How Research is Preparing us for Drones of the Future

IEEE’s Pervasive is a journal specialising in the Internet of Things. Appearing in Pervasive, Design Fiction: Anticipating Adoption is an article by PETRAS researchers Professor Paul Coulton and Joseph Lindley. In the article they explore the “controversial, sometimes amusing, and often innovative applications” of drones. As part of the PETRAS Adoption and Acceptability theme and conducted at Lancaster University’s design-led research lab Imagination, the research uses a technique for helping to understand the future of technology called design fiction.

“We wanted to understand what the technological and legal challenges of such a system would be and ask whether such a system would be an acceptable proposition. Our goal was to start a discourse that would start to unpack the ethical and societal questions relating to such a system’s adoption.”

The design fiction – Game of Drones – explores a future where using drones to help catch people who park illegally or allow their dog to foul the street has been turned into a ‘game’. Players score more points for the more of their fellow citizens they catch out. Design fictions such as this involve ‘world building’. To build the Game of Drones world the researchers rewrote the law, designed street-light landing stations, thought up drone enforcement signs, and created a video (above) showcasing what the game would look like.

Game of Drones Poster