cargo drones © Red Line

Drones para el desarrollo

GINEBRA – En los últimos años, los vehículos aéreos no tripulados (VANT) han sido un tema corriente en la imaginación y pesadillas de personas en todo el mundo. En abril, la armada de los Estados Unidos anunció un programa experimental llamado LOCUST, (Low-Cost UAV Swarming Technology –tecnología de bajo costo de vehículos aéreos no tripulados); que de acuerdo a autoridades “abrumaría autónomamente al enemigo” y por ende ofrecería a marineros y marines una ventaja táctica decisiva”. Con un nombre y misión como esos –y dada la historia irregular ética de guerra con drones – no sorprende que a muchos les incomode una continua proliferación de robots voladores.

Sin embargo, el cielo seguirá usándose para volar. A diario, más de tres millones de personas están en el aire. Cada asentamiento humano importante de nuestro planeta está conectado a otro mediante transporte aéreo. DJI, el fabricante chino de VANT quiere un inventario con una valoración de 10 mil millones de dólares. Los drones de carga crecerán dentro de una industria más grande en los próximos años, sencillamente porque sin el peso de humanos y respectivos sistemas de apoyo vitales, volarán a un costo más asequible pero igual de rápido y seguro.

En países ricos, el interés temprano en drones de carga se ha centrado en el último eslabón de los drones minúsculos. Sin embargo, las oportunidades más importantes se encuentran en los medianos para volar en los países más pobres. Alrededor de 800 millones de personas en todo el mundo tienen acceso limitado a servicios de emergencia, y esto no cambiará en el futuro cercano porque no habrá suficiente dinero para crear comunicaciones terrestres que conecten lugares. Mediante vuelos y cargas medianos hacia muchas comunidades aisladas, los drones de carga pueden salvar vidas y crear empleos.

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