Fleet hosting talk on use of drones


The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in San Diego’s Balboa Park will host a panel discussion on Wednesday, August 7th, about the benefits and risks of using drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles. The free public talk begins at 5:30 p.m. and will feature: Bob Osborne, the retired commander of the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department’s UAV program; Lucien Miller, the CEO of Innov8tive Designs in Vista, whose products include small UAVs; Keith McLellan, CEO of ROV Systems of Lake Havasu City, Arizona, which develops unmanned platforms for commercial use.

The panel discussion is sponsored by the Center for Ethics in Science & Technology, which bills the discussion this way: “New technologies can raise challenging ethical dilemmas, and drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are no exception. These aircraft may be autonomously operated by onboard computers or directed remotely by a human operator. UAVs are used for many purposes, ranging from crop dusting farmland to military operations. Join our UAV experts as we explore the benefits, perceived concerns, real risks, and public safety.”

San Diego County is home to drone-makers Northrop Grumman and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, both of which produce UAVs used by the military and government.

Note to readers: It’s unclear how much of the program will be devoted to ethical concerns about the use of drones. The three panelists represent companies or agencies that have promoted the use of drones.