special report

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

The Defense Department is increasingly using a technology known as UAVs -- commonly called "drones" -- in the Middle East. However, other agencies are using drones in other capacities, such as Homeland Security is also using them to patrol the border. The use of drones is controversial, as some have taken expressed privacy and other concerns.

United States Air Force
A drone flies at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Americans Think Drones Are Creepier Than Google Glass

April 17 People are, unsurprisingly, distrustful of unmanned aerial vehicles.

An unmanned drone RQ-7A "Shadow" lands at an American military base in Baqouba, Iraq.

Repurposing Old Drones to Bring Wi-Fi to War Fighters

April 15 DARPA’s turning unmanned aerial vehicles into very mobile hotspots.

Titan Aerospace's Solara 50 aircraft

Google Just Bought the Drone Company that Facebook Had Its Eye On

April 15 The drone maker will help Google with its "Project Loon" initiative, which looks to provide internet access to remote areas.

Facebook Predicts Future Internet Powered by Drones and Lasers

March 28 Mark Zuckerberg sets his sights on bringing the Web to "every person in the world."

An unmanned aircraft used to monitor a farm in Kendrick, Idaho.

These Companies Are Mining the World’s Data by Selling Street Lights and Farm Drones

March 25 The drones collect data on crops from hundreds of feet above.

A Quick Review of Where Commercial Drones Stand

March 20 The FAA wants to clear up the confusion. Here's a helpful guide.

A drone fitted with a camera flies in South Africa.

Making the Case That Africa Needs Drones More Than Roads

March 17 The Flying Donkey Challenge will support the development of drones that can be used to carry goods to market and deliver medication to remote villages.

Texas A&M Corpus Christi researchers prepare a unmanned aircraft system for testing at a ranch near Sarita, Texas.

Analysis: Drones Herald the End of the Age of the Gun

March 11 Drones will cause an upheaval of society like we haven’t seen in 700 years.

A multi-rotor hexacopter, an unmanned aircraft that was purchased to monitor a farm in Kendrick, Idaho

Feds Again Ground Commercial Drone Use

March 10 The FAA is appealing a judge’s ruling that a ban on commercial drones lacks proper authority.

Federal Judge Dismisses FAA Fine Against Drone Operator

March 7 The fine was the first leveled by the Federal Aviation Administration over the commercial use of unmanned aircraft.

Facebook’s Drones Could Bring Internet to the Developing World—and Stick it to Mobile Carriers

March 4 Facebook is in talks to buy a drone company Titan Aerospace, which is developing autonomous solar-powered aircraft.

DHS' Jeh Johnson, a former top Pentagon lawyer, formulated the White House policy on lethal drone strikes in Yemen and Somalia.

U.S. Border Drones Need 'Further Refined' Privacy Policies, DHS Chief Says

February 26 But security is still Jeh Johnson's priority, the department's new secretary tells Congress.

Steve Capachietti pilots his drone with video camera attached on the bottom while taking video at the "Great Rotary Fishing Derby" on Lake Winnipesaukee, N.H.

Your Local TV News Station Would Like to Buy a Drone

February 25 A recent case in Connecticut is testing whether remote-controlled reporting could one day be a real option.

Drones Are Finally Driving the U-2 Spy Plane out of Business

February 24 The U.S. military is becoming more digital, specialized, and automated—just like the rest of the world.

A drone camera follows Norway's Aleksander Aurdal during the men's ski slopestyle final at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

The Best Cameramen at the Olympics Are Drones

February 18 The use of unmanned aerial vehicles for sports photography is far from a passing gimmick.

Feds Shoot Down Drone Delivery of Valentine's Day Flowers

February 12 Your red roses and blue violets just got grounded.

Feds Shoot Down Beer Delivery by Drone

January 30 It seemed like a foolproof business model, but the FAA says it’s illegal.

Why the Real Estate Industry Is Interested in Drones, Too

January 30 They're quickly changing the art of visualizing buildings.

Analysis: Five Years Later, U.S. Drone Use on the Decline

January 24 But key questions -- including how targets are chosen and an official civilian death count -- remain unanswered.