While the drone has become synonymous with the War on Terror, the asymmetric iconography of the battlefield is shifting. Commercially available off-the-shelf (COTS) drones are increasingly prevalent features of global battlefields, employed by non-state actors in both visualizing such spaces, and the directing and inflicting of harm therein. As such usage increases, so too do concerns around the evolving adoption and adaptation of these devices, and their potential portability into homeland spheres. While cognizant of the range of positive drone applications, it is asserted that such platforms nonetheless remain simultaneously bound to an inverse potential for exploitation. With the aim of examining drone risk, this article approaches the consumer drone through a series of sites and spaces through which it is both technically and socially constructed. Reflecting upon industry innovation, community-driven experimentation, and evolving airspace – the article ultimately calls for greater attention to the drone’s malleability, arguing that understandings of the COTS drone must remain attentive to both drone potential and potential drone threat.
- Unmanned Aerial Vehicles