Students at the University of South Florida are now able to borrow something a little more technologically advanced than textbooks from the college's library — quadcopter drones. After a recent renovation, the university now allows students to check out one of the library's two remote control devices for supervised flights. The small white drones, which look to be DJI's Phantom 2 Vision models, come fitted with a video camera. The university tells ABC Action News that they will be useful for students studying a range of disciplines.
Nancy Cunningham, who works in USF's academic services department, describes how drones could be useful to those enrolled at the school. Architecture students, she suggests, could use the UAVs to observe structures from the sky rather than relying on 2D plans or models. The increase in drone use has sparked privacy concerns, but Cunningham downplays such fears on campus. Students have to complete a course in drone operation before checking the devices out, and their use is to be monitored by staff members standing over the students' shoulders.