Drones are unmanned aircraft, of any size or shape, used for both civilian and military purposes. There has been increasing discussion of the use of so-called unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in a commercial setting. Although Amazon's founder Jeff Bezos has said he could see drone deliveries inside five years (see news below) others have been more cautious and think using UAVs for delivery would be better suited to remote parts of Africa rather than dense, built-up environments such as US cities. To view the different kinds of drone available in 2013 click on the images in the graphic below.
In October 2013 an FT report looked at the rising use of drones in the US military and disturbing proposals to increase spending on drones to provide 24-hour patrols of US borders.
In December 2013 it was reported that Amazon was working on a project to provide same-day delivery of goods ordered online by drone.
View FT indepth page: The Drone Economy