Why check out a book when you could check out a drone? That’s the decision many students at the University of South Florida are going to be facing when the school library reopens following major renovations. In an effort to provide a more technologically up-to-date environment for students to work in, USF opened a SMART (Science, Math, and Research Technology) Lab on the second floor of the library in 2012. This year, the updating continued.
“After the Smart Lab was created on the second floor we saw use of the building explode,” said Dean of USF Libraries William Garrison on the USF website. “The success of the second floor’s added technology and computers have inspired a similar theme for the first floor of the building.”
The expanded Digital Media Commons area on the first floor will be a place for students to work on digital projects and check out equipment, including video cameras, microphones and yes, DJI’s Phantom 2 Vision remote-controlled drones. The school has two drones in stock to loan to students, and anyone who checks out a drone will be “thoroughly trained and supervised” while operating the drone.
USF expects students in many fields of study will find practical, innovative uses for drones. For example, an architecture class could fly a drone over a structure to better understand its dimensions without having to look at drawings or make inaccurate estimations. Check out the news report from ABC below to get a better idea of what the drones look like in the sky.