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Go To Uni, Earn a Degree In Drones 66

Posted by Soulskill
from the with-a-minor-in-launching-hellfire-missiles-remotely dept.
New submitter KernelMuncher writes "Curricula and research projects related to drones are cropping up at both large universities and community colleges across the country. In a list of 81 publicly-funded entities that have applied for a certificate of authorization to fly drones from the Federal Aviation Administration, more than a third are colleges... Schools — and their students — are jockeying for a position on the ground floor of a nascent industry that looks poised to generate jobs and research funding in the coming years. 'We get a lot of inquiries from students saying, "I want to be a drone pilot,"' says Ken Polovitz, the assistant dean in the University of North Dakota's John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences."
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Go To Uni, Earn a Degree In Drones

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  • Anyone... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TapeCutter (624760) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @05:44PM (#43218079) Journal
    ..who "wants" to be a drone pilot, should not be a drone pilot.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      some of the best pilots in RC are able to turn something they enjoy into something that can earn a very healthy living.

      for many operations it's simply not worth it to trust the aircraft to the computer, especially if the payload had done silly things with the flight characteristics. skilled RC guys can account for such things if they have the skills. get paid healthy $$$ to be shipped somewhere to take drones off, hand them over to the computer... then wait for them to come back and land them.

      so... maybe no

      • some of the best pilots in RC are able to turn something they enjoy into something that can earn a very healthy living.

        Healthy for who?

        More to the point, unhealthy for who?

        • Let's see: Have you seen the people the power companies hire to hang off the side of a helicopter to inspect high voltage lines? What if you could do that from the ground? These helicopters crash and kill people, an rc craft crashes and wastes a few thousand dollars and zero lives. Have you heard of searches for missing people get called off because of nightfall or weather? RC helis are much cheaper, batteries much quicker to replace, and the pilots are never in dangerous situations. Ever seen any bush pi
    • These guys already have mad joystick skillz, and they are mostly nice people who don't to around asking people how to become a drone pilot cuz they think it's cool to blow shit up.

      I play golf at a course right next to a major R/C airfield. On most Sunday mornings you can see two big R/C jets, most likely scratch-built. These suckers are loud and FAST. The way they maneuver these things around and come in for a precise landing is awesome to watch.

      Whatever they do, they should NOT hire people who play video g

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        These guys already have mad joystick skillz, and they are mostly nice people who don't to around asking people how to become a drone pilot cuz they think it's cool to blow shit up.

        I play golf at a course right next to a major R/C airfield. On most Sunday mornings you can see two big R/C jets, most likely scratch-built. These suckers are loud and FAST. The way they maneuver these things around and come in for a precise landing is awesome to watch.

        A drone is essentially a long-range RC aircraft.

        You see, a UAV

  • I would also enjoy playing video games for real for a living as well. My life would literally be a sci fi novel.
    • by c0lo (1497653)

      One degree in Ender's Game please

      Does this includes... ummm... international students?
      After the schools will have spare capacity, it would be against "free market" not to accept...errr... Chinese students, isn't it?

  • Well that's funny (Score:5, Interesting)

    by HeckRuler (1369601) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @05:46PM (#43218113)

    Because when I went to school it was to automate those guys out of a job.

    I mean, that was my "big plan" at least. I got a nice well rounded education and went off into entirely different fields of programming and software engineering, but senior design project was to automate a gas-powered helicopter. We had a big clunky accelerometer that fell off a fighter jet from a friend in the industry. Ludicrously advanced for students at the time and horribly outmatched by a wiimote a few years later. All in all it was a good project. Would have been nice to work professionally on autonomous UAVs, but that's a little hard to do in Iowa.

    But talk about a degree with a shelf life.

  • by chrism238 (657741) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @05:48PM (#43218121)
    Surely it doesn't require a degree to become a drone pilot - just an enthusiasm for video games and a morality bypass?
    • It probably also requires a good deal of study in both aeronautics and software development. And don't call me shirley!
      • I am thinking that would be required to become a drone DESIGNER, not a drone PILOT.

        Normal pilots dont generally need a degree (although practical degrees do exist).

        Sounds much more like universities smell a gravy train, and want to jump on.

        • by Alioth (221270)

          In the US, you won't get a pilot job at a major airline without a degree.

          They don't care particularly what the degree is in, but they want to see at least a bachelor's degree. There are some universities who specialize in aerospace degrees though for hopeful airline pilots (such as Embry-Riddle)

    • Morality bypass? Where did that nonsense come from? Please provide a citation. Drones (at least US drones) are provided with quite strict ROE (rules of engagement) and Youtube is stuffed with videos in which drone operators curse but are unable to engage targets due to ROE restrictions.

      Are you sure you aren't just regurgitating groupthink that you got of some website? Why don't you try thinking for yourself for a change?

      • One little word in your comment that kinda reverses its meaning...

      • For some uf us, morality means to not even think about piloting or remote-piloting an armed aircraft, doesn't matter whether it would be for training or in actual combat.

        GP is not posting nonsense.

        There are, howewer quite a few legit reasons to pilot an unarmed and unmanned drone, be it for fun or for profit. This excludes the military, for reasons outlined above.

        • "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling, which thinks that nothing is worth war, is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."
          -- John Stuart Mill

          "We are advocates of the abolition of war, we do not want war; but wa

      • by chrism238 (657741)

        Are you sure you aren't just regurgitating groupthink that you got of some website? Why don't you try thinking for yourself for a change?

        No need for the ad-hominem attack - I am thinking for myself, on this day, the 10th anniversary of that fully justified invasion of Iraq, also under your precious 'quite strict ROE (rules of engagement)', by the Coalition of the Killing.

      • by Scorpinox (479613)

        A little harsh, but thanks for bring up ROE. Saying drones are bad is not the same as saying war is bad. The latter is a conversation worth having, but saying drones are bad is just stifling scientific progress. Not all unmanned aerial vehicles kill people, and there is a massive potential to use UAVs not just for surveillance, but for mapping of dangerous terrain, transport of goods, and whatever else you can think of to get something somewhere without a human being there.

        If you want to put a LIDAR on a

        • by Alioth (221270)

          This has nothing to do with any "public fear" of drones though. The reason you can't stick a LIDAR on a drone and 3D map a riverbed is that drones can't see and avoid, and it might just blindly pile into the actual manned pipeline or electricity inspection patrol flying in the opposite direction. So drones are (quite rightly) limited at the moment to restricted airspace. You can't just restrict airspace on a whim either, because to do that you're taking away the freedom of pilots to use that airspace.

          In any

    • by Type44Q (1233630)

      Surely it doesn't require a degree to become a drone pilot - just an enthusiasm for video games and a morality bypass?

      An actual fear of flying couldn't hurt either (you know, on a plane). :p

    • should be at the trades / apprenticeship level or maybe 2 year community / tech school

    • Inter arma enim silent leges
  • Clearly there is a case for aircraft that could be operated from ground and used by private companies for example for shipment, cargo delivery. UPS, Fedex, DHL, Purolator, etc., they could use drones that are just remotely piloted cargo planes.

    OTOH is that what TFA is really about? Are these students going to end up 'working' for the military or maybe your local PD, flying a drone to spy on the citizens?

  • by Inf0phreak (627499) on Tuesday March 19, 2013 @06:00PM (#43218241)

    I can get a diploma in Zerg showing I can drone hard [youtube.com]? Awesome...

    *Reads submission again*... oooh. That kind of drones. That's a lot less awesome.

  • "Traveling through Federal airspace ain't like dusting crops, boy! Without precise calculations we could fly right through a blimp parade or bounce too close to a cell tower, and that'd end your trip real quick, wouldn't it?"

  • Life imitates art... or at least, ho-hum Hollywood SF movies
  • Don't complain when the professor drones on

  • RTFA... couldn't find any mention of any school with the initials uni. Did I miss something, or did it mean UND?
  • That combination should be unbeatable in job security.

  • veterans to go school for 2-4 years to do same job that you did in military seems like a ripoff / way to suck up GI bill funds. Maybe if they need classes on that hardware / differnt laws but that does not take 2-4 years.

    • I know somebody going into the program to get a degree in drones. After high school; it is not for vets it is more of a recruitment program - that degree won't be much use afterwards unless the student works for government.

      It's a bogus program and a stupid degree. Nobody needs it to fly a drone but the kids seem to think that is what it is for-- that is not the case. They don't need jack to fly a remote control and the people doing it now have little education. Most will not fly one but they'll have studen

    • Change the fucking record already.

  • I'm pretty sure that the entire point of drones, in the long run at least, is to eliminate the need for pilots.

    In the civilian sector : It will start with cargo planes first, but once you have them programed, "take off from Airport X, and land at Airport Y," with all the necessaries to correct for weather and what-not ... why would you ever need a pilot again? Just use a tug to put the thing in position on the taxiway, and run the command.

    Military drones completely unmanned (without remote pilot) might b

  • What does this have to do with sea urchins?

  • Why not just tap into the 99% of computer science graduates that are don't deserve their degrees?

  • by CodeBuster (516420) on Wednesday March 20, 2013 @02:11AM (#43221175)
    Seriously, one of the best drone pilots to come out of the Iraq war was actually a high school dropout who was an avid gamer: High School Dropout turns Drone Pilot, thanks to Computer Games [gameguru.in].

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