The ultimate struggle. Nature versus technology. There has always been this argument where man-made machines can never replace its predecessors. Since the industrial age when technological creations started replacing human and animal workers on the field, this question circulated.
In the past we saw drones cleaning wind turbines at dangerous temperatures more efficiently and at a faster pace than human workers. Drones scout perilous areas such as burning buildings. This leaves the firefighters at a safe distance while they assess the situation. Drones also collect items in areas where normal human contact would be limited. This includes unstable buildings, disaster-stricken areas, and natural events like volcanic areas.
How can a machine, with no decision-making abilities, match the cunning and improvising that its natural predecessors have? How can a machine made out of steel and running on a finite power source compete with the old ways?
This age-old question was put to the test recently in Greenfield, Wisconsin.
Drone versus the K-9 Unit:
Here a high tech drone equipped with advanced tools went up against a police dog. The drone, owned by the Greenfield Police Department, had thermal cameras and a bird’s eye view. The police dog from the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department had its powerful nature senses as well as official police training training.
The scenario was a simple one. A fugitive was fleeing by foot after a failed attempt at a getaway car. The car became obsolete after the police force caught it with a spike trap. Once the fugitive ran on foot, the Greenfield police launched their drone, while Waukesha County released their police dog.
The result was a simple one as well. The police canine unit found and reached the target long before the drone spotted him. So what does this say about the effectiveness of drones in law enforcement? There has been a rise – a surge, if you will – of police departments all over the globe purchasing drones. These drones are then equipped with thermal sensors, HD cameras, as well as powerful guiding systems. But are all these expenses unnecessary, as the good old canine unit can still outperform the drone?
Perhaps it is a more situational scenario. Perhaps drones can deploy during harsh weather conditions or dangerous places. But as for this particular crime scene, score one for the old ways, while drones are left in the dust.