The drone revolution is over 100 years in the making. Here, we take an animated look at the past, present and future of unmanned aerial technology.

Written and produced by Eric Larson

Animated by Alisa Stern

Illustrated by Bob Al-Greene

Narrated by Haile Owusu

Special thanks:

– Arthur Holland Michel, Co-Director of the Center for the Study of the Drone, Bard College:

– Richard Whittle, author, “Predator: The Secret Origins of the Drone Revolution”:

– Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchiari, Reporter, Mashable

– Matt Silverman, Editorial Director, Mashable


-“Black Vortex,” Kevin MacLeod, Incompetech

-“Hall of the Mountain King,” Incompetech

-“Virtutes Instrumenti,” Kevin MacLeod, Incompetech

-“Colussus,” Kevin MacLeod, Incompetech

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Mashable is the leading independent news site for all things tech, social media, and internet culture


  1. So better to change the title to ''An Animated History of the Drone in Israel and USA''.
    Because if not, it's an inquorate history.
    Have a look at the Drone development history in Iran-Iraq war in 80s.

  2. 6:16 The Bureau reported that only 957 civilian has been killed by this evil machine. They call this “collateral damage”. Now, people are not that fool to believe that this number is remotely accurate, they mean 957 x 20 killed, maybe then I will believe…

  3. typical –leaves out huge gaps like Israel's first drones were imported US made telydyne ryan firebees, Israel called them Shadmit drones, furthermore the US flew several thousand drone missions in Vietnam and converted countless planes to drone use during the cold war period

  4. An important point to note: "As with traditional strikes, civilians can get caught up in the crossfire…" Drones are not the only flying death machines.

  5. I agree with everything said.  What needs to be addressed is why model aircraft and their pilots, currently defined by congress to be self policed by the AMA (community organization), are now being persecuted by the FAA.  Existing privacy law already protects the individual from those who would misuse the tech.  Define spaces to keep models away from full scale aircraft, but don't redefine what is a model airplane, and it's pilot, those are already clearly delineated from the drones described here.

  6. Vote for the involvement of the authors of such material to the liability of public insults and defamation in relation to the social category rc model aircraft  hobbyists and sportsmen's. Aeromodelling is one of oldest and complexing sports and hobbies activities of million enthusiasts and professionals in all countries

  7. Some ppl are converting mass hobby in military tools, but it found many troubles in dat way.
    Miltary usage of drones is very limited yet. Rather civilian. And it's good =)
    In fact any other militrary tools, like piloted aviation, armore truck wechicle, battle ships, portable weapons and etc, killing and wounded much and mach more wictims than drone.
    Kill not guns, kill assholes with guns

  8. Stupid "history" for idiots from clowns?
    RC drones about 50 year mass hobby for millions fliyng entusiasts around all world.
    Welcme to real world.

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