cargo drones © Red Line

Drones para o Desenvolvimento

GENEBRA – Os veículos aéreos não tripulados têm povoado a imaginação e pesadelos das pessoas no mundo inteiro nos últimos anos. Em abril, a Marinha dos Estados Unidos anunciou um programa experimental chamado LOCUST (sigla em inglês para “Low-Cost UAV Swarming Technology”, ou Tecnologia de Baixo Custo para Veículos Aéreos Não Tripulados), que, de acordo com as autoridades, promete que irá "vencer um adversário de maneira autônoma" e assim "fornecer aos marinheiros e fuzileiros navais uma vantagem tática decisiva." Com um nome e uma missão assim – e dado o histórico ético irregular de guerra com drones – não uma surpresa que muitos estejam preocupados com a proliferação contínua de robôs voadores.

Entretanto, o uso do céu veio para ficar. Mais de 3 milhões de pessoas estão no ar diariamente. Cada assentamento humano importante do nosso planeta está ligado a outro pelo transporte aéreo. A DJI, o fabricante chinês de VANT, está próximo a uma avaliação de 10 bilhões. Os drones de carga atingirão um patamar ainda maior nos próximos anos, simplesmente porque, sem o peso de um ser humano e seus sistemas de suporte à vida, eles voarão a um custo mais acessível e serão, ao mesmo tempo, rápidos e seguros.

Nos países ricos, o interesse recente por drones de carga se concentrou no transporte de um ponto de distribuição até o destino final.  Mas as maiores oportunidades se encontram em realizar voos no meio do processo de transporte em países mais pobres. Cerca de 800 milhões de pessoas ao redor do mundo têm acesso limitado aos serviços de emergência, e isso não vai mudar no futuro próximo, porque não haverá dinheiro suficiente para construir estradas para conectá-los. Mediante voos e cargas de tamanho médio que cheguem a muitas destas comunidades isoladas, os drones de carga podem salvar vidas e criar empregos.

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