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Companies Embracing Drone Technology Worldwide

09-08-2014

While the U.S. government figures out how to control drones, companies around the world, from real estate to photography to relief organizations, are seizing the moment, embracing use of the remote-controlled devices.

Last week, a drone was used to capture pictures of the East Harlem building explosion.

Also, pictures taken by a drone were used to help sell a luxury property overlooking the Hudson River.

"It has a unique view of the house and the surrounding areas. It really is very impressive," property owner Robert Handler said.

Team Black Sheep is one of many video companies using drone technology for some of its films.

But even as popular as drones are becoming in the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration actually bars their commercial use.

"The rest of the world is already doing this. This is not something where we're just the only ones. So, it's going to happen with or without us," Michael Toscano, CEO of the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, told CBN News.

That's because commercial drones are already being used in countries where authorities say UAVs, or unmanned aerial vehicles, present little threat if operators follow safety rules.

One company, Matternet, has a project in Haiti to deliver medicine to isolated mountaintop villages.

"And they're like totally disconnected from all medical services. It's impossible to get vaccines ... reliably to them," Matternet CEO Andreas Patopoulos said. "It's very hard to get them access to consumer goods, and it's extremely hard for them to get their goods to markets."

In Japan, helicopter drones have been spraying crops for 20 years. South Korea launched a similar program five years ago, and Australia recently started using them, too.

The German delivery company DHL is testing a Paket-Kopter drone that could be used to deliver small, urgently needed goods to hard-to-reach places.

Much of the world has jumped on the drone bandwagon. But many say FAA rules are leaving the United States lagging behind.

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