Drones? You hear them, but can they hear you?

Photo credit: Florian Pircher from Pixabay

by David M. Sykes, Vice Chair, The Quiet Coalition

In a word: no—they can’t hear you because they make too much noise. So a New Zealand company is developing algorithms to cancel the noise drone helicopters
make so that their own microphones don’t hear it. Unfortunately, you—we–on the ground will still hear them. That’s a problem.

So the same company is also working on ways to build quieter drones. Yes, that can be done too.

But someone–are you listening FAA?–needs to realize that electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVOTL) drones are going to be like a plague of locusts for those of us who live below them. Of course the companies that make eVOTLs, including the robotic drone models, have been very quiet about how much noise they make because that’s a delicate question that could interfere with the buzz of excitement among investors and developers in this emerging market, labelled “Advanced Air Mobility.”

Look–and listen–for them soon in your neighborhood wearing the logos of Google and Amazon Prime and the next new shiny thing.

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