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Apr 30, 2015, 10:44 PM
JulietKiloMike's Avatar
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Drone or UAS?


It seems to be the perennial debate for multirotor enthusiasts...are they "drones" or are they "Unmanned Aerial Systems"? For my AP Statistics final project, I've decided to take a look at this issue. I've sent out surveys to a few hundred students at my school asking them to rate their opinions about unmanned aircraft. Each student is randomly assigned a survey using a javascript webpage I made. One survey strictly uses the word "drones" in reference to unmanned aircraft, while the other strictly uses the words "Unmanned Aerial Systems" in reference to unmanned aircraft. After all is said and done, I'll be running some significance tests on the data to see if there really is any statistically significant difference in people's perceptions towards aircraft systems based on what we call them. If you're interested in how things are shaping up, tag along and I'll keep you posted! The current survey data is available to view here:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/results/SM-DQBTMVX9/
https://www.surveymonkey.com/results/SM-55LFXVX9/

If anyone is interested in the results of this study, or has suggestions / future improvements for it, let me know! If there is enough interest I may try this at a larger scale over the summer with sampling from a larger population than the student body of my school

-John
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May 01, 2015, 03:04 AM
"Learn or Burn"
Mr.Jagger's Avatar
Fascinating (raised right eyebrow).An interesting subject which will be talked about more in the coming years I reckon so a good time to start figuring out what the great unwashed think or believe.

Being an old fogey who grew up during the far out sixties I regard mine as a UFO, which it obviously is although UAV is the more common description today.For me a drone is someone who talks for too long in a monotonous voice or the noise a hurdygurdy makes.

Keep up the good work.
May 01, 2015, 09:38 AM
Lost Soul
jmstone's Avatar
Interesting and timely survey. I'd definitely like to see results from a larger sample.

I've actually started referring to my Inspire as a "quadcopter" when discussing it with friends and co-workers... most of whom will then persist in referring to it as a "drone." I'm trying to be sensitive to the multirotor community, which seems to dislike the term "drone," because of whatever negative connotations it has. And I get it how often do you hear about "drone strikes" in the news, after all?

But, for me, "UAS" or "unmanned aerial system" (or the UAV variant) are every bit as unfriendly and threatening-sounding as drone. Meanwhile "multirotor" would leave the layman scratching his or her head as to what you were talking about.

I think we need a new term to describe them. Something non-threatening.

Let's just call them "unicorns" from now on. Everybody likes unicorns.
May 01, 2015, 10:15 AM
JulietKiloMike's Avatar
Thanks guys! I'm glad you're interested in what I'm doing...I'll definitely keep you posted!

For the record, I'm in favor of unicorns. Unicorns rock
May 09, 2015, 12:45 PM
JulietKiloMike's Avatar
The results are in! It looks like it really doesn't make a difference (at least for the students in my school that took the survey). I've attached the paper in case you're interested. Let me know what you think!

-John
May 09, 2015, 01:07 PM
"Learn or Burn"
Mr.Jagger's Avatar
Looks pretty thorough to me.Just needs that bigger base to get really meaningful output.It's still an interesting subject.We even had a famous columnist espousing his hate for "drones" in a national newspaper today (Jeremy Clarkson lately of Top Gear fame) so your timing could not be better.The question is going mainstream.

We've just had our parliamentary elections in the UK.The pollsters got a total kicking because of their inability to predict the correct outcome.It's thrown the entire industry into some serious navel gazing and statements of apology for their dismal performance.They are setting up independant enquiries to analyse their analysis.Most put their failure down to the small sample sizes of 1,000 people per survey (from a voter base of about 48 million).You've picked a tough hobby there.

May 09, 2015, 01:21 PM
JulietKiloMike's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Jagger
Looks pretty thorough to me.Just needs that bigger base to get really meaningful output.It's still an interesting subject.We even had a famous columnist espousing his hate for "drones" in a national newspaper today (Jeremy Clarkson lately of Top Gear fame) so your timing could not be better.The question is going mainstream.

We've just had our parliamentary elections in the UK.The pollsters got a total kicking because of their inability to predict the correct outcome.It's thrown the entire industry into some serious navel gazing and statements of apology for their dismal performance.They are setting up independant enquiries to analyse their analysis.Most put their failure down to the small sample sizes of 1,000 people per survey (from a voter base of about 48 million).You've picked a tough hobby there.

Haha, yes...finding a large, unbiased sample can be difficult. I don't have the resources to offer any sort of monetary reward for people to take the survey (to reduce voluntary response bias), and distributing it to a large cross-section of the population wouldn't be easy without the use of a polling company. I figure that if this question gets entangled with commercial ventures (which it undoubtedly will), Amazon or some other corporate behemoth will hire "real" statisticians and polling companies to do a more in-depth study with thousands of participants. Then we'll know what to call our little quadcopters.