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4.5 out of 5 stars11
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on July 16, 2013
This documentary on UAVs/drones, their uses and their technology. It was produced in 2013, so it has the latest, most up-to-date content and footage on drones. The show begins with early footage of spy planes like the U2 and SR-71, most of the footage is in color. The draws similarities between their missions and the ones that drones are used for today. It then goes into the developmental history of drones with an interview and photos of Abe Karem(known as the father of the Predator)of his early prototypes from the early 1980s. Then it show how the Predator was developed. The show explores the strengths and weaknesses of the drones and even talks about the Iranians hacking into one of the RQ-170 Sentinal drones, taking it over and landing the drone. Though most of the details of that incident remain classified. This dvd showcases the efforts by engineers to make drone function without any input from humans. Talks about drone hobbiests, their use by the Border patrol and Police investigation units. Currently there are 55 countries developing drones for different uses. Towards the end it has flight footage and showcases the development of the X-47B, which is intended to carry out attack missions from the Navy's aircraft carriers.

In the future the Air Force predicts that about one-third of its tactical aircraft will be unmanned UAVs/drones. Currently the Air Force is training more "drone pilots" than regular pilots! NOVA was granted some access to the ARGUS sensor which can take 1.8 Billion pixel video images and stream them as well.

I would recommend this dvd to anyone who would like to learn more about drones, the aviation enthusiast and the person wanting to know more about where the drone technology is headed in the future. Amazon's price is a little high but I think this dvd is worth it. Most shows I have seen have had a segment of the show devoted to UAVs/drones but this show is 53 minutes long of interesting and very informative footage and content on drones!
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on January 7, 2016
After watching this one, watch DRONE WARS too. Wait until autonomous drones, robots, and cars take over, like in the TERMINATOR and I ROBOT movies. A video game mentality is helpful. Did North Korea detonate a hydrogen bomb? Hmm. Don't you wonder if they can put a mere 10 KT little warhead in a drone they bought on Amazon? Remember that real 1KT nuke that a soldier could carry over his shoulder? Welcome to your nightmare. Ed Wood would probably have wanted a camera drone for flying over Hollywood, just like the big studios use. Did you see the HARRY'S LAW episode where Harry shot gunned down a drone over her home? What fun!
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on March 17, 2014
I feel this DVD is a great DVD for anyone who is interested in the topic. It shows various flying drones and what the US military has in their inventory of drones. I feel there is a place where information can be gathered and transmitted back to its operator to relay information back to others to see if and how they can help others. It would be great to check out tornado damage in a town where the first responders have just arrived and tress are blocking streets and roads. I feel this is just the beginning of what people can use drones for. Heck why not fly down a St Patrick's Day parade and get a bird's eye view of it and maybe transmit it back to a TV station to broadcast it to people who cannot get out and enjoy the parade. I think the ideas of what you can use drones for is in its infancy. And why not use it to find missing people a lot quicker from the air and then just hover over the person if you find them from the air and that way people can look for it hovering and help the person or persons who need it and maybe even call for help if they are injured.
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on January 8, 2014
I hesitate to even write this review. Rise of the Drones serves to illustrate how the western "democratic" world is becoming increasingly Orwellian. It is a typical PBS production, not overly controversial and explores various perspectives, but in general it seems to have bit of a slant in favor of those who have vested interests in this technology. Which is no doubt why they received the access they did in order to produce this doc. As is usually the case with the military, when they're open about their technology, it's in an effort to placate the general public, and the hardware that they put on display is already fairly obsolete.
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on April 12, 2013
Excellent treatment of an emerging issue. Drones have been primarily an overseas, military or intelligence platform. Now the drones are coming to America! This program provides more information on a topic all Americans should closely monitor.
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on May 20, 2015
An amazing DVD, showing how the drones work and all the different kinds there are. Would recommend
this DVD to everyone, no war pictures shown, mostly the development of this technology.
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on January 4, 2016
I liked this - definitely worth the time.
Not worth the money though.
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on November 23, 2015
Great information, but a little dry.
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on December 6, 2013
I am in the Air Force and my unit has been picked to fly the drones. So, this is just the DVD I need to see. I have shown it to many in my unit. They all love it!
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on April 3, 2015
good information
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