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Forget books – now you can check out drones from a Florida university library

Awesome news for tech fans at the University of South Florida – it’s now possible to visit the university’s library and check out not only books but drones, too. That’s right, flash your library card and walk out with a camera-equipped flying machine.

The Tampa-based university has just started offering two drones for loan, which, looking at an ABC Action News report (below) on the story, appear to be DJI Phantom 2 Vision machines.

But students eager to get their hands on one of the $1,000 drones shouldn’t think they can simply check it out and disappear off to the Everglades with their buddies for a fun weekend of sky-high filming – anyone borrowing one will, according to university staff member Nancy Cunningham, be “thoroughly trained and supervised” to ensure its safe and responsible use. And another thing – if you break it, you’ll have to pay for it.

Cunningham added that the plan is for students to make use of the drones in their studies, explaining to ABC that, for example, “in architecture they could go over the structure and understand the various dimensions of it without having to look at drawings and make estimations.”

The university’s move to incorporate drones into its line-up of library facilities comes at a time when the technology is coming under increasing scrutiny from the authorities.

The Federal Aviation Administration is currently examining how best to regulate the use of commercial drones in American airspace, though some government bodies have already made moves to restrict their use for certain purposes. The US National Park Service, for example, recently issued an order banning the use of drones across all 59 of its parks due to their negative environmental impact.

[Mary Sue via The Verge]

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