Civilian drone technology has outpaced government regulations, as Amanda Ripley explains in her Atlantic story, "Playing Defense Against the Drones." What are the pressures that drone enthusiasts feel to cultivate their love of flying robots responsibly? We went inside the world of drone-racers to get their perspective: "We know we're ambassadors," says Dale Settle in this documentary by The Atlantic. "This is new technology—there's lots of talk, there's lots of hype."
However, much in the same way that civilians are pioneering the emergence of drone technologies, they are also playing a role in mitigating the risks that may arise. "As the technology proliferates, you increase the probability that somebody is going to use it inappropriately," says John Franklin, the co-founder of DroneShield, which identifies unauthorized drones using real-time alerts. "But then you also have gears turning in the heads of nefarious people."