Segments in this Video

Introduction: Invasion of the Drones (01:49)


The dream of flight has driven much of human history and innovation.

Drone Racing (05:36)

Racers talk about the developing sport and culture surrounding competitive drone flying. MetallDanny and Boris B. speak about how they came to drone racing and what it means to them.

Invisible Drones (06:31)

James Bridle speaks about combat drone pilots and how drones were developed primarily for military use. His art installation project intends to show how drones are both invisible and omnipresent in our world.

Drones in our Lives (01:32)

As drones become more ubiquitous, they will have far reaching effects on human culture. Peter-Paul Verbeek researches how drones are changing society and the way people live.

Drones for Good (06:44)

Dubai hosts an event to highlight the potential of drones for humanitarian relief and other good causes. Al Aleeli Saif talks about the origins of the event and why it is important to focus on the good that drones can accomplish. Patrick Meier talks about the many way drones might be utilized in civilian life.

Democratization of the Skies (02:10)

Verbeek speaks about the unforeseen ways in which technology is used after invention. Meier talks about how drones can give more power to an area in which the state has traditionally been sovereign.

Impact of Drones (04:52)

Thomas van der Es discusses the effects that drones are having inside a national park that serves as a wild bird refuge. Civilians trying to use drones in the ways naturalists utilize them are disturbing the wildlife.

Regulations and Legislation (03:56)

Boris B. talks about the rapidly changes rules and regulations surrounding drones and civilian drone usage. Nico Nijehuis discusses his company that uses a birdlike drone to scare birds away from airport runways.

Authority Response (01:27)

Verbeek discusses the ways in which authorities have reacted and responded to the possible threat of drones in criminal or terrorist hands.

Business with Drones (05:02)

Parimal Kopardekar speaks about the ways NASA is researching drone use to help and advance society. Kopardekar is developing an operational structure to regulate and optimize airspace for business drones.

Drones of the Future (06:36)

Interview subjects give their final word and analysis of what the future will bring for drones and the societal consequences of the drone evolution.

Credits: Invasion of the Drones (00:27)

Credits: Invasion of the Drones

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Invasion of the Drones

DVD (Chaptered) Price: $169.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $254.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



They fly in swarms, deliver packages and can be as small as insects. Drones are much more than the weapons used by the US Army against terrorists. We see them fly more often and they pop up everywhere in our lives. In the USA, over one million drones were found as toys underneath the Christmas trees. Drones are not only getting smarter, they are also getting cheaper every day. So what happens when the airspace has suddenly become accessible to anyone: soldiers, terrorists, hobbyists and delivery services? How will we deal with the fact that we don’t know who is in control of a drone or what the intentions of the flying robot are? How is this technological innovation going to change our relationships with one another and the world around us? From the full-scale drone shadows of English artist James Bridle to the popular sport of drone racing. From a drone race in Dubai with good intentions to a drone highway in the sky which NASA are trying to achieve. The time will come when we, humans, are no longer needed in the networks of the flying robots. Are these the signs of a fourth technological revolution? VPRO Backlight – Invasion of the Drones, with, among others: Peter-Paul Verbeek (science ethicist, TU Twente), James Bridle (artist and writer), DannylMetal and Boris B. (drone racers) and Parimal Kopardekar (NASA NextGen researcher).

Length: 47 minutes

Item#: BVL129511

ISBN: 978-1-64023-652-3

Copyright date: ©2016

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

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Not available to Home Video customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.