Above: Image © GeorgeManga,iStockPhoto.com

February is Fashion Week month! Four of the world’s style capitals - New York City, Paris (France), London (England) and Milan (Italy) host week-long events where models walk down fashion runways, wearing the latest fall and winter styles.

Fashion Week can showcase some pretty interesting clothing, accessories, and styles. But Milan Fashion Week 2018 showcased some pretty interesting models: handbags were carried down the runway by drones!

The drones posed and paused for the cameras, kind of like a human model would. The video below shows both drones and humans on the catwalk:

Drones, also called unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), are aircraft that can move without a human on board. Drones move using multiple rotors, which are a bit like little helicopter propellers. Let’s Talk Science Volunteer Katharine Kornobis explains how drones work:

The drone has no pilot on board, so it needs a controller. That controller could be a tablet computer, a smartphone, or a traditional remote control like you would use for a toy car. The controller communicates with each of the rotors using radio waves, telling them what to do so the drone may hover, fly forward, climb, or turn.

Click here to read the full article:

Part of a Cell
Above: A drone with six rotors
Image © Richard Unten, Wikimedia Commons

Did you know? Before the drone show in Milan, Fashion Week organizers asked members of the audience to turn off their WiFi and bluetooth signals. That’s because these signals can interfere with the drone controls.

Drones aren’t regular fashion show participants just yet. But drones have had many practical uses in a variety of industries. For example:

Drones in medicine

Drones might be able to deliver life-saving medical supplies to remote places faster than an ambulance can. In a 2017 study, researchers ran simulations to test whether drones or ambulances would be faster at delivering defibrillators so that nearby people could perform life-saving first aid on someone having a heart attack. The drones were faster every time. Drones could also carry medication or contraceptives (birth control devices, like condoms) to remote areas. They could even carry blood samples from patients in remote areas to faraway testing centres.

Drones in wildlife management

Drones could vaccinate animals against contagious diseases. Since 2016, drones have been dropping pellets containing vaccines down to prairie dogs in parts of the U.S. These prairie dogs are at risk of developing a deadly disease called the sylvatic plague.

Drones in land exploration:

Mining technicians use drones to create 3D images of land. They then use these images to calculate how much valuable goods (such as gold) are in the area. Click here to see video of mining technician Jason Carignan using drones on the job. You can also read his career profile here.

Did you know? Drones are often used by militaries. During World War II, a drone called the “Queen Bee’ was used by the Allies forces in 1941.

What other uses of drone technology can you think of?

Let’s talk about it!

  • Do you think fashion shows are an appropriate use of drones? Why or why not?
  • What are some common criticisms of the use of human models in fashion shows? Are drones an effective solution to these criticisms? Why or why not?
  • This article shows some ways that drones help humans do their jobs. Are there situations where drones could take human jobs away?
  • Can you think of any other uses for drones that aren't mentioned in this article?
  • Do you use drones in your own life? Can you think of ways you might use drones in your life?

Learn More

A Brief History of Drones (2018)
Imperial War Museums

Dolce and Gabbana uses drones to model its handbags at Milan Fashion Week (2018)
Business Insider UK

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! it’s... a drone! (2017)
Let’s Talk Science

6 Ways Drones Could Change Healthcare (2017)
Scientific American


Fashion Week (2018)

Dolce and Gabbana uses drones to model its handbags at Milan Fashion Week (2018)
Business Insider UK

Dolce and Gabbana drones fly the catwalk at Milan Fashion Week (2018)
Digital Trends

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! it’s... a drone! (2017)
CurioCity by Let’s Talk Science

Drones to unleash vaccine-laced pellets in bid to save endangered species (2016)
The Guardian

How drones and peanut butter are saving the nation’s most endangered mammal (2017)
Montana Public Radio

Time to Delivery of an Automated External Defibrillator Using a Drone for Simulated Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrests vs Emergency Medical Services (2017)
The JAMA Network

6 Ways Drones Could Change Healthcare (2017)
Scientific America


This is content has that been provided for use on the CurioCity website.

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