"The machines have proved most valuable in providing film footage or photography of things that are difficult to reach, like wildlife or geographic formations. In the future, however, their capabilities may be expanded to include sensors that can help with environmental coverage, for instance, by providing readings on air quality.
“What drones give you is anywhere, anytime access to the sky,” said Chris Anderson, a former editor of Wired magazine who runs a drone company. “That perspective is something a journalist just wouldn’t have unless he waited for officials, or hired a plane.”
Early this fall the BBC launched an 18-inch, six-rotored unmanned machine into the sky to report on a high-speed train being planned to travel from London to Manchester. The train is controversial because it would cut through and, some argue, despoil some of the most pristine rural land in England.
“The idea was we needed to get above to give our viewers the full scope of the problem,” said Tom Hannen, who operates the program.
Mr. Whyld is exploring long-range drones, which can fly 10 or 20 miles from their handler, and looking into new sensors like heat-seeking cameras."