There was a time when the word drone was more associated with male bees than with the flying killer robots.
Matter of fact, those used to be called uav’s — or unmanned aerial vehicles — pretty much back before their killer nature was more popular.
Google trends tracks the popularity of a search term on a scale of 100, where “100 represents the peak search interest.”
Now there’s two things we should notice with this graph — which tracks worldwide trends — first, the the term “drone” started on the uptrend vs. uav right as Obama was settling in to office.
Second, though the overall rise of the term drone in the google-search consciousness largely correlates with the Obama administration’s over-all use of drones overseas — we should also notice that the spikes coincide with an explosion of strikes in Pakistan.
In particular — when 4 were killed in Jan. 2010 and then 51 in Dec. 2010.
From the Bureau of Investigative Journalism:
It should be noted that the age of the UAV was marked more by small, surveillance drones which helped special operations and infantry troops see past tough positions on the battlefield.
It seems like growing use of armed flying robots (both for surveillance and direct action on the enemy) ushered in the change of terms from uav to the now-more-popular use of the term drone.
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