Students will soon have the opportunity to borrow drones

Students at the University of South Florida will soon have the opportunity to borrow drones for academic purposes.

AerialPicture Phantom 2 Vision Plus in action

The campus library plans to offer remote-controlled drones for students to check out for school-related projects come this fall. The mechanical agent can record video or shoot photographs.

“We’re finding many students are doing many more digital projects and the drone will enable them to take aerial photography within the FAA limits,” Bill Garrison, University of South Florida Dean of Libraries, told Bay News 9.

The university’s library purchased two drones with some leftover funds from a grant they received to remodel its facility with new technology. The drones are valued at $1,500 apiece, CNN reported.

Garrison said the drones will not only be a great resource for students working on multimedia projects, but they could be used in conjunction with other departments at the university.

“We have a global sustainability program, and they are mapping out the campus to see energy usage, so they can use the drones to help map out the campus,” he explained to CNN. “There are a lot of opportunities for research and learning by using drones. And the faculty can use it, too.”

Students looking to borrow the drones will need to enroll in a training course to learn how to use the unmanned planes. They also have to explain why the drones are needed in their research.

The library’s hope is to integrate new technology to its services.

Garrison said the new move to introduce drones to the school’s library service is part of a larger effort to “stay relevant on campus by providing more digital learning tools.”

“One of the things many libraries have struggled with is how do you become a real part of the campus and not be viewed as a book warehouse,” he said. “I find it very exciting that we are able to do this, and I think the students will appreciate it.”

The school’s library has worked to expand its “Digital Media Commons” in an effort to promote digital learning.

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