enemies lately that we haven’t thought through the nature of a world in which lots of people have sophisticated drones, not just other countries but private individuals. 
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Watch video from his surveillance drone below.

Read more on the American Interest.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Torie Bosch is the editor of Future Tense, a project of Slate, the New America Foundation, and Arizona State that looks at the implications of new technologies. 

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