I thought drones were something from science fiction until a few years ago. I suppose they were something from science fiction until recently. New rules from the Federal Aviation Administration should make it legal to fly the unmanned aircraft without a license in many situations. 

The first time I saw or read a story about them, they were very expensive and their uses mostly military. Then, I heard that consumers were buying units and flying them around their backyards, the way some people fly model planes or kit-made helicopters.

I still believed they cost thousands of dollars, until I started seeing ads from hobby shops and cellphone retailers that included drones. A quick look online shows they are easy accessible and not expensive.

So maybe I should not be surprised that they have made their way into construction and other industries. I recently attended a seminar at the Florida Roofing and Sheet Metal Expo where a lawyer explained how they could be used in the roofing industry, along with the risks they involve.

The speaker noted that adjacent property owners may not be too happy to discover a camera is flying above their heads.

I’m hoping to include an article about this topic from the convention speaker in an upcoming issue. The session made me curious: Have any of you ever encountered drones on a job site? How were they used? Do you use them at your company?