A while ago I read an article on popsci.com called 25 reasons to love drones. It featured many advantages and loveable features of this popular tech toy – the ability to rescue people, perform dangerous combat mission and even find parking spots in overcrowded parking areas. Some of them were definetely great, others were debatable. Reason number 23, however, caught my attention. It said ” Kids love them—and learn from them too” . Since I assume a very different view on the topic, this made me think. I finally decided to counter this claim by coming up with my own 9 reasons why, in fact, drones are NOT a good toy for children.
Drone – a toy or not?
These unmanned aerial vehicles that are controlled by a remote pilot have become increasingly popular of late. Drones, as they are commonly referred to as are credited with making life simpler in some aspect. They are used in the military, in logistics, in the visual entertainment business and even in construction and the insurance industry to gauge scenarios that would require a lot more if a human was made to do the same chore. The benefits are ample, there is no argument on that front. However, given the recent interest in the product by teenagers and children has taken the dynamics of drones from being an object or machine that simplifies the complexities of work, to becoming a leisure object of play. Drones, as multi-dimensional as they are capable of being, aren’t meant for play. They are machines that are dangerous and require regulation, something which has been missing to a huge extent presently.
Why aren’t drones a good toy option for your kids?
- The very first thought that comes to mind is that of safety. The multiple rotating blades that accompany a drone are reason enough why a child should not be left unsupervised with this equipment. The toy if not operated by a skilled operator can cause both injuries to self as well as others around.
- There is the concern about privacy as well. What determines where and for what duration you can have your unmanned toy up in the sky? Kids living in residential neighbourhoods, flying drones, are culpable of intruding and disrupting the privacy of those over whose buildings and properties their drones are being made to hover. To think that there isn’t any law in place to curtail this hobby is quite a shocker. In the absence of stricter rules that detail out the boundaries of using these toys, it is not safe for children to be allowed to use drones as toys.
- Security is another major threat with access to drones left out in the open for anyone with the means to have them. With anyone permitted to own these gadgets places sever security threat for those on its receiving end. This device can be used for surveillance and even spying on others.
- Drones can be customized from the very basic to transform them into much faster and more powerful gadgets than those that are available in the market. This particularly is an issue with builder drones that allow kids to custom build their drones. With no regulations on what can and can’t be added to modify a drone leaves a gaping room for accidents and mishaps.
- Risk of accidents that can be caused by the battery used in the operation and functioning of drones. The lipo, also known as the lithium polymer batteries that power a drone are prone to catching fire if not dealt with cautiously. This is added risk not only for the user but anyone who comes in the way of the drone, mostly the unsuspecting public. A lot many toys and gadget are battery operated so why single out drone batteries as riskier? Truth is that these drone batteries are of a hybrid nature and are formed by the combination of dry and wet chemicals that allow for higher rate of discharge of energy. These sorts of batteries are, therefore, come with an increased risk of incorrect use.
- There have been instances of drones catching fire mid-air questioning the very need for inviting such scenarios in the first place. Another issue with drones is that unlike our mobile phones, drones can’t be expected to perform safely when the battery hits the 20 percent mark. Drones taking flight with such low batteries are a hazard and children may not register the gravity of this inadequacy while playing with drones.
- Drones aren’t meant to be used in adverse climatic conditions. Kids may not realize it but flying a drone even as a form of fun activity can be threatening both for them and others around during rough weather conditions. Strong winds, thunder and lightning can cause serious damage to the operator of the drone as well as anyone in the vicinity of the toy.
- Drones aren’t the best toys for kids also because they are gadgets meant for the outdoors, like most sports. This further runs the risk of children accidentally flying it into a crowd. Mishaps happen even in sports, but the damage a drone is capable of inflicting on people is far worse than what a soccer or a cricket ball could ever achieve.
- An unhealthy hobby is being encouraged. With more and more children aspiring to own and operate drones as a means of sport, somewhere the real sports and outdoors activities are taking a backseat. The culture of sports and team activities can’t be learnt in theory alone but need to be implemented in a practical form for children to learn and imbibe those qualities.
Having listed the few reasons why drones aren’t the best choice of toys for your kids, it is essential to mention that drones as a type of gadget aren’t bad. They have been used in various missions that have simplified life for the better and they continue to do so even now. Research is being conducted in this area as to how it can be made even better. The question we seek an answer to is whether it is safe enough to allow kids access to it even in the most basic prototype of models. The answer is a resounding no because there aren’t rules that govern these as toys. Not to forget that these simple drones can also be converted to custom built powerful and fast and more versatile machines by adding more components to it. Kids with access to such tools in the absence of any regulations makes it a matter of concern for both parents as well as the public.