Origins Podcast
10:15 am
Mon July 15, 2013

Aerial Torpedoes, Buzz Bombs, and Predators: The Long Cultural History of Drones

The modern drone has many technological and cultural precursors dating back to the turn of the century. Shown here is a Predator drone widely used by the Central Intelligence Agency and U.S. Air Force; originally designed for reconnaissance, it has now been outfitted with missiles and used in offensive strikes.

The use of unmanned drones for surveillance, for targeted assassinations, and for attacks more broadly seems to be the latest evolution in the technology of war. But as historian Kenneth C. Hough reminds us, the military use of drones goes back at least a century, as does the controversy they have generated over the morality and meaning of using such technology to kill.

Read more here.