There are few technologies surrounded at the same time by such anticipation and controversy as the unmanned aerial systems.
They represent the first level in the evolution of autonomous killing machines, helping military forces in armed conflicts to wipe out their enemies without men having to pull the trigger and put their own lives at risk.
Some fear their stealthy presence above our heads could threaten our privacy — collecting sensitive information about us far more efficiently than Google Street View.
But what are today’s unmanned aerial systems really about and where are they going? We have visited this year’s Defence and Security Event in London and asked some of the industry insiders.